MANILA - (UPDATE) Steve Harvey will host the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines in January despite announcing the wrong winner in the last edition, a tourism official said Friday.
Harvey told the Miss Universe organization that he wanted to personally apologize to Filipinos after making a hash of announcing the country's bet Pia Wurtzbach as the new title-holder, Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro said.
Harvey mistakenly named Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the new Miss Universe in December last year, when the title was supposed to go to Wurtzbach. He has since asked for forgiveness from both beauty queens.
"He wants to apologize to the Filipinos who were hurt because of what happened," de Castro told DZMM, adding that President Rodrigo Duterte was surprised to learn that Harvey would return as host.
"Noong sinabi nga namin kay Presidente, 'Mr. President, ang host ho natin ay si Steve Harvey, nagulat din siya," de Castro laughingly shared. "Sabi niya, 'Bakit?' Dagdag pa nga niya, 'He is a disaster.' Ginanun ako ni Presidente. Eh sabi ko, 'Sir, mukhang iyon na po talaga ang naging desisyon ng mga taga-Miss Universe.' Tapos tumawa na lang din siya."
According to reports from American news outlets, Harvey has a multi-year contract with the Miss Universe Organization, which he signed just days before the 2015 pageant aired. The contract says that the deal is to last three years, possibly even as many as seven.