Blunder Down Under! Aussie ‘Top Model’ Host Announces Wrong Winner
First Published: September 29, 2010 2:07 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
SYDNEY, Australia -- Where’s Tyra Banks when we need her?!?
Monday night’s finale of “Australia’s Next Top Model” included one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the year, when host Sarah Murdoch announced the wrong name of the winner!
During the live TV finale, Murdoch announced 19-year-old Kelsey Martinovich was the new catwalk queen, defeating runner-up Amanda Ware — and proceeded to let Kelsey celebrate and even give a brief victory speech.
“I just want to thank the runners-up, they’ve been amazing and all the girls for keeping me on my toes,” Kelsey beamed. “Ah, this is crazy!”
However, moments later, Murdoch — who married News Corp. media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan, in 1999 — became quiet and a shocked look came over her face as she listened to producers in her ear tell her she said the wrong name.
“Oh my God. I don’t know what to say right now. I’m feeling a bit sick about this,” a stunned Murdoch said on the air as the entire audience and the contestants went silent. “I’m so sorry about this. Oh my God. I don’t know what to say. This is a complete accident, I’m so sorry. It’s Amanda. It was fed to me wrong.
“This is what happens when you have live TV folks, I’m so sorry,” Murdoch added. “This is insane.”
However, as gracious as Kelsey was in her victory speech, she was equally polite in her realization of defeat.
“It’s OK,” she said as she comforted a visibly upset Murdoch. “It’s an honest mistake. It’s all right Sarah. It’s fine!”
An equally stunned Amanda was caught off guard by the mix up and when given the stage to accept her title, she could only say “Really, thanks guys!” with a big smile on her face.
CLICK HERE to watch the blunder!
“It has been so close and the lead kept changing,” Murdoch tried to explain. “It was literally down to a couple of votes and we kept going back and forwards, back and forwards, and we ended up with Amanda as our winner.”
The show closed with Amanda taking her victory lap down the catwalk, being embraced by other members of the show as credits began to roll.
While Amanda walked away the winner – taking home an agency modeling contract, a $25,000 gig with Levi’s, a new car, $20,000 cash and an eight-page spread in Australia’s Harper’s Bazaar, according to E! Online, Kelsey didn’t walk away empty-handed.
Due to the error, producers offered to send both Amanda and Kelsey to New York to meet with Elite Model Management and also offered Kelsey a $25,000 consolation prize.
In the wake of the incident, some suggested the whole ordeal might have been an orchestrated publicity stunt for the show. However, Murdoch insisted it was a “genuine” mistake.
“You can see how close we are to the girls. You would never put your worst enemy in a situation like that, let alone these gorgeous girls,” the host said in an interview with Australia’s “A Current Affair.” “It was a genuine miscommunication.”
Both Amanda and Kelsey also dispelled the notion that it was all planned.
“There’s absolutely no way that this was a stunt because it was a genuine honest mistake and you saw the look on Sarah Murdoch’s face, it was absolute devastation,” Amanda told the Aussie TV program.
“I just looked at Sarah and realized there’d been a big mistake and felt like I needed to give her a big hug or something,” Kelsey added.
CLICK HERE to watch the entire sequence unfold!
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.