While most fans & delegations are approving of the winning song, there seems to be a lot of uproar and confusion by the media, fans & politicians over the voting of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. It seems every day there is something else happening so if you’re one of those that is confused about what’s going on, here is a quick rundown of things:
– Before the Contest finals, a video emerged on YouTube showing people from Lithuania and recruiters from Azerbaijan, all speaking in Russian, that seems to suggest Azerbaijan was bribing money for phone votes from Lithuania. Lithuania ended up voting the maximum 12 points to Azerbaijan. Students said they were approached by men who offered them 20 euro each to vote multiple times for a contestant. Their goal was to recruit groups of 10 people to vote for Azerbaijan. Those recruited were given SIM-cards, which would allow them to vote as many times as possible within 15 minutes. A recruiter revealed having found 8-10 groups and pulled a wad of money from his pocket, noting he could make the payment in Lithuanian litas. As the man noted, the same scheme works in 15 countries and will cost millions. At one point, a member from Azerbaijan called this their ‘support group’ and said that in order to win, you need a ‘support group.’ He also claimed they had “our people who work in Latvia, Estonia.. we work in entire Baltic region.” A woman then asked if they had the support of Belarus as well, to which a man replied “Yes, we work for Azerbaijan. We are going to vote for Azerbaijan.” The Azerbaijani member went on to mention that they are also working with Ukraine, Croatia, Switzerland and will be “sending our people to the 15 countries.” The woman then asked if everyone votes for money, and the man replied that “Everything is for the money.” Source
– Azerbaijan did not award any points to Russia even though it was reported that Dina Garipova came second in the televote. The Azerbaijani president got involved and requested a thorough investigation on what happened. The Russian Foreign Ministry said “This outrageous action will not remain without a response”.
– The Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed that his own country having received no points from Russia showed that the result must have been falsified
– Montenegro awarded 12 points to Ukraine in the first Semi Final however in the Finals they ended up giving the twelve points to Azerbaijan and NOTHING to Zlata Ognevich. Only 5500 televotes were received in the Semi which would make rigging the results a rather easy task. PortalAnalitika.me (Montenegrin website) revealed that the National Jury gave the highest mark to Ukraine in the Finals as well.
The EBU gave made an official statement advising that they are currently looking into these allegations so at this point all we can do is wait. The jury & televote split results are usually made public a few weeks after the contest which will give us a greater insight into how things played out. 2013 introduced a new voting system wher the songs are ranked by juries and televotes from first to last instead of only awarding the Top 10 points. This may have had a major impact on the results.
Fans and experts started to question the current voting system and how to fix the issues that it is facing. Both televotes and juries have been criticized for different reasons. On our forum the topic “Cheating in Eurovision voting“ received almost 700 comments in three days with some people defending the outcome but for the most part people are not too happy with what has transpired over the last few days.
The next few days and weeks are going to be interesting so make sure to check back and join our community to share your thoughts.