More than two days after the Instagram account of Miss Universe El Salvador drew intrigue by posting and deleting a graphic showing the Top 5 finalists of Miss Universe 2023, it finally addressed the issue and said it was a “simple error” on its part.
Without mentioning names or countries, the Miss Universe El Salvador organization on Thursday, November 23 shared a photo of the Top 5 finalists holding hands on stage with the caption:
Our mistake! In the rush to get our posts up during Saturday’s live broadcast, we accidentally mixed up the names of two finalists. This was a simple error of moving too fast — we heard the same results live at the same time that you all did, no special access over here! We’re sorry to both finalists.
The post has reached over 7,000 likes and several comments.
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While the Miss Universe El Salvador org failed to get to the specifics, it was during the coronation day itself when eagle-eyed social media users caught an Instagram Story of the org listing the Top 5 finalists.
Shortly after the coronation event on Sunday morning, a screengrab of the org’s graphic went viral on social media.
It listed Philippine bet Michelle Dee as among the Top 5 finalists, along with Australia’s Moraya Wilson, Puerto Rico’s Karla Guilfú, Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios and Colombia’s Camilla Avella.
Michelle later on placed as a Top 10 finalist, while Moraya placed as the second runner-up. Sheynnis, meanwhile, won the Miss Universe 2023 crown.
Some claimed the Miss Universe El Salvador’s post was visible for around ten minutes until it was taken down and replaced with a new list of candidates.
Michelle’s name was replaced with Thailand’s Anntonia Porsild, who later placed as Miss Universe 2023 first runner-up.
The mix-up, which went unaddressed days after the coronation, led some Filipinos to question the whole integrity of the pageant.
Pinoy pageant expert Adam Genato previously said that the org should’ve issued a statement immediately since it was “really confusing everyone.”
“Ano ‘to? Steve Harvey moment again back in 2015?” he said to CNN Philippines before.
“Probably during the finals night, their goal was to give real-time updates about how the pageant was unfolding, but unfortunately, they probably made an honest mistake. To be fair with them, they took it down minutes after, but it was kind of too late because it already went viral,” Genato added.
Genato also said he had personally reached out to the press team of the Miss Universe Organization after the coronation but had yet to receive a response when he appeared on CNN Philippines.
“For the meantime, I would assume that it was an honest mistake on their part,” the pageant expert said.
Meanwhile, Miss Universe El Salvador’s post about the mix-up failed to amuse some pageant fans, including Filipinos, who asked about the timing of the statement.
“It took you, like, 5 [five] days to post this? Saan ba galing ang script, ang tagal ni-release,” an Instagram user wrote in the comments.
“A ‘simple error’ that took you 4 [four] days to apologize. Yeah, right!” another user commented.
“This is not a mistake. The names ‘Philippines’ and ‘Thailand’ cannot be mistaken for one and the other; even the photos of the candidates cannot be interchanged as a ‘mistake,'” wrote a pageant fan account.
“Why post now and try to apologize for that mistake? You should have done that exactly on the same day. Ano ‘yun, pinainit niyo muna ‘yung issue before niyo i-rectify? Asan ang social media etiquette niyo?” another user commented.
The statement is not posted on the Miss Universe Organization’s pages.