Live TV's Most Awkward Moments
Steve Harvey is famous for his broadcast blunder, when he accidentally crowned the wrong beauty queen at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. He isn’t alone, however, in his live TV pain — check out other awkward moments, ahead.
Robert E. Kelly
A political science professor, Robert E. Kelly made headlines in March 2017, when his live interview on BBC News didn’t quite go as planned. Appearing on the network over Skype, Kelly was joined during his segment by some surprising guests: his children. The two tots burst into the room and could be seen in the background as Kelly spoke.
In one of the most cringeworthy moments in recent TV history, Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe hosting gig went off the rails in a big way. After the pageant’s various rounds, the field of beauty queens was finally whittled down to the last few. Just as the winner was to be crowned, however, Harvey misread the card, accidentally awarding the title of Miss Universe to Miss Colombia instead of the true winner, Miss Philippines.
Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj
In a headline-making bit of awards show improv, a feud that was brewing between Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj came to a head at MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards. Tension had developed between the two after Cyrus mentioned Minaj in an interview with Rolling Stone, taking issue with Minaj’s criticism of the VMA nominations. As Minaj accepted her Hip-Hop Video of the Year award, she added, “And now, back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me in the press. Miley what’s good?” Also on the stage at the time, Cyrus appeared dumbstruck and fumbled to respond to the rapper.
Madge clearly made a risky decision when planning her outfit for the 2015 Brit Awards. Wearing a lengthy cape, the famed singer tripped and fell in the middle of a performance on the awards show stage, going on to tumble down a set of stairs in front of the audience and millions of viewers.
Jason Mesnick and Melissa Rycroft
In one of the most shocking moments in Bachelor history, reality contestant Jason Mesnick had a change of heart on live TV. The Bachelor star chose Melissa Rycroft in his season’s finale, but in the “After the Final Rose” special following the episode, he decided to break up with Rycroft and instead pick his runner-up, Molly Malaney.
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake famously coined the term “wardrobe malfunction” at 2004’s Super Bowl XXXVIII. Performing together during the halftime show, Timberlake pulled a piece of Jackson’s top away as he sang the “Rock Your Body” lyric, “Bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song.” His words came unexpectedly true, as Jackson’s breast was exposed on live TV.
Mike Myers and Kanye West
In September 2005, Mike Myers and Kanye West were among many stars who signed on to raise awareness and funds following the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. Expected by many to be a simple PSA special, the live TV segment became infamous when West went off-script. After an introduction from Myers, West took issue with the media portrayal of the victims and added simply, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
Ashlee Simpson’s turn as Saturday Night Live‘s musical guest soon become ample comedy fodder. The alternative singer was caught lip-syncing when her backtrack malfunctioned, and handled the moment by doing an awkward jig to pass the time.
Kanye West and Taylor Swift
Kanye West continued his run of unexpected quips on live TV in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards. The rapper jumped on the stage after Taylor Swift was awarded the honor of Best Female Video to stump for Beyonce Knowles. “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time,” he famously said into the microphone. “One of the best videos of all time!”