The happy yet doomed reign of Denise Garrido as Miss Universe Canada lasted just one day, after a scoring mix-up was found to have incorrectly awarded her the title Saturday. After organizers realized the error, the crown was given to another contestant, Riza Santos of Calgary.
Garrido says that she sensed things were not quite right after she was called into a meeting, as she told Canada's Breakfast Television Tuesday.
"My heart was starting to sink and when the error was announced, I was in a daze," she says. "It was absolutely surreal. This fairytale-slash-nightmare happened within 24 hours."
The pageant's producer, Beauties of Canada, apologized to Garrido for the error, which it said had occurred during the transfer of the judge's handwritten scores into a computer database.
"During the validation of the computerized scoring results (which occurs the following day), a typo was discovered in the top 5 entries, which significantly impacted the final results of the competition," said pageant director Denis Davila, in a statement on the production company's website.
"This is an unfortunate circumstance where a human error was made," Beauty of Canada said, "and in such a situation, as difficult as it is, it is only right to correct the error."
The site then posted a new order of finishers, showing that instead of winning the crown, Garrido was actually third-runner-up.
- Miss Universe Canada 2013 Riza Santos (Calgary, AB)
- 1st runner-up Siera Bearchell (Moose Jaw, SK)
- 2nd runner-up Diana Martin (Mississauga, ON)
- 3rd runner-up Denise Garrido (Bradford, ON)
- 4th runner-up Michelle McKay (Sarnia, ON)
Garrido told Breakfast Television that the pageant's organizers had handled the matter as well as could be expected. And she was glad to have the support of many in her hometown.
"I'm really touched by that," she said. "All things aside, I'm extremely grateful that there's so many wonderful people that still back me up."
It seems that Garrido is also finding solace on Twitter, where her account shows that she spent part of her day Wednesday busily retweeting messages of support from dozens of people.
One tweet read, "I admire your inner strength, mark of a true beauty queen. :)"