Pageant Crowns Wrong Winner

Sep 13, 2011 5:09pm

Miss Asia San Diego has finally been crowned, more than two weeks after the pageant.

At the Aug. 27 event, officials announced the wrong winner, accidentally crowning UC San Diego student Martina Lo, who was actually the fourth place runner-up.

The organizers reportedly realized the mistake right away. In new video obtained by ABC affiliate KGTV, a pageant official can be heard yelling in the background, “What? No, no it’s the other way around!”

The rightful winner of the pageant’s $3,000 scholarship, Kristen Paruginog, said the emcee confessed what had happened backstage. But it wasn’t until this week that the pageant officials remedied the situation, giving Paruginog the top prize.

“I’m incredibly honored to be the new Miss Asia San Diego,” Paruginog told KGTV Monday. “It has been a roller coaster of emotions, I’m just glad they took time to look at the scores.”

It all came down to a mix-up over the scoring card. The emcee who declared the winner was looking at a piece of paper with three names on it — she thought the name not on the list was the person who won.

“I was told by the tabulator — and we both agreed — these three [names] were going to be for the runner-ups,” Jenna Lane, the pageant emcee, told KGTV.

Lo told ABC News’ San Diego affiliate she didn’t hear about the mix-up until three days after the pageant.

“This came as a shock for me. Every judge who shook hands with me told me congratulations, you deserved it. There was no doubt I had won,” Lo said.

The pageant, organized by the Little Saigon Foundation, received a lot of local publicity over its mistake.

“The tabulator was not on the same page; there was clear confusion about the process,” Little Saigon Foundation board member Kendrick Ton told KGTV.

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