EXCLUSIVE: Behind-the-Scenes of Miss Universe 2015 and Steve Harvey's Awkward Mistake

by Zach Seemayer 9:47 PM PST, December 20, 2015
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Behind-the-Scenes of Miss Universe 2015 and Steve Harvey's Awkward Mistake

The 2015 Miss Universe pageant finale could not have been more awkward, and ET had the only reporter backstage as the embarrassing fiasco unfolded.

ET's Nischelle Turner, who also served as a preliminary judge for the pageant, was the at The Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada for the big event, and she reports that "everyone was stunned and no one knew what to do" when host Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner.

Harvey, who apparently misread the results card, first named Miss Colombia as the new Miss Universe. After an awkward period of confusion, Harvey came back out to reveal that he had made a "horrible mistake" and Miss Philippines was the actual winner.

WATCH: Steve Harvey Names Wrong Miss Universe Contestant as the Winner in Embarrassing 'Mistake'

Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, was visibly shaken and confused. Wurtzbach told ET she was too scared to go forward when her name was called, and wasn't able to talk to Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, who was crying uncontrollably.

In the most uncomfortable moment of the night, the crown, winner's bouquet and Miss Universe sash were removed from Gutierrez and given to Wurtzbach, who looked confused and stunned.

Second runner-up, Miss USA Olivia Jordan, told ET that she though Harvey was making a joke when he came back on stage to announce the error. Jordan said she has never seen anything like this happen before.

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According to actress and pageant judge Niecy Nash, the moment was "intense" at the judges' table. She told ET that she felt bad for both Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, because after the mix-up all the contestants went to console Miss Colombia, and failed to congratulate Miss Philippines on her victory.

After the show was over, the crowd in the arena became very upset. Many in the audience began booing, and refused to leave despite repeated requests to disperse, made over the loudspeakers.

The producers of the Miss Universe pageant showed the card with the voting results -- which clearly showed that Miss Philippines was the new Miss Universe, with Miss Colombia and Miss USA as first and second runners-up. However, many in the crowd continued to boo.

The atmosphere in Planet Hollywood was intense and awkward after the conclusion of the pageant, Turner shared.

After the event Harvey took to Twitter to apologize in a series of posts, writing, "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."

In addition to the confusion inside the Planet Hollywood casino and resort, chaos struck outside when a car ran into pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving one dead and 37 people injured. The female driver fled the scene but has since been taken into custody, according to reports.

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