Olivia Wells has blasted critics who have questioned the validity of Miss Universe Australia 2014 Tegan Martin's win.
Wells, who won the competition last year, has spoken out to support Martin after a finalist suggested the national pageant was rigged.
NSW finalist Kristy Coulcher said she thought the pageant was rigged after Newcastle's Martin, 21, fulfilled her dream on the third attempt.
"I was so happy Tegan won. She has been one of my biggest supporters and stood up for me when the same claims were made last year," Wells said.
"People always find a way to pick at things and bring you down. It upsets me that people say these things. Last year it was that I must have paid the judges because I went to a private school."
Coulcher claimed fellow entrants had overheard Martin backstage practising her responses to the question she was later asked at Friday's national final in Melbourne.
"She shouldn't be brought down because she had the forethought to prepare," Wells added.
The international Miss Universe pageant will take place in December.