Harvey ‘won Filipino hearts’, says tourism chief

Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo congratulates the Miss Universe host for charming the event’s audience and contestants – including Miss Colombia, writes Angela Leal




MISS Universe host Steve Harvey has probably received the ultimate emcee accolade. It comes from Manila, the capital of the events and beauty pageant-mad Philippines, where the art of the mic is revered and scrutinized in virtually every neighborhood.

Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo on Monday (January 30) congratulated Harvey “for doing such a wonderful job in hosting” the 65th Miss Universe competition.

“Steve truly has a way with words, and he clearly won the heart of the Filipinos. He was apologetic, but at the same time humorous,” said Teo (pictured above, left).

Harvey (right) wasted no time to seek amends for his gaffe of initially proclaiming Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines in last year’s competition, before he immediately corrected himself, the DOT said.

“All is well that ends well. He did just great to make this Miss Universe experience truly a memorable one,” Teo  added.

The DOT head also lauded the audience for welcoming Harvey’s efforts to redeem himself.
“The Filipino audience appreciated his humor, wit and tactfulness on stage,” Teo said.

The American actor-host opened the show by being apologetic and poking fun at himself.
“Let’s get it out of the way, I know what you’re thinking,” he told his laughing crowd.

“Is that the guy from last year? Did they bring back that guy from last year? Well, they did. It’s me, I’m back,” he said.

“It’s been a long year getting here. Boy, I paid the price for last year with that mistake. I went and had a little surgery, had some stuff done to my eyes, so when the card comes up we’ll get it right this year.”

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach cracked some jokes when meeting Harvey on stage. “Thank you for making me the most popular Miss Universe,” she said.

Harvey also faced this year’s Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, and asked her about his reputation in her country. “I want to just ask this for myself, how do people in Colombia feel about Steve Harvey?”
Tovar jokingly replied: “A lot of people hate you, but you know I love you. That’s the most important,” Tovar said.

Before the announcement of the winner, Wurtzbach handed a pair of glasses to Harvey to make sure he read the right name.

After Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016, Harvey bid the audience good night and, ended the show with: “I got it right this time.”


Pictures: Department of Tourism

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