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:
- Did the Armenian jurors purposely vote the strongest competitors last to improve Armenia’s chance at winning?
- 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.