Sydney, Australia (The Adobo Chronicles) – The X Factor Australia’s results night came down to two finalists: Dean Ray and Marlisa Punzalan. Like the reality show’s counterparts in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere, the winner is determined exclusively by viewers’ votes.
Then came the announcement: 15-year-old Filipina Australian Marlisa was declared the winner. The show’s host Luke Jacobz revealed that the difference in votes between Dean and Marlisa was an astonishing 0.01 per cent — the closest ever in any reality show viewer voting.
While Dean was gracious in defeat, his fans were not. They have collected one million signatures asking for a recount of the votes.
In politics, recounts are not uncommon in electoral contests where the difference between the two top candidates is less than one percent of votes cast.
Many Americans will recall the 2000 U.S. presidential elections in which a recount was ordered to determine whether George W. Bush or Al Gore won the Florida vote. In the end, the election was settled in favor of Bush, by a margin of only 537 votes out of almost 6 million cast. That’s when the term “hanging chads” became a household word in America.
The X Factor Australia producers have not received a copy of the recount petition and they have no clue on how to deal with it.
In political elections, optional recounts are usually paid for by the losing candidate or his or her political party. Dean’s fans have not said whether they are willing to pay for the recount if the show’s producers decide to do it.
There are no hanging chads to deal with, but a recount in this case would involve a review of all phone calls and text messages, or proof that there was a computer glitch in the final vote tally.
If a recount does happen, an Aussie TV producer has already said he will make an entire reality show out of the recount. Do we hear cash registers going ka-ching?