7 Times The Wrong Winner Was Announced

Published on 05/24/2022

Awards ceremonies are events that are certainly under the spotlight. Famous stars from all areas group together to hear who has won what, enjoy the comedy of the night (or glamor) and surely take some great pictures in an incredible outfit on the red carpet. The night is always interesting, for some reason or another. May it be an error, a shocking event (see Will Smith at the Oscars this year)- or occasionally, the incorrect winner. Continue on to discover 7 times the wrong winner was announced at an awards ceremony.

Shutterstock 675634225

Shutterstock 675634225


Miss Universe – 2015

“This is very unfortunate what happened,” Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel remarked after La La Land was wrongly awarded Best Picture. “Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this.” Steve Harvey became the internet’s favorite meme in December 2015 after he incorrectly proclaimed Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, as Miss Universe when Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, had won. Despite the fact that both women seemed unfazed by the gaffe, Harvey informed Jimmy Fallon that “it was four minutes of sheer torture.”

Bet Awards – 2011

When contest winner Tiffany Green was given the opportunity to reveal the year’s Viewer’s Choice Award at the 2011 BET Awards, it was an embarrassing moment. She identified Chris Brown as the recipient of the year’s award, only to swiftly correct herself and inform that Brown’s ex, Rihanna, had won. (On RiRi’s behalf, Drake humbly received the award.) This isn’t the first time Rihanna has been embroiled in a situation like this (more on that below).

Australia’s Next Top Model – 2010

Sarah Murdoch, the host of Australia’s Next Top Model, declared that participant Kelsey Martinovich had won the reality show title in front of a live audience in 2010. Tears of delight were shed, and gratitude were exchanged, until a pale-faced Murdoch stopped the happy moment to apologize and say that the intended winner was Amanda Ware.

“I don’t know what to say right now,” Murdoch told the finalists—and the confused crowd of 2000. “I’m feeling a bit sick about this. I’m so sorry about this, oh my God. I don’t know what to say. This is a complete accident, I’m so sorry. It’s Amanda … it was read to me wrong.”

NRJ Music Awards – 2009

It’s an example of something being muddled in translation. Katy Perry proudly accepted the NRJ Award for Best International Song for “I Kissed a Girl” at Cannes, France, in 2009. The award, however, was intended for Rihanna and “Disturbia,” not Perry. Perry, fortunately, did not go home empty-handed: at the same event, she won (legitimately) Best International Album for One of the Boys.

MTV Video Music Awards – 2002

Michael Jackson’s win for “Artist of the Millennium” at the 2002 VMAs was more of a misunderstanding than an error. Britney Spears was tasked with presenting the King of Pop with an exquisite cake to commemorate the occasion because it fell on his birthday. She referred to MJ as the “artist of the millennium” (no caps) in the lead-up to the baked goods, which he mistook for “Artist of the Millennium,” an award that, sadly, did not exist. (Though we’re confident he would have been a strong contender if it had.)

Dewey Defeats Truman – 1948

If there was ever a time to shout “Stop the presses!” it was in the aftermath of the 1948 presidential election, when the Chicago Daily Tribune published a headline boldly proclaiming that “Dewey Defeats Truman.” It was actually the opposite way around. President Truman, on the other hand, found the whole thing amusing and enthusiastically posed for photographs while holding up the newspaper.

Oscars – 2017

An astonishing malfunction in the Oscars voting method will go down in history as the most humiliating, embarrassing moment of all time. The typical high point of the protracted Oscars ceremony was ruined when organizers were forced to admit that the wrong film – La La Land – had been proclaimed best picture winner, instead of Moonlight, the true winner. It appeared that Warren Beatty had the wrong envelope on stage, actually carrying the card for Best Actress, which went to Emma Stone for La La Land. In all the confusion, Faye Dunaway read out the only film title on the card – La La Land. The cast all came onto the stage and read out their acceptance speeches, only to be told shortly after that Moonlight were the true winners.