It’s hard to forget the crawl-out-of-your-skin feeling we all experienced when we watched Steve Harvey announce the wrong name at the Miss Universe pageant last year. And it wasn’t really the incident itself that was so unsettling, as much as it was the relentless criticism and backlash that Harvey received for the blunder. I mean, by all appearances, an honest man made an honest mistake on live TV—and beyond that, he had the guts to go back out there and rectify it himself. It takes a pretty stand-up guy to make such a bold move, but boy did he pay a PRICE.
But what Steve just admitted on Jimmy Fallon this week proves he’s even more of a champ than we thought. In the midst of discussing his new book, Jump, Jimmy asked what really happened the night of the Miss Universe mishap, or what Steve refers to as “4 minutes of pure hell.”
“It was crazy, man, because I’m a smart guy. You know, I can read,” said Steve. “I read the teleprompter, but the guy in my ear said, ‘Read the next name.’ Now the teleprompter just said, ‘And the new 2015 Miss Universe is’ and next he said, ‘Read the next name. Now. Now.’ I said, ‘Miss Colombia.’ Crowd goes crazy. He goes, ‘Great job, Steve.'”
But four minutes later, he walked backstage to a frantic crew who realized they had just made a big mistake. After spewing a string of expletives, they told Steve, “We said the wrong name.”
Their plan was to straighten it out in the media the next day, but Steve’s conviction simply wouldn’t allow it.
“No man, I’m gonna go do it now,” he said, as he took his walk of shame back out onto the stage.
“It was the most gut-wrenching walk I’ve ever had in my life.”
It turns out, Steve took the fall this whole time for a blunder that he didn’t actually make. Instead of blame-shifting, he decided it was best to take one for the team rather than to create even more of a media frenzy.
“I was brought up that way, man, to kinda just face whatever it is, so I went out there and dealt with it,” he said.
In an interview with The View, he elaborated that his parents (now deceased) played a big role in his decision: