Popstars: 'Phone poll flawed' claims rejected

The girl band from Popstars: The Rivals are today preparing to cut their debut single after rejecting claims the final phone poll was flawed.

The girl band from Popstars: The Rivals are today preparing to cut their debut single after rejecting claims the final phone poll was flawed.

Girls Aloud will now go head-to-head with the rival boy band for a coveted Christmas number one spot.

But it comes after an investigation into the phone poll because a radio station was bombarded by callers claiming they couldn’t vote for their favourite finalist, Javine Hilton.

TV executives and the phone firm behind the poll have said they stand by the result and confirmed the final line up would not include Javine, a 20-year-old from West London.

Javine, who had been a favourite to make it into the band, lost the final place to Sarah Harding, 21, from Greater Manchester as the hopefuls were whittled down to the last two during Saturday night’s show.

Justin King, news editor at London radio station Capital FM, said they had received more than 50 calls complaining they couldn’t vote for Javine.

He said: “The presenter was talking about Popstars when he started receiving calls from listeners saying they had dialled the number to vote for Javine but heard a recorded message saying thank you for voting for Sarah.

“Some people said they had tried again and again – stoking up votes for Sarah.

“More and more people then called in to the show reporting the same problem.”

One listener told the station: “I saw that Sarah and Javine were the last two and I thought: 'This can’t be for real, I must vote for Javine'.

“I picked up the phone and dialled the number and got a busy line. I tried again and when I got through it said thank you for voting for Sarah. I thought: 'Oh no, I don’t want to vote for Sarah', so I waited for the number to come up on screen and tried again and it said ‘you have dialled the wrong number’.”

Another caller said: “The result was astonishing because Javine had been a favourite all the way through the series. Even the judges were stunned that she didn’t make it into the band.”

Speaking after the show Javine told Popstars: The Rivals, website, “I know that I gave 250% tonight, what else could I do? I was really happy with the way I sang.

“Everyone was saying I was definitely in the band, this put pressure on me, I had a lot to live up to and didn’t want to let any one down.”

Instead her rival Sarah, joined 17-year-old Nicola Roberts from Runcorn; Cheryl Tweedy, 19, from Newcastle; Kimberly Walsh, 20, from Bradford; and 17-year-old Nadine Coyle from Derry.

Sarah said, “I don’t think there could have been a fix or anything like that. I don’t know anything about the phone business.”

“What’s done is done now and I will just take it as it comes. At the end of the day I am living my dream.”

Telephone firm, Red Fig, who handled the phone poll, insisted there was no fault with the voting.

The company which provides the mobile phone text message voting service for the show, O2, also said they were “confident” that the result of last night’s vote was correct.

A spokesman for Popstars: The Rivals added they were “satisfied” with the outcome of the investigation.

Girls Aloud are now reported to be going into the studio to finish recording a double A side single, The Sound Of The Underground, and a cover of E17’s Stay Another Day.

ITV viewers can then expect to hear both bands perform their debut single on December 7.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up