Scandal Over 'Israeli Idol' Vote Raises Show's Popularity Overnight

Production company for A Star is Born issues statement about rigged voting in contestant Tamar Yahalomi's favor, turning the near-dead program into a juicy scandal.

A Star is Born, Israels 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.

Tamar Yahalomi
Weekend supplement

Keshet issued a statement last week that votes had been rigged in Yahalomis 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 Ozeris favor. The seasons 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?