Sunday night’s 27th Goya Film Awards saw one of the biggest gaffes in the history of the event, when two award presenters mistakenly read out the wrong winner.
Actors Adriana Ugarte and Carlos Santos were tasked with handing out the prize for Best Original Song at the awards, which are Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars. After they opened the envelope, Ugarte read out the name of Pablo Cervantes as the winner, for his track written for Catalan movie El nens salvatges.
Cue much cheering, kissing and hugging in the section of the auditorium where the announced victors were seated. They then began descending the stairs, headed to the stage, to pick up their prize.
But no sooner had they got halfway there when Santos brought the celebrations to a standstill: “One second. We are sorry to say there has been a mistake. They have given us two envelopes. It is a big mistake. We are really sorry.”
With a sweating brow, the actor, who is best known for his role in the popular TV series Los hombres de Paco, said: “The Goya goes to…” and handed the other envelope to Ugarte.
The actress bit her lip in embarrassment and made the correction: “I am sorry… The Goya goes to No te puedo encontrar, for Blancanieves, by Juan Gómez Chicuelo and Pablo Berger.”
Looking surprised, Blancanieves director Berger then stepped up to the stage with the singer of the real winning song, Silvia Pérez Cruz, to collect the prize.
The Spanish Film Academy, which organizes the annual Goya Awards, was quick to explain how the error had happened.
Each pair of presenters was given an envelope containing the name of the winner just before going out on stage. In cases where there were nominees in a category who were unable to attend the ceremony, they were also handed another card with the people who would be accepting the award on their behalf.
It was from this card that Ugarte read the name of the absent Cervantes, who was in Los Angeles.
The Best Original Song prize was the only award not rehearsed. It was supposed to be presented by Ugarte and Tristán Ulloa, but the latter actor decided to pull out of the ceremony after learning that the Academy was instructing participants to refrain from making any political or ideological statements.
Santos stepped into Ulloa’s shoes at the last minute, accompanying Ugarte on to the stage moments after he had taken part in a musical number.