Roland Bunce, a ginger 24-year-old computer science graduate from Belfast, entered himself in the UK’s The Next Model 2011 contest last month as a gag. His joke entry gained steam however, because there are few things the internet enjoys more than gaming vote-based polls and competitions for the lulz. When his entry page went viral on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Football365, he quickly shot far into first place with over 66,000 votes. Among the top-voted winners, one will receive £2,000 (US $3,200), a profession photo shoot, and an “introduction” to a modelling agency. The chances of Bunce actually getting the prize were slim, and now there’s no chance as he’s withdrawn from the contest.
Why did he drop out despite having the most votes at the end of the contest? Bunce posted to his Facebook that internet harassment about his entry has gotten out of hand, harassment which included people calling his home and emailing his employer with insults. Too much teasing, he says? Okay, so the photoshop above may be just a tad unfair to Mr. Bunce, but how could we resist? Did you say, “By having a conscience”? Oh, you’re adorable.