TV3 accidentally airs final episode of X Factor

MediaWorks is assuring viewers that the outcome of the show is still decided fairly by whoever spends the most money on text votes.

MediaWorks is assuring viewers that the outcome of the show is still decided fairly by whoever spends the most money on text votes.

TV3 has been left apologising to its viewers today after a technical error resulted in the television channel broadcasting the final episode of popular musical talent show The X Factor New Zealand, months before it was meant to air.

The finale – which viewers now know will be guest hosted by Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker – revealed that slightly unshaven white guitar player Tom Batchelor would emerge victorious from the competition, and was briefly interrupted by an angry Neil Finn, who attempted to destroy the set.

“It was not my intention to kill everybody,” he later tweeted.

Viewers, who were looking forward to seeing a relatively simple competition shamelessly overcomplicated and drawn out for much longer than could possibly be justified, were angered the show had been spoiled for them.

One of the show’s older viewers, 14-year-old Chloe Havelock, was in tears after last night’s accidental broadcast, and was particularly upset that she wouldn’t get to waste her parents’ money on text votes.

“Mum turned on the TV so I could watch X Factor,” she said, “and Tom was already winning. I was happy because Tom won, but I didn’t get to see the rest of it.”

While many viewers were simply angry to learn the winner before they intended to, others believed the mishap cast doubt on whether the show’s outcome is actually determined by the results of public voting.

But Kyle Porter, a representative of MediaWorks, dismissed those accusations, saying that they were simply an illusion created by the fact that all episodes were filmed and scripted entirely in advance.

“Believe it or not, the text votes are still what decide it,” he said. “But we’ve made enough of these shows now to know how people are going to vote. So we just make the episodes in advance. Obviously if people voted differently to what we’d anticipated, we’d refilm the show. But that’s never happened.”

Chloe’s father wasn’t surprised to hear that, saying that he’d already guessed the outcome of the show a long time ago.

“I thought it was a bit obvious a couple of weeks ago when Tom tweeted ‘Thanks to everyone who voted, so proud to win X Factor,’” he said. “It was at that point I started to realise that Tom had won X Factor.”

TV3 has acknowledged how embarrassing the mistake has been, but says it will still forge ahead with plans to broadcast the remainder of the series.

“X Factor viewers have a pretty short attention span,” said Porter. “Hopefully they’ll just forget.”

The error follows another major oversight yesterday when TVNZ’s Q&A programme mistakenly broadcast the results of the 2014 election.