Miss Universe rebuts rig claim
Tegan Martin. Picture: Getty Images

New Miss Universe Australia winner Tegan Martin has hit back at contestants who claim that the pageant is rigged.

The 21-year-old Newcastle blonde, who has tried out for the title three times, said every year someone made the same claim.

"It's important to accept your defeat with grace," she told Nine's Today this week.

"People always say it's rigged - it's pageantry.

"I remember last year, some of the girls were saying the same thing."

Martin's comments come after a fellow NSW finalist Kristy Coulcher claimed he pageant was "rigged".

"@missuniverseaustralia may be rigged, but I still had the best gown by far," Martin wrote on Twitter following her loss.

The pageant's Australian director, Deborah Miller, has since denied the event was anything but impartial.

"With pageants, people will say things like that but we have official auditors Grant Thornton accountants, so it's impossible to have it rigged," she told an Eastern States publication.

A former WA Miss Universe finalists also hit out at this year's result, with Caris Tiivel accusing Miller of "playing scheming games again".

"Obviously the national director playing scheming games again. Not even one WA girl out of our beautiful 6 is just rubbish," Tiivel tweeted.

Perth's Charlotte Goodlet, who finished in the national top 10 last year, added she found it "hard to believe" no local girls were worthy of the crown.

The West Australian

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