‘The Voice’ Rigged? Why India Carney Was Doomed By The Instant Save Itself

I confess, as someone who started watching The Voice when it started its 7th season (better late than never?) it never occurred to me why they would take away the instant save. It seemed like a GREAT way to shake things up and bring some late drama. Yes, the instant save reintroduced it during Season 7, but I’m betting they’ll probably ditch it before Season 9 goes live.

I won’t say blame India Carney because it technically isn’t her fault. I’d actually say blame Ansel Elgort.

Elgort is, I’m fairly certain, chiefly responsible for the #VoiceSaveIndia hashtag going viral repeatedly. I confess, I’d never seen anything like this since I’ve been watching the show. The first time the trend went viral, I figured it was a fluke. The second time it happened, I went into the instant save hashtag for Carney to look for answers. What I found was a bunch of fangirls retweeting a hashtag they knew nothing about. They were hoping for a follow from a popular celebrity not remotely connected with The Voice.

I know some India Carney fans are so biased, they don’t understand why that’s bad for The Voice. But ask yourselves this question: How does it look for The Voice instant save when the MAJORITY of people in a hashtag for that person doesn’t watch the show or know it’s a voting mechanism? Not good at all. It also raises questions of the fairness of past eliminations involving the contestant in question.

But here’s the kicker: technically what Elgort did doesn’t break the rules. At no point does The Voice say celebrity fans or friends of contestants can’t ask their fanbase for help. Even if they have nearly three million people to pull from. It doesn’t matter if many of them don’t watch The Voice or know who India Carney is. The concept is to have the most “instant save” votes before the window closes. The recent shenanigans have forced the show to consider the quality of the votes rather than the quantity…that defeats the whole purpose of the instant save.

Personally, I believe that India Carney had WAY more votes than Koryn Hawthorne. It probably wasn’t even close last week or the week before. When a hashtag trends, there has to be a LOT of people talking about it. Only India trended. How is it close when her instant competitors don’t trend as well? There’s simply no way to legitimately claim that the votes were “close” or more people instantly saved India in the past or Koryn this week.

After last week’s fiasco saw front-runner Kimberly Nichole booted, I knew India was gone. I suspected then as I do now that the producers could not risk her winning the finale off of a series of votes by people completely unconnected with The Voice. The most effective way to do this while saving face would be to pretend she was voted off the show organically. That may sound like paranoia, but in actuality the producers have that power—and there’s nothing Voice contestants can do about it.

According to the Daily News, the producers have the power to eliminate a contestant even if they are winning. They can decide to change things up however they like; because of the contracts signed by Voice contestants, they cannot alert the Voice audience about a rigged decision. Running to social media or the press to spill the beans would be a contract violation, one that could get them sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars they likely don’t have. Who’d risk that?

Assuming India Carney really did win the instant save vote, the Voice producers could send her home and the Voice audience would be none the wiser. It seems like a wild theory, even knowing that the producers have the power to fix the results. But it’s the only thing that makes sense given the viral nature of the “losing” hashtag. If the instant save goes “poof” in Season 9, it will be all the confirmation I need.

Everyone!! tweet #VoiceSaveIndia and ill follow you!!! RT THIS POST!!! Let’s save @indiacarney

— Ansel Elgort (@AnselElgort) May 13, 2015

Still, I confess I’m torn about this entire situation. On the one hand, I can understand why the producers would feel the need to step in. It does them (and their sponsors) no good if the show’s outcome is being decided by non-viewers. That’s just bad for business.

But the fact that they probably did step in throws the show’s legitimacy into question in a way that’s too blatant to ignore. Unfortunately I suspect it doesn’t matter since The Voice is a ratings cash cow used by famous musicians to stay famous.

Hopefully, the absence of the instant save will lend some credibility to the Season 8 finale, especially with iTune sales being counted. But that clause in The Voice contracts bothers me.

Do you think India Carney was genuinely eliminated from The Voice? Should the instant save be abandoned? Comment below!

[Image Credit: The Voice YouTube]