US elections aren’t the only elections Russian bots have been meddling in. Thanks to them, a Russian TV network will need to totally re-shoot the season six ending for The Voice: Kids.
The season finale was shot and broadcast, but fans had questions almost immediately. The winner, Mikella Abramova, won by a landslide.
She took almost 57% of the total vote.
The second place contestant saw about three thousand votes, but Mikella—for some unexplained reason—saw about thirty thousand votes. People asked, did thirty thousand people even watch The Voice: Kids?
The uproar from fans forced the network to call in an outside cybersecurity firm. It didn’t take long for the firm to confirm they had evidence of “outside influence on the voting.”
Bots sent more than 8,000 automated texts from 300 phone numbers to vote for Mikella.
So what’s so special about Mikella that someone would be so invested in her win? We can’t confirm for sure, but it may have something to do with who her parents are.
Mikella is the daughter of Russian pop singer Alsou and millionaire banker Yan Abramov.
Check out her first blind audition:
Mikella is certainly talented. But fans of the show had some serious doubts that she is literally-ten-times-more-votes-than-anyone-else kind of talented.
Their concern was apparently pretty warranted.
Thanks to the interference, Mikella has been stripped of her win and the season finale will be re-shot. The show has promised to make the voting system more secure to ensure each child has an actual fair shot.
You’d better believe the Russian hacking jokes hit Twitter hard and fast.
The voice of kids, can’t be a risk to putinn’s POWER!— Ernesto Rico Guth (@GuthErnesto) May 17, 2019
I knew the US Presidential election hacking was a prelude to something BIG.— Clay Wisner (@claymonster) May 17, 2019
I feel bad for the girl how embarrassing that your own parent don’t think your good enough to win on your own— Mary (@MaryMeliz99) May 17, 2019
Wait ... Russia rigs voting?— Steve VanHove (@StephenVanHove) May 17, 2019
Say it ain't so! pic.twitter.com/zObuAsOIF3
@RealDonaldTrump claims this never happened after speaking to Putin on the phone this morning.— Michael Portland Ross (@RealMessiah29) May 17, 2019
Nice to know that US elections aren't the only ones that the Russians are rigging.— Zhi Zhu (@ZhiZhuWeb) May 17, 2019
...and journalist who wrote that was never heard from again.— Ted Jackson (@TedJackson1) May 17, 2019
“Russian bots rigged Voice Kids TV talent show result”— LomasNZ (@LomasNZ) May 17, 2019
Oh the irony. Russia state TV suffers from attach on democratic process.
Here is a tiny violin playing just for them 🎻 https://t.co/HdhmMnSW95
Much like the recent college admissions scandal in the USA, the child may have initially benefitted, but now they also have to pay the price of an unethical scheme to get them ahead.