Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon 'totally fine' with not winning Best National Costume


  • Style
  • Tuesday, 10 Dec 2019

Shweta in her evening gown (left) and national costume at the pageant.

Despite the obvious disappointment of losing the Miss Universe Best National Costume title having being initially announced as the winner, Miss Universe Malaysia Shweta Sekhon has come out to say that she is 'totally fine' with Miss Philippines winning instead.

During the pageant at Atlanta yesterday, it was thought that host Steve Harvey had made a mistake in announcing that Miss Philippines had won the award, with Shweta, who was standing beside him on stage, correcting the host by saying “It’s not Philippines. It’s Malaysia".

However, despite having initially announced Shweta as the winner on its official Twitter account, the Miss Universe organisers later deleted that tweet and posted another tweet four hours later that Miss Philipplines Gazini Ganados was the rightful winner after all.

In a lengthy Instagram post yesterday, Shweta expressed her gratitude for being given the chance to participate in the pageant, and explained from her side what happened during the whole fiasco.

"4 countries were briefed to be on standby as we were Top 4 for National Costume and Philippines was part of it too. We were told that a picture would be displayed if we made it to top 20 and if we don’t, we would have to put it on," she wrote in the post.

"The entire day the crew went on finding my costume as I was told to be the WINNER. That is why I got into the costume too..."

She also graciously accepted that the win was not hers, and congratulated Miss Philippines for the deserved win.

"I am totally fine with it because in my eyes, every girl that came to compete is a winner! Philippines or Malaysia, there isn’t any difference because we are ONE!!... Congratulations to the very beautiful @gazinii too!"

No words can ever describe how grateful am I to the Lord for this crazy journey of mine at @missuniverse I came across many new faces, made tons of friends, gained many sisters, got so many mothers and most importantly IT WAS CHRISTMAS SEASON YESTERDAY DURING BREAKFAST WHEN I RECEIVED GIFTS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD !... Many has been asking me questions and clarification about the National Costume. Well 4 countries were briefed to be on standby as we were Top 4 for National Costume and Philippines was part of it too. We were told that a picture would be displayed if we made it to top 20 and if we don’t, we would have to put it on. The entire day the crew went on finding my costume as I was told to be the WINNER. That is why I got into the costume too.... I am totally fine with it because in my eyes, every girl that came to compete is a winner ! Philippines or Malaysia., there isn’t any difference because we are O N E ! Congratulations @zozitunzi for the title too ! Truly deserving indeed and I can’t wait to see your journey !!! .. Congratulations to the very beautiful @gazinii too ! Love you so much babe ... And to my fellow Malaysians, I can’t wait to be back and get to work ! Trust me, this is just the beginning ! I can’t wait to make you all proud ! I AM UNSTOPPABLE ... #MissUniverse #MissUniverseMalaysia #MissUniverseMalaysia2019 #RoadToMissUniverse #ShwetaSekhon #BeautyBeyondYou #YourBodyYourSay

A post shared by Shweta Sekhon (@shweta_sekhon_) on Dec 9,2019 at 4:15am PST

Miss Universe Malaysia national director, Elaine Daly, also took to social media yesterday to express her "extreme disappointment'' over the Best National Costume announcement at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant.

"We found out via Twitter that Miss Philippines was the actual winner," she said in a statement posted on her official Instagram account.

Daly wrote that president of Miss Universe Organisation Paula Shugart had emailed her to explain that the Philippines won the online voting, but the producing staff backstage picked their favourite and wanted to showcase Shweta instead.

"However, this was not explained on the show. To everyone who watched it, it was like as if Malaysia had won," said Daly. "Because why would you put a delegate in her costume, have her do interviews and then tell her that she actually didn’t win but was just the producing staff’s choice?"

I am extremely disappointed at how the Best National Costume announcement at Miss Universe has come to this. A few hours ago, during the live telecast just after the opening round, Shweta was asked to go backstage to change into her National Costume for it to be showcased as Best National Costume, and that’s what she did, and conducted interviews as well. When she came out, the host Steve Harvey announced Philippines as the winner and even when he approached to talk to Shweta, he still assumed he was talking to Philippines she of course corrected him and said it was Malaysia and not Philippines. And she continued to explain her costume. Malaysia, who has never been placed at Miss Universe nor won anything, rejoiced! 4 hours later, we found out via Twitter that Miss Philippines was the actual winner. I have taken sometime to reply anyone because I was waiting for an explanation from the Miss Universe Organisation. So I emailed Paula - the President and asked her to please clarify, Paula replied me and said that Philippines won the online voting, but the producing staff backstage picked their favorite and wanted to showcase her. However this was not explained on the show. To everyone who watched it, it was like as if Malaysia had won. Because why would you put a delegate in her costume, have her do interviews and then tell her that she actually didn’t win but was just the producing staff’s choice. I’m speechless but it is what it is. To all of you who have congratulated and made us feel special, I thank you. Shweta and her national costume will always be a winner to us. I mean, we did get all eyes on Malaysia and we got to show off our culture and heritage right?

A post shared by elainedaly (@elainedaly) on Dec 9,2019 at 12:41am PST

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