On Thursday Romania failed to qualify for the Grand Final of Eurovision for the very first time since the introduction of the semi-finals. Now, as fans point their fingers at the band, the song, and the Romanian broadcaster, TVR is shifting the blame to technical issues that reportedly prevented viewers in Germany and Italy from voting for the Romanian song “Goodbye”.
During the Second Semi-final, viewers in Italy were informed via the broadcaster RAI4 that no less than three telephone networks were down and that their respective subscribers could not vote for their favourite acts. These three providers were, according to Italian Eurovision site Eurofestival News, Wind, 3, and PosteMobile.
The site reports that an estimated 30 million people were affected by the outage during the 15 minutes of televoting. Furthermore, viewers in Germany were reportedly unable to cast their vote from one of the main telephone networks there.
In a press release posted on TVR website, the broadcaster highlights that a vast chunk of Romanian viewers in these two countries were unable to vote for The Humans, thus depriving Romania of the all-important diaspora vote that had helped push the home acts to the Grand Final in the past. Given that singer Cristina Caramarcu lives in Italy, which is also home to over 1.2 million Romanians, TVR was especially counting on the diaspora there to support The Humans and help them to qualify. Thousands of Romanians living in Italy and Germany took to social media to complain about not being able to vote, and their messages went viral.
Romania bid “Goodbye” to Eurovision 2018
The Humans won Selectia Nationala with a song that was considered dated for Eurovision 2018, but after the rehearsals in Lisbon, the press noted that Romania increased their odds of qualifying thanks to innovative staging, which included mannequins, masks, and a lot of movement. The positive feedback from the media on the ground increased TVR’s hopes that Romania would keep their qualification record intact.
After Romania failed to qualify for the Grand Final for the first time since the introduction of the semi-finals, Romanian fans have been expressing their disappointment with this situation on social media, some going as far as suspecting an EBU conspiracy to eliminate their country from the final show of the contest this year. This, of course, could not be further from the truth, as not even the EBU could shut down four mobile providers in order to prevent an act from advancing to the Grand Final — not to mention the fact that the organisers of the contest would have no reason to do so in the first place.
Meanwhile, The Humans also took to social media, to thank the fans for their support. They also thanked their detractors for encouraging the band to improve their performance, and called for the support of Romania’s artists regardless of the results.
Contrary to press reports, TVR has not filed any complaint
On Saturday morning, Romanian press reported that TVR had filed an official complaint with the EBU. However, we have contacted the Romanian Delegation for official confirmation, and they dispelled this as fake news. “As of this moment, no official complaint has been filed,” Head of Press Cristian Acatrinei told wiwibloggs, declining to make any further comment.
The EBU is yet to issue an official response. Until the split results are released tonight after the Grand Final, we will not know how close Romania was to qualifying and whether the technical problems in Italy and Germany were indeed The Humans’ downfall. Nonetheless, it is important to specify that not just Romania was affected by the outage and that the viewers in these two countries were unable to vote not just for The Humans, but for all of the 18 acts in the Second Semi-final. Moreover, the public at home could still vote via the Eurovision app.
What do you think? Did the televoting issues in Italy in Germany really impact Romania’s result? Were you unable to vote in Italy or Germany? Let us know in the comment section below!