(ABC News) — Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez revealed that she “cried a ton” the night when she was declared the winner of the Miss Universe pageant by host Steve Harvey, only to have the win reversed minutes later on live television.
Speaking in an interview on the Spanish-language network Univision, the 22-year-old Gutierrez said the error affected her deeply.
“I went up to my parents’ room and, obviously, I was very sad, I was in bad shape, I was crying. I cried a ton that night,” she said.
Harvey has said he made a mistake and didn’t read the card correctly when he announced on Dec. 20 during a live broadcast that Gutierrez had won the pageant. She was actually the first runner-up.
The crown, which had been placed on her head, was removed a mere minute later and given to the actual winner, Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines.
Gutierrez expressed her distaste for how the situation was handled.
“In four minutes they destroy your dreams, they throw it in a bag, and they throw it in the trash …,” she said.
She added: “They could have done it another way. … I feel like it doesn’t matter to them the feelings of a girl who has worked her whole life for a dream.”
Harvey addressed the controversy on his radio show Monday morning, denying the rumor that the error was some sort of publicity stunt.
“Why the hell would I do that?” he said, noting that he was “already famous. Do you really think I wanted to be famous like this?”
Harvey described the moments after his mistake as chaotic.
“Now I got a guy in my ear going, ‘We gotta do something! We gotta do something!’ That’s all I’m hearing, all the confusion everybody backstage. So I took it upon myself and I walked out there to do something,” he said.
Harvey said that even though the information on the card in his hand was different from what was on the teleprompter, he still took full responsibility.
“Did I make a mistake? Yes, I did. Wholeheartedly,” he said. “At this point of the game I’m not in the finger pointing business and rolling other people under the bus.”
In an appearance on “Good Morning America” Monday — her first sit-down interview since winning the pageant — Wurtzbach was sympathetic to Harvey.
“Maybe the way it was written, it was a little confusing,” the 26-year-old said. “I understand. It was his first time to judge a pageant, but it’s OK. He’s human. People make mistakes.”
Some, including Gutierrez herself, have suggested that both Wurtzbach and Gutierrez share the crown, but Wurtzbach didn’t appear to be as accepting of that idea.
“I think it would be a little bit difficult for two girls to share a crown, but I have high hopes that this will give great opportunities for me and Miss Colombia and the rest of the contestants,” Wurtzbach told “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer.