5 Things to Know About Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach

After the runner-up was mistakenly crowned, Wurtzbach was announced the winner.

ByABC News
December 21, 2015, 11:38 AM

— -- This year's Miss Universe pageant could be the first where we remember the runner-up more than the actual winner, thanks to Steve Harvey's major gaffe.

The host of the beauty contest mistakenly announced that Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez was the winner when she was actually the first runner-up. Only after she was crowned and Harvey returned to the stage to apologize was the crown placed on the head of the actual winner, Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

Looking mystified, Wurtzbach nonetheless handled her surprise win graciously.

At the press conference afterward, the 26-year-old said, "I felt calm when I was called first runner-up because I felt it was fate. But when they announced that I was Miss Universe, I had mixed emotions. I was happy because I really wanted to win but felt sad for Miss Colombia."

Here are five things you need to know about the new Miss Universe:

1. Wurtzbach was actually born in Germany. According to her official Miss Universe bio, she was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and grew up in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Her father, who passed away last year, was German, and her mother is Filipino, according to the Philippines newspaper, the Inquirer. The 5'8" beauty speaks Filipino, English and German.

2. She was a child star. Wurtzbach's parents separated when she was 11 years old, and she became the breadwinner of the family, according to the Inquirer. She signed with Star Magic Talent and acted in multiple TV and film roles under the stage name Pia Romero.

3. She's also a trained chef.After finishing her secondary education, she studied culinary arts at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in Metro Manila, Philippines. She's also a stylist and writer for the Inquirer.

4. She may be dating the Philippine president. Wurtzbach has been romantically linked to Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III since the spring. But when asked by the president's sister, Kris Aquino, on her talk show "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" whether she was dating Aquino, Wurtzbach would only say, "I know him. I talk to him, yes. He’s very fun to talk to."

5. She's a pageant newcomer. Wurtzbach may have looked like a veteran on stage, but she did not start competing in pageants until 2013. In her very first pageant, Binibining Pilipinas, she won first runner-up; the following year, she lost after stumbling during the Q&A.

"It still hurts. I still need to sit down and carefully think about it," she said in regards to whether she will continue competing. "But once I make a decision, I will give it my 100 percent."

And she did, clinching the title in 2015, which led her to the Miss Universe pageant.