The Miss Universe stuff up wasn't a joke or stunt. It was a serious mistake.

If you’d ever worked in live television you’d know The Miss Universe mistake was definitely not planned.

Before coming to sunny Mamamia, I spent more years working in television and entertainment around the world. One of the show’s I worked on was a popular modelling competition, where at the live finale, the host announced the wrong girl as the winner.

You can watch the awkwardness unfold here:

The now infamous moment went down as one of Australian television’s biggest blunders and as a result we received an enormous amount of local and international press, leaving many people wondering if we’d planned it.

The straight answer to that question is no. For anyone working on reality television shows (like the one I worked on), or an event like The Miss Universe pageant, realistically you’re looking at at least one year of work from casting through to the finale. We’re all emotionally invested in the show and have built relationships with the contestants.

I used to cover international fashion weeks and whenever I saw a contestant I’d worked with on reality TV walking in shows, I’d still feel a ping a pride. As if they were my own children who just nailed their part in the Christmas play, I felt, perhaps narcissistically, that I’d helped get them to that point.

I know that reality TV programs can be cruel, but no one would ever purposely put the contestants through a false result announcement. Miss Colombia probably put in years of hard work to get to that point, only to have the Miss Universe crown literally snatched away. It must be both hugely disappointing and humiliating.


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A photo posted by Amanda Ware (@amandaware1) on

On the TV show that I worked on, the incorrect winner even got as far delivering her acceptance speech before it was announced that’s she’d actually come second. What had been an electric vibe in the venue dropped like a lead balloon, with everyone – audience and crew – left wondering what had just happened.

So while you may be thinking ‘I bet they planned that to get more ratings’ I assure you they weren’t. No one wants something like this to happen: Especially not on live TV, especially not when the cost to the contestants is so very high.