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The 7 Biggest Beauty Pageant Blunders of All Time

Steve Harvey announcing the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant will now forever be seared into our minds as one of the most awkward onstage moments ever.

ICYMI, here’s what went down: When it came time to reveal the new Miss Universe, Steve, who was the host, accidentally said it was the runner-up, Miss Colombia. Ariadna Gutierrez was crowned and reveling in her victory, when—oopsie!—the mistake was pointed out and Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was confirmed as the winner.

It was a freaking soap opera to watch and we feel for both of the contestants (and for Steve, just a little bit). But unfortunately, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a pageant blunder. Here are the most cringe-worthy:

1. Miss Utah Shares Her Thoughts On the Gender Gap
No doubt the Q&A section of the Miss America pageant is scary, but Miss Utah Marissa Powell came up with the most confusing answer to a Q about education in 2014: "I think we can relate this back to education, and … how … we are continuing … to try to strive … to … figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem right now. I think, especially the men are … um … seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to see how to … create education better … So that we can solve this problem. Thank you."

RELATED: This Mesmerizing GIF Shows How Miss America's Swimsuit Has Changed Over Time

2.  Miss Teen South Carolina USA Confuses the Sh*t Out of Us
Miss Teen USA contestant Caitlin Upton put herself on the map in 2007—and probably not for the reason she would have liked. When asked why she thinks one-fifth of Americans can’t locate their own country on a map, she had this to say:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for us."

3. Miss California Coins the Phrase ‘Opposite Marriage’
Miss USA contestant and 2009 runner-up Carrie Prejean answered with this when she was asked her thoughts about legalizing gay marriage:

“Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I think I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.”

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Hazing Allegations Against Miss America

4. Miss Philippines Would Rather Be Beautiful Than Smart
Miss Universe contestant Jeanie Anderson didn’t do herself any favors in 2001 when she was asked whether it was better to be beautiful or smart, and she chose beautiful.

"Because to be beautiful, it's natural,” she said. “But being smart, you can learn, um, a lot of things, you can learn from a lot of things to be smart.” In her defense, what kind of question is that?!

5. Another Miss California Needs a Dictionary
Miss California 2012 Leah Cecil admitted she doesn’t know what “euthanasia” means…and then made it a whole lot worse.

"That's one of the things I'm not educated on so I need to look up on what that means...but I do know that's a vaccine," she said.

6. Miss Arizona USA Shows Conviction…Kinda
Miss USA 2009 runner-up Alicia-Monique Blanco was very adamant in her answer about whether Americans should be granted universal access to healthcare…even though she didn’t really answer the question.

"I think this is an issue of integrity regardless of which end of the political spectrum that I stand on,” she said. “I was raised in a family to know right from wrong and politics, whether or not you fall in the middle, the left or the right, it's an issue of integrity, no matter what your opinion is, and I say that with the utmost conviction."

RELATED: MUST SEE: Miss Idaho Wore Her Insulin Pump During the Pageant…and Won!

7. Miss Hawaii <3s Hawaii—Really
Nadine Tanega made it to the top 12 in the Miss USA pageant in 1994 and promptly blew it when she answered a question about why she’s proud to be an American.

"We are truly the land of the great,” she said. “From the rocky shores of … Hawaii…to the beautiful sandy beaches of … Hawaii … America is our home.” 

To be fair, it can’t be easy to think on your feet while millions are watching. But yup, the latest blunder was most definitely the worst (and this time, none of the contestants are to blame). 

GIF courtesy of Giphy.com

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