SASHA-LEE LAUDS IDOLS DECISION
Idols winner Sasha-Lee Davids says M-Net couldn't have done a better job in solving the votes issue.
"Jason and I both worked very hard during this competition.
"M-Net decided to settle for two winners. The other winner is Jason Hartman."
"Yes, I was shocked when I heard about what had happened and I had to wait again for the end result," she said.
Davids and initial second place runner-up Jason Hartman will be sharing the Idols title after it emerged that not all public votes had been counted.
M-Net publicity manager Lani Lombard said that because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the SMS voting process during the final show on Sunday 3 May - M-Net and FreemantleMedia - the format owners, have agreed that both Sasha-Lee Davids and Jason Hartman are the winners.
When M-Net realised that not all the SMS votes cast before the cut-off time at 6.05pm had been received and accounted for, Lombard said.
The final week's voting period ran from Monday 27 April at 7.30pm to Sunday 3May until 6.05pm during the final live show.
Lombard said by the time the votes had been verified after the cut-off time on Sunday evening, Sasha-Lee was the winner.
But when the regular post-show internal analysis was conducted the next day, it became apparent that an unusually high number of SMS votes that had been sent in before the 6.05pm cut-off had not been received and were not included in the results.
M-Net management took action and called in KPMG to conduct an independent recount. It emerged that Jason had received 1,3million votes and Sasha-Lee 1,1million votes, she said.
"This competition is driven by the public's vote," said M-Net CEO Patricia Scholtemeyer.
"While we acknowledge that this was not a scenario we had expected or wanted, we are delighted with the outcome as both Jason and Sasha-Lee are true Idols.
"We will be following their careers closely and with great interest."