I will offer up front I am a complete cynic when it comes to drama & the like on reality TV shows. Yes, the fight between Kyle & Amanda on The X Factor is to get some media attention on the show. Yes, the soon-to-be-seen outing of George Calombaris as three dwarves taped together is to garner some publicity for the MasterChef franchise. And yes, the incorrect announcement of the winner on Tuesday night for this latest series of Australia’s Next Top Model is *absolutely* about publicity. In fact the only real unscripted reality TV remaining on our screens is Survivor – but I digress already.

For cave-dwellers everywhere, the host of this series of ANTM Sarah Murdoch incorrectly announced live to air that Kelsey Martinovich had won the competition and then had to correct herself to announce that, instead, the winner was Amanda Ware. Chaos ensued, as Kelsey had already delivered her speech thanking her supporters and her magazine cover from Harper’s Bazaar was shown on the big screen behind her. Oops much?

If you've not seen it - it's pretty good watching...

Twitter melted. And the press LOVED it.

Subsequently Sarah Murdoch has been in interviews back to back, including an interview with the two girls with Karl Stefanovic on A Current Affair.

Magazine interviews. Television interviews. Column inches in newspapers all over the country. Blogs by the billion (including this one). Everyone is talking about it. Rightly so – it was one hell of a stuff up. Or was it?

Look at all the talk. For a show that was buried on Foxtel, and not really delivering anything special (and survives on conflict getting it some press), this is a masterstroke. I appreciate the “it was all for publicity” has been denied by officials. However – the facts:

  1. Sarah, in correcting herself on stage, said: “It was fed to me wrong”;
  2. As reported by Mumbrella, when Jamie Campbell (Director of Foxtel publicity) was interviewed on Sky News the day after, it was suggested that Sarah simply read the wrong name; &
  3. In her interview with Karl on ACA, Sarah said she didn’t get advice in her earpiece of who actually won (until after she'd announced it), so she went with the winner she’d been told during the ad break leading into the announcement when she was off-stage.

So: either Sarah was well-confused & stuffed it up, or it’s a massive conspiracy and Sarah wasn’t in on it (which I find hard to believe given she’s an executive producer for the series), or it was simply an accident by someone else that made Sarah look silly. You decide. I already have.