The simple mistake was that one Aussie was bombarded with thousands of text and voice messages from people voting in the finals of The Voice.
A simple mistake made by thousands of Australians in voting for the final of The Voice resulted in most of the votes being left unaccounted for.
Controversy erupted on social media on Sunday evening when 24-year-old Laci Gill of Rita Ora’s team was announced as the winner of the vocal competition.
Channel 7 fans Voice expressed disappointment with the outcome when “three people of color” lost the $100,000 prize and a recording contract with Universal Music Australia.
Now you can find that thousands of votes were left uncounted after fans dialed the wrong phone number when voting via text.
Viewers were invited to vote by texting their favorite artist’s name to 0417 779 667 for a maximum of three votes per person.
However, Brisbane resident Anthony, whose personal phone number differs from the correct text string by one digit, told news.com.au that many people have mistakenly sent their votes to him.
The 50-year-old said he had received thousands of messages and hundreds of calls since the final vote began on May 22, with the situation escalating significantly on Sunday night.
“I deleted the first few hundred (posts) because I thought I was being spammed without realizing that people were voting. I didn’t watch the show and had no idea why people were texting me the members’ names,” he said.
“It wasn’t until I saw the ad with the mobile phone number posted that I realized how close it was to my number… and the penny dropped.
“I’ve probably got a couple of thousand texts to put together and a few hundred voicemails where people voted orally.”
Channel 7 never once posted the wrong number on its social media, website, or broadcast during the entire voting period.
Anthony said things got even more out of hand on Sunday night during the final.
Photographs provided by Anthony show hundreds of messages and dozens of calls in a matter of minutes.
Screenshots of a small portion of the messages received by Anthony show that most of them were in favor of Laci.
About half of the just under 50 messages included in the screenshots showed votes for Laci, with Jordan the next highest number of votes, followed by Faith and then Tando.
However, with thousands of votes unaccounted for and hundreds of messages deleted, it’s not clear how many more votes were meant for each member in total.
As an information technology consultant with a busy schedule, Anthony said the whole situation was extremely stressful, as receiving hundreds of calls and texts a day meant it was next to impossible to use his phone normally.
“As you can imagine, my cell phone is a key part of my job, so when it went off at any time of the day or night, it got to the point where I had to put it on do not disturb mode, which meant I missed a lot of calls and text messages, as I had to try to decipher real messages from colleagues and all voting messages from random people, ”he said.
Anthony told news.com.au that his wife tried to raise the issue on The Voice and Channel 7 through multiple channels, including email, Facebook and Instagram.
In one response received by his wife via Instagram, the program reportedly said the vote was outsourced and had nothing to do with them, the Brisbane man said.
“(To) my email complaint, I received a response on what appears to be Thursday, saying that my complaint has been forwarded to the appropriate department for processing,” he said.
“I haven’t heard anything since.
This follows online controversy after Laci beat a diverse trio including Team Keith Urban’s Tando Sikwila, Guy Sebastian’s Team Jordan Tavita and Jess Mauboy’s Faith Sosene.
The runner-up Voices also reacted to the show’s finale.
Faith, 25, took to Instagram to say she was “so proud” of Laci, before seemingly suggesting there was a bigger problem with the game.
“We already knew that Australia would love and choose you! You are just perfect for them.
Faith has since edited the caption, removing “for them” and replacing it with “You’re just perfect.”
She added: “[Thando and Jordan] We must work harder for our future generations to win. We’re going to work.”
Elsewhere, Tando, 29, said that Laci was a “legend” and that he “absolutely deserves it”.
“Can’t wait to see where this win takes you,” she wrote, along with a photo of the couple.
Jordan, 23, supported Tando’s opinion as he also supported his fellow runners-up.
“My sisters WOW! We have a bright future ahead of us,” he wrote. “One door closes and 1000 doors open for us!!!”
Laci also posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram page congratulating the three finalists.
Jordan Faith and Tando. What can I say but “Thank you,” he began.
“Thank you for sharing your gifts with me and Australia. You will continue to inspire me every single day moving forward and I KNOW and I KNOW IT! That you will have an amazing career in this industry and have so many (sic) offers for Australia and other countries.”
Channel 7 was contacted for comment.