When you look at statistics there’s “unlikely”. And then there’s “it just won’t happen”. Fair flipping of a coin will very occasionally have the coin land heads 10 times in a row. It will never land heads 1,000 times in a row. Looking at the voting patterns we have a coin landing heads 10,000 times in a row.

I totaled up how many times each country gave 10 or 12 points to other countries for the last 2 finals (2010 – 2013). I used both 10 and 12 because bought votes will not always be able to overcome a Loreen getting 12 points, but it should certainly be able to pull in at least 10 points. So what do the numbers show? There are 44 countries that participated at least some years. And this is what we have.

Happily Single

Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, & San Marino did not give any country top votes (10 or 12) more than once over this period.

Croatia (Bosnia & Herzegovina), France (Sweden), Hungary (Sweden), Israel (Sweden), Latvia (Russia), Serbia (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Slovakia (Sweden), Sweden (Denmark), Switzerland (Serbia), & the United Kingdom (Ireland) only gave top votes (10 or 12) twice to one other country (listed in parenthesis).

So 17 countries or 39% of the countries participating do not favor any country. This is a clear baseline of what a fair vote should show.

The Egregious Cases

So now let’s look at the worst cases:

  • Albania -> Greece 4/4
  • Armenia -> Georgia 3/3
  • Azerbaijan -> Ukraine 3/4
  • Belarus -> Ukraine 4/4
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina -> Serbia 3/3
  • Bulgaria -> Azerbaijan 3/4
  • Cyprus -> Greece 4/4
  • Iceland -> Denmark 3/4
  • Ireland -> Denmark 3/4
  • Malta -> Azerbaijan 4/4
  • Moldova -> Romania 4/4
  • Norway -> Sweden 3/4
  • Romania -> Moldova 4/4;
  • Russia -> Azerbaijan 3/4
  • Turkey -> Azerbaijan 3/3
  • Ukraine -> Azerbaijan 4/4

Some of these are clear cases of neighbors voting due to cultural affinity. It also shows that Greece is an unappreciating spouse given love by Armenia and Cyprus, without returning it. And something’s going on with Ireland loving Denmark but Denmark isn’t getting this kind of votes anywhere else so this is unlikely to be fraud. (But really Denmark, you need to give Ireland a call.)

And the rest are Azerbaijan. Statistically this is incredibly unlikely. This is the coin flip landing heads 10,000 times in a row.

So how did the 39%, the happily single, vote for Azerbaijan? They’re our guide for a fair vote. 5 of the 17 gave Azerbaijan 1 vote, the rest 0. Over 4 years, across 17 countries that span Europe, 5 of the countries gave Azerbaijan top votes once, 12 never.

The above numbers are enough to show a large enough anomaly that the EBU needs to investigate specifically what occurred with the vote from these 5 countries. And the EBU needs to release the raw vote totals so we can see where these results came from. If the televote in this countries were similar to most other countries and the jury vote has been delivering these results, then there is a major problem with the jury selection.

Two closing thoughts on this. First it is possible that one of these five is a legit case of they love Azerbaijan. The equivalent of the Ireland -> Denmark love affair. What’s statistically impossible is five. Second, there have been allegations that other countries have tried to buy votes. If any have done this, they sure suck at it.

 

To read more of our coverage of the 2013 Eurovision voting scandal, click here.

David T is a Colorado-based correspondent for wiwibloggs.com. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

11 Comments
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Leon
Leon
6 years ago

In the case of Armenia – Georgia, I believe Armenia has only given Georgia 12 points once and that was in 2010. I believe they have given most of their 12 to Russia and in one occasion to Ukraine.

MoOn-FLoWeR
7 years ago

A
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Eurofan
Eurofan
7 years ago

When Ireland were the unstoppable nation in the nineties there was a different atmosphere. Niamh Kavanagh was probably the closest out of a tie. Riverdance boosted 1994 and eimearr quinn stood out with a distinct style, echoing the previous winner in nocturne, but not imitating it. I don’t understand what makes Azerbaijan’s entries appealing. They lack a real sense of identity, cloned from producers all over. Other countries get the swedish producers out, with less success. And big budgets on the song production, video, styling, songwriters don’t make winners (there are countless examples of that). So, yes, it’s worth asking,… Read more »

Rashad
Rashad
7 years ago

Then how do you explain the jury votes? I mean you can send a bunch of people to some European countries and make them vote for you. But it’s impossible to buy votes of each jury member of each country. In this case if there’s a cheating, then the EBU is also involved (which doesn’t make sense, otherwise other countries would protest the union). I’ve met tens of Maltese people, and almost all of them are happy with the Maltese votes. When Azerbaijan won in 2011, my Maltese friends on Facebook were celebrating with us. And here’s the thing. There’s… Read more »

Luke Borg
Luke Borg
7 years ago

I mean region not reason in the last sentence!!!!!

Luke Borg
Luke Borg
7 years ago

Julian…
…Im Maltese and honestly I am still amazed Malta and Azerbaijan are friends in eurovision even though we are miles apart! I think the only reason this happened is because the Maltese singers go to Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani singers come to Malta.
I don’t think it’s because of cultural similarities or similar music. I always thought this was going to happen but with a less popular country like Iceland or Portugal. Not with a country that is surrounded by other countries that can give points to like Georgia Russia and Turkey (all in the azerbaijani reason)

David Thielen
David Thielen
7 years ago

@Julian – the problem with your explanation is it only occurs for Azerbijian at this level. Why doesn’t Turkey pull the same level of votes? Why doesn’t Russia? One of those 5 could well be cultural affinity. Maybe two. But no way 3+. Especially as there’s no inverse voting except for Ukraine.

Fikri
Fikri
7 years ago

keyword: azerbaijan

Julian
Julian
7 years ago

And I would not be surprised if Loreen owes some of her popularity to her Marrocan/Arab origins.

William Lee Adams
Admin
7 years ago

Some might argue that Swedish producers help make Azeri Eurovision songs friendly to Western ears. I voted Safura!

Julian
Julian
7 years ago

Neighboring/diaspora explains most of the voting for Azerbaidjan: – Turkey-Azerbaidjan (same people two countries) – Bulgaria-Azerbaidjan (sizeble Turkish minority in Bulgaria 10%) – Russia-Azerbaidjan (Soviet Union ties and heritage, various sizable Turkic minorities notably Tatars but also other) – Ukraine-Azerbaidjan (same as Russia) The fact that neighbors/diasporas have same musical preferences is easy to explain: their families back in the country voted for the national entries.; the same with family and friends in neighbor countries. In case of Turkic people it is more strange for them to vote for an Nordic or Western ballad than it is to vote for… Read more »