Entertainment

Taylor Swift Hottest 100 campaign in full swing

Along with cases of VB, Australian flag bikinis and that boxing kangaroo flag, there are few things more synonymous with Australia Day than the Triple J Hottest 100.

But a grassroots movement has begun to rock the very foundations of the historic radio countdown, which every year becomes the soundtrack to parties across the nation on January 26.

Late charge: Could Taylor Swift win the Hottest 100?
Late charge: Could Taylor Swift win the Hottest 100?  Photo: Reuters

Despite Taylor Swift's name not even being on the Triple J Hottest 100 voting page, a groundswell of support for the pop icon emerged on Tuesday as voters began casting 'write-in' votes for her hit song Shake It Off.

Hater!": Adam Spencer
Hater!": Adam Spencer  Photo: Quentin Jones

The hashtag #Tay4Hottest100 began trending in major cities during the afternoon, prompting glee from some and derision from others. 

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Even the Managing Director of the ABC, Mark Scott, weighed in on the matter.

At the time of writing, the song was fifth-favourite at Sportsbet to win the entire countdown - behind only High by Peking Duk, Talk is Cheap by Chet Faker, Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and Stolen Dance by Milky Chance - despite being at much juicier odds a few hours ealier.

Rules for the Hottest 100 require songs to have a release date between 1 December 2013 and 30 November 2014, voters can only vote for a maximum of 10 tracks once and they cannot vote for the same song more than once.

All album tracks, singles and covers are eligible and voters are entitled to vote for tracks that do not appear in Hottest 100 voting lists, by selecting the "add track" function when voting.

Triple J's final rule states: "Play fair! triple j reserves the right to remove artists from the list who have benefited from competitions or commercial campaigns that incentivise fans to vote for them."

It is unclear if the hashtag is considered a "commercial campaign." Triple J has been contacted for comment.

As up-in-arms as some Triple J listeners are about the campaign, it pales in comparison to Adam Spencer and Wil Anderson's 2002 triumph. Spencer explains how they guided Salmon Hater to a deep run in that year's Hottest 100.

"I invented Salmon Hater in reply to Wil asking me my favourite metal band. He asked me my favourite song, I said '6.66 is 1/100th of the Number of the Beast' and left it at that.

"A week later, a CD arrived from a band saying 'we're Salmon Hater, thanks for the love Adam!' These guys had created my imaginary band. I was stunned when it finished 26th!"

Swift fans may be out of luck, with music website fasterlouder saying that regardless of how many votes the song recieves, it won't be eligible to win as it was not played on Triple J in 2014. The station is yet to confirm if that is the case. 

Since the competition's inception in 1989, a female solo vocalist has never acheived the number one song in the countdown, the closest being Julia Stone, who won with her brother Angus in 2010 for Big Jet Plane.

The Cranberries and Spiderbait have also won with female band members, winning in 1994 for Zombie and 1996 for Buy Me a Pony, respectively.

But even if Swift makes it into the Hottest 100, she certainly won't have Spencer's vote.

"Taylor Swift ain't fit to pick up Salmon Hater's smashed guitars and put them in the bin. Long live Salmon Hater!"

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