EXCLUSIVE: Niecy Nash Applauds Steve Harvey for Owning Up to Miss Universe Blunder: 'Mistakes Happen'

by Zach Seemayer 12:53 AM PST, December 21, 2015
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Niecy Nash Applauds Steve Harvey for Owning Up to Miss Universe Blunder: 'Mistakes Happen'

Actress Niecy Nash had a front row view of Steve Harvey's Miss Universe blunder while sitting at the pageant judges' table, where the vibe was "intense."

Speaking exclusively with ET's Nichelle Turner backstage after Sunday's pageant, Nash opened up about what was going through the minds of the judges -- blogger Perez Hilton, former Miss USA Olivia Culpo and former NFL pro Emmitt Smith -- after Harvey accidentally named the wrong contestant as the winner.

"I mean, we were all shocked," she recalled.

During the grand finale, Harvey announced Miss Colombia as the new Miss Universe, when the title was actually meant for Miss Philippines. After a cringe-worthy moment, Harvey admitted that he had misread the card, and apologized.

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

In one of the most awkward moments in the history of live television, Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, was de-crowned, and the regalia was bestowed upon a very shocked and confused Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach.

Despite the embarrassing mix-up, Nash applauded Harvey for handling the situation responsibly and being upfront about his mistake.

WATCH: Miss Colombia's Response to Awkward Miss Universe Mistake Is Perfect and Gracious

"A lesser person would have let the mistake slide and then dealt with it on the back end," she said. "I think he was a great host and I think that mistakes happen."

Nash obviously sympathized with Gutierrez, but also felt bad for Wurtzbach.

"It was hard, because when all the girls came down at the end they didn't congratulate the real winner, which was Miss Philippines. Most of them went over to Miss Colombia because they knew her heart was breaking," Nash explained, adding that the mix-up and aftermath made Wurtzbach's win "bittersweet."

(Disclosure: ET correspondent Nischelle Turner also served as a judge for the preliminary rounds of the Miss Universe pageant, when the number of contestants was reduced from 80 to the final 15.)

WATCH: Miss Universe 2015 -- Behind-the-Scenes of the Pageant's Super Awkward Finale

The new Miss Universe also exclusively opened up to ET about winning the title, where she revealed that when she was named the real winner, she wasn't sure if it was another mistake and was afraid to take center stage.

Check out ET's exclusive interview below to hear more about Wurtzbach's strange, exciting night.