As any fan of beauty pageants will tell you – and there are still many – the high-stakes competitions are never short of drama behind the scenes, irrespective of where they are held.
And sometimes, as was witnessed at the Mrs Sri Lanka World contest last week, the theatrics can spill on to the stage on live TV.
Reigning Mrs World Caroline Jurie on Saturday announced she was giving up her crown following her arrest after she unceremoniously snatched the crown from this year's Mrs Sri Lanka winner and gave it to a runner-up. Jurie, who is also from Sri Lanka, made the shock move after Pushpika de Silva was crowned in a video that has since gone viral.
But the Mrs Sri Lanka pageant controversy is hardly the first to happen on live TV. Here are some of the most dramatic moments at pageants past.
1. Steve Harvey announces wrong winner
In one of the most awkward moments to take place at a major pageant, host Steve Harvey in 2015 announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo as the winner of the Miss Universe crown. Unfortunately for him, it was Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, who had actually won. Harvey returned to the stage to correct his mistake, but the damage was already done.
The well-loved TV presenter, who has gone on to host more Miss Universe pageants, received violent threats as a result of the faux pas. “It was the worst week of my life,” he told actor Kevin Hart on his podcast on Thursday.
Watch the moment below:
2. Steve Harvey does it again?
Four years after his controversial slip-up, Harvey appeared to announce the wrong winner again at the Miss Universe pageant in 2019. While naming the winner of the costume contest, won by Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados, whose photo was displayed on screen, Harvey stood next to another contestant and said: “This is it right here.”
The contestant, Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekhon, then grabbed the microphone from him as the audience sighed and said, “It’s not Philippines, it’s Malaysia”.
"I just read that in the teleprompter," a frustrated Harvey then says. “Y’all gonna quit doing this to me.”
The Miss Universe pageant clarified the confusion the next day, saying Harvey announced the right winner.
“As part of the broadcast, we also featured Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon’s national costume. No mistakes regarding the national costume winner were made by him, the prompter or production,” it said in a statement.
3. Miss Amazonas crown-snatching
One of the most dramatic beauty pageant reactions took place at the Miss Amazonas contest in Brazil in 2015. After Carolina Toledo was crowned the winner of the night at the state contest, which sends a representative to the Miss Brazil pageant, runner-up Sheislane Hayalla was having none of it.
She snatched the tiara off Toledo, threw it on the ground and stormed off stage. The drama, and the horror on everyone’s faces, was all caught on video.
4. Colombian beauty queen snatches crown
Crown-snatching has long been a part of beauty pageant dramas. In 2016, at the annual Bambuco Pageant in Colombia, winner Valentina Bonilla was enjoying her crowning moment when second-place winner Yeimy Lizeth Silvestre approached her and snatched the crown off her head.
Silvestre then proceeded to place the crown on her own head, before tossing it back to Bonilla and walking away.
5. Miss Paraguay faints on stage
The Miss Grand International has had its own share of viral moments. In 2018, when she was announced as the winner of the pageant in Yangon, Myanmar, Miss Paraguay Clara Sosa collapsed on the floor.
Sosa quickly recovered, though, and was soon on her feet smiling and waving.
In an interview earlier, she said she might need a doctor because she felt like she would have a heart attack.