Denise Garrido thought she had been named the 2013 Miss Universe Canada Saturday night, but by Sunday the beauty queen had been stripped of her sash, crown, and trophy and told she had actually placed fourth.
Just 24 hours after being crowned, Garrido, 26, of Ontario, was told there had been a typo when transferring the judges' handwritten scores into a computer program that determines the winner. In reality, she had finished fourth to Riza Santos, 26, of Calgary.
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"My heart sank. I was so sad,"
Garrido, who won the 2008 Miss Earth Canada and 2010 Miss World Canada pageants, told the Toronto Star. "It's been the ultimate dream of mine. All of the other pageants were building toward this one."
Andrew Lopez, a spokesman for Miss Universe Canada, said for the past 10 years, lawyer Nick Macos of Black Sutherland LLP had been responsible for inputting the judges' scores into the computer. But Macos was reportedly not available this year, so the task was left to an inexperienced pageant employee.
Santos will now have the opportunity to compete for Canada at the Miss Universe competition in the U.S. in December.
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"I will always have the memory of being the 24-hour queen," said Garrido, who is now too old to compete in the competition again.
The Miss Universe Organization, which operates the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants, is jointly owned by Donald Trump and NBC Universal.
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