Thursday, June 29, 2017

After illegal 'boosted Facebook posts' the second season finale of The Voice South Africa on M-Net will see a structure change.

After illegal "boosted Facebook posts" that could have resulted in more votes for certain contestants, the second season live finale of The Voice South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101) will see a structure change for the now top-heavy last episode that is still set for 9 July.

M-Net's The Voice South Africa reality singing show recalled the last two ditched contestants for this Sunday's episode and also won't be voting any contestant out this coming Sunday after yet another voting fiasco has derailed the carefully planned structure of the pay-TV broadcaster's second season.

In the third voting misfire to hit and negatively impact the South African version of the African Media & Production Network (AMPN) produced show based on the international Talpa format - two during the fateful first season and now also marring the second season - M-Net decided to halt this week's voting.

Voting for The Voice South Africa will only resume on Sunday night.

Hours before Tuesday night's 22:00 cut off, M-Net abruptly scuppered the viewer voting for this week and decided to disregard hundreds of thousands of viewers votes due to irregularities regarding alleged paid-for marketing votes that could potentially have skewed the results.

The Voice South Africa invited the ousted contestants Luke Lovemore and PJ Pretorius back, but on Thursday still didn't know if one, or both, would accept to return to perform in Sunday show and the finale.

It means that Sunday's show could have 6 or 7 contestants, with 6 or 7 contestants in the finale on 9 July as well, instead of the originally envisioned 4.

"M-Net has given Luke Lovemore and PJ Pretorius, the two talent in The Voice SA who left the show during the voting periods in which the boosted Facebook posts occured, the option to return to the show," the pay-TV broadcaster told TVwithThinus on Wednesday.

"We are not in the position yet to confirm whether they will be coming back, or not."

"The final of the series will still take place on Sunday, 9 July," said M-Net, confirming that M-Net is "relooking the running orders for the semi-final and final, not only because of the possible return of the two previously voted-off talent, but also because nobody from the last voting period will be going home."

Asked how M-Net and AMPN will ensure or be able to ascertain what votes are credible and countable going forward and which votes not, M-Net said "there is no question whether the votes cast during all the voting periods were valid".

"The vote results were independently computed by Deliotte and Touche and confirmed against the vote results determined by M-Net".

"The question was whether there was misconduct around the boosting of posts, which talent is not allowed to do," said M-Net.

"Despite our best efforts, we could not determine whether the boosted posts, gave anyone an unfair advantage or disadvantage. Therefore, we believe the fairest option under these unusual circumstances was to not send someone from the Top 5 home and extend an invitation to the two talent who left the shows during the affected voting periods to return to the show."

M-Net stressed that voting for the DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards 2017 set for a live broadcast on 26 August on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) - a new awards show competition also making use of WeChat and SMS voting similar to The Voice South Africa - isn't affected by the voting issues that has marred the reality singing competition.

"There were no issues around the voting platforms on The Voice South Africa," M-Net told TVwithThinus.

"It is paid-for marketing by contestants in The Voice SA that's against the rules. The DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards are distinct from other talent programmes like Idols and The Voice SA as the nominees are public figures with well-established personal brand promotion practices".