Heated discussion about the voting procedure for Dancing with the stars has seen Sender Drei give fans a number of assurances.
Lotto presenter and actress Sonia Gray was sent home for the first week, although viewers’ texts bounced back before voting was closed due to a “technical error”.
Then Edge Breakfast co-host Eli Matthewson and dance partner Jonny Williams, New Zealand’s first same-sex Dancing with the stars (DWTS) pair, were eliminated Monday despite sitting at the top of the judges’ rankings.
Now, Three has said any funds raised through text voting will be split evenly between the nine nominated charities, meaning those supported by contestants eliminated early in the season will not lose.
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A vote costs 99 cents, with “all the telcos waiving their fees,” a Discovery spokesman said. “The only small fee goes to the text service provider.”
That means about 95 cents of each vote goes through.
Concerns about the voting process have prompted some fans to donate directly to charities rather than through the show’s official format.
Matthewson’s nominated charity was OutLine Aotearoa, which operates a free support line with Rainbow expert advice and trans peer support.
Following his departure from the show, donations on OutLine’s Givealittle page topped $14,000 from more than 300 donors as of Wednesday. An additional $1,300 was donated directly, said OutLine CEO Claire Black.
“What’s most meaningful about these donations, and something I’ve never seen before, is the number of people who have come together to thank Eli and Jonny and say they will use our support or recommend their loved ones they.” to need .”
While the charity does a lot for rainbow communities, Black said, it has a relatively low profile compared to many others on the show: “Even getting selected was absolutely huge for us.”
The day after his shock elimination, Matthewson said, “I’ve been on a personal journey my entire life, unpacking all kinds of internalized homophobia.”
He was originally hoping for a gay dance partner, but competing with Williams actually made the experience “so much richer,” he tearfully said.
DWTS’ 2019 season brought in a total of $499,286 from viewers’ paid text votes, which MediaWorks says was the most money the reality competition and Three had ever seen from a show.
With more than a million viewers this season, According to Three, the show’s producers expect they could surpass that number.
Discovery, the owner of Three, said it’s too early in the game to count how much money has been raised compared to other seasons, “but it’s going very well.”
Every celebrity on DWTS A weekly performance fee is also paid. Neither Discovery nor the celebrities things spoke to, would confirm the amount.
“This is always a private matter unless the individual chooses public disclosure,” the spokesman said.
However, former ACT leader David Seymour told the press that he was paid “between $1,000 and $2,000” during his season. Seymour donated “about the average salary in Auckland” to his chosen charity, Kidsline.
Dave ‘Buttabean’ Letele does the same.
His charity Just Move, known primarily as BBM (Buttabean Motivation), provides free community health programs, cooking classes, youth education and employment. During the pandemic, Letele also launched BBM Foodshare to feed nearly 20,000 people.
“I’m the charity,” he said. “Everything I earn from all my engagements goes towards running our programs.”
He has three gyms and said renting just one costs $140,000 a year.
“We don’t make any money from membership, and it takes a lot to keep the lights going.”
The size of the show’s audience has already “helped massively,” he said. “We have thrown many new eyes on our work. It’s been crazy sitting in cafes for the past week. I’ve had people come up to me and ask if their kids could come and watch me train.
“People are applauding the work and asking how they can help. It’s big business for us.”
That’s why, despite his nervousness about hitting the dance floor, he signed on with the production.
“I talk a lot about being comfortable when I’m uncomfortable and that’s me leading by example. I have never felt more uncomfortable in my life.
“The good thing is that whatever is raised is divided equally. When I go out, everyone gets the same. Every charity there is great and they’re all taking it a little harder at the moment because the New Zealanders are making it a little tougher.”
Other charities benefiting from the show include Autism NZ, Assistant Dogs of New Zealand, Outline, Gumboot Friday, Starship Foundation, Fred Hollows Foundation, Youthline and ADHD NZ.