PETALING JAYA: Actress Elaine Daly expressed her “extreme disappointment” in social media over the Best National Costume announcement at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant.
Malaysia, who has never been placed at Miss Universe – which was held this year at Atlanta in the United States – nor won anything, rejoiced, only to be disappointed four hours later, the Miss Universe Malaysia national director said.
On her official Instagram account, she posted, “We found out via Twitter that Miss Philippines was the actual winner”, which was later reposted by the Miss Universe Malaysia Official Facebook page on Monday (Dec 9).
Paula Shugart, the president of Miss Universe Organisation in an email reply, said that the Philippines won the online voting, but the producing staff backstage picked their favorite and wanted to showcase Miss Malaysia, Shweta Sekhon, according to Daly.
“However, this was not explained on the show. To everyone who watched it, it was like as if Malaysia had won,” said Daly.
“Because why would you put a delegate in her costume, have her do interviews and then tell her that she actually didn’t win but was just the producing staff’s choice,” she added.
During the live telecast just after the opening round, Daly revealed that Shweta was asked to go backstage to change into her national costume for it to be showcased as Best National Costume in the pageant.
However, the host Steve Harvey announced the Philippines as the winner and even assumed he was talking to Miss Philippines on stage.
He was then corrected by Shweta saying, “It’s not the Philippines. It’s Malaysia,” as she continues to explain her costume.
On their official Twitter account, the Miss Universe organizers later clarified that Miss Philippines was the rightful winner after all and that Shweta had “jumped the gun” in correcting Harvey.
It was announced that Malaysia won the award in an earlier post from the same Twitter account. That post has now been mysteriously deleted.
“Shweta and her national costume will always be a winner to us. I mean, we did get all eyes on Malaysia and we got to show off our culture and heritage, right?” said Daly.