PH’s Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach Is Miss Universe

by Joseph G. Lariosa
Pia Wurtzbach

CHICAGO (JGL) – Watching the Miss Universe beauty pageant Sunday, Dec. 20, on live television was like watching the dying seconds of a very close last round of a boxing match but the problem is that the referee read the wrong scoring card!

In one of the most bizarre and surreal endings of the Miss Universe finale, TV host Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez-Arévalo as the 2015 Universe winner.

But a few seconds later after reigning 2014 Miss Universe Paulina Vega crowned her country mate Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez-Arévalo, Harvey trotted back to the stage to announce there was a mistake.

Harvey clarified that the first runner up was Miss Colombia and that the winner of the Miss Universe 2015 is Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who was shocked as did Miss Colombia, whose crown was being taken away from her head and was being moved over to the Wurtzbach’s.

When he came back to the stage of Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Harvey flashed the scorecard, showing Miss USA as second runner up, Miss Colombia, first runner up and at the right corner of the score card, Miss Universe Miss Philippines, prompting an unbelieving and shocked Miss Philippines to amble in measured steps towards the center of the stage to await the reigning Miss Universe crown her 2015 Miss Universe.


Some watchers were questioning Harvey for playing favorite when he recklessly announced the wrong winner. Harvey later said, “I have to apologize. The (first) runner up is Miss Colombia. And Miss Universe 2015 is Miss Philippines!”

Had Miss Colombia won, it could have been the second back-to-back country winner since 2009 Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez was crowned by her country mate 2008 Miss Venezuela Dayana Mendoza, who was then Miss Universe.

The mistake caused Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez to shed tears as she was named first runner up.

A Filipino-German actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder, Wurtzbach was born in Stuttgart, Germany to a German father and a Filipino mother. But she claims Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines, where she grew up, as her home. She speaks German, Filipino and English.

She has one sister who is two years younger than her. Pia finished her secondary education with the ABS-CBN Distance Learning Center and studied culinary arts at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in Metro Manila, Philippines. She worked as a cosmetics model. At the age of 11, under the screen name Pia Romero, she worked as an actress. Pia is currently a stylist and writer for the lifestyle section of a leading newspaper in the Philippines.


At the question and answer portion, when she asked, “Why should you be the next Miss Universe?” Many believed her response was a winning statement.

She said, “To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and a responsibility. If I were to be Miss Universe, I will use my voice to influence the youth and I will raise awareness to certain causes like HIV awareness that is timely and relevant to my country, i.e. Philippines. I want to show the world—the Universe, rather—that I am confident and beautiful from the heart.”

Wurtzbach becomes the third Filipina to win the title since Gloria Diaz won in 1969, and Margie Moran took home the crown in 1973 at the 63rd year staging of the pageant.

Rounding up the top five were Philippines, France, Colombia, Australia and U.S.A.

On the first question-and-answer round which dealt with country-based questions on such hot-button issues, as the dangerous territory of US military presence in the Philippines, Wurtzbach said the Philippines is showing strong influences from the United States and that Filipinos are welcoming the issue.

In his initial twit, Harvey said, “I want to apologize emphatically to Miss Philippians and Miss Colombia. This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful.” But he deleted this as he misspelled Philippines and Colombia.

Harvey, who has 3.07-million followers, later corrected it, saying, “I’d like to apologize wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia & Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible.

“Secondly, I’d like to apologize to the viewers at that I disappointed as well. Again it was an honest mistake.

“I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant. As well as the wonderful contestants. They were all amazing.”

Harvey generated 167,000 likes and 107,000 re-twits.

It was the first time that the Miss Universe organization allowed online voting during the two-hour telecast only from Eastern and Central Time airings from 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 CT for anyone 13 years of age or older. There were four (4) voting points that were voted upon — during the swimsuit competition, during the evening gown competition, during the final question round, and after the final look.

In its post, the Miss Universe website said, “The excitement of live TV was evident tonight on The Miss Universe stage with over 10 million live fan votes tabulated. Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play. We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced. Our sincerest apologies to Miss Universe Colombia 2015, Ariadna Gutierrez-Arévalo, Miss Universe Philippines 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, their families and fans. We congratulate Miss Universe Philippines as Miss Universe 2015.”



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