Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Miss Universe in East Rural

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2016 | 1:00 AM

I don't ever underestimate the reach of this magnificent newspaper, The Gleaner. So I want to use this medium to invite Steve Harvey to come to Jamaica and announce the results of the next election up in East Rural St. Andrew. This is, of course, whenever the touch of the Master paves the way. Follow me ... . I will tell you why.

Like the rest of the world, I've enjoyed this Miss Universe contest more than any recent competition.

As usual, I watched the swimsuit segment with keen interest, but thereafter, when it came to the question and answer nonsense, switched away to watch cartoons.

Honestly, once Miss Jamaica is out of the running I've completely lost interest in the whole thing, except for the aggressive swimsuit strutting. Then Steve Harvey screwed-up by announcing the wrong winner. It was such an enormous blunder that it brought me, in slack-jawed wonder, to view re-runs of the closing minutes.

And now the whole Internet has watched the debacle and has responded to the train wreck with characteristic swiftness and severity.

For the three of you who may not have hear about it, here are the details. Comedian host Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutierrez, the winner of the Miss Universe 2015 contest.

She was sashed and crowned and immediately commenced her reign, waving to her fans and flashing her fantastically beautiful smile. It was a moment of glory.

Minutes later, the same Harvey sheepishly reappeared on stage to announce that he had made a grave error and that Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the actual winner. Out with the 'Latina', in with the 'Philippina'.

During Miss Colombia's brief reign, Miss Philippines had retreated to the background to lick her wounds with second runner-up, Miss USA.

But upon hearing the good news, she came forward and the rebellion and revolution was completed. The crown was lifted off the head of Miss Colombia and placed on that of Miss Philippines.

Naturally, one's mind repaired to the Scriptures, this time, David's lament: "A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel. How the mighty have fallen!"

It was horrible to watch, an exchange of outstanding cringe-worthy awkwardness.

Let me be clear: I'm not totally averse to a short reign, but it has to be for the right reasons. Normally, the removal of the crown means that some magazine publisher has unearthed saucy photographs of the winner. Which is terrible and outrageous and scandalous and unacceptable.

 

OVER THE LINE

 

I know. And, of course, the pageant organisations that specialise in having girls parade on stage in bikinis the width of dental floss cannot under any circumstances tolerate nude pictures. That's over the line, and after all, standards must be maintained.

A moment of silence, though, for Steve Harvey. Can you really blame him for failing to read his cue card correctly? Being on stage with so much beauty would naturally have a confusing effect.

Then even at the last moment, with only two terrific choices left, I think the poor man took one look at that Colombian and instinctively declared her winner. At that level his mistake was entirely understandable.

Then, to further plough himself into a hole, Harvey took to Twitter to seek absolution from the gods of social media who had already begun to crucify him.

He wrote: "I want to apologise emphatically to Miss Philippians and Miss Columbia. This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful".

Oh boy! Wonderful! You will notice that Harvey had managed to misspell both countries in one tweet, and to even mistake the Philippines for a book in the Bible. This apology tweet is now known as "Steven's Letter to the Philippians", but Colombians get very annoyed by people who spell Colombia as 'Columbia'. So this was another sizeable addition to the poop-pile Harvey was creating.

So it didn't exactly help the situation.

I like the Trump solution. Donald Trump, the problem-solver, reacted to the mess by declaring that he would have innovated a co-regency of the two beautiful women. I think this is a sensible solution, because sometimes there's a runoff where I want both to win.

This is what brings me to East Rural St Andrew. Look at how many seats have two wutliss candidates vying for the crown? But in East Rural it looks as if two proper people are going to square off. No Sah! That's a waste.

The announcement that Juliet Holness will be the candidate to run against Imani Duncan-Pryce in East Rural St. Andrew was quite surprising, at least to me.

Is this a genius move? Or is it a 'Hail Mary Pass' tossed in desperation at a seat that has to be taken if the man is to survive? More astute political pundits than I will have to determine that.

I just notice that the husband and wife political team has some distinct advantages, at least insofar as it introduces someone who can be trusted into a system where distrust is endemic.

On the other hand, the strain on the family must be horrendous. There is no way that both partners in a marriage can be out on the political campaign trail without it being a massive strain.

As it is, political life isn't entirely compatible with marriage. There are those who muddle through, but they seem to be rarities.

Meanwhile, Imani seems to be cleaning up the sizeable debris left by expert mishandling on the PNP's part, and stamping her winning personality on the place.

I'm for bringing in Steve Harvey and heading straight for the Trump solution on this one.

- Daniel Thwaites is an attorney at law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.