Friday, October 1, 2010

Australia's Next Top Muddle: The Magazine Fallout

After the botched finale to Australia's Next Top Model, runner-up (and momentary winner) Kelsey was awarded not only with a consolation prize of $25,000 + an all expenses paid trip to NYC, she also still scored herself a Harpers Bazaar cover - usually reserved only for the winner. Harpers is releasing 2 covers for November: one featuring the actual winner, Amanda (in that dress); and the other featuring Kelsey. Here are the covers:

Personally, I prefer Kelsey's cover.

And so, it would seem, does Harpers editor Edwina McCann (whom I have adored from afar since her time as style editor for The Weekend Australian Magazine). This is what she had to say of the debacle:

"It is a monumental screw up... We had a cover ready to go to print last night, we've had to swap our printing presses so another magazine prints before us, complicated issues; we were abused all night... I think essentially what happened is the network [Foxtel] did want Amanda to win; they were keen for Amanda to win. They kept the voting lines open for a long time, I think, in the hope that she would get over the line. I'm told it came down to three votes... And they're audited. So they called it for Kelsey....

We had a cover girl. I would have left it as it was... We've decided we're going to split the cover because immediately we were pretty much abused online for perhaps not printing the Kelsey cover... From a sales perspective, as a fashion person, Amanda is taller and she can do runway but Kelsey is the better cover girl... I've got to explain it to production people, to the printers, to my managing editor and to my readers... what am I going to do with the inside of the magazine? It's meant to be an eight-page story. I can't print that twice!"

I think Harpers Bazaar - and Kelsey - are the real winners in this scenario: Harpers scores from the hype (and who will win the covergirl contest, I wonder?); and Kelsey's name is everywhere as the girl who won then lost. I, for one, will be buying the magazine - with Kelsey on the cover.

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