Perhaps one of the most striking examples of suspicious voting in the post-Eurovision 2013 scandal is what happened in Montenegro. According to the official reults posted on Eurovision. tv, in the first semi-final, the Balkan country awarded 12 points to Ukraine. Fair enough. In the Final, however, Montenegro gave 12 points to Azerbaijan, 10 points to Denmark, and… wait for it… zero points to Ukraine!
Nobody was surprised when Montenegro gave 12 points to Ukraine in the semi-final. Zlata Ognevich’s “Gravity” is not only a fan and Wiwi Jury favourite, but also a song that represented a fellow Slavic country, and Montenegro was bound to reward that. However, to our surprise, Montenegro gave nul points to Ukraine in the Grand Final – and gave 12 points to Azerbaijan. Granted, Azerbaijan was not in the first semi-final. But still, Ukraine was expected to get at least some points from Montenegro.
Montenegrin website PortalAnalitika.me is shedding some disturbing light on the matter. First, only some 5,500 televotes were cast in the semi-final. With such a small number of voters, fellow analyst Eurovicious points out in an article on Eurovisionista.com that rigging the Montenegrin televote would have been easy. Regardless, Ukraine won Montenegro’s vote, thanks also to the 12 points gave by the national jury to Zlata’s song, according to PortalAnalitika.me.
Secondly, the Montenegrin portal reveals that not only did the national jury vote overwhelmingly in favour of Ukraine, but it did the same in the Final, giving it 12 points again. Where, then, comes the logical question, are the points for Ukraine? Did the public no longer vote for Ukraine at all? That would be completely illogical. If it did vote for Ukraine, what happened to the votes?
One would expect that Montenegrins lost some interest after it failed to qualify for the Final, which means that the number of televoters would have been lower than 5,500. This, in turn, means that, in theory, the public vote would have been even easier to buy. The fact that in the end Montenegro gave 12 points to Azerbaijan is rather suspicious, taking into account the vote rigging accusations in the Lithuanian press – although we want to stress again that Farid Mammadov’s “Hold Me” has also been a fan and Wiwi Jury favourite from the start and, in our opinion, did not need extra votes in order to place high. Moreover, to our knowledge, there are no reports in the Montenegrin media about Azeris trying to buy votes.
PoliticalAnalitika.me wonders whether there was a calculation error made in Germany, where the votes were counted by Digame, whereas Eurovicious points out that similar surprising and suspicious cases of missing results happened in other countries as well, most notably in Azerbaijan, where the president ordered a recount. Is there something rotten in Germany?
In the end, Ukraine finished third, 20 points behind Azerbaijan, so 12 points would have made a world of difference in ranking (if Azerbaijan had received zero points from Montenegro). So, the question and doubts remain: What happened to the votes cast by the Montenegrin viewers (who, we’ll just mention this in passing, although it does count to many, are now paying for their text messages!) and to the 12 points awarded by the jury to Zlata Ognevich?
Until we get an official breakdown from the EBU regarding the split votes, it is doubtful that we will learn what happened. An online petition demanding the immediate and full disclosure of this year’s Eurovision voting data is circulating online and everyone is welcome to sign and share it. There is no reason for the EBU to keep postponing the release of information, other than to rejig the results in order to make mathematical sense. Further delay will only cast more doubt on this year’s Eurovision outcome and an ugly shadow on what used to be a wonderful and beloved song contest.
Photo credits: Eurovision.tv, PoliticalAnalitika.me.
Bogdan Honciuc is a Romania-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com.
Follow him on Twitter at @stingoo.