It was the first edition of the annual beauty show since it was thrust into controversy when then co-owner and U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made disparaging remarks about immigrants.
Host Steve Harvey incorrectly announced that Miss Colombia had won the 64th edition of the contest, broadcast live on the Fox television network.
The eventual winner, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, a Filipino-German actress and model born in Stuttgart and raised in Cagayan de Oro, was initially runner-up.
But them Harvey announced to the audience that he had made a gaffe.
Ariadna Gutierrez Arévalo, 21, of Sincelejo, Colombia, had already been crowned by Miss Universe of 2014, Paulina Vega of Barranquilla, Colombia, who was forced to remove the crown and give it to Miss Philippines. Olivia Jordan, 27, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, finished third.
“I’d like to apologise wholeheartedly to Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines for my huge mistake,” Harvey said on Twitter. “I feel terrible.”
Wurtzbach appeared to take the blunder in her stride.
“It’s a very non-traditional crowning moment,” she said backstage afterward in a video clip of a conversation with Miss USA posted by the Miss Universe pageant on its Twitter feed. “It is very 2015.”
Earlier, when asked why she wanted to be Miss Universe, Wurtzbach said: “I will use my voice to influence the youth and I would raise awareness to certain causes like HIV awareness, that is timely and relevant to my country.”
It was the first Miss Universe title for a contestant from the Philippines in more than 40 years.