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Eurovision voting scandal: Six juries cheated and voted for each other

EUROVISION VOTING SCANDAL The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has now revealed why six countries' juries were rejected at both Semi-final 2 and at the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2022

As we previously covered, there were six countries' juries who were deprived of their right to vote in both Semi-final 2 and in the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2022. The news came out during the voting sequence at Saturday's Grand Final.

Now the EBU has revealed why.

Semi-final 2

It all happened in Semi-final 2.

Here there were 18 countries participating. Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom could also vote in Semi-final 2, so a total of 21 countries could vote in Semi-final 2.

When the national juries from the 21 countries had submitted their votes to EBU, Eurovision's independent Pan-European Voting Partner detected "irregular voting patterns" in six of the countries' jury votes: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino.

They compared the votes from the six juries with the other 15 juries from Semi-final 2, and it was clear that something was not right:

The juries from these six countries, had clearly ranked each other in top – or in other words: Agreed to vote on each other.

EBU has released the voting of the six countries along with the points from the other 15 juries, and the pattern is striking.

EBU released the data in seven tables which we have compressed to one table, to compare how the six juries' rankings differed from the rest of the 15 juries in Semi-final 2.

How the juries voted

How the juries from

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino

ranked the songs

— COMPARED WITH —

the other 15 countries

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking
Semi-final 2 Jury ranking from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, San Marino and the 15 other countries

After the "irregular voting patterns" (let's just call it "cheating") detected in Semi-final 2, EBU made a brave decision: They ruled the votes of the six juries invalid, and replaced them with a substitute aggregated result instead.

The integrity of the voting (...) is essential to the show’s successEBU

After Semi-final 2, the EBU seemed to have lost the trust in the the six cheating juries. They decided that the six juries' votes in the Grand Final should not be valid either, and replaced also these votings with a substitute aggregated result.

EBU argues that the nature of the cheating in Semi-final 2 was unprecedented, and that EBU wants to preserve the integrity of the voting system.

Tables from EBU

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Vote without cheating six
Semi-final 2 Jury result without Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, San Marino (Photo: EBU)

Azerbaijan

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking Azerbaijan
How the jurors from Azerbaijan ranked the songs in Semi-final 2 (Photo: EBU)

Georgia

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking Georgia
How the jurors from Georgia ranked the songs in Semi-final 2 (Photo: EBU)

Montenegro

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking Montenegro
How the jurors from Montenegro ranked the songs in Semi-final 2 (Photo: EBU)

Poland

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking Poland
How the jurors from Poland ranked the songs in Semi-final 2 (Photo: EBU)

Romania

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking Romania
How the jurors from Romania ranked the songs in Semi-final 2 (Photo: EBU)

San Marino

Eurovision 2022 Semi-final 2 Jury Ranking San Marino
How the jurors from San Marino ranked the songs in Semi-final 2 (Photo: EBU)

What is a "substitute aggregated result"?

If a country can't deliver a valid jury result, a substitute result is used instead. The substitute result is calculated from the jury result of a pre-selected group of countries.

These groups and their composition are the same as the Allocation Draw Pots used in the Semi-final allocation draw.

Draw Pots for Eurovision Song Contest 2022:

  1. Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia
  2. Australia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
  3. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel, Russia, Ukraine
  4. Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Portugal, San Marino
  5. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania
  6. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland

These Draw Pots are calculated based on the results of other countries with similar voting records and have been pre-approved by the EBU permanent services and the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Example

In this example we will use Montenegro (Draw Pot #1).

If Montenegro's national jury couldn't deliver a valid result, the "substitute aggregated result" for Montenegro would simply be an average of the votings from the other countries in Montenegro's Draw Pot: Albania, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

This rule is made in order to secure the 50/50 balance between jury and televoting.

The same rule applies if a country cannot deliver a valid televoting result. Then it will just be an average of the televotes from the other countries in the same Draw Pot.

Statement from EBU

As communicated on Saturday 14 May, the European Broadcasting Union's (EBU) independent pan-European Voting Partner detected irregular voting patterns in the jury votes of six countries taking part in the Second Semi-Final: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, San Marino.

The integrity of the voting, both by the national juries in each country and the viewers voting by phone or SMS, is essential to the show’s success. It is the EBU’s duty to all stakeholders, not least all 40 participating public service broadcasters, to ensure we can deliver a valid result at the end of each of the Live Shows. Any breach in the rules is consequently taken very seriously.

In the Second Semi-Final, it was observed that four of the six juries all placed five of the other countries in their Top Five (taking into account they could not vote for themselves); one jury voted for the same five countries in their Top 6; and the last of the six juries placed four of the others in the Top 4 and the fifth in their Top 7. Four of the six received at least one set of 12 points which is the maximum that can be awarded.

The pattern in question was detected as irregular by the pan-European Voting Partner and acknowledged by the Independent Voting Monitor, as five of these six countries were ranked outside the Top 7 by the juries in the 15 other countries voting in the same Semi-Final (which included three of the Big Five: Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom). Additionally, four of the six countries were ranked in the Bottom 6 of the other 15 countries voting in this Semi-Final. A jury voting pattern irregularity of such a scale is unprecedented.

As stated in the Eurovision Song Contest Rules and in the Official Voting instructions of the Contest, if votes by National Juries present irregular voting patterns (as may be detected by the pan-European Voting Partner and acknowledged by the Independent Voting Monitor), the ESC Executive Supervisor has the right to remove the votes concerned for allocating the ranks and to replace them with a substitute aggregated result calculated automatically to determine the final country result of these countries in the Second Semi-Final.

Given the unprecedented nature of the irregularity detected in the Second Semi Final, the EBU in consultation with the pan-European Voting Partner and the Independent Voting Monitor decided, in accordance with the Voting Instructions of the Contest, to exercise its right to remove the votes cast by the six juries in question from the ranking allocation in the Grand Final to preserve the integrity of the voting system. Consequently, the same procedure was followed and the automatically calculated substitute aggregate result has been used to determine the final jury results of the six countries involved, in the Grand Final.

These decisions were approved by the Chair of the ESC Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board, and the Deputy Director General of the EBU in line with the requirements of the Voting Instructions of the Contest.

The EBU has since discussed the jury patterns with the relevant broadcasters and given them the opportunity to further investigate the jury voting in their countries.

The EBU reconfirms its decision to replace the jury votes for these six countries with a substitute aggregate result in both the Second Semi-Final and the Grand Final.

The EBU also confirms the final rankings of the 40 participants in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.

The EBU, its Members and the Reference Group will continue to collaborate closely on safeguarding the integrity and success of an event that has been a unique platform for creative talent over 66 years, and looks forward to continuing to entertaining audiences worldwide.




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