Chalk it up to a typo. Denise Garrido was crowned Miss Universe Canada in a live webcast on Saturday night, but it turns out she was actually just the third runner up. Oops.
According to the Beauties of Canada organization, which selects the Canadian representative to the annual Miss Universe pageant, the mistake occurred when a pageant employee missed a decimal point while transferring the handwritten scores into the computer. The error was discovered on Sunday, when the pageant double-checked the numbers with an independent organization.
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According to the Toronto Star, in past years the scores have been tabulated by third-parties not involved with the organization. But this year, an “inexperienced pageant employee” was handed the job and botched it. “A typo was discovered in the top 5 entries, which significantly impacted the final results of the competition,” Denis Davila, the national director of the organization, said in a statement. “This is the first instance of this type of error in the 11 years that Beauties of Canada (BOC) has produced the Miss Universe Canada pageant.”
Garrido was notified shortly after the error was discovered, and the original first runner-up, Riza Santos, stepped in to take her rightful place as the winner. As a consolation prize, Garrido gets to appear alongside Santos for several events. She will not be able to compete again next year because of the pageant’s age restrictions.
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The humbled contestant displayed admirable grace and poise after being stripped of her sash and crown. “I’m still considering myself an extremely lucky individual who got to experience being crowned Miss Universe Canada,” Garrido told ABC News. “I got to fulfill that dream. Sure it was only 24 hours, but I got to fulfill that dream.”