A Star is Born, Israel’s version of the hit TV show American Idol, has found itself at the center of a scandal over voting as its ninth season comes to a close - and its popularity has increased overnight.

Tamar Yahalomi, a 17-year-old contestant with a sweet voice and agreeable disposition, seems to have received a few more votes than she actually deserved, according to a report from Keshet, the TV production company that runs the show.

Keshet issued a statement last week that votes had been rigged in Yahalomi’s favor, and the crowds went wild. Wilder, in fact, than they had been throughout the entire season that critics had been calling “dead” and “washed out”.

The voting scandal was eerily reminiscent of a similar case back in season three, when voting was allegedly tipped in contestant Hadar Ozeri’s favor. The season’s ratings were abysmal, with fans finding the show to be more karaoke than singing competition.

Overnight, the show became a sensation once more, giving Keshet exactly what it needed to revive the floundering series.

Is the latest allegedly rigged voting merely a repeat ploy on the part of ardent fans, or has Keshet wised up to a recipe for instantly upping ratings?