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'Australia's Next Top Model' Host Denies Winner Blunder Was Intentional

Sarah Murdoch, host of 'Australia's Next Top Model', is denying that the mix-up during the live finale was a deliberate ploy to raise ratings.

The daughter-in-law of media mogul Rupert Murdoch announced the wrong winner, before she was forced to correct herself moments later.

Sarah, who says she would not wish such an embarrassing situation on her "worst enemy", claims that the problem started when her earpiece went silent at the crucial moment when she was due to receive the official winner.

However, since she had been told that producers believed Kelsey Martinovich had won, a few moments earlier, she decided to go with it.

"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."

Sarah says Kelsey had started making her acceptance speech when she was informed that the real winner was Amanda Ware. She says she knew it was a mistake when she finally heard the name 'Amanda' in her ear.

She claims it was a "miscommunication" and had nothing to do with the voting.

"I just couldn't believe this was happening," she says. "I don't know if I love live TV so much anymore."

Meanwhile, judge and fashion designer Alex Perry is standing by Murdoch and believes she made a genuine mistake.

"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 says.

October 1, 2010 |

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