6 Times the Wrong Winner Was Announced

Kevin Winter // Getty Images
Kevin Winter // Getty Images

Call it #Oscargate2017. After a nearly four-hour Academy Awards ceremony that produced a few fun surprises—including a bus full of starstruck tourists and candy and doughnuts falling from the sky—the auditorium at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre erupted into total confusion when the night’s biggest award was mistakenly given to Damien Chazelle’s La La Land ... only to discover that it was, in fact, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight that had been named Best Picture.

Though PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that tallies the night’s big winners, has officially taken blame for the gaffe, it’s a moment that will be remembered for years to come. But it’s not the first time the wrong winner has been announced in a very public way.

1. MISS UNIVERSE // 2015

In the wake of last night’s Best Picture mix-up, Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel joked, “This is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this.” In December 2015, Steve Harvey became the internet’s favorite meme after he mistakenly named Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, as Miss Universe, when it was Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, who had actually won. Though both women took the error in stride, Harvey told Jimmy Fallon that “It was four minutes of pure hell.”

2. BET AWARDS // 2011

An awkward moment occurred at the 2011 BET Awards when contest winner Tiffany Green was given the opportunity to announce the year’s Viewer’s Choice Award. She announced Chris Brown as the year’s recipient—then had to quickly correct herself and announce that it was actually Brown’s ex, Rihanna, who had won. (Drake graciously accepted the award on RiRi's behalf.) It wouldn’t be the last time Rihanna was involved in this sort of mix-up (more on that below).

3. AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL // 2010

In 2010, with a live crowd watching, Australia’s Next Top Model host Sarah Murdoch announced that contestant Kelsey Martinovich had won the reality show title. Tears of joy were shed and thanks were given, until a pale-faced Murdoch interrupted the happy moment to apologize and say that it was actually Amanda Ware who had been the intended winner.

“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.”

4. NRJ MUSIC AWARDS // 2009

Call it a case of things getting lost in translation. In 2009, Katy Perry happily accepted the award for Best International Song for “I Kissed a Girl” at the NRJ Awards in Cannes, France. Except the award wasn’t Perry’s to accept—it was meant for Rihanna and “Disturbia.” Fortunately, Perry didn’t go home empty-handed: she did (legitimately) win Best International Album for One of the Boys at the same event.

5. MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS // 2002

Michael Jackson’s win for “Artist of the Millennium” at the 2002 VMAs wasn’t so much an error as it was a misunderstanding. Because the event happened to fall on the King of Pop’s birthday, Britney Spears was tasked with presenting him with an elaborate cake to mark the occasion. In her lead-up to the baked goods, she referred to MJ as the “artist of the millennium” (no caps) which he understood as “Artist of the Millennium”—an award that, unfortunately, did not exist. (Though if it had, we’re sure he would have been a top contender.)

6. “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” // 1948

If ever there was a time to yell “Stop the presses!,” it would have been in the moments following the 1948 presidential election, when the Chicago Daily Tribune ran a headline that boldly—albeit incorrectly—stated that “Dewey Defeats Truman.” In truth, it was the other way around. Fortunately, President Truman found the whole thing pretty funny and happily posed for pictures while holding up the paper.

A New Ruth Bader Ginsburg Bobblehead Is Available for Pre-Order

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum

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The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a devout champion for feminism and civil rights, and her influence stretched from the halls of the Supreme Court to the forefront of popular culture, where she affectionately became known as the Notorious RBG. Though there are plenty of public tributes planned for Ginsburg in the wake of her passing, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has a new RBG bobblehead ($25) available for pre-order so you can honor her in your own home.

There are two versions of the bobblehead available, one of Ginsburg smiling and another with a more serious expression. Not only do the bobbleheads feature her in her Supreme Court black robe, but eagle-eyed fans will see she is wearing one for her iconic coded collars and her classic earrings.

RBG is far from the only American icon bobblehead that the Hall of Fame store has produced in such minute detail. They also have bobbleheads of Abraham Lincoln ($30), Theodore Roosevelt ($30), Alexander Hamilton ($30), and dozens of others.

For more information on the RBG bobblehead, head here. Shipments will hopefully be sent out by December 2020 while supplies last.

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12 Spirited Facts About How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video

Each year, millions of Americans welcome the holiday season by tuning into their favorite TV specials. For most people, this includes at least one viewing of the 1966 animated classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Adapted from Dr. Seuss’s equally famous children’s book by legendary animator Chuck Jones, How the Grinch Stole Christmas first aired more than 50 years ago, on December 18, 1966. Here are 12 facts about the TV special that will surely make your heart grow three sizes this holiday season.

1. Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel And Chuck Jones previously worked together on Army training videos.

