Host Steve Harvey says he made a mistake and didn't read the card correctly when he announced that the contestant from Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo, had won. She had already been crowned by the previous year's Miss Universe, also from Colombia, when Harvey returned to the stage to apologize.
The crown was removed from Aravelo's head and placed on the mystified Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, the contestant from the Philippines.
Harvey later tweeted his apology, saying he felt "terrible" for his "huge mistake."
Harvey first tweeted, "I want to apologize emphatically to Miss Philippians and Miss Columbia. This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful," but deleted the tweet, correcting "Philippians" to "Philippines" and "Columbia" to "Colombia" in his second attempt.
He also tweeted an apology to the viewers, who for the first time weighed in on the contest, casting their votes to be tallied along with those of the four celebrity judges.
The Miss Universe pageant also tweeted about the gaff, apologizing to the contestants from Colombia and the Philippines as well as their families and fans.