Belarus 2019 voting: Maria Vasilevich
Maria Vasilevich from Belarus giving Israel 12 points

Eurovision 2019: The mysterious points from Belarus' jury – EBU error?

The Belarusian jury were disqualified shortly before the Grand Final, but still Belarus gave out jury points. Some very weird points, that – most likely – are based on a major error from EBU

The jury members from Belarus gave an interview before Saturday's Grand Final, where they revealed which countries they ranked highest in the first semi-final. As a result, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) disqualified the jury just few hours before the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

During the jury voting Maria Vasilevich from Belarus was live from Minsk, giving points. But she didn't announce the Belarusian jury's votes. Which votes was she announcing? Who decided these votes? How were they calculated?

The only thing we know fore sure, is the statement from EBU, stating, that the Belarusian votes would be "based on an aggregated result approved by the auditors". Here are the aggregated points from Belarus:

Points from Belarus "Jury"

"aggregated" result

12 pointsIsrael
10 pointsEstonia
8 pointsGermany
7 pointsNorway
6 pointsSpain
5 pointsUnited Kingdom
4 pointsSan Marino
3 pointsSerbia
2 pointsIceland
1 pointAustralia

The mysterious points from Belarus

It is only EBU who knows how the Belarusian jury points have been "aggregated", or calculated. But they are surely weird. Israel only received 12 points in total from all the 40 other juries. And all these 12 points came from just one jury: Belarus (or an algorithm that have replaced the Belarusian jury).

No one knows how these votes were created. But this theory has emerged from twitter user @euro_bruno, and it seems bulletproof:

At the Semi-final allocation draw back in January, all semi-final countries were placed in six allocation draw pots, based on the voting pattern to avoid too much neighbour voting.

POT 3 included: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Russia.

All the jury members from each country rank all the songs in the Grand Final from 1 (best) to 26 (worst). The top-10 from each jury's total ranking, gets 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points.

If we calculate the average of the juries' rankings from POT 3: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia, we will get this ranking, where Malta is ranked best, and Israel is ranked worst:

Average Ranking

Average ranking of juries from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia (POT 3)

  1. Malta (best)
  2. North Macedonia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Italy
  5. Netherlands
  6. Azerbaijan
  7. Switzerland
  8. Greece
  9. Sweden
  10. (Belarus)
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Slovenia
  13. Russia
  14. France
  15. Albania
  16. Denmark
  17. Australia
  18. Iceland
  19. Serbia
  20. San Marino
  21. United Kingdom
  22. Spain
  23. Norway
  24. Germany
  25. Estonia
  26. Israel (worst)

Error by EBU?

It would make sense, if EBU used the top-10 in the ranking from the same allocation draw pot, to substitute Belarus' points, which would give Malta 12 points, North Macedonia 10 points, Cyprus 8 points, and so on.

But instead EBU has used the bottom-10 in the ranking from the pot. These are the worst songs according to the juries' from POT 3 (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia). The worst ranked songs equals the jury points from Belarus. This doesn't make any sense.


A full scale "Hilda" – named after the Danish juror, Hilda Heick, who misunderstood the jury-ranking-system back in 2016, and gave her favorite song lowest ranking, while her worst song got highest ranking, resulting in Denmark giving 12 points to Ukraine by mistake.

EBU and transparency

EBU is fightning for transparency among their member broadcasters. They even created a framework to help media be more trusted by their audiences, through transparency. But when it comes to EBU's own business, the transparency stops.

Why are EBU so secret about it? Why can't EBU make the "aggregated" algorithm public?

Since the introduction of the new voting system back in 2016, the juries give exactly as many points as the televoting public. If a jury is dismissed, then these 58 points must come from elsewhere. But no one knows from where. Wouldn't it be better, if the points were not given to anyone, and simply left out of the result? Of course, then the juries would not give exactly as many votes as the public, and so what?

Eurovision News