The latest Eurovision voting scandal does not involve allegations of undercover operatives in former Soviet countries. Instead it involves robots buying votes for singers at Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s beloved national seleciton for Eurovision.

P4 Sjuhärad, a program broadcast on Sveriges Radio, has seen footage which shows a computer casting votes for an unnamed Melodifestivalen contestant.

Journalists from the program spoke with a man in Western Sweden who designed the program, which can cast several hundred votes per minute.

The man, who is remaining anonymous, told the journalists that he wanted to demonstrate cheating was possible. And while he was motivated by the muckraker spirit, he didn’t mind pocketing a few kroner in the process.

One contestant from a recent contest paid him an undisclosed sum in exchange for 2,500 votes.

That amount of votes would have been enough to steal victory from Robin Stjernberg in the 2013 final.

The news has subsequently made its way into Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest newspaper, and has the Twitter hastag #melfestrobotgate. It’s no wonder that Christer Björkman, the executive producer in charge of Melodifestivalen, has spoken out.

“It does not conflict with any contest rules, but there is something called ethics too,” he says . “And it’s up to each individual to decide what is ethically correct or not.”

Who do you think the unnamed contestant is? In the wake of the Eurovision 2013 voting scandal, does this further undermine the Eurovision franchise at large, or just Melodifestivalen in particular? Let us know in the comments box below!

Update at 1400 GMT: SVT has announced new rules effective immediately that ban the use of automated voting at #melfest. During a hastily scheduled press conference, SVT’s project manager Maria Ilstedt explained why SVT is acting. “It is important that this competition is fair play,” she said. “We should be able to trust each other and that the Swedish people vote for these people.”

Furthermore, all Melodifestivalen-related betting has been called off in Sweden. Organizers suspect that vote-rigging isn’t merely about helping a contestant through, but also about helping certain people make lots of money off of certain acts advancing.

Useful links about the #melfest voting scandal

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.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Charles
Guest
Charles

@Willy Lee Adams: But she didn’t! She has moved on from that and so should you! Snälla snälla! Sometimes I wonder … are we voting for the song or the performers? It seems everybody gets easily drawn towards the performer due his or her popularity and the song is secondary or just an excuse to vote for the performer because of he or she is. Therefore why would I vote for Helena if I don’t find the song good enough? Only because she is Helena Paparizou? The only Greek singer who won Eurovision in 2005 with a boring Shakira-esque song… Read more »

Brunowskii
Guest
Brunowskii

maybe now makes some sense why Helena wasn’t sent direct to the final with yohio

Alex
Guest
Alex

Well,

– Couldn’t they just limit the number of votes from the same phone number or IP address?
– If not, then they really should have a system in place to detect spam votes. Eurovision has one of these and it looks like Melfest will have to do so as well.

eurana
Guest
eurana

@Anna
I think that Christer Björkman is doing a good job.

Anna
Guest
Anna

I think it is a much more scandal that Christer Björkman as a dictator choose artists and songs to Melodifestivalen and that SVT let him have a one man show 6 weeks year after year! That’s a scandal!

AnesBosna
Guest
AnesBosna

@Giorgos he didn’t cheat at all. I mean look at him. He’s a freaking girl magnet. He brought the votes from all the girls that loved his ”Song”. -__-

Dhani
Guest
Dhani

JUST CALL ME A SURVIVOR HAVE TO BE A FIGHTER GONNA LET YOU GO LET YOU GO JUST CALL ME A SURVIVOR BEAUTIFUL DESIRE GONNA LET YOU GO LET YOU GO LET YOU GO

Giorgos
Guest
Giorgos

I think that Anton Ewald and Ellen Benediktson has do something. Ellen was a big outsider in her semifinal so that’s a proof of proceeding. Anton was awful so only with cheating he can proceed

David Thielen
Guest

If they’re system allows easy vote fraud and they depend on people “doing the right thing” then the vote will be decided by the act with the best programming team. Because there will always be someone supporting each act that will do this.

When writing software, if it’s not secure then it’s not a question of if people will take advantage, it’s a question of who.

Swede123
Guest
Swede123

Caroline af Ugglas was really dull tbh.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

Caroline af Ugglas? Gurl, you stoned?

AnesBosna
Guest
AnesBosna

those amount of points could also have given the win to Caroline af Ugglas in 2009…
So freaking stupid to do these kind of stuff…