Miss Universe fans called out 2021 pageant host Steve Harvey after he asked Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu to do her best animal impersonation onstage while allowing the other top 16 finalists the opportunity to talk about their accomplishments.
Sandhu, who ended up winning the pageant, seemed surprised when Harvey approached her with the request.
"I hear you do some pretty good animal impersonations. Let's hear your best one," he said, according to Insider.
"Oh, my God, Steve, I was not expecting to do this on the world stage," she responded, joking that she had no other option and explaining that because she loved cats she would do her best to impersonate one.
"Brace yourself everyone," she said before letting out a few "meows."
Viewers were quick to question why Sandhu was not provided the chance to share something meaningful about herself like Miss Panama Brenda Smith, who spoke about getting a position at the UN, and Miss Great Britain Emma Collingridge, who discussed a dissertation on the mythological character Medusa’s origin story and how it inspired her to fight against gender-based violence.
"OMG Miss India meowing at Steve Harvey is not what I was expecting to see tonight. Pretty sure the Miss Universe organization could have asked a better question … very frustrating but she was nothing if not confident," one Twitter user wrote.
"What a ridiculous first question was that? Miss India had so much more to say," another fan tweeted.
"I still can't believe it?! Like, really?! A whole Miss Universe competition and they made her meow like a cat?!" a third noted.
"I felt so sorry for her … so much hard work and preparation for that," another Twitter user added.
Sandhu is actively involved in her local community, helping her mother teach women's health and hygiene at camps, according to Insider. Additionally, Sandhu told the outlet she is also an actor who has done two Punjabi feature films to be released soon. The characters she chose are always strong because she wants to "break stereotypes of what women are and what they can be."
"I hope I get to inspire people by following my passion and my heart," Sandhu added.
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