Australia's Next Top Model host Sarah Murdoch denies mix-up was deliberate
Sarah Murdoch, the host of Australia's Next Top Model, has denied that her embarrassing mix-up of the winners on live final of the show was a deliberate ploy to raise ratings.
The former model, and daughter-in-law of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, said she would not wish such a cruel situation on her "worst enemy".
She told A Current Affair, an Australian news programme, that her earpiece had gone silent at the crucial moment when she was due to announce the winner.
However, shortly before the victor was due to be announced she had been told through the device that Kelsey Martinovich had won.
She said: "I had nothing. It didn't come at that moment through my [earpiece] so I went with what I was last told.
"As far as I knew it was the right call, it was what I had been told."
Miss Martinovich had already started making her acceptance speech when she was told that the real winner was Amanda Ware.
Mrs Murdoch said that she knew she had made a mistake when she heard the name "Amanda" in her ear and saw the real winner's name written on a card in front of her.
Mrs Murdoch claimed it was a "miscommunication" and said it had nothing to do with the voting.
She said: "I just couldn't believe this was happening.
"I don't know if I love live TV so much any more."
Meanwhile series judge and fashion designer Alex Perry told Sydney radio that Murdoch had made a genuine mistake, denying accusations that the blunder was a publicity stunt.
"Everybody wants to tag something sinister on it and say it was done for ratings. I know Sarah and I know the executive producer. It's just not their style," he said.
Foxtel, who made the programme, has confirmed the company will give Miss Martinovich a $20,000 cash prize and a trip to New York as compensation.