Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines, lauded first runner-up Miss Colombia--Ariadna Gutierrez--following the uncomfortable gaffe made by pageant host Steve Harvey during last weekend's pageant.
Taking to social media, Miss Universe said she feels "bonded" with Miss Colombia, calling her "strong and beautiful."
“Wow. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for this. It was quite a journey getting here with 3 attempts at winning Miss Philippines. Now, I finally got the best Christmas gift ever – and not just for me, for my country. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who believed in my potential and those who supported me from the beginning. To everyone who voted for me, especially to my fellow countrymen, thank you. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. To Ariadna, you are an amazing woman and we are now bonded together forever by a unique experience. In the last 3 weeks we were together, I saw how strong and beautiful you are inside and out. You represented your country with honor and I know how proud everyone must be of you. Fate has a plan for you, and I’m excited to see what’s ahead. And to all the fans who are still fighting about this. Please let’s all stop now. The Miss Universe,” Pia Wurtzbach captioned her Instagram post.
In keeping with pageant niceties, Miss Colombia returned the compliment, congratulation Miss Philippines on her Miss Universe win.
“After the storm comes the calm. I want to thank each and everyone of you who have sent messages of support and strength. Every one of you has become an incredible human being in my book and I am the most fortunate and thankful for having the support not only from one country but from the whole entire world. Your destiny is written for you. And my destiny was this. I was able to bring happiness to my country after becoming Miss Universe for only a couple of minutes… Today because of that COLOMBIA and the LATIN COMMUNITY are being talked about in every corner of the world. I also want to congratulate the Philippines for their new Miss Universe ??. The happiness that you must be feeling must be incredible. Life continues and in the future we will find out why things happen the way they happen. Thank you all for your LOVE SUPPORT and KINDNESS,” she captioned a photo of herself making a heart with her hands.
Even though Miss Philippines is the rightful winner of her Miss Universe crown, one can't help but feel Miss Colombia got a raw deal. Not only did she have the crown removed from her head, she also suffered some humiliation over such a public demotion.
Hopefully Miss Colombia will pull herself up by her bootstraps, and hold her head up high. She achieved a goal about which many women only dream. She placed second out of countless contestants from around the world.