Nobody loves snafus more than our admin Ava Zinn. But Ms. Zinn decided to provide some sparks by making a game changer. Previous changes included the Moderators’ Save and Flex Picking.
At the start of the eight season premiere of VFTG, Zinn, who is also the host and executive producer introduced a new wrinkle to “VFTG’s” eighth season: “the Moderator’s Challenge.”
The Moderator’s Challenge is a brand new review system (similar to the NFL’s Coach’s Challenge) is adopted similar to the instant replay.
In each regular and make-up competition, each moderator on the pink and purple team and villain on the red and blue team has two challenges per cycle that will start a review. Each challenge will require the use of a moderator or villain’s flex pick. If the challenge is successful, the flex pick is restored, otherwise the flex pick is used. However, the challenging moderator gets $5,000 to keep regardless of the outcome.
All VFTG pick reviews are be conducted by Zinn on a stage-level monitor. A decision will be reversed only when there is indisputable visual and audible evidence to overturn the call.
The Moderator’s Challenge will only cover the following situations:
- Current VFTG or Zinn’s Villains picks that previously won a competition (Mannepat Molloy Rule, after Maneepat’s appearance on Rising Star after winning the first season of Thailand’s Got Talent in 2011. Thia Tola was the winning moderator when she was a moderator of the Thailand version of VFTG and imported Maneepat’s TGT victory to the United States in 2015.)
- Decision in regard to an “Alex & Sierra” pick.
- Reinstatement of a previously eliminated contestant
Ava Zinn, along with the NoSirGifts executives and legal team, has 48 hours to watch the instant replay of the play and decide if the original call was correct. The producers, legal team, and Zinn must see “incontrovertible visual evidence” for a call to be overturned. If the challenge fails, the original ruling stands and the challenging moderator or villain is penalized by losing a flex pick. If the challenge overrules the previous call, the call is reversed; should there have been an official change of outcome, the outcome will be changed again, resulting in the original outcome and with no loss of a flex pick.
It certainly would appear that the Moderator’s Challenge is, in fact, righting a wrong.
Yet Zinn contested that idea.
“The whole point of Vote for the Girls is that America votes for female contestants they want to save,” she said in a 2013 interview. “If someone happens to be at the last female contestant in the competition and we think she deserves to win, we’re going to vote for them obviously regardless for a shot at the finale and vote off the males.” In a 2015 interview though, Zinn said, “with the addition of Flex picks allowing male contestants to be VFTG picks, the mission of Vote for the Girls is clear. If one moderator has both her VFTG pick and her flex pick in the Top 2, obviously that’s a winning moderator and a Double Victory.”
In years past, there have been “VFTG” losses when VFTG picks who were perceived to be popular went home well before the finale, finished in second place or worse. Crystal Bowersox, Pia Toscano, Rachel Crow, Bridget Carrington, Jennel Garcia, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Angie Miller, Judith Hill, Sarah Simmons, Holly Henry, Ellona Santiago, the late Christina Grimmie, Clarissa Serna, Peyton Parker, were just a few glimpsed in a montage of “Robbed” contestants in the seven years Vote for the Girls has been on the air. Toscano, Bridget Carrington, and Jessica Sanchez were glimpsed in airings of “Classic Vote for the Girls.”
“There was an uproar when they left the competition,” Holly Everman said.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Moderators’ Challenge, had it been in operation in earlier seasons, would not have saved Bridget Carrington (who came in fourth place on “Duets” in July 2012), Pia Toscano (who came in ninth place on American Idol 10 in April 2011), Angie Miller n/k/a Zealyn (who came in third place on American Idol 12 in May 2013), Holly Henry (who lost her knockout to a villian’s pick on The Voice 5 in November 2013), Clarissa Serna (who also lost her knockout to Dani Moz on The Voice 6 in April 2014) or Peyton Parker (who lost her knockout to The Voice 10 runner-up Adam Wakefield).
Clearly this is another season of change on “Vote for the Girls USA.” The moderator and villain realignment and allowing only two female moderators to have picks on “America’s Got Talent” and two villains to have picks on “Dancing with the Stars” (shown in the video) along with the addition of Tim Doogan (the first male on the moderator panel with his wife Donna Doogan) produced a development has only made Vote for the Girls seem more tedious and repetitive.
Will the Moderator’s Challenge and the other changes be enough to save “Vote for the Girls” from declining support/ratings and Ava Zinn from an overall feeling of fatigue? Who knows.