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'Voice' Poll Crowns the Wrong Actor; Ejiofor Edges Isaac in Updated Totals

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire December 19, 2013 at 9:50AM

Two ballots misspelled Chiwetel Ejiofor's given name, which let Oscar Isaac sneak out a win.
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Slave

Inside Llewyn Davis' Oscar Isaac was crowned Best Actor in yesterday's Village Voice Film Poll. But on Twitter, blogger Nick Michino pointed out that 12 Years a Slave's Chiwetel Ejiofor, who lost to Isaac by a mere point, would have won had the poll included the votes from those who misspelled his first name. (Lance Goldenberg typed "Chiwtel," while Eugene Hernandez went with "Chiewtel.") Criticwire has pointed out the error to Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl and will update this post when a correction is made.

Scherstuhl says Isaac should still be the winner despite the apparent disparity, because of the way ranked and unranked ballots are weighted. As the number stand, Isaac and Ejiofor are tied with 39 mentions, with the misspelled votes giving Ejiofor another 1st and 2d place. After some number-crunching, Criticwire comes up with:

Oscar Isaac: 13 1st-place votes, 9 2d-place votes, 11 3d-place votes, 6 unranked

Chiwetel Ejiofor: 13 1st-place votes, 12 2d-place votes, 8 3d-place votes, 6 unranked.

In the Voice's system, 10 points are awarded for first, 9 for second, 8 for third and 2 for unranked ballots, which gives Ejiofor a tiny edge of 314 to 311 points.

Disclosure: The Indiewire Film Poll was initiated by former Village Voice film editor Dennis Lim in 2006, although he has not been involved since except as a voter.

Update: The Voice has issued a correction:

A correction -- and an upset! We originally listed Oscar Isaac of Inside Llewyn Davis as the winner in our film poll's best actor category. According to our first round of poll math, he had just barely edged out Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years a Slave. After publishing the results, we discovered that we had missed three misspellings of Ejiofor's name in critics' ballots, which meant three Ejiofor votes weren't added to the actor's official total. 

After a few more rounds of bug-stomping -- you wouldn't believe how many ways critics can spell names like "Scarlett Johansson" or "Adele Exarchopoulos" -- we're pleased to announce that Ejiofor has edged out Isaac by two votes, proving once again that poor Llewyn Davis just can't win. Thanks again to everyone who voted. The Voice regrets the error.

As someone who's made much worse errors -- look 'em up yourself -- kudos to editor Alan Scherstuhl for biting the bullet.

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This article is related to: Best of 2013


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