In recent days we have analyzed the lock-step jury votes of Azerbaijan, Belarus and Montenegro, the Armenian mark-down of their top competitors, and the curious case of the Montenegrin vote. At the same time we reached out to the EBU to clarify why they threw out the jury votes from Georgia, but not those from the aforementioned countries.

Sietse Bakker has provideed us with this response to our investigation:

Hi David,

Thank you for your email and analysis. Your articles are interesting, but of course reveal no new information to us.

To invalidate a vote, either jury or televoting, is a very serious measure with a lot of implications, which we don’t take lightly. In the case of Georgia, there was a clear and immediate reason to invalidate votes, based on the recommendation of PwC and our voting partner Digame. In case of the other countries you mentioned – Azerbaijan, Belarus and Montenegro – the jury votes are more spread. It is clear that there is strong unity in their rankings, we saw that as well, but they were not indisputably invalid. That’s why PwC, Digame and the EBU decided to consider the result valid.

Regarding your analysis of the Armenian vote, these results leave a lot of room for speculation, but it is not a result that is indisputably invalid either. I would suggest you ask AMPTV and the jury members to give an explanation.

There are a lot of pros and cons for any voting system, whether it is 50/50, full televoting, full jury, a different mix, a different setup, etc. The perfect system does not exist. But every year, we can do more to make it more perfect.

Warmest regards,

Sietse Bakker

Event Supervisor Eurovision Song Contest

What do you think? Do you agree that the results are not indisputably invalid?

You can review our recent jury voting stories below.

Photo: junioreurovision.tv (EBU)

29 Comments
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iwantsalmon
iwantsalmon
6 years ago

To be honest, I think the best solution of this is to get non-competing countries and juries to vote.

Vladimir
Vladimir
6 years ago

“not indisputably invalid” – that’s an interesting way of putting it. Not really good at spinning things, is he?

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
6 years ago

Actually, no, that’s a shite idea – Russia would win every year (because of its population), and if you said “you can’t vote for your own country” then Belarus would win every year. H’m. Back to the drawing board …

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
6 years ago

I’ve got the solution – 1. You get rid of the juries 2. Everyone in Europe (actually, everyone in the world, as ESC is now so popular in South Africa, China, and here in Australia) JUST TELEVOTES; BUT the votes aren’t split up by place of origin, so the Euro-vote counters just add up the total number of points from EVERYWHERE, and it doesn’t matter if there are lots of Russians living in Israel or lots of Armenians in Belgium or if Serbia and Montenegro split into two and give each other votes – all that’s counted is the total… Read more »

vangelis vt
vangelis vt
6 years ago

The fact that we have this conversation at all is beacause the EBU decided to bring some long overdue transparency by immediately publishing full jury and televote rankings. Next year we should be having even more information (e.g number of televotes per song in each country). And perhaps a few more changes as well (limiting further the number of votes per telephone, increasing the number of jurors per country, giving the televote 60% instead of 50% of the final result). I understand some people’s frustration, but let’s not forget that if it wasn’t for this new policy of transparency we… Read more »

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

The only way to apply pressure on the EBU at the end of the day is if more countries withdraw and that 2015 sees less than 37 countries on board, but let’s face it: the 60th anniversary is likely to bring in a record number of countries because almost nobody wants to be left out in the cold. Not only did we see higher viewing figures this year, we also saw a stronger mobilization in many countries and this is likely to expand next year. I think that 2015 could turn out to be a ‘watershed’ year for the future… Read more »

Jordan
Jordan
6 years ago

I think everyone should read this conversation on Twitter…

https://twitter.com/eurovicious/status/474251328114659328

Sietse… you’re a fucking moron.

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
6 years ago

I think the issue here is that while statistically it’s very unlikely that those lock-step voting patterns are coincidence, unless there’s solid proof (like with Georgia), the EBU have no grounds to disqualify based on suspicion alone.

With the votes now being public and getting thoroughly scrutinised by ESC blogs, this could mean that in future those sorts of juries will stop colluding. Or it could mean that they’ll still collude, but make more effort to mix up their rankings to make it look more natural…

Timselvision
Timselvision
6 years ago

The Belgian juries were crap. How could they place the Netherlands eight – second in televoting – and Armenia – FIRST in televoting – last? XD This kind of cases actually should be fixed. Armenia still got points in the semi, but this is still really weird.

This jury system doesn´t work anyway. They really should find a better way to calculate the votes… just 75% televoting and 25% juries or something.

