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'Australia's Next Top Model' names wrong winner

The live final of "Australia's Next Top Model'

The live final of "Australia's Next Top Model' made a sensational blunder when host Sarah Murdoch wrongly announced that Kelsey Martinovich had won the title, only to realize moments later that it was in fact fellow finalist Amanda Ware, above. (Sept. 28, 2010) (Credit: AP)

In what's being called "the blunder down under," the host of Monday night's episode of the Australian version of "America's Next Top Model," appropriately  named "Australia's Next Top Model," has handed the world what surely must be one of its most cringeworthy TV moments.

Picture this: The finalists are onstage, hearts pounding, fingers crossed, awaiting the announcement of this season's winner, who will win not only notoriety and respect, but a new car, a Levi's modeling contract worth $25,000, $20,000 cash and a nice magazine spread in the Australian version of Harper's Bazaar. With tension-building music softly playing in the background, host Sarah Murdoch (Rupert Murdoch's daughter-in-law) prepares to announce the winner.

Hit the pause button for a moment and think back to Ralph Kramden touting his Chef of the Future: "Yes, it can core a apple." and Lucy Ricardo's "Vitameatavegamin" commercial. What do they have in common? Though fictional, they were depictions of what can go wrong on live television. And, yes, the finale of '"Australia's Next Top Model" was, indeed, a live broadcast. Hit play.

Murdoch slowly announces: "So the winner and Australia's next top model for 2010 is... It's you, Kelsey."

Runner up Amanda is gracious, and Kelsey makes her victory speech, ending with, "This is crazy."

Crazy, indeed, because Kelsey wasn't actually the winner. Apparently, a producer in the control room fed the wrong name into Murdoch's earpiece. The mortified host had to put the kabosh on Kelsey's victory speech and correct the mistake. I love the reaction from the real winner, Amanda. Take a look for yourself.

Tags: reality tv

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