MANILA, Philippines – Actor and host Alden Richards openly admitted that he had made a hosting blunder during the Miss Universe Philippines 2023 coronation night.
In an interview with Ogie Diaz, Diaz compared Richards’ honest mistake to the controversial “Steve Harvey” moment during 2015’s Miss Universe pageant, alluding to the latter’s error in announcing Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as Miss Universe 2015 when the true winner was Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines.
Richards responded, “Oo nga po, eh! But I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Richards further explained the situation, stating that the placement of the two winners’ names was reversed. “Nasa ilalim po ‘yung Friendship, tapos nasa taas po ‘yung Social Media. Eh, Friendship po ‘yung una kong binanggit (Miss Friendship was placed below, and Social Media was placed above. I mentioned Friendship first),” Richards said.
Describing the incident, the Kapuso star continued, “Yun, wala naman pong may kasalanan, ayoko rin naman pong manisi ng tao. Na-address naman po, nasalo naman po natin ng maayos. (No one is to blame; I don’t want to point fingers at anyone. It was addressed, and we handled it well.)”
Despite the blunder, Richards hopes that this would not be his last time hosting a beauty pageant.
“Sana po hindi yun ang huli, sana makapag-host pa tayo ng ibang prestigious pageant (I hope that’s not the last one, and I hope to host other prestigious pageants),” he added.
Reflecting on his experience hosting the Miss Universe Philippines pageant, Richards shared that despite the blunder, he felt great about the opportunity. He shared that his training on noontime show Eat Bulaga helped him navigate such situations and said that both winners were eventually acknowledged and celebrated.
“Nakakataranta siya, live po siya, eh. Tapos may ganu’ng error. Pero yun din po ang ipinagpapasalamat kong training sa Eat Bulaga, kung paano ko siya sasaluhin. So, naayos naman po, nasalo naman, at pareho naman silang nanalo (It was nerve-wracking since it was live, and then there was that error. But I’m thankful for the training I received from Eat Bulaga on how to handle situations like that. It was resolved; both winners were acknowledged),” he shared.
Despite the slight mishap, Alden expressed his happiness over the positive response from netizens.
“More on natatawa po sila, kasi parang kung paano ko raw po na-handle ‘yung ganu’ng situation. Pero kung pangit po kasi ang pagkakasalo nu’n, medyo ka-bash-bash po ‘yun, eh. Pero kung hindi po natin naitawid nang maayos, which is naitawid naman po. Naging maayos naman po ‘yung delivery ng awards,” he said, highlighting the positive feedback he received for his handling of the situation.
(They find it amusing, how I handled the situation. If my handling was bad, it would have been criticized. But we managed to navigate it well, and the delivery of awards went smoothly).
The mishap occurred during the announcement of the Miss Friendship award, when Richards mistakenly called out Jannarie Zarzoso from Agusan del Norte as the winner, when in fact, the true recipient was Shayne Glenmae Maquiran from Capiz.
However, a momentary slip-up led him to quickly correct himself with full composure. “I stand corrected,” Alden clarified.
“Miss Friendship is Miss Capiz, Shayne Glenmae Maquiran. But Miss Jannarie Zarzoso is our Face of Social Media!”
Despite the mistake, the awardees gracefully laughed off the situation, walking hand-in-hand to center stage while receiving applause from the other candidates.
The Miss Universe Philippines 2023 coronation night was marred by another controversy, following its sudden decision to revoke its earlier announcement of the Top 10. The judging panel then allowed all Top 18 candidates to compete once again during the evening gown portion of the competition.
MUPH National Director Shamcey Supsup took to Facebook to address the issue and shed light on the “technical difficulties” that plagued the vote counting process.
According to Supsup, based on independently tabulated results provided by an accounting firm, suspicions arose when the judges’ votes of the Top 10 did not seem to add up correctly. Supsup raised questions about the vote count.
“Pa’no po naging (How did it become) 106 total votes? Any gradeschooler would have noticed,” she wrote on Instagram, professing her love for mathematics as an exact discipline.
Miss Universe Philippines 2023’s second runner-up was Mary Angelique Manto from Pampanga, while the first runner-up was Christine Juliane Opiaza from Zambales. Michelle Marquez Dee of Makati was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2023.
In a separate event following the pageant, Krishnah Marie Gravidez from Baguio was crowned as Miss Charm Philippines, and third-timer Pauline Amelinckx from Bohol was crowned Miss Supranational Philippines. They will be competing in those international pageants later in the year. – with reports from Jacob Maquiling/Rappler.com
Jacob Maquiling is a Rappler intern.
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