It is show business to some, while to other’s it’s carrying on a tradition, strengthening a heritage, continuing a legacy, becoming part of something that is much greater than oneself, an avenue to sustain a career, reaching a lifetime dream, a way to give back,… and yes, to some it may even be just another “notch in the belt” or a crown in the curio cabinet… Regardless of what pageantry is to you, we trust that all understand the dedication and importance of volunteering to become involved in something and the work it takes to conform to the expectations of the world. While pageantry is many things to many people, most do not understand the amount of effort and energy it takes to produce a pageant, especially when it is something as grand as the Miss Gay America Pageant or even the Miss Universe Pageant.
Seemingly, the most common question asked to this national office these days is inquiry of comment relative to the terrible incident that recently occurred at the Miss Universe competition. As we all know too well, Pageant Host Steve Harvey “misread” the cue card and inadvertently announced the incorrect winner. And to make matters worse, the erroneous announcement was then followed by Miss Colombia immediately crowned as Miss Universe 2015. Then, when the error was discovered, the correct announcement was made whereby Miss Philippines (the actual winner of the pageant), the crown was removed from the head of Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines (the actual winner) was then crowned as Miss Universe 2015.
As we acknowledge the pageantry is many things to many people, among the many things to describe pageantry by this national office is show business or an epic production. Thankfully, the Miss Gay America organization has not experienced, on the national level, the incorrect person named as winner only then to, shortly after the “winner” was announced, remove the crown and coronate another. Sadly we did experience having to terminate the position of one (on the national level) but we were very blessed that the newly crowned Miss Gay America reigned supreme.
As I sat there watching history in the making, I acquired a sinking and nauseated feeling. It was a horrible and tragic moment for Pageant Host Steve Harvey and the Miss Universe organization but also for the two very beautiful young ladies who proud wore their country’s crown. As devastating and heart breaking as the moment was to both Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines, the right thing to do was exactly as the action taken by the Miss Universe organization which was to “right the wrong” and correct the error. Unfortunately the error happened but the nature of show business should be adaptation, including the immediate remedy of an error. While this national office does not always win the popular vote with everyone relative to our decisions, we always act in the best interest of the pageant system and based on the knowledge we have, the Miss Universe organization acted in the their best interest too. When one is working in a live show-business type environment, anything can happen. Hopefully there are plenty of checks and balance in place to prevent such mistakes but the fact remains that Steve Harvey is human and clearly subject to making mistakes. While we are not completely convinced that the incident was not a publicity stunt, the incident happened and at the expense of more than one person. No promoter wants such an issue to occur. Every promoter should want to remedy the wrong, even at the expense of embarrassment, public distrust and immediate scuttlebutt, especially among the naysayers. However, no matter the reason that caused the incident, there are rules to define what is required in order to win the competition. If one does what is required and the panel of Judges reward accordingly, it is the responsibility of the promoter to ensure that the crown is placed on the correct person. Regardless of whether or not a promoter likes the outcome of the pageant, job one is to deliver a fair and honest contest that will retain patrons and acquire new supporters. It is mission critical that the promoters, on all levels, follow-through with guidelines of the organization including a remedy of any situation, even if the remedy is painful on many levels. So, while we are heartbroken for Miss Colombia-for being crowned as winner then quickly declared as 1st alternate, Miss Philippines-for not getting to experience the true “crowning moment”, for Pageant Host Steve Harvey-for getting so caught in the moment that he apparently and simply made an incorrect announcement and the Miss Universe organization-for having to experience such a horrible moment especially when the pageant, earlier in the year, recently changed ownership. We commend the Miss Universe organization for correcting the mistake and immediately crowning the actual winner, rather than making concessions to the contestant (Miss Colombia) who was first and inadvertently declared as Miss Universe 2015. We also commend Pageant Host Steve Harvey, for not getting so submerged in the public negativity that he would opt to retaliate with negativity but instead he admitted mistake, apologized for the mistake and carried himself in a publicly professional manner thereafter.
It should be the fear of all Promoters and Pageant Officials that this issue could occur which is why this national office works on a daily basis to find way to create and enforce regulation that only yields a more efficient pageant for all involved, including Emcees. The job of promoter, especially that of the national promoter, is seemingly thankless at times but promoters should never let their guard relax but rather to always be alert and keep a strong rule on all facets of the pageant process, from beginning to ending. As we recently witnessed, what was a beautiful and entertaining production was all negated by a seemingly routine announcement. Again, show business to some but hopefully and more importantly, something meaningful, to those who want to become it. Therefore those who produce a pageant have obligation to those who want to be part of it and those who want to be part of it have obligation to those who produce it… thus the catch phrase “teamwork”!
We hope that each of you have a spectacular new year. This national office plans to, during the new year, continue to deliver the best in pageantry including continuation to ready Miss Gay America 2016 Asia O’Hara to be the very Symbol of Excellence for which many of us expect. We look forward to another incredible year of pageantry and thank all who support this incredible organization that we so proudly call, “The Miss Gay America Pageant”.
Until next time,
Larry and Terry