Miss America crowns wrong winners, twice

Last updated 09:09 02/07/2014
Sydney Morning Herald

Just days after they were crowned, Miss Florida and Miss Delaware were stripped of their titles.

The gaffes continue in the quest to find Miss America 2014.
BYE BYE CROWN: Elizabeth Fechtel, pictured here as Miss University of Florida, has had her tiara taken away.

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The gaffes continue in the quest to find Miss America 2014.

First the recently crowned Miss Delaware was stripped of her title because at 25 she was deemed too old to enter.

"I've lost everything. My scholarship money for school, my prizes and my crown all because of a technicality that was not caught by the executive board," the now former Miss Deleware Amanda Longacre said.

Now there is another heartbroken young beauty queen languishing in Florida where pageant organisers of the local heats have had to make an embarrassing about face after it was discovered there was a vote-counting error which resulted in the wrong Miss Florida being crowned.

The pageant initially named Elizabeth Fechtel its winner, and the 20-year-old University of Florida student basked in the glory for all of five days, until a pageant official arrived at her house last Thursday evening to inform her that first runner-up Victoria Cowen is getting the crown instead.

Fechtel had already dropped her classes at the University of Florida to begin preparation for the Miss America pageant, USA Today reports.

So what happened?

Pageant officials told the Fechtels that one judge changed his mind about who should finish first in the final seconds of his allotted time and drew lines on his ballot to reverse his vote.

The switch got overlooked initially, but a subsequent independent audit confirmed Cowen was the rightful winner.

Fechtel will now have to hand over the thousands in scholarship money she was briefly awarded.

In a statement, the pageant chalked it up to an "error in the tabulation process".

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- Sydney Morning Herald


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