Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reassured viewers that they have "stringent procedures" in place to prevent illegitimate votes after Joe Sugg’s fans claimed to have found a voting loophole allowing them to vote abroad. Currently, only viewers based in the UK are allowed to vote for the show, but a number of fan accounts dedicated to the YouTube star have shared instructions on how international audiences can vote.
A four-step instruction shared on Twitter and Instagram reads: "How to vote for #Joanne if you’re not in the UK." It claims there is a loophole in the voting system on the BBC website, one of three ways in which fans can vote alongside calling on a landline or mobile phone.
Joe Sugg's fans claim to have found a Strictly Come Dancing voting loophole
If fans did manage to vote from outside the UK it could secure a landslide win for Joe against his fellow finalists Stacey Dooley, Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts. The 27-year-old has a huge international fan base, with 8.2 million YouTube subscribers, 5.49 million Twitter followers and 5.7 million followers on Instagram.
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However, BBC’s terms and conditions state that they can disqualify any votes that are found to be ineligible. "The BBC reserves the right to disqualify votes if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent voting has occurred or if it considers there has been any deliberate attempt to manipulate the result," the terms and conditions read. "The BBC can only guarantee that votes individually entered directly through the telephone numbers promoted on the show and those registered through the site http://www.bbc.co.uk/strictly will count."
Joe and Dianne Buswell have reached the Strictly Come Dancing finals
Joe has been a fan favourite in the 2018 series alongside his professional dance partner Dianne Buswell. The pair have struck up such a strong bond they have been the subject of a number of romance rumours, and Joe added fuel to the fire when he refused to deny the speculation during an appearance on This Morning ahead of the semi-finals.
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When quizzed by host Phillip Schofield about their relationship, Joe smiled and coyly said: "Here we go! Do you know what, it's so nice, I've met such a good friend in Dianne." Leaning forward Phillip remarked: "And…?" Laughing, Joe replied: "We haven't got time to think of anything like that! We're so busy dancing." Phillip then probed: "Is that a no?" To which Joe said: "We're so busy dancing! We haven't got time!"
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