The biggest winner announcement f*ck ups in history

The 2017 Oscars are not alone.

By Jessica Chandra
2017 Oscars Best Picture

The 2017 Oscars will forever go down in history as the show with the biggest eff-up possible – and right at the end!

Unless you’ve zoned out to all Oscars coverage today, you’d know that the most shocking, exciting and WTF moment of the show happened when La La Land was announced as the winner of the Best Picture award, only for the result to be quickly reversed because Moonlight was the rightful winner.


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Pretty much everyone involved with the fiasco has tried to explain what they think happened, but it hasn’t answered the main questions: Who gave Warren Beatty the wrong envelope? And was this an accident, or did someone do it on purpose?

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The 2017 Oscars fuck up has some pretty good company, though, so we’re revisiting some of the most monumental, live announcements (in history).

The 2017 Oscars Best Picture announcement

It was the final award of the night – the big one, Best Picture. Out of nine nominees, there were two that stood out: La La Land and Moonlight, but everyone was pretty sure La La Land was going to win.

Veteran actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the honour of announcing the award. After some banter, Warren opened the envelope, stalled a bit, then let Faye do the actual announcement: “La La Land!”

The cast and crew of La La Land raced onstage and congratulated themselves. Producer Jordan Horowitz was in the middle of his acceptance speech when he realised something was wrong. Then he said, “There’s been a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke. Moonlight has won best picture.”

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While it’s no fun to be awarded with the biggest honour in Hollywood, only to have it taken away from you, this was the ‘Holy shit’ moment the 2017 show needed.

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Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe flub

When the Oscars Best Picture bungle happened, host Jimmy Kimmel made a Steve Harvey joke, ’cos everyone can remember the Miss Universe pageant in 2015 when the U.S. TV personality accidentally announced as Miss Colombia as the winner, when he was only supposed to announce her as the first runner-up.

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The real winner was Miss Philippines, which led to this awkward moment:

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Sarah Murdoch’s ‘Australia’s Next Top Model’ mistake

It was the moment that made the rest of the world pay attention to Australia’s Next Top Model. In 2010, for the finale of cycle 6, then-host Sarah Murdoch was about to announce either Amanda Ware or Kelsey Martinovich as the winner of the series.

The announcement was pretty low-key – Sarah said pretty softly, “It’s you, Kelsey.”

Cue celebrations, cue speeches from Kelsey and Amanda – the whole shebang.

Then shortly after Amanda made her runner-up speech, a look crossed Sarah’s face, which proved something wasn’t right.

“Oh my God. I don’t know what to say right now,” Sarah said. “I’m feeling a bit sick about this. No… I’m so sorry about this, oh my God. I don’t know what to say. This was a complete accident. It’s Amanda. I’m so sorry. It was fed to me wrong. This is what happens when you have live TV, folks – I’m so sorry. This is insane! Insane, insane, insane!”

The girls were good sports about it, and Sarah was super apologetic. This gaffe also meant the show used a card for all future announcements (though the Oscars proved you can’t even be safe with that).

The 2011 BET Awards mix-up

OK, so this one definitely didn’t make headlines the way the other ones did, but during the 2011 BET Awards, Chris Brown was accidentally announced as the winner of the Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award, when the real winner was actually his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna. And because Rihanna wasn’t at the show, Drake picked up the award.

“Well, this is awkward,” Drake said as he accepted the trophy.

It doesn’t end there – at the end of the show, Kevin Hart, the host, announced that Chris Brown was the real winner of the award.


In any case, it was a smaller award that didn’t get as much attention, but still… get it right, people!