During World War II, Geisel joined the United States Army Air Forces and served as commander of the Animation Department for the First Motion Picture Unit, a unit tasked with creating various training and pro-war propaganda films. It was here that Geisel soon found himself working closely with Chuck Jones on an instructional cartoon called Private Snafu. Originally classified as for-military-personnel-only, Private Snafu featured a bumbling protagonist who helped illustrate the dos and don’ts of Army safety and security protocols.

2. It was because of their previous working relationship that Ted Geisel agreed to hand over the rights to The Grinch to Chuck Jones.

After several unpleasant encounters in relation to his previous film work—including the removal of his name from credits and instances of pirated redistribution—Geisel became notoriously “anti-Hollywood.” Because of this, he was reluctant to sell the rights to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. However, when Jones personally approached him about making an adaptation, Geisel relented, knowing he could trust Jones and his vision.

3. Even with Ted Geisel’s approval, the special almost didn’t happen.

By Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Whereas today’s studios and production companies provide funding for projects of interest, television specials of the past, like A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, had to rely on company sponsorship in order to get made. While A Charlie Brown Christmas found its financier in the form of Coca-Cola, How the Grinch Stole Christmas struggled to find a benefactor. With storyboards in hand, Jones pitched the story to more than two dozen potential sponsors—breakfast foods, candy companies, and the like—all without any luck. Down to the wire, Jones finally found his sponsor in an unlikely source: the Foundation for Commercial Banks. “I thought that was very odd, because one of the great lines in there is that the Grinch says, ‘Perhaps Christmas doesn’t come from a store,’” Jones said of the surprise endorsement. “I never thought of a banker endorsing that kind of a line. But they overlooked it, so we went ahead and made the picture.”

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas had a massive budget.

Coming in at over $300,000, or $2.2 million in today’s dollars, the special’s budget was unheard of at the time for a 26-minute cartoon adaptation. For comparison’s sake, A Charlie Brown Christmas’s budget was reported as $96,000, or roughly $722,000 today (and this was after production had gone $20,000 over the original budget).

5. Ted Geisel wrote the song lyrics for the special.

No one had a way with words quite like Dr. Seuss, so Jones felt that Geisel should provide the lyrics to the songs featured in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

6. Fans requested translations of the “Fahoo Foraze” song.

True to his persona’s tongue-twisting trickery, Geisel mimicked sounds of classical Latin in his nonsensical lyrics. After the special aired, viewers wrote to the network requesting translations of the song as they were convinced that the lyrics were, in fact, real Latin phrases.

7. Thurl Ravenscroft didn’t receive credit for his singing of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

The famous voice actor and singer, best known for providing the voice of Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, wasn’t recognized for his work in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Because of this, most viewers wrongly assumed that the narrator of the special, Boris Karloff, also sang the piece in question. Upset by this oversight, Geisel personally apologized to Ravenscroft and vowed to make amends. Geisel went on to pen a letter, urging all the major columnists that he knew to help him rectify the mistake by issuing a notice of correction in their publications.

8. Chuck Jones had to find ways to fill out the 26-minute time slot.

Because reading the book out loud only takes about 12 minutes, Jones was faced with the challenge of extending the story. For this, he turned to Max the dog. “That whole center section where Max is tied up to the sleigh, and goes down through the mountainside, and has all those problems getting down there, was good comic business as it turns out,” Jones explained in TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas special, which is a special feature on the movie’s DVD. “But it was all added; it was not part of the book.” Jones would go on to name Max as his favorite character from the special, as he felt that he directly represented the audience.

9. The Grinch’s green coloring was inspired by a rental car.

Warner Home Video

In the original book, the Grinch is illustrated as black and white, with hints of pink and red. Rumor has it that Jones was inspired to give the Grinch his iconic coloring after he rented a car that was painted an ugly shade of green.

10. Ted Geisel thought the Grinch looked like Chuck Jones.

When Geisel first saw Jones’s drawings of the Grinch, he exclaimed, “That doesn’t look like the Grinch, that looks like you!” Jones’s response, according to TNT’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas Special: “Well, it happens.”

11. At one point, the special received a “censored” edit.

Over the years, How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been edited in order to shorten its running time (in order to allow for more commercials). However, one edit—which ran for several years—censored the line “You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch” from the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Additionally, the shot in which the Grinch smiles creepily just before approaching the bed filled with young Whos was deemed inappropriate for certain networks and was removed.

12. The special’s success led to both a prequel and a crossover special.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Given the popularity of the Christmas special, two more Grinch tales were produced: Halloween is Grinch Night and The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat. Airing on October 29, 1977, Halloween is Grinch Night tells the story of the Grinch making his way down to Whoville to scare all the Whos on Halloween. In The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat, which aired on May 20, 1982, the Grinch finds himself wanting to renew his mean spirit by picking on the Cat in the Hat. Unlike the original, neither special was deemed a classic. But this is not to say they weren’t well-received; in fact, both went on to win Emmy Awards.