British high street retailer Next, in association with Storm model management, held an online contest to find their next face for 2011. 24-year-old Roland Bunce from Belfast, described by British tab the Sun as a "fat bloke," entered the contest, which was open to all.
Someone noticed that a normal dude had entered the "Make me the Next model 2011" contest and a snarky Facebook campaign was born, propelling Bunce to the top spot out of 5,000 entrants. The group "Roland Bunce To Win next model 2011" currently has 3,549 fans. Bunce won the contest by a landslide--voting was tallied on Facebook and Twitter and Bunce got 66,000 likes and over 6,000 retweets while Jade, the sultry blond who came in second, received only 90 likes on Facebook and a lone tweet.
According to various reports online, Bunce has withdrawn from the competition, writing on his own Facebook, "thx for all the kind words and i really appreciate it but i wont be changing my mind...And cant go into all the reasons but jst know that the decision wasnt taken lightly and i can handle some insults but when ppl ring ur house and email ur work then its to far."
While Bunce has decided to withdraw, well-meaning fans have taken to his Facebook page to voice their support. "We love you Roland....sad your not doing it :( xxxx," reads one comment. "Can't believe he got abuse, people are dicks, I loved the fact an ordinary chap had done so well in a competition with other people who clearly love themselves (and would be gutted), if you read this fella more people were behind you than not," read another. And my favorite, "dont mind the sickos everybody voted for you because they wanted to see you win, roll on rollo."
Do you want to see Roland back in the competition?