TEN U-turn on voting promise for I’m A Celebrity

BY NIGEL WRIGHT +61 409 363339. COPYRIGHT NETWORK TEN/ITV STUDIOS I'M A CELEBRITY GET ME OUT OF HERE 2016. THIS PICTURE SHOWS: TT 'MIND THE GAP', THE FINAL 5, LAURINA, BRENDAN, PAUL, SHANE AND ANTHONY JOIN CHRIS AND JULIA AT THE DAM WALL

TEN has reversed a promise on its voting plans for I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Earlier this year Programming Chief Beverley McGarvey confirmed that Votes to Save would be limited to SMS voting, while Twitter and Facebook votes would apply only to Challenges.

The distinction was to help ensure that celebrities with big social media followers would not have any advantages, drawing upon votes from international followers.

But last week it announced Twitter and Facebook voting would be allowed for Finals week.

Last year Freddie Flintoff (with 1.8m Twitter followers) won the TEN series over Chrissie Swan (who currently has 45,000 followers).

As McGarvey explained, “…we’re actually separating the votes this year. The Vote to Save your favourite person will be a traditional SMS vote and the Twitter vote will be for ‘Who do you want to partake in the (Challenge)?’

“We’re separating those to simplify it for the audience. The issue you think may have happened last year –which actually didn’t- will certainly not happen this year because we’re separating the vote anyway.”

This week some social media users were critical of the change of heart, particularly given Shane Warne has 2.6m followers plus celebrity mates such as Sachin Tendulkar (9.8m followers) lobbying on his behalf. Changing the voting rules arguably also impacts on betting agency users.

A TEN spokesperson told TV Tonight, “This voting format has been adapted for the finals week as there is no public vote in regards to the trials. The eliminated celebrity nominates the celebrity they wish to see doing the trial. It is their parting gift to the camp mates.”

TEN has not confirmed its ability to audit Australian social media voting from those generated overseas.

Despite the backflip, the heat in the argument dissipated significantly last night after Shane Warne was voted out of the jungle.

Twitter followers:
Brendan Fevola: 101,000
Anthony Callea: 27,000
Laurina Fleure: 6,538
Paul Harragon: 927

5 Comments:

  1. I would say this has 0% to do with fairness of the competition and more likely 100% to do with the fact that Ten can monetise SMS voting but cannot monetise Twitter and Facebook voting, its a pragmatic economic decision to attempt to monetize ancilliary revenue from a TV show.

    If the online betting agencies have some big exposure and money at stake I think we could potentially see some uncomfortable (for Ten) legal action about this making up the rules as you go stuff.

  2. Not a level playing field then.
    Expected Paul to romp it in, but judging by his lack of twitter followers compared to the others, he won’t have a chance of winning.
    Previously wanted Paul to win but he is a little too laid back and understated and really hasn’t been given that much to do.
    I actually hope Brendan and Laurina are the last two standing as I think they have been the most entertaining and have given it their best shot.
    Brendan has been a real surprise – has come across as a very warm, funny and generous person and he has absolutely thrived in there.
    Just like a big kid in a candy store really – loves it so much he doesn’t want to leave.
    Just hope Anthony doesn’t win due to his large media following as I have found him quite rude and bitchy at times.

    • TEN had previously maintained the social media votes were a small proportion compared to phone votes. Warne going out would certainly back up that theory. Paul Harragon is still there with under 1000 followers. That said I was disappointed TEN did not stick to its plan. Shouldn’t put these things out there and then abandon them.

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