Cape Town – M-Net’s reality singing competition The Voice South Africa experienced another illegal vote boosting attempt this week before Sunday's finale.
However the pay-TV broadcaster says the order of the seven contestants and the ranking of the winner remained the same and wasn't influenced at all by the illegal vote boosting action.
What it means is that the voting rules of The Voice SA were broken on Tuesday when a paid-for social media posting appeared canvassing for votes. The person who will be announced as the eventual winner at the end of Sunday night's live finale, would have been the winner anyway even before the attempt of voter influencing took place.
M-Net says Sunday's winner that will be announced was the winner before and after the boosting.
M-Net says another "boosted social media post linked to The Voice SA" appeared on the morning of Tuesday 4 July. This paid-for marketing is against the rules of the show.
The incident is the latest embarrassing voting mishap for the show and M-Net, that have so far been unable to completely protect the voting ecosystem from undue external influence.
A string of voting mishaps
This is the fourth voting mishap to damage the voting credibility of the South African version of the African Media & Production Network (AMPN) produced show that is based on the international Talpa format – two during the first season and now also two during the second season, with voting that was actually halted last week and that saw the tainted voting tally discarded. (Read more here)
M-Net says that any voting abnormalities "such as spikes are analysed to assess whether there is a material effect on the voting results" and that "appropriate actions are taken, if required".
"At M-Net's request, Deloitte and Touche independently computed the vote count and ranking just prior to this week's boosted post and confirmed that the ranking of the talent and overall winner had not changed since the boosted post occurred," says the broadcaster in a statement.
Now with 7 instead of just 4 contestants in Sunday evening's live finale on M-Net (DStv 101), the show has been forced to adjust the structure. The broadcasting duration has been extended to two hours to allow for more space, and will now start at 17:00.
The Voice SA that is broadcast a day later on Mondays on the second-tiered channel M-Net City (DStv 115) will also have its finale simulcast as a live broadcast on Sunday for DStv Compact subscribers.
Sunday's The Voice South Africa season ender will see the alternative rock band Gangs of Ballet perform, as well as artists like Nadine, Nianell, Gavin Edwards, Emo Adams, Thembeka Mnguni, Jimmy Nevis and Magdalene Minnaar who will be doing collaborations with the seven contestants.
See a promo here: