Georgia’s jury is accused of cheating; the votes of the 5 member panel were not included which means a 100% televote was used this Saturday when the results were presented by Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani (Georgia 2013 representatives).
As it turns out, all five jury members had the exact Top 8 songs (same order) which is statistically basically impossible. The Executive Supervisor Sietse Bakker said that all jurors should cast their votes independently which in this case did not happen.
The EBU also confirmed that the Top 3 on Saturday (Austria, The Netherlands and Sweden) were not affected by the alleged cheating.
Since Georgia’s jury was disqualified, the next question that arises is: Will Georgia be banned from the Eurovision Song Contest?
The rules say that any attempts to cheat can result in a three year ban from the contest, however whether or not the EBU will actually follow through with that remains to be seen and we’ll keep you updated on that.
While juries were brought back in 2009, this is the first time that all votes are being made available to the public as part of the Transparency approach the EBU is taking. Until now were unable to confirm or analyze the televote or jury rankings so it’s going to be interesting how this is going to affect future contests.
While Georgia’s jury is the only officially “disqualified”, several others also raise flags and it is expected that a close eye will be kept on that. That includes Azerbaijan and Armenia putting each other in dead last for political reasons. In addition, several people are suspicious of Azerbaijan putting the betting odd favorites in the Bottom 5. However, it is difficult to prove any wrong doing just based on that fact.
The votes of the Montenegro and Belarus are also dangerously close but are considered valid by the EBU.
Only time will tell if this will have impact on the 2015 voting. We look forward to further communication from European Broadcasting Union on how to prevent any further controlled voting by the juries.
This topic is already sparking quite a debate. You can follow and join it HERE.