On Saturday evening Russia’s Sergey Lazarev won the hearts and minds of Eurovision voters across the continent, topping the televote with 361 points, just ahead of televote runner-up Ukraine (323 points) and well ahead of third-place televote finisher Poland (222 points). But, as with Italy’s Il Volo last year, the professional juries marked Russia down, ranking him only fifth (behind Australia, Ukriane, France and Malta) and costing him the title.
Today his composer Filip Kirkorov spoke out, decrying the fact that Sergey received zero points from 21 juries. Yes, that’s HALF of them. Clearly offended, he went on to suggest that the jury’s share of the overall vote should be reduced from 50% to 25%.
Kirkorov, an influential figure in Russia’s Eurovision scene, even suggested that a change is necessary if Russia is to stay in the contest.
As the composer and producer of Russian entry I fully respect the result. I knew the rules and I accepted them. As a fan of this contest I am sad that a song, an entry and an artist like Sergey Lazarev was given zero points from 21 juries! When at the same time, the audience all over Europe voted for him with 3 points and above. 29 countries gave him 8, 10 and 12 points!! I really believe that EBU should reconsider the way juries are voting. Maybe take them down to 25%? Something needs to be done for Russia to take part again. This is my opinion.
This follows comments from the Russian broadcaster Channel One, which make it clear they are not amused by the jury’s sway over the results.
In a report published last night, the broadcaster points out that the Ukrainian jury did not award Russia any points, while the Ukrainian public awarded Russia top marks.
Yuri Akutsya, the head of Music Broadcasting at Russia’s Channel One, said:
For me, the most important thing is the results of the audience voting. Because music is as a whole composed of the audience. A professional jury is for some other form of music scores. Viewers and listeners appreciate the song, so I think that is a victory for Lazarev! Lazarev won.
Sergey is staying positive and diplomatic.
In an Instagram post he published on Sunday, he thanked televoters for crowning him their favourite, but also gave a congratulatory shout out to Jamala.
Where do you stand on the matter? Do the juries need to be reformed? Is Sergey the real winner of Eurovision 2016? Let us know in the comments box below.
As for now you can watch our video about jury reform from 2015 below.