Armed with cold hard data and retrospect, Meme Scholars might one day gauge where Sarah Murdoch’s ANTM announcement fail exists on Australia’s increasingly crowded gaffe matrix. Not as insane as that barking dog man or as self-serving as that Chk Chk Boom girl. Innocuous when compared to Hey Hey’s Blackface Skit or the Australian cook book that called for “salt and freshly ground black people”. More awkward than all combined however, and spectacular like the sun. The kind of on-air blunder that ends the showbiz careers of people who aren’t related to Rupert Murdoch. Who knows? Maybe even those who are.
But with an admirable show of class and head-down responsibility, Murdoch shouldered the majority of the ANTM-gate blame in last night’s episode of A Current Affair. Can’t have been easy.
Said Murdoch: “The last thing that had been communicated to me through my earpiece was Kelsey 1, Amanda 2… And we had this great idea that we wouldn’t use a card, that we would have it all communicated to me through an earpiece, so that I too in that moment would find out who the winner was. And I thought it will be great. So having heard the last thing was Kelsey 1, Amanda 2, I went into the read… the winner of Australia’s Next Top Model is … nothing. Nothing. So all I knew was the last thing was Kelsey 1, Amanda 2 … The point was, it was going to be communicated through my ear and it didn’t come at that moment. So I went with what I had been told … just before that segment. It is a genuine miscommunication. As far as I knew it was the right call.”
So what have we learnt? Envelopes! Use them. Not only do they lend visual tension to televised winner announcements, they ensure that the rightful winner’s name is called. Let’s stick to that. What else? Live TV is a province of the brave and Australia’s gaffes per capita is disproportionately high when compared to the rest of Planet Earth. Embrace the cultural cringe I say. Own it. Turn it into a national tourism ad or something.