November 15, 2006 01:52 AM by Joe Reality
According to the ABC.com Dancing with the Stars website, “For the finals on Tuesday, November 14, the phone lines across the country will be open till midnight, Pacific Time (12 am PT).” After reading this message, Eastern and Central time zone voters likely felt they had plenty of time to get their votes in for their favorite dancer.
However, according to posts on the official ABC Dancing with the Stars message board, some viewers encountered busy signals up until the time that they got a message that the phone lines were closed in their time zones. Some viewers were also receiving the phone lines closed for their time zone message well before the advertised 12 AM Pacific Time cutoff.
Reality TV Magazine tested the phone lines for both dancers at approximately 11:30 PM Central Time. Two and a half hours before the advertised 12 AM Pacific Time cut-off, we received the message “Thanks for calling Dancing with the Stars, your time zone is currently closed. Please place you vote at www.abc.com.”
So why were the phone lines cut-off before the time that was promoted on ABC.com? On the Dancing with the Stars Finale performance show, Samantha Harris made the comment, “We’re going to keep those phone lines open for an extra special 90 minutes tonight after the show.” Apparently, there were conflicting cut-off times being promoted on the Dancing with the Stars show and on the ABC website, and the real cut-off time appears to have been the one promoted on the show.
Since the inaccurate phone line cut-off time information on the ABC website affected both dancers, ABC probably will not hold a re-vote under the assumption that both dancers were affected equally. However, it’s also possible that more viewers in the Eastern and Central time zone who initially encountered busy signals thought they had plenty of time and waited until too late to vote. Emmitt Smith fans could argue that he has a huge fan base in the Texas in the Central Time Zone, and he could have been affected more by the inaccurate information on the ABC.com website. Of course, if DialIdol.com is accurate, then Emmitt Smith is going to win anyway, so the complaint might be a mute point.