The Miss Universe pageant crowned the wrong winner on Sunday night at the ceremony in Las Vegas.
Host Steve Harvey incorrectly announced that Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo, had won the 64th annual edition of the contest live on television.
But he then had to admit to his mistake before announcing that Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, had won the title. She had earlier been named the runner-up.
In a post that was re-tweeted almost 70,000 times, Mr Harvey said: “I’d like to [apologise] wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines for my huge mistake. I feel terrible.”
“I don’t want to take away from this amazing night and pageant. As well as the wonderful contestants – they were all amazing," he said, adding that he also wanted to apologise to the viewers that he "disappointed" with the "honest mistake".
Winning the title for the Philippines for the first time in more than 40 years, Ms Wurtzbach said of the mix-up: “It’s a very non-traditional crowning moment. It is very 2015.”
She earlier said her motivation to win was to use her voice “to influence youth”.
“I would raise awareness [for] certain causes like HIV awareness, that is timely and relevant in my country.”
With more than 4.45 million tweets, #MissUniverse2015 has been trending on Twitter with many people expressing their shock at the gaffe.
The mistake also became the subject of many memes.
In a statement, Miss Universe said: “The excitement of live TV was evident tonight on The Miss Universe stage with over 10 million live fan votes tabulated. Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play.”
“We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced. Our sincerest apologies to Miss Universe Colombia, Miss Universe Philippines, their families and fans. We congratulate Miss Universe Philippines as Miss Universe 2015."
Additional reporting by Reuters
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