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Steve Harvey’s Wildest Moments As Host of the Pageant

After five years, Steve Harvey will no longer host Miss Universe. But during his reign, he definitely had some wild moments on the pageant stage.

Steve Harvey 2019 Miss Universe


Steve Harvey at the 2019 Miss Universe competition.

FOX via Getty Images


The Miss Universe Organization began a five-year contract with Harvey and Fox after Donald Trump sold the company to IMG in 2015 following controversial remarks he made during his first presidential campaign.

Harvey made headlines for many of his moments on the Miss Universe stage — including one major blunder that got the world talking. But after his contract came to an end this year, the Miss Universe organization decided to go in a new direction with Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, the first woman to own Miss Universe.

Miss Universe Organization CEO Amy Emmerich told Variety that she wanted to “make sure we led with a female lens this next go-around.”

“It was a rare opportunity to be able to kind of restart in a whole new place,” she added.

Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and “The Real” star Jeannine Mai Jenkins will host this year’s show, which airs on Saturday. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and “Access Hollywood” correspondent Zuri Hall will give commentary backstage.

Before the new Miss Universe hosts take the stage, let’s look back at some of Steve Harvey’s most memorable moments.

In his first year hosting Miss Universe, Harvey announced the wrong winner.

miss universe wrong name steve harvey


Miss Colombia, Miss Universe 2014, and Miss Philippines during the pageant at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 20, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images


In 2015, Harvey announced that Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, had won the title of Miss Universe.

The sparkling crown was placed on her head, and the famous Miss Universe sash draped over her shoulders. But as Gutiérrez waved to her fans, Harvey said there had been a mistake — the real winner was Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

Harvey held up the card for the crowd to see and said he took responsibility for the mistake.

The “Family Feud” host later apologized on Twitter for the error, and even Harry Styles came to his defense. Harvey later told Kevin Hart in a 2021 interview that it was “the worst week of my life.”

A contestant at the 2018 pageant later joked with Harvey about his mistake on the pageant stage.

costa rica steve harvey miss universe


Steve Harvey and Miss Costa Rica 2018.



During the interviews for the top 20, Harvey asked Miss Costa Rica, Natalia Carvajal, if she had any tips for him, as she also worked as a TV presenter at the time, Insider previously reported.

She told him to come closer, and when Harvey was leaning toward Carvajal, she said, “If they ever give you a really, really, really important envelope, try to read carefully, OK?”

The audience exploded into laughter, as Carvajal was clearly poking fun at Harvey’s mistake at the 2015 pageant.

During the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, Harvey joked about the cartel.

Steve Harvey and Miss Colombia at the Miss Universe pageant.


Steve Harvey interviews Miss Colombia, Gabriela Tafur Náder, onstage at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant at Tyler Perry Studios on December 8, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images


Harvey found himself trending on Twitter yet again when he made a cartel joke while talking to Miss Colombia, Gabriela Tafur Náder

The pageant queen referenced Harvey’s 2015 mistake after he revealed she had made the top 20, joking: “Are you sure? Should I go back?”

After Harvey showed her the card as proof, Náder told the host that Colombia had forgiven his mistake.

“The cartel hasn’t forgiven me,” he replied.

The joke didn’t sit well with many viewers, including Colombian actor Andres Simon — who said Harvey’s joke was “ignorant” and “absolutely disrespectful.”

At the 2019 pageant, Harvey appeared to confuse two contestants again.

Steve Harvey and Miss Philippines at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant.


Steve Harvey and Miss Philippines at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant.

Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images


As The Wrap reported, Harvey announced Miss Philippines, Gazini Ganados, won the 2019 Miss Universe Costume Competition.

Ganados had in fact won the competition — but for some reason, Miss Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon, was standing next to Harvey onstage.

“It’s not Philippines. It’s Malaysia,” Sekhon said after Harvey named Miss Philippines the winner, according to The Wrap.

“Well, let me explain something to you. I just read that in a teleprompter,” Harvey then said. “Y’all gotta quit doing this to me.”

“This is what they did to me back in 2015. Played me short like that,” he said.

Miss Universe later clarified Harvey was correct in naming Ganados the winner in a tweet, but the interaction was painfully reminiscent of his 2015 mishap.

And at the 2021 pageant, Harvey again mixed up two contestants.

Miss India, Miss South Africa, Miss Paraguay


Miss India and Miss Paraguay pose onstage during the 70th Miss Universe competition on December 13, 2021.



During the pageant, Harvey announced that Miss Paraguay, Nadia Ferreira, and Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu, were the finalists.

Harvey congratulated the pair, but he accidentally referred to Ferreira as Miss Portugal, a video of the interaction shared on Yahoo! News showed.

Ferreira laughed uncomfortably after Harvey’s misplaced congratulation.

Harvey hosted the 2021 pageant with his daughter, Lori Harvey, who he implied only got the job because of him.

A side-by-side of Lori Harvey and Steve Harvey.


Lori Harvey and Steve Harvey.

Steve Granitz / Contributor / Moses Robinson / Getty Images


During the 70th annual Miss Universe pageant, Lori Harvey joined her father on the Miss Universe stage.

Rather than having a good rapport, the pair appeared to have some tension onstage. Harvey even implied his daughter only got to be there because of him.

“My God, she owes for this,” he said after chatting to Lori during the show.

Harvey also made headlines when he asked Miss India to meow onstage during the 2021 pageant.

Miss India and Steve Harvey at Miss Universe 2021


Steve Harvey presents semifinalist Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu, during the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Eilat, Israel, on December 13, 2021.



Many viewers were bewildered when Harvey asked Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu — who was later crowned Miss Universe — to do her best animal impersonation onstage.

“Oh, my God, Steve, I was not expecting to do this on the world stage,” Sandhu told him. But the pageant queen took it all in stride and said she loved cats and would do her best to impersonate one.

Many viewers on Twitter slammed Harvey’s question, asking why Sandhu hadn’t been given a chance to share more about herself when other women in the competition got to speak about their careers or philanthropies.

But Sandhu defended Harvey as she spoke about the moment with Insider.

“We were having so much fun, and that was my ultimate goal, to make everyone laugh,” she said. “And when you have a great human being like Steve next to you, then you just can’t stop being yourself. And I was just having fun and enjoying myself.”

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