Elaine Daly ‘speechless’ and ‘extremely disappointed’ over Miss Universe national costume results

Melanie Chalil


Datin Elaine Daly sending off Miss Universe Malaysia 2019 Shweta Sekhon at KLIA on November 28 prior to the Miss Universe pageant. — Picture via Instagram/Elaine Daly

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Datin Elaine Daly has expressed her disappointment over the wrong announcement of the Best National Costume at the Miss Universe pageant that took place in Atlanta, Georgia in the US yesterday.

Daly, who was Miss Malaysia Universe 2003, is Miss Universe Malaysia’s national director.

“I am extremely disappointed at how the Best National Costume announcement at Miss Universe has come to this,” she said in a Facebook post.

Daly explained that Shweta was asked to go backstage to change into her national costume as it was going to be showcased as Best National Costume.

The event’s host Steve Harvey initially announced Malaysia’s Shweta Sekhon as the winner but that victory was cut short four hours later when Malaysian delegates found out via Twitter that Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados was the actual winner. 

The pageant’s president Paula Shugart then explained the confusion to Daly in an email.

Shugart told Daly that the Philippines won the online voting, but the producing staff backstage picked Malaysia as their favourite and wanted to showcase Shweta’s Nyonya outfit but that decision was not explained on the show.

“To everyone who watched it, it was like as if Malaysia had won. 

“Because why would you put a delegate in her costume, have her do interviews and then tell her that she actually didn’t win but was just the producing staff’s choice.

“I’m speechless but it is what it is,” said Daly.

In a separate post on Facebook, Shweta said she was grateful for the experience as she made many friends and received gifts from all over the world.

The 22-year-old beauty queen said even though she was informed by the crew that she was the winner of the national costume award only to find out otherwise a few hours later, she was fine with the decision.

“I am totally fine with it because in my eyes, every girl that came to compete is a winner,” said Shweta.

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