armenia 2014 vote

On May 28, after reviewing the Eurovision 2014 jury results, we asked whether Armenia’s jurors had conspired to mark down the favourites. The EBU agreed that the results raised some questions, so we decided to reach out to Gohar Gasparyn, the head of delegation for Armenia’s state broadcaster ARMTV. We posed two questions:

  1. Did the Armenian jurors purposely vote the strongest competitors last to improve Armenia’s chance at winning?
  2. If not, how do you explain the Armenian jurors placing the 5 acts estimated to be the top contenders in the last places?

Gohar kindly responded with the following message:

There are always many rumors about voting results of ESC and many people still don’t understand how jury and SMS voting are mixed. We get many complaint letters regarding this system and have to explain that procedure each time, which is not always sufficient for those people who usually have their favorite countries and actively vote but are not satisfied with the results. I have noticed that each country audience (including juries) always synchronize country + artist automatically in their memories and vote according to their vision about that country. For example, in Denmark many Danish people asked me where I’m from. When I told them “Armenia” they said, “Ooooo nooo, don’t remind me about that football game….” Last year Armenia won Denmark 4:0. This was shock for many people and I’m sure they didn’t vote for Armenia in ESC 😉 There are different music tastes, mentalities in different parts of Europe. Songs that are popular in Scandinavian Countries may not be popular in Armenia and vice versa.

From one side having professional jury voting is right, because they understand every detail and deeply evaluate artists’ abilities, but from the other side it’s a subjective approach. But these are the rules of ESC and all the participating countries must comply with the requirements.

There were 5 professional and famous personalities in the Armenian jury: Singers Inga and Anush Arshakyans (ESC2009), Producer Asatur Asatryan, designer NUR (Arman Davtyan) – the designer of the brooch from Armenian postcard ESC 2014 and lyricist-presenter Avet Barseghyan (Host of JESC 2010). They are all famous for their individual, patriotic creative approach in their work. Besides they are actively following ESC and JESC every year. In the framework of ESC 2014 they all gave points to artists assessing their vocals, song quality, stage performance and artistic energy. Each jury member voted according to his/her own music taste, ideology and art approach.

I followed up and asked if she could speak to the specifics of Armenia ranking Aram Mp3’s main competitors last. This was her follow on:

According to Armenian Jury, Aram Mp3 was the leader and potential winner of ESC 2014, having the strongest ballad and show in framework of ESC 2014. In different parts of Europe Professionals’ opinions may often differ from the audience’s. That’s why they are called professional juries: Aram Mp3 being in leading positions by bookies may get the last position from Belgium Jury, but highest from the audience. The same in Italy and Armenia. So you never know how the jury will rank because it’s subjective. Each Armenian jury member voted according to his/her own music taste, ideology and individual art approach.

What do you think? Does this provide a reasonable explanation for Armenia’s jury vote?

Thank you to Gohar and ARMTV for responding to our questions. 

PS: We currently reaching out to Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Montenegro about the dubious jury results in those countries.

21 Comments
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Hmayak
7 years ago

This is what jury members do . But it would be so unfair if there weren’t jury . For example Poland was ranked so high by televote but jury ranked it down . It can be vise verca .

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
7 years ago

It would be interesting to hear the members of the jury explain why they voted the way they did. I am suspicious they were told how to vote or their votes were simply changed.

Rogesc
Rogesc
7 years ago

This reaction from the head of the Armenian delagation is totally meaningless. I can understand the point of ‘different cultures, different music taste etc’ but placing the top 5 countries last is definitely from a tactical point of view. This woman says: “In the framework of ESC 2014 they all gave points to artists assessing their vocals, song quality, stage performance and artistic energy”. I think she read this clause in the EBU booklet ‘Ranking songs for dummies’ and copied it because it is everything but consistent with the way the Armenian jury acted this year. Jugding the vocals Sweden… Read more »

Sam
Sam
7 years ago

Yeah that really clears everything up

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
7 years ago

Keep asking, wiwibloggs! The UK just shrugs every year and demonises the whole competition; only when you dare to ask difficult questions do you get anywhere near the truth! This also highlights how impossible it is to fix the whole contest, and that winning is nothing short of a miracle …!

