The judges at the Miss Universe Canada pageant crowned the wrong winner on Saturday night, a mix-up that was devastating for the short-lived beauty queen from Bradford, Ont.

“I was called into a meeting and I was sat down. I felt that there was something a little bit off,” Denise Garrido told Breakfast Television on Tuesday.

“My heart was starting to sink and when the error was announced, I was in a daze. It was absolutely surreal. This fairytale-slash-nightmare happened within 24 hours.”

Calgary’s Riza Santos was eventually given her rightful title. Garrido, it turns out, was the third runner up.

“This is an unfortunate circumstance where a human error was made,” pageant spokesman Andrew Lopez said in a statement.

“In such a situation, as difficult as it is, it is only right to correct the error.”

Garrido praised the way pageant director Denis Davila handled the error.

“From the director’s perspective, I felt that he was crushed too, and he was really upset by the situation. He handled it really well,” she said.

Lopez said the mistake – a typo – was discovered as the computerized scoring results were being verified the following day. He said it was the first time this kind of error had occurred “in the 11 years that Beauties of Canada (BOC) has produced the Miss Universe Canada pageant.”

Two days later, Garrido said she was feeling buoyed by the support she had received in Bradford.

“I’m really touched by that. All things aside, I’m extremely grateful that there’s so many wonderful people that still back me up,” she said.

As of Tuesday morning, the Miss Universe Canada pageant was still identifying both women as the winner.

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