Those who like to speak out against reality television are always quick to point out the perceived lack of reality involved. And in the case of the latest season of the competition series Britain’s Got Talent, the naysayers may indeed have a point. An investigation is moving forward into the case of Season 9 winner Jules O’Dwyer, who was accused of cheating in the finale by using a dog double to complete her act. Not too many places dog switcheroos can be used against you.
In the finale on May 31, O’Dwyer and her dog Matisse performed an act where a four-legged tightrope walk was the centerpiece, but O’Dwyer herself confessed to the U.K. morning program Lorraine that the walk was actually performed with a stunt dog named Chase, with the switch happening behind the scenes. To be expected, there was a sizeable backlash from fans of the show, and according to Deadline, the government regulator Ofcom decided to get the investigation up and running after receiving over 1,150 complaints about O’Dwyer. They’re taking into consideration the fact that some viewers may have paid money to get their votes in.
To be fair, O’Dwyer’s act throughout the competition involved several dogs, including Chase, but people were apparently pissed off that she wasn’t explicit in stating that it wasn’t Matisse being used in the final act. In her morning show appearance, O’Dwyer claimed Matisse is definitely capable of doing the stunt, but that he has a fear of heights, which is why the stunt dog was used. Judge Simon Cowell came out after the switch was revealed and, while upset, said that neither O’Dwyer nor the show’s producers were blatantly trying to mislead viewers.
You can check out the moolah-winning act below.
Honesty is the best policy and all, but I have no idea why she felt the need to come forward with that information so soon after winning the £250,000 prize. She had to know some kind of official action was going to end up taking place, right? And regardless of whether or not her actions were intentionally deceptive, a deception still occurred, so it seems likely that this investigation won’t go her way. But then I have no idea how these things work.
Next they’re going to tell us that Joseph Gordon Levitt isn’t really walking across a tightrope in Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk later this year.