Beauty pageant organisers in New Zealand have been left red-faced after telling the 19-year-old winner they were reversing their decision because the confused her with "another Indian girl".
Two days after crowning Synthia Nath Miss Globe New Zealand, organisers reversed their decision, telling her they confused her with another contestant Loriza Latif, reports News Limited.
The science student was told she could still compete at next month’s Miss Globe International competition in Turkey — a trip which was supposed to have been part of her prize — but that she would have to come up within estimated $3000 to finance it.
Ms Nath, who paid $500 to enter the quest and another $500 for her dress, is now seeking compensation and an apology after organisers told her the mix-up was an “honest mistake” because the she and Ms Latif “look alike”.
“They told me, ‘Do you have $3000?’” Ms Nath told The New Zealand Herald.
“I was shocked, I was like, ‘Aren’t you supposed to give me the money?’ They were like ‘No’ and asked if I had the three grand or not.”
Ms Nath then called pageant organisers Face of Beauty International chief executive Milagros Manuel.
“(Ms Manual) said, ‘Good, you don’t have the money. Give the crown and sash back, I have other girls lined up’,” Miss Nath said.
She told the NZ Herald when she tried too return the sash and crown she received an email reading "You can keep it and pretend that you still are Miss Globe".
Ms Nath is seeking reimbursement for the entry fee and $420 for 10 tickets she sold — a condition of entry.
Ms Milagros confirmed what she had told Ms Nath about “an honest mistake” having been made because the two Indian contestants “looked alike”, in a statement to the paper.