Italy: RAI Reveals Televoting Numbers, Questionable Jury (Update)

RAI, the Italian national broadcaster, has revealed the full results of the public televote. They paint a very different picture to the results announced by the presenter Federica Gentile during the Eurovision Grand Final on Saturday.

The jury appears to have cancelled out the enormous lead the Italian public gave Romania’s Cezar. Whereas the results of the combined televoting and jury votes in the Final showed that Italy had given 12 points to Denmark, it looks at least suspicious to the Italian viewers – not to mention the Romanian ones – that the opera-loving Italian public appear to have voted for Cezar’s song in vain. How low in their preferences must the jury members have placed the Romanian contestant, as to almost completely obliterate his obvious appeal to Italian viewers?

Here are the voting results from the Final, if it were up to the Italian public:

Apparently, 23% of the televote equals... 1 point?

Apparently, 23% of the televote equals… 1 point?

We know that the rules of the game have changed in 2013. Until this year, the juries were asked to rank their ten favourite songs. Now they must rank all of the countries. That means Romania can be ranked much lower than 10th place—it could be ranked as low as 26th—which may account for the measly one point it got. In this case we wonder – what is the point of televoting if the juries can overturn it in such a dramatic way? Won’t this measure discourage viewers from voting in the future, knowing that the jury has a bigger voice? And, speaking of bigger voice (and bigger interests and vote rigging allegations), isn’t a jury a much easier target for bribing than an country’s public? How can the EBU guarantee that the national juries aren’t corruptible?

The same thing very likely happened with Spain, which gave Romania nul points for the first time, despite a heavy Romanian diaspora presence there. Moreover, many viewers in Spain complained—and they were quoted by the head of the Romanian delegation—that they couldn’t vote for Romania.

Update: Thanks to our Italian readers, who alerted us to the fact that the composition of the Italian jury did not comply with more than one of the EBU rules regarding the National Juries. Thus, Italian jury members Paolo Giordano (chairman), Gianni Sibilla, Luca Dondoni, Fabrizio Basso and Luigi Bolognini are all journalists and music critics, but none of them are, as the EBU rule dictates, either “radio DJ, artist, composer, author of lyrics or music producer”. Moreover, all of them are male, which violates another EBU rule: “There shall be a balance among the members of each National Jury to ensure sufficient representativeness in terms of gender, age and background.” Something is rotten in Italy, isn’t it? But how did the EBU approve this jury? That is the bigger question that needs to be addressed.

Don’t get us wrong: we don’t mean to question the results of the Italian combined vote. We are not the president of Azerbaijan. We do NOT demand a recount and we do not wish to infer that Emmelie de Forest did not deserve to win Eurovision 2013. We only wonder: What is the point of a jury that can basically annihilate the votes of the audience? Maybe it’s time to revert to the good old democratic days when the public could decide the winner. Wouldn’t you like that?

Bogdan Honciuc is a Romania-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stingoo.

Photos credit: Eurovision.tv, eurofestival.ws.

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