Steve Harvey Says His Miss Universe Screw Up Was ‘Four Minutes Of Pure Hell’

It’s been nearly a year since the moment Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner in the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, but the universe at large isn’t going to let him forget it anytime soon. Case in point, during a visit to The Tonight Show on Monday night to promote his new motivational book Jump, Jimmy Fallon quickly turned the conversation to the incident with a snicker, to Harvey’s distinct lack of amusement. “But when you say it and then you chuckle…” he said to Fallon. “Now what am I supposed to take from that?”

The Family Feud host was game to open up about what happened, however, and by the way he tells it, it sounds even more horrific than anyone even imagined. “It wasn’t that quick,” he said. “It was four minutes of pure hell … It was like hell up there.” Apparently the mix-up wasn’t due to a confusing ballot card, as previously speculated, but to a miscommunication between the person speaking into his earpiece and the teleprompter.

Harvey said he only realized what had happened when he went backstage and heard what he describes as “a lot of words that you can’t say on TV.” And if anything, Harvey deserves some credit for what how it went down from there because as he recalled, the organizers of the event wanted to wait and sort it all out in the media the next day. But he was adamant to go back out and admit his mistake, as he told Fallon, “I don’t know what the hell I was thinking about, man. It was the most gut-wrenching walk I’ve ever had in my life.”

Oof, poor guy. And believe us, Steve, we all felt it.