Miss Universe Canada winner stripped of crown

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 4:45am


An unlucky contestant in Canada's Miss Universe contest was stripped of her title 24 hours after she was crowned the winner.

Blundering organisers admitted on Wednesday a typographical error led to a mistake in counting that resulted in Denise Garrido, 26, being wrongly named the victor at Saturday's event. She was stripped of her sash next day. "I was shocked. I'd achieved my dream and it was suddenly taken away from me," Garrido said, after missing out on the Miss Universe final in December.

Pageant director Denis Davila blamed an inexperienced employee for the error when transferring the judges' handwritten scores into a computer programme that determines the winner. An independent audit later spotted the error. It turned out that Garrido had actually finished third runner-up to Riza Santos, also 26, of Calgary, who will now collect her crown in her home city tomorrow.

This is the second year running that controversy has hit the pageant. Last year, transgender model Jenna Talackova waged a battle to enter the competition. She went on to win a prize for congeniality.