Timbardur62
Timbardur62
7 years ago

@Dhani.. once you started it.. you’ll get what you have ordered. I wonder where your negativity against the others here at Wiwibloggs comes from. I think a) you are a bitter, wicked spinster who never gets laid or b) you are just a zero, someone who wanted to something but remained nobody. If there are people here who have opinions and morover can motivate them, so shut up for God’s sake! If somebody uses a little more typing characters for their comment, let them do so. If you don’t like it, keep it for yourself. Big cheers to all and… Read more »

Timbardur62
Timbardur62
7 years ago

No wonder people got suspicious: the way the Armenian (and some other) jurors voted is all too obvious and a proof of how shitty this game has become – everything for the victory. When do we get an edition of the ESC with fair play? @Rashad: I have a thumb up for your comment 😀 So, as a Finn I’ll never ever vote for Russia in the ESC because it was too painful to lose the gold medal in Hockey World Cup for them back in May 😀 Just for the same reason as the Danes didn’t vote for Armenia,… Read more »

Charles
Charles
7 years ago

@Dhani:…. bigger mistery …. why do YOU post? Tweet that, if you can …

Dhani
7 years ago

charles why the f*** you always post a whole book as a comment calm down

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

Let’s see what Armenia does with the ranking the next time they’re a favorite to win. Don’t be surprised if they appeal to the same “subjectivity” to opine that the other favored entries should be in last…

Erin
Erin
7 years ago

@Charles – You make some valid points when it comes to the negative perception people have of some countries and the ‘fanwank’ factor, but perhaps you’re haste in brushing off some of the particular claims made against the Armenian jury in this case and also against other specific juries (Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Belarus, Georgia etc.). Although Mrs. Gasparyn is generous in responding to those claims, her answer discloses a degree of patriotic zeal which is disturbing. The soccer match example and the use of the term ‘individual, patriotic creative approach to their work’ reflects an archaic perception of what the jury… Read more »

Charles
Charles
7 years ago

Coming from a country like Armenia or any other former soviet country, this kind of answer is very politically correct and hides a lot of the rubbish under their own rug, They would never for a minute admit whatever they decided to do backstage as far as voting and ranking is concerned. But reading the whole answer and imagining being given by any other country with a less questionable ESC behaviour, I would say “They are actually right”. Our music taste is subjective, we do hold on too damn strong to our favourites to the point where we cannot tolerate… Read more »

Ideology
Ideology
7 years ago

Interesting that she stressed twice that the jury ranked based on ideology. Perhaps they should have reviewed the jury guidelines more carefully because I don’t recall seeing ideology listed there…

Leon
Leon
7 years ago

I think it’s a little unfair to bully Armenia because almost EVERY country had some kind of a shady/questionable jury vote. But I do believe that they marked Sweden and Austria down because they saw them as their main competitor.

David Thielen
7 years ago

@Dhani – In addition, this post was purposely made with no editorial commentary so that Armenia could make their reply and that could stand on its own. This post is providing Armenia a chance to respond to the allegations.

Branko
Branko
7 years ago

Just one question: “designer NUR (Arman Davtyan) – the designer of the brooch from Armenian postcard ESC 2014”

Didn’t EBU say as a rule that jury members have to be working in music industry?

Talkin' Bout
Talkin' Bout
7 years ago

The same thing happened in Azerbaijan… Armenia, Sweden, Austria were bottom 3… also in Belgium the jury rated Armenia and Poland bottom 3, meanwhile they were at the top 30 in televoting… So i think the jury voting is really useless and it would be better if they count only televoting

Dhani
7 years ago

wiwibloggs you have to stop trying to play detectives i think that ebu and armenia has better things to do than participate in your small children games

Davve
Davve
7 years ago

this is what we get when we put faith in the “expert juries”…. cheating countries who uses the opportunity to try to change results by purposely voting against certain countries.

both juries in armenia and azerbaijan placed respective countries entries last.. that is a statistical impossibility that so many people would vote exactly the same….

Thiefo
Thiefo
7 years ago

A response like this was expected, do you think they would say “Yes! We voted the favourites last so we could give Aram a bigger chance”? 😛 In the case they indeed did this, they’ll never say it openly. But thanks for asking David and/or whoever from wiwibloggs who approached the delegation! And by the way, about “opinions may often differ from the audience’s. That’s why they are called professional juries” … Gohar, a professional jury is not called “professional” just because they disagree from the audience. A “professional” jury doesn’t put a country last just because you have political… Read more »

Rashad
Rashad
7 years ago

@”For example, in Denmark many Danish people asked me where I’m from. When I told them “Armenia” they said, “Ooooo nooo, don’t remind me about that football game….” Last year Armenia won Denmark 4:0. This was shock for many people and I’m sure they didn’t vote for Armenia in ESC”
Seriously? You just didn’t say that.