Following the surprise ejection of Javine Hylton on Saturday night’s 'Popstars: The Rivals' final, angry viewers have complained that they were unable to cast their vote for the 20-year-old contender, and have branded the show a fix.
Javine, who was widely considered the best vocalist and performer of all the finalists, was said to have received the lowest number of public votes, and as such was the final contestant to be ejected from the competition. Following the initial shock that Janine did not make the final cut for Girls Aloud, allegations of foul play began to rise to the surface.
Many complained that Javine’s phone-line was constantly engaged which meant they were unable to cast their vote for her, while others who cast their vote by text complained they received a confirmation message back saying ‘Thanks for voting for Sarah’ (those paying attention will realise that her name is actually Javine, while Sarah was a rival contestant).
Spokespersons for Granada Television, Red Fig, the company in charge of the phone-votes, and O2, who were in charge of text voting, have said that while there were a few technical glitches, the outcome was not effected or interfered with. “We are satisfied with the outcome.” Said a Granada spokesperson.
Responding to the allegations and complaints, Popstars: The Rivals judge Louis Walsh, who will now manage the girlband, has admitted he too is somewhat surprised at the outcome, but has denied any knowledge of foul play. "There was nothing rigged, definitely nothing rigged as far as I know,” Walsh said. “They've checked everything out and I don't think there's anything sinister at all. I don't think anything went wrong.”
Attempting to explain what led to Javine’s eviction, the Irish pop mogul suggested that people didn’t vote for Javine because they prefer to vote for the underdog. “I think kids are watching so many of these shows now that they don't vote for the person they like most, they vote for the person that they think, 'Oh, I feel sorry for her.’”
In terms of what the future holds for Javine, the 20-year-old Londoner told The Mirror that she planned to pursue a solo career and that several labels had already expressed an interest. "I think people are expecting me to be really, really down, but I'm not," she said. “I'm going to work hard and I can do whatever I want to musically and look the way I want to look.” She also described the outcome as a “blessing in disguise.”
Girls Aloud are 17-year-old Nicola Roberts; 19-year-old Cheryl Tweedy, 20-year-old Kimberly Walsh, 17-year-old Nadine Coyle and 21-year-old Sarah Harding.