Denise Garrido Wrongly Crowned Miss Universe Canada, Riza Santos Named Real Winner
Denise Garrido was crowned Miss Universe Canada during last week’s live broadcast of the national pageant, only to learn 24 hours later that the rightful winner of the crown was fellow contestant Riza Santos.
According to pageant director Denis Davila, it was a “typo,” that saw 3rd-runner up Garrido named the 2013 Miss Universe Canada, reported The Toronto Star. Apparently, the “typo” occurred when the judges’ handwritten scores were transferred into the computer program that determines the winner. It was Davila who had the unpleasant task of informing the wrongly crowned pageant queen.
“My heart sank,” Garrido, 26, told the Star about receiving the unfortunate news. “I was so sad. It’s been the ultimate dream of mine. All of the other pageants were building toward this one.”
Both Garrido and Santos, the rightful winner, appeared on CNN’s “Starting Point” Wednesday to discuss the unusual situation they found themselves in. While Garrido experienced the pageantry of the live crowning, Santos, of course, did not. "I don't feel like I missed out," Santos said. "After Denise was crowned I was disappointed, because I felt like I did well in the competition, but I know Denise as a person and I was happy for her genuinely."
"I feel bad that I took away that moment from her," Garrido admitted in reply. "But at the same time, Riza, I am glad that we kind of share this bonding experience."
Garrida, a black belt in taekwondo with a degree in biomedical sciences, has aspirations of continuing her education in the medical field. Meanwhile, Santos, who served in the Canadian military and studied engineering prior to the pageant, will be representing Canada on the world stage for the coming year.