Wrong Winner Crowned Miss Universe Canada After Pageant Error

Miss Canada Crowns Wrong Winner, Then Takes Back Title
Riza Santos (left) and Denise Garrido
Courtesy: Riza Santos; Denise Garrido

05/29/2013 10:50AM

Oops!

A scoring error dashed the dreams of Denise Garrido, who was crowned the new Miss Universe Canada 2013 on Saturday, only to be told on Sunday that her selection as pageant winner was in error.

Garrido, 26, of Bradford, Ontario, is a pageant veteran, having won the titles of 2008 Miss Earth Canada and 2010 Miss World Canada. But the latest competition was her ultimate goal, offering her a chance to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

But less than 24 hours after she'd claimed her crown and sash, Garrido was pulled aside by the Miss Universe Canada pageant director, who explained that because scores were wrongly transferred from the judges' paper forms to electronic tabulation, a typo glitch had occurred, according to the Toronto Star.



After an audit of the scoring revealed the error, which has at least one contestant asking what else went wrong at the pageant, Garrido was told she had actually come in fourth out of a field of 57 contestants.

"My heart sank. I was so sad," Garrido said after learning that her title had been taken away. She later said she had no hard feelings, even though she is now too old to compete for the title again.

The real winner of the contestant was Riza Santos, 26, an army reservist and actress from Calgary who was originally named first runner up.

The Miss Universe Canada pageant organization explained the problem in a statement, noting it was a first in the pageant's 11-year history. "This is an unfortunate circumstance where a human error was made, and in such a situation, as difficult as it is, it is only right to correct the error," officials said.

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