HARARE – Zimbabwe-born Jeremy Olivier ,41, made it into the top four of the just-ended edition of The Voice South Africa that was won by 22-year-old Richard Stirton.
Olivier, who attracted national attention after an almost flawless performance of music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s song Neria on the reality television singing competition, was joined in the top four by Stirton , second-placed Gavin Edwards, 37, and 25-year-old Almur Marais.
The classy finale of The Voice South Africa was, however, marred by a voting glitch. According to Channel 24, M-Net decided not to count any of the votes cast on Sunday and instead had to revert back to the votes cast during the week to determine the winner. This meant that the top four’s final performances did not have an impact on who won the final prize.
M-Net’s head of publicity Lani Lombard defended the fairness of the final result.
“There was a massive number of votes coming through on our voting platforms and as a result of that — as you know we are a responsible broadcaster — we are always very transparent on what is going on in our voting platforms. And we work with our auditors as well, to make sure that the results are fair.
“Because of this we decided to go back to what the results were at the close of voting lines on Thursday night. And that is as per the terms and conditions. So if you go into the terms and conditions, it clearly says that if there are any technical issues, that we will go back to the previous votes,” she said.
Olivier’s top-four finish follows the endorsement he got from Tuku thanks to his beautiful rendition of Neria.
“I have just met Jeremy here, please vote for him,” said Tuku in South Africa last week.
Despite his failure to land the top prize, Olivier’s act in the first edition of The Voice South Africa attracted scores of congratulations on the Chinhoyi-born artiste’s Facebook page.
Eula Victor wrote, “Well done Jeremy! You were great and the winner in our eyes. I think the voting situation tonight was totally unfair and didn’t reflect who should have won.”
Deanna Deejs weighed in, “You’re a winner. Congrats Jeremy you will go far. So disappointed in the voting system (and) pathetic organisation of the show.”