As we reported earlier today, the EBU made the decision to nulify the votes from the Georgian, Romanian, San Marinese, Montenegrin, Azerbaijani, and Polish Eurovision juries for both the second semi-final and grand final. In their press release, the EBU came to this decision alongside the pan-European voting partner due to irregular voting patterns that happened in the jury votes. They went on to state:

“The EBU takes any suspected attempts to manipulate the voting at the Eurovision Song Contest extremely seriously and has the right to remove such votes in accordance with the Official Voting Instructions, irrespective of whether or not such votes are likely to influence the results and/or outcome of the voting.”

The broadcaster’s reactions

For the countries that were removed from the voting sequence, a fair amount of confusion exists around the so-called “irregularities” and many of the broadcasters have asked the EBU for clarification on the decision. TVR specifically stated that: “In this extraordinary context, which surprised us unpleasantly, TVR asked the ESC organizers to provide us, officially, the concrete reasons why they replaced the jury score in Romania with a ‘substitute’ calculated in a non-transparent way. Depending on the answer that will be sent to us, TVR reserves the right to take measures to correct the situation created.” Georgian broadcaster GPB also announced that they are “clarifying the details” with the EBU.

Montenegro’s broadcaster RTCG specified that their jury was carried out as normal, and their results were actually certified by the EBU, meaning that the news that their votes were not counted was extremely unexpected. Azerbaijan’s broadcaster İTV alongside Romania’s TVR also stated that their spokesperson was not allowed to announce their points by the EBU, not due to connection issues as Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl claimed.

In a conversation on the Azerbaijani show “Sabaha saxlamayaq”, it was announced that: “There were no technical problems on our end” while TVR stated that: “the presenter Eda Marcus was not allowed to enter the official broadcast to communicate the results, as TVR had previously agreed with the organizers, according to the procedures.”

As of today, Polish broadcaster TVP and the San Marinese broadcaster SMRTV have not made statements about their juries being removed.

Belgium’s broadcaster VRT speaks up

But according to the Flemish broadcaster VRT that was responsible for Belgium’s participation last year, there appears to be a different side to the story. They announced this afternoon that the irregularities were caused by voting agreements made before the broadcast. Supposedly these agreements came from all six of the disqualified juries, but it is currently unknown if this allegation means that the juries collaborated together, or seperate agreeements were made. However, the article goes on to state that similar voting behaviors were found across all six juries.

If this allegation is true, it would mean that the recalculation of the final results were valid.

The impact of the aggregate voting

Overall it appears that the changed votes did not significantly impact the results of the grand final, but would have impacted the number of 12 points awarded to Ukraine. Both the Azerbaijani and Georgian juries awarded Ukraine their coveted “douze points”, but when the votes were adjusted both juries would only give them 6 points. Romania’s broadcaster also revealed that their 12 points were supposed to go to their neighbor Moldova, but were instead given to Ukraine using the aggregation system.

RTCG stated that the aggregation system also changed the points awarded from the Montenegrin jury, but did admit that their original votes were in line with the final results. Their original 12 points were not revealed by the broadcaster. While some placements could have changed slightly, it would not have affected Ukraine’s landslide victory on Saturday night.

All broadcasters have stated that they will publicly announce any information they receive from the EBU regarding this issue.

What do #YOU think of this situation? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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