Is Britain's Got Talent being manipulated ?

A strange thing seems to be happening each night on the show "Britain's Got Talent". Every night, of all the eight acts that perform, the winning act is the eighth and last one to perform. Strange co-incidence or is there another reason ?

Well actually the reason is clear, and it harks back to similar issues of manipulation of the final of The X Factor (another Simon Cowell show ... hmm).

Ant and Dec make clear throughout the show that the lines are not open, so watching each of the first seven acts, you are prevented from voting for one that you like. Nothing wrong with that at all. But then, as soon as the eighth act has performed, and whilst the telephone number for the eight act is on screen, Ant and Dec then tell us that "The lines are open". Now, those people who have sat patiently and want to vote for another act are then waiting for a reminder of their favourite act before voting. The problem is for them that they don't get a reminder for some time because at this point Ant and Dec and the judges talk about act number eight for another four minutes. So act number eight has had four minutes where only it is being promoted. It's akin to having a polling station open for the first hour just for one political party.

Now this is not a problem if the polls are open for some considerable amount of time because this advantage at the start can be diminished. However, the phone lines for Britain's Got Talent are only open for 15 minutes. And just like the X Factor final, the phone lines get very busy meaning that people who waited the extra 4 or 5 minutes in order to get the correct phone number for the act they like are less likely to be able to get through on the phones.

Now ITV have realised this evening that this was not quite right and they do now put up the phone numbers for the other acts a little sooner, but they do not do a resume of the other acts for quite some time. This leads to another problem for viewers. They might like a particular singer or act, but cannot remember his or her name and they wait for the resume, the short 10 second clip of the artist performing in order to be sure which one they want to vote for. So again, Act number 8 has an advantage as throughout this period Act number eight has been on screen.

This whole process really does call in to question the validity of the competition and smacks of another type of phone line fiddle which ITV have been found guilty of on many occasions recently. Whilst ITV might not making extra money from the scam, they are, in effect, pre-determining the result of a show which is supposed to be a talent show. Surely being placed number 8 in the running order and let's be clear, act number 8 has also been the strongest act each night. Another odd coincidence which was not lost on the producers I am sure.

Oddly too, when thinking back, I seem to recall that last year's winner, Paul Potts was also the last act on stage in the final. Curiouser and curiouser.

Clearly Britain's Got Talent, but so have the people who make the show and ITV. They have a talent for manipulation.


Anonymous said...

Come on, are you trying to be funny - it's Ant & Dec, it's ITV, it's a business whose business is to make money!

Of course there's a vested interest in appearing to have a fair vote when the voters are paying through the nose for the pleasure.

Of course there's a vested interest in ramping the investment of the viewing audience in order to promote the better competitors.

Of course the recording industry's business model has been outmoded to the point of unprofitability that all pop acts are forced to scam the public or make the difficult transition to becoming a popular live act.

That's the true test of talent. Britain has got plenty of talent, but you won't find any of it there.

So when will ITV sponsor a tent at Glastonbury then, I hear you ask...

Paul Pinfield said...

You are right Nich. Just Twittered the link to this post.

Anonymous said...

It's much worse than that.
How come the judges vote who goes second even though we vote by phone? Where did that one come from?

Anonymous said...

I have spoken to an act who took part in the Semi Final's of this show and it seems tha tbehind the scenes there was a lot of things going on that shouldn't have been.

Acts were encouraged to change elements of their act by producers and people from the TV production company and those elements, that they were encouraged to change, were the very thing that the judges then moaned about, it seems that the whole show was very manipulated.