More People Tweeted About Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe Flub Than Actually Watched It

Spectacular mistake instantly went viral

Sunday was a day for thrilling conclusions.

The Carolina Panthers outlasted the New York Giants with a last-second field goal to preserve their perfect record. Showtime drama Homeland capped its strong fifth season with the fate of one of its major characters left hanging in the balance.

But the best ending on Sunday night came courtesy of the Miss Universe pageant, when Steve Harvey (intentionally?) announced the wrong winner. After naming Miss Colombia the winner, Harvey – while Miss Colombia was being awarded the crown – had to backtrack and reveal that Miss Philippines was the real victor; a twist ending that would make M. Night Shyamalan blush.

Naturally, Harvey's spectacular flub quickly made the rounds online. According to social media listening platform Spredfast, there were some 6.3 million tweets over the last 24 hours that mentioned the mishap, which was more than those who actually watched the event; Fox says the telecast averaged 6.2 million viewers and a 1.7 rating among adults 18 to 49, down in both measures from last year when it aired on NBC.

Spredfast counted tweets that contained the terms: #MissUniverse2015, #MissUniverse, Miss Universe and Steve Harvey. Even Miss Colombia took it all in stride.


The 6.3 million tweet total was well above the 1 million who tweeted about last week's GOP debate, and was comparable to last February's Super Bowl, which had 9.3 million tweets. Fox says there were 1.6 million tweets during the three-hour broadcast window.

Just how quickly did Harvey's error go viral? Spredfast found that mentions of "Steve Harvey" exploded in a five minute window, going from 19 tweets per minute at 9:57 p.m. to 13,000 TPM by 10:02 p.m. Mentions of #MissUniverse2015 rose from 24,000 TPM to 104,000 TPM during that same time period. 

This was the first Miss Universe pageant since Donald Trump sold the parent company, Miss Universe Organization to WME/IMG. Naturally, The Donald, of course, weighed in on the debacle.