The U.S. TV host was on hand in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat where the new Miss Universe was crowned Sunday night after narrowing the field of roughly 80 contestants from around the world to just one winner. When it was down to just the final two, Harvey came quite close to mixing up the countries again.
Yahoo Entertainment reports that after South Africa was named as the second runner-up, Harvey turned to the two remaining contestants from Paraguay and India and began to congratulate “Portugal” before he caught himself.
“They wrote Portugal on the damn sign, trying to play me – they’re trying to get me again. But I’m not going for it this year,” Harvey said. “Congratulations Paraguay. They had Portugal on the damn sign. I looked dead at it. Y’all saw it. Don’t try to blame this on me this year.”
Steve Harvey almost said the wrong name at the Miss Universe pageant again. (Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
The actor was likely referencing his infamous 2015 gaffe in which he accidentally announced the first runner-up, Miss Columbia, as the winner of the show. He then had to awkwardly take the stage to clarify that he’d made a mistake and that Miss Philippines was the actual winner.
In 2019, Harvey had a little on-air mistake again when he set up a video package by referencing Miss Philippines when he actually meant Miss Malaysia.
Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, right, answers the final question as host Steve Harvey looks on during the 70th Miss Universe pageant. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Unfortunately for Miss Paraguay, the night did not improve for her. Ultimately, Harnaaz Sandhu of India was crowned the 70th Miss Universe. The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned her successor, a Bollywood actress.
Sandhu said she was feeling “overwhelmed because it’s been 21 years since India got Miss Universe crown and it’s happening right now.”
Host Steve Harvey speaks during the 70th Miss Universe pageant. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
The pageant included traditional displays of national costumes, swimwear and a series of interview questions to test contestants’ public speaking skills. The top 10 showed off intricately bedazzled full-length gowns in either gold, silver or bronze. The Philippines’ Beatrice Luigi Gomez wore an asymmetrical cut dress with one sleeve, highlighting a new tattoo she said “celebrates her womanhood.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.