Sunday, 4 August 2013

Come Vote With Me

The voting system on Come Dine With Me is fundamentally flawed. The jury and the competitors consist of the same four/five people, depending on the series. Let’s say five for simplicity. Each person gives each of the others up to 10 points, giving each person a score out of 40. This means that the person who gives their competitors the fewest points gives themselves the best chance of winning.

This kind of vested interest is clearly at odds with any principle of fair competition or what the OSCE would call ‘free and fair elections’. Whilst at a UK parliamentary election candidates are also part of the electorate, each candidate effectively votes for themself so each candidate has 1 extra vote so it’s fair. 

You could quite easily make the scoring in Come Dine With Me fair, simply by adding the average of each person’s votes to their own total. So if someone votes 9,9,7,7 for their opponents, they get 8 points added on, and if someone votes 1,2,3,4 they get 2 and a half. This would also render an individual’s own interpretation of the scoring system irrelevant. By this I mean that one man’s 9 is another man’s 7 – this is a perfectly expected feature of the voting which currently punishes the generous, but which doesn’t matter under the proposed system. The only decisive factor would be the relative assessment by each competitor of each dinner.

It is indisputable that this system would be fairer and, to an extent, free up competitors to vote on each occasion solely based on their opinion of each dinner. There would still be some scope for tactical voting, as you may think that other people prefer a certain dinner and therefore vote lower to sabotage its creator's total. However, it would provide a clear improvement in terms of fairness and eliminate the all-too-common stinginess that blights our airwaves.

Of course, such a system won’t be introduced because it will certainly fall into the category of ‘too complicated’ and the British public would much rather have something they don’t have to think about than something fair, as evinced by the result of the AV referendum.


  1. I completely agree with this. In fact, I was searching for a 'new system' because I had the same idea as you. Adding the average of a person's scores for their opponent should see them score better. The people who purposely score low would lose under your better system. This is how it should be.

  2. Hey Gary!
    Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that there are some other reasonably thinking people out there.
    So cheers.