Jessica Ellis
December 26, 2015 10:23 am

Steve Harvey may have made one of the biggest mistakes in beauty pageant history, but he’s giving on master class in how to recover from it.

On December 20th, the TV personality hosted the Miss Universe pageant, but goofed in a way that literally feels like it’s out of nightmare: he announced the wrong winner! After poor Miss Columbia, Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo,  had already been crowned and taken her walk of joy, Harvey returned to the stage to admit his error: the winner was actually Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

Both women reacted with shock and dismay as the mistake was announced, but Harvey apologized profusely on air for the gaffe and begged viewers not to take their anger over the mistake out on the women. He then followed with further apologies on Twitter:

With his contrition amply displayed, Harvey then showed his media savvy by shifting to one of the most important tenets of PR crises: changing the conversation. On Christmas day, Harvey owned his own place as the butt of the joke with this great photo:

There you have it, total mastery of what could have been a career-ending screw-up. Mr. Harvey has certainly managed to save face with the media and even the Miss Universe pageant itself, signing a multi-year deal to continue hosting the competition. He’s brought this story to an admirable conclusion, and while we certainly understand Miss Colombia taking a while to forgive and forget, we’re happy this can all end with laughs.

(Image via Fox)

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