MTD
MTD
6 years ago

@Don’t call me baby has a point, Belgium’s televoting nearly always makes Armenia first. Some years because of its diaspora, some years (like this one) completely relevant. But, the jury knew this and put them last. That same thing may be applied to France in the 1st Semi. Portugal made it second on their televote, but was 13th with the juries. One thought for Wiwi – don’t just look East. Look West, as well. One has to have extensive knowledge of how things worked in the past under the hood with the hood in order to make assumptions. These bonds… Read more »

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

Wow, they actually got away with it. Expect to see this same situation next year. Long live Eurovision!

Don't call me baby
Don't call me baby
6 years ago

@David
A hot favorite becoming 4th in result, gaining 12 in televoting soddenly became Belgian Juries last favorite song in semi final 1 and Final.. Do you really think that they were fair ??

Davve
Davve
6 years ago

From what I can read into that message is….. We know that the countries has voted weirdly but we dont care.

David Thielen
6 years ago

@Don’t call me baby – what do you see questionable in the Belgian jury vote?

Melissa J
6 years ago

To disqualify jury votes from a country, they would have to have solid evidence and be 100% sure. Obviously it is very hard to be 100% sure that the juries have committed some sort of fraud. So what can you do? I understand why he had to give such a diplomatic answer. Anyone would have to respond in that way, given the circumstances. I’ve been wondering more and more whether or not it might be better to forgo the jury and do 100% televote. Let’s see how it works for UMK this year and I’ll make a decision then.

Don't call me baby
Don't call me baby
6 years ago

Why you didn’t asked about Belgian Jury?? Not only eastern blog is cheating

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

I knew the EBU wouldnt do anything about this…
I stated that in a previous article that these countries have more to offer the EBU, so why would they punish them? If this was any other country they would probably have a 3 year ban. I do think the EBU are guilty of favoritism.

Fatima
Fatima
6 years ago

“they were not indisputably invalid”
To me that sounds as if they wanted to declare them invalid, but did not have quite enough evidence. Let’s hope that the countries involved have been warned.

Pheonix
Pheonix
6 years ago

I agree with the opinions here that this is a hopeless response, which does nothing but turn a blind eye, particularly to those countries with a track record of improper behaviour at Eurovision. Clearly someone has forgotten here the outrageous questioning of those in Azerbaijan who dared to vote Armenia just a few years ago.

When blatant irregularities occur once again, to wipe the memory banks of such recent wrong doing, only goes to show that those currently in charge of such matters are completely ineffectual at doing their job properly.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Sietse Baker turns the blind eye to Azerbaijan, Armenia and all those nasty eastern countries that cheat. I expected a more detailed answer rather than this boring reply. I quite remember last year’s mess with Azerbaijan’s scandal. They covered that scandal and Azerbaijan is still taking part. He won’t spill the truth because he is not allowed.

I assume Georgia will still take part next year right? He didn’t say a word about Georgia…how ridiculous.

Fans should do something for this.

Xaris
Xaris
6 years ago

Ridiculous eastern block! Get out from the contest!

Jordan
Jordan
6 years ago

David, I highly suggest that you think outside of the box and start digging deeper into this voting pattern. You want REAL answers? Maybe you should dig even deeper by getting in contact with certain “sources”. Asking the EBU for the “truth” is like flogging a dead horse…

Kyle
Kyle
6 years ago

“Just trust us!” Seems to be a ‘convincing’ argument…i know i’m sold!

T
T
6 years ago

Dhani you are negative all the time. Do you know how to be positive? Why spend so much time hating on things you don’t like? Just leave it.

Gerard P
Gerard P
6 years ago

Dhani you are a toad. If the wiwibloggs reports weren’t good then the EBU wouldn’t have responded. Do us a favour and go complain somewhere else. If anyone is a child here, it is you.

Jordan
Jordan
6 years ago

Dhani, maybe you should stop being so naive and face the reality of the situation. The EBU is corrupted…..

Kev The Bear
6 years ago

Yeah, but he’s really cute. It’s such a shame that he ‘bats for the opposition’. 🙁

Dhani
6 years ago

wiwibloggs you have to stop trying to be detectives i think the EBU has better things to do than listen to your small children games

Jordan
Jordan
6 years ago

Anything that comes out of Sietse Bakker’s mouth is just a load of shit. Do you think he’s going to tell you the truth? Of course not! He’s supposed to say that. He’s a puppet!