X Factor votes 'were counted'

Last updated 17:51 23/07/2013
Jackie Thomas
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ
WINNER: Jackie Thomas beat Christchurch's Whenua Patuwai to win the X Factor.

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Although some X Factor voters received a message saying that voting was closed, their votes were still counted, TV3 said today in a statement.

Fans of the singing competition were up in arms after a technical glitch appeared to have affected the voting system in last night's final.

Greymouth singer Jackie Thomas was crowned the winner after a final sing-off with fellow finalist Whenua Patuwai, of Christchurch.

Fans reported votes they had submitted for the two finalists did not count towards the end result.

Text votes submitted while the voting lines were open were reportedly replied to after the voting had closed with a message saying the vote had been received too late.

The fans who cast these votes seemed to have wasted their 99 cents.

Customers from telecommunications providers Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees all reported problems.

"We can assure the people who got that message that their votes did go through and were included in those that were monitored on the night.," TV3 said.

"Since then, as part of our verification process, all votes have been checked and recounted. The overall voting is being independently audited. Once that audit is complete, we will release percentage results," the broadcaster ensured viewers.

"We can say without a doubt that Jackie Thomas is the winner of The X Factor NZ. Verification to this point confirms she was ahead both when voting paused and still further ahead when voting finally closed," the statement said.

Jo Tito tweeted last night "@xfactornz still trying to vote!! What's happening??"

The X Factor NZ replied: "We had an unprecedented response! We are very sorry you are having difficulties accessing the app."

JPW commented: "My wife and I both voted for Whenua prior to his end of the final performance, we never received a confirmation text for our votes, then over 40 minutes later after Jackie had sang, we received text 'sorry but voting lines for the X Factor NZ have closed' so all our votes didn't count even though they were done well ahead of time, we called TV3, a man said they have been getting a lot of complaints and couldn't tell me why only a guess he said was something wrong with text msg going out. Fixed Factor I think, TV1 you have a story here."

Lurker NZ commented on the same story, saying that despite a lot of votes for Jackie not counting, the end result would have been the same.

"Her Dad was on the radio this morning and said she had so many votes by 12pm yesterday, that even if they'd stop accepting votes for her then, she'd not of been caught by Whenua's votes (sic)."

TV3 said 1,289,800 Kiwis tuned into the grand finals decider episode, which had an average audience of 576,800.

WEST COAST SONGBIRD

The country may have been watching, but the X Factor live results show was Greymouth's night.

Host Dominic Bowden stayed true to his predicted "pause pawn" pinnacle, leaving television audiences hanging - and screaming - for what felt like a full minute before announcing West Coast songbird Jackie Thomas as the competition winner.

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Thomas told The Edge radio station today that she was "shocked" to hear she led the voting polls for seven out of 10 weeks of the competition.

Despite over two months of elaborate sets and designer costumes, Thomas said, her first audition, where she was lauded after a rendtiion of Skinny Love, was still at the forefront of her X Factor memories.

"Everyone asked me what was my favourite moment of the competition, and it was that," she said.

Before auditioning for X Factor, Thomas said, she "wasn't 100 per cent sure" what she was going to do in the future, but she now had a future in the music industry.

Humbled by the reaction from Greymouth and New Zealand, Thomas credited her win to her loyal fan base after a battle with online nay-sayers.

"When I was going through the competition, I was just thinking, the ones that are giving you hate are not the one's that get you through."

Thomas quashed romance rumours between her and contestant Tom Batchelor, saying they were "just really good friends", and she was definitely single.

A visibly overwhelmed Thomas, who was named among the 13 finalists 10 weeks ago, performed her new single, It's Worth It, after the announcement at 9.30pm yesterday.

Whether she made a decent job of it was hard to tell over the crowd, which, along with judges Melanie Blatt and Stan Walker, were on their feet clapping.

Her mentor, judge Daniel Bedingfield, said Thomas was an "incredible" performer and "a soulful singer" before leaving her the stage, which was quickly swarmed by her friends and family.

People were quick to take to Twitter to offer Thomas their congratulations.

The votes were apparently being counted to the last in what has been revealed as a heavily scripted reality show after the grand final on Sunday night.

Christchurch's Whenua Patuwai was allowed a few rushed thank-yous before bowing out with a peace sign after Thomas was named winner.

Palmerston North lad Benny Tipene was placed third earlier in the show.

The X Factor NZ was the first local version of the SYCO-owned format, co-produced by MediaWorks and FremantleMedia Australia.

New Zealand On Air, the minority funder, awarded the MediaWorks programme $1.6 million in taxpayer funds. Other sponsors included Ford New Zealand, McDonald's and Samsung.

Auckland-based company Lateral Profiles, which manages the X Factor's voting, says hundreds of thousands of votes had been cast but the way votes were calculated was confidential.

- The Press

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