Newfoundland supporters of Craig Sharpe feel cheated on

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Newfoundland supporters feel that Craig Sharpe should have won the popular television show Canadian Idol. They say that since Quebec, the home of recent Idol winner Eva Avila, is bigger and therefore Avila got more votes and that Canadian Idol was fixed because Sharpe is a Newfoundlander. Officials at CTV said such talk was nonsense.

Residents throughout the province increasingly complained of jammed residential phone lines. It happened so much that a payphone "Vote Craig" campaign was launched. In recent weeks Sharpe supporters drove at night looking for available payphones. Pay phones had a high success rate for registering calls, while home-based lines often got busy signals.

"Newfoundland knows how to represent their people," Sharpe said. "But you can't make it to the top two with just Newfoundland. You've got to have Canada behind you."

"Canadian Idol is not a popularity contest based on region," said Scott Henderson, a spokesman for CTV. "Craig and other finalists from Newfoundland have made it as far as they have in the competition because they receive the support of the entire country."

It was the second year in a row that a Newfoundlander finished second on the show. Rex Goudie of Burlington, Newfoundland lost last year to Calgary, Alberta's Melissa O'Neil.

Avila beat Sharpe by a three per cent margin, just over 131,000 votes, in the last show that CTV officials said was determined by fans in Western Canada.

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