EBU reveals ‘irregular voting patterns’ of six countries that allegedly tried to cheat

There is no point in cheating, you have to distribute the points well. This is the fable that we will remember from this Eurovision 2022… Explanations.

“We were unpleasantly surprised to find that the vote was not taken into account in the final classification, the organizers awarding another series of marks to the competitors in the final”, wrote, on Sunday, the Romanian public channel TVR in a press release published the day after the final of the song contest.

A few hours earlier, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the contest, announced that “certain irregular voting patterns [avaient été] identified in the results of six countries” in the second semi-final and the final. The body then used an algorithm to calculate a replacement Top 10 for each of the juries concerned.

Not great

The following days, the Georgian and Polish broadcasters also expressed their indignation at having suffered the same fate as their Romanian counterpart and demanded accountability. The EBU responded to them on Friday, via a press release, explaining that “irregular voting patterns” were observed in the rankings of the juries of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino.

More specifically, “during the second semi-final, it was observed that four of the juries placed the other five countries in their Top 5, one of the juries placed the same five countries in its Top 6 and that the last ranked four of these countries in its Top 4 and the fifth in its Top 7. Four of these six countries have received the maximum score of 12 points at least once”, informs the EBU.

“On an unprecedented scale”

It could have been a curious coincidence or a strange coincidence… However, what perplexed the EBU and the two independent bodies responsible for monitoring the votes is that five of the six countries in question did not appear in any of the Top 8 of the fifteen other juries involved in the second semi-final. Even more intriguing: four of these six countries were among the bottom six in the rankings established by the fifteen other juries.

The EBU, which speaks of “irregularities on an unprecedented scale”, has therefore taken the decision, in accordance with the rules, not to take these votes into account and to replace them with Top 10 calculated algorithmically and to make the same for the final for which three of these countries (Azerbaijan, Poland and Romania) were qualified.

The last time a jury’s votes were disregarded at Eurovision was in 2019, when jurors from Belarus leaked their scores via social media ahead of the live streams. At the competition, the national juries vote the day before the live broadcasts, during general rehearsals called “jury shows”, the “shows for the juries”.

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