While it has long been suspected that many TV talent shows in this world are fixed towards the favourable outcome of producers, it is rare in which such a scandal sees the show become the victim, after a popular series in Italy was reportedly the target of a mafia ‘manipulation’ on the results.
The show in question, Ti lascio una canzone (Leaving you a song) sees a group of children aged between 7-15 competing by singing solo or in groups with their twists on ‘classic Italian pop songs’, though it is believed that the Rai 1 show has fallen victim to some ‘outside interference’ in a recent series.
56-year-old Domenico Ferrara, who has previously been arrested on suspicion of involvement with the Camorra criminal network (who operate in the Campania region of Italy), was supporting his 13-year-old daughter’s participation in the show in an effort to launch her singing career.
While most proud parents in this situation would be forced to just sit back and hope for the best (aside from rallying support for their child as best they can), it seems as though work and competitive parenting can easily combine when put in the right circumstances, as Ferrara is being investigated for his organisation handing out ‘hundreds’ of mobile phones that are all recorded as having texted in votes for Ti lascio una canzone.
The 300 phones were found in the mobster’s home during a search of his home, with police in Naples suggesting that he distributed them in his local area alongside instructions for their use, with regular collection to check that voting texts had been sent (presumably with non-compliers ending up ‘sleeping with the fishes’).
Despite the potential impact of hundreds more ‘extra votes’, Ferrara’s efforts for his little princess helped his daughter only as far as 2nd place in the contest, and regardless of whether it was actually deserved by the singer the result still raises plenty of suspicion.
Ferrara, also an accused drug smuggler, seems to have found a very indirect and inefficient way to rig a talent contest, as if popular culture has taught us anything, surely a mobster would go directly to the producers of the show to make them ‘an offer they can’t refuse’? Although she can take solace in the fact that daddy loves her, judge for yourself if 13-year-old Vania Ferrara would have finished 2nd on her own merit with this performance below: