Presenter Sarah Murdoch: “I don’t know what to say right now, I’m feeling a bit sick about this”
Kelsey Martinovich had been crowned champion by public vote and was making an acceptance speech when presenter Sarah Murdoch interrupted her.
Shaking her head and listening to her earpiece, Murdoch said: “I’m feeling sick about this. I’m so sorry, this was a complete accident.”
She then announced the real winner was 18-year-old Amanda Ware.
“This is what happens when you have live TV, folks,” she said. “This is insane, insane, insane.”
Martinovich, who had been under the impression she was a winner for about a minute, appeared to take the news well, saying, “It’s OK, it’s an honest mistake,” as Murdoch asked: “How could this happen?”
She attempted to explain the gaffe, saying: “The lead kept changing. It was literally down to a couple of votes. It kept going back and forwards… and we ended up with Amanda as a winner.”
The two contestants embraced, before Ware gave a shocked “Thanks” to her supporters and walked the catwalk for the final time.
Fox said Martinovich was awarded AUS$25,000 (Ã‚Â£15,162) and a free trip to the US by way of apology.
Ware won an eight-page spread in women’s magazine Harpers Bazaar, a contract with Priscilla’s modelling agency, an AUS$25,000 Levi’s campaign, an AUS$20,000 (Ã‚Â£12,130) cash prize, a new car and a trip to New York.