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CTV, Insight give away new car

TORONTO (CP) _ CTV and Insight Productions have offered to provide a new car to a Saskatoon golf pro and his girlfriend for one year.

The gesture comes after "Canadian Idol" judge Farley Flex mistakenly announced that the couple had won a red Pontiac Solstice at Sunday’s Juno Awards.

"It was a production mistake," Juno producer John Brunton said Tuesday of the gaffe.

"It was our miscommunication to Farley Flex … Farley has no responsibility whatsoever … I feel sick about it."

The National Post reported Wednesday that the couple have refused the offer and are going to take the matter to court.

The incident occurred before the televised Juno gala began Sunday night at Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre.

Steve Ryde, 28, said he and his girlfriend, Vanessa Thomas, 22, were approached in their seats by a Juno producer and told they had the opportunity to move down and watch the show from a convertible sports car near the stage.

Shortly after that, Ryde said, Flex made some pre-show announcements and announced that the couple had won the car.

"In hearing that, we stood up and cheered. Our section was cheering. We were quite excited that we’d won the car," Ryde said in an interview from Saskatoon.

Ryde said he and Thomas moved down to sit in the car _ even though it was difficult to see the show from where the vehicle was situated.

He said that while he was in the washroom about three-quarters of the way through the show, Thomas was approached and told they hadn’t won the car after all.

"The whole show we sat in the car assuming that we won (it)," said Ryde, adding that the couple were "humiliated and embarrassed."

Brunton, who runs Insight Productions and also produces "Canadian Idol," maintains that the couple were told from the get-go that they weren’t winning the car. He adds that Flex wasn’t briefed properly.

"He was confused in the hubbub of all the action and he was misinformed that they had won the car," said Brunton.

"We later went back to Steve and Vanessa and told them … Farley made a mistake in terms of what he said."

Brunton said he has apologized to Ryde and on Tuesday extended the offer of the leased car but that Ryde hadn’t immediately responded.

"I’ve offered to make good," said Brunton. "I would be pleased to lease him the car for the year."

A spokesman for CTV says the network takes full responsibility for the incident.