The Hottest 100 has always been fraught with controversy, but it’s usually the innocuous kind. Stuff like families and close friendships thrown into turmoil because of differing opinions on who will nab that much-coveted number one spot. This year, however, there’s only been on name on everybody’s lips.

Most readers will already be familiar with the recent campaign launched to see Taylor Swift take the top spot in this year’s countdown. The campaign has been met with seemingly equal amounts of support and criticism, with the somewhat pertinent issue of whether or not Swift is actually eligible to place in the poll proving contentious.

While BuzzFeed, who first launched the campaign, claim a Triple J rep informed them that since Swift was never played on Triple J, she is not eligible for the countdown, station manager Chris Scaddan told News Corp that the Swift action is completely within the rules of the annual poll.

But according to recent comments from former Triple J presenter Angela Catterns, Swift may not be eligible for the Hottest 100, but not because she wasn’t actually played on the station. Catterns recently appeared on an episode of ABC panel program The Drum, where she addressed the Swift situation.

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“You probably know that there was a push to get a Taylor Swift song in [the Hottest 100], which has now been disqualified because a fast food chain became involved in the whole process,” Catterns told the panel. The former presenter did not mention which chain had become involved.

Many have a hunch, however, that the fast food chain to which Catterns refers could be KFC. The company recently threw their support behind the Swift campaign, announcing a promotion whereby customers have a chance to win a voucher valued at $19.89 (a reference to Swift’s 2014 album) if they share their favourite Swift song.

According to Triple J’s voting rules, as outlined on their official website, the station “reserves the right to remove artists from the list who have benefited from competitions or commercial campaigns that incentivise fans to vote for them”.

When reached for comment last week, a Triple J representative refused to comment on the Swift campaign, telling Tone Deaf, “We don’t comment on voting campaigns whilst Hottest 100 voting is open. It draws attention to them and may influence the results of the poll.”

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However, that hasn’t stopped some prominent Aussie musicians from commenting on Swiftgate, including electronic duo Flight Facilities, who took to Twitter to share a lengthy missive in which they acknowledged Swift’s talent, but suggested that the energy surrounding the campaign could be better expended.

“The most mind boggling thing about this whole campaign is the fact that everyone throws their arms up when Taylor Swift isn’t recognised on Triple J, but where are the outraged people demanding successful independent acts, like Chet Faker and The Preatures be played on commercial radio?”

“The Hottest 100 could do with one more Triple J-nurtured indie song, and not a sleekly designed 5 X platinum single, voted in (mostly) for the purpose of trying to piss people off,” they wrote. The Preatures also weighed in on the issue, echoing much of Flight Facilities’ sentiment.

“I don’t think a song should be counted in the Hottest 100 if it hasn’t been played on Triple J,” the band wrote. “Then it isn’t really the Triple J Hottest 100 anymore. Whether or not Taylor should be played on Triple J is a different debate… But she wasn’t discovered or fostered by Triple J like most of the major acts they play are.”

Post by KFC.

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