The EBU is presently considering how to punish Georgia for its invalid jury vote at Eurovision 2014. As all y’all number crunchers know, the five “independent” Georgian jurors each ranked their top 8 acts identically, from three points all the way up to douze points. Here’s what I think the EBU should do to Georgia—and any other countries found to have done wrong (candidates include ArmeniaAzerbaijan, Belarus, and Montenegro).

First off, the country should not be banned from the contest. That punishes viewers in Europe who want to see as many songs as possible. Georgia’s entry this year may have been forgettable, but last year’s “Waterfall” was beautiful. Don’t punish the audience—or future artists in Georgia—that had nothing to do with the voting.

Instead, they should considering the following.

  1. All jury members and the head of delegation are forbidden from participating in any way in any Eurovision event for the next 20 years.
  2. The country’s vote for the next three years is televote only.

Then there is the case of Armenia/Azerbaijan (voting each other last) and Moldova/Romania (voting each other first). For these (and any other similar cases like Cyprus/Greece) I propose a very simple solution.

For Armenia and Azerbaijan, if their jury vote is a lower score than all other country’s jury vote, then they will have their vote adjusted to place the other first. This may not force a fair vote, but it will force each country to give the other a vote that is at the low end of fair.

For Moldova/Romania it’s the flip side of this. If their jury vote is a higher score than any other country, then their official vote will put that country last. So again, while they will still want to give the other the best possible vote, they will limit it to a ranking that some other countries will also apply.

Obviously this isn’t an ideal solution. But is it a step toward something more fair? Let us know in the comments box below.

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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João Teles
João Teles
6 years ago

well, actually, i hated ‘Waterfall’ last year, and i seriously loved ‘Three Minutes to Earth’ this year, totally underrated song for me.

Ivan
Ivan
6 years ago

If EBU would want a fair voting procedure, they would make rules. As long as the rules don’t exist, nobody can proove anything against Azerbaijan or Armenia. No rules for juries, this is what happens.

Ivan
Ivan
6 years ago

Well, it’s true, there must be done something, but your solutions are at least childish. The problem is that nobody asks these jurors on what their votes are based, so obviously they vote how they want. In this case a jury isn’t need as long as they are just a 5 more votes beside televotes, but with a much more powerful decision. If they would have some clearly aspects on how to vote, then the votes would be objective, but if not is hard to stop a Romanian from Moldova to vote to his country. And I think you, Mr… Read more »

Pastora Soler haha
Pastora Soler haha
6 years ago

If they were serious… 3 years OUT. The rules were clear.

And Armenia, Belarus etc… we are watching you. Do the same again and you will go with Georgia.

Jak
Jak
6 years ago

Out of politics, specially Armenia had a very devilish voting – they listed all the favourites (bookies) last as Wiwiblogs says.

This is unexplainable! Sounds so much worse (than) even Georgia. It is such a shame.

Jak
Jak
6 years ago

@AndrealT @ESCAddict I think their current jurors do not reflect people’s opinion. In several Eastern Block countries people have voted for Conchita but jurors simply reflected their (or just Putin’s) political ideologies. This is a punishment also; probably they won’t like it but is punishment. If this international jury members may be professional musicians etc., I don’t think they won’t have nationalist thoughts. %60 tele/%40 jury can’t be fair also. Think that if Balkan states back, of course with their block voting – and diaspora (Armenian, Serbian, Greek, Turkish [diaspora also votes for Azerbaijan&Bosnia]) votes at all! Sorry but for… Read more »

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

Georgia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro and Belarus should all face the consequences for cheating.
Azerbaijan makes the headlines every year for apparent fraudulent votes, yet the EBU never punishes them because of their wealth and the national interest in Eurovision.
If this was a country such as Ireland or Cyprus or Portugal, they would be dealt with by the EBU.
That’s what I think is unfair about Eurovision and the EBU, a particular number of countries are always favored over the others.

ula
ula
6 years ago

1 rule for one and another rule for a other, i loved georgia’s vote’s, pretty similar to my own….if you need blood….take a look at azeri and belarus…. i think georgia’s votes were legit, and if it is the case… they are pissed off… ::(

Jericho
Jericho
6 years ago

@Leon: That is a bit of selective quoting you’ve done there. The article does not say don’t eliminate Georgia because their songs are good. It says: Don’t eliminate Georgia because “that punishes viewers in Europe who want to see as many songs as possible.” Big difference, mate

Leon
Leon
6 years ago

This article lost me the moment I read “Georgia should not be banned because in the past they have sent good entries”. How does that justify whether a country should be banned for a violation or not? In my view, Georgian broadcaster should not be banned because the violation was not committed by the broadcaster itself per-se, it was committed by the committee of judges – hence for the next 3 years, all Georgian votes should be accepted in a form of a televote. As for Armenia vs Azerbaijan, first of all, even if the juries in both countries gave… Read more »

realist
6 years ago

Contries are dropping like flies ATM,the EBU wouldn’t dear ban a country

Giorgos
6 years ago

Georgia should get banned for the next 3 years. EBU don’t break the rule again.

Timselvision
Timselvision
6 years ago

I wouldn’t ban Georgia. A whole country shouldn’t get punished because of their biased juries.

Calvin
Calvin
6 years ago

Wait – what did Romania and Moldova do besides give each other 12 this year (which, by the by, is what Belarus and Russia did and what Cyprus and Greece do whenever they’re both in the final)?

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
6 years ago

@Julian: Not a bad idea. I was for banning the country for the next 2 ESCs before I saw your opinion. Maybe banning their jury for the next 2 years will set them straight; and if they knowingly fuck up again, they lose their jury for 10 years, and for the first 2 of those 10 years they’re banned from the ESC.

Julian
Julian
6 years ago

As to Georgia case, banning the jurors for life is enough for their mistake.
Unless EBU has proof that the national broadcaster was giving the order how to vote. In the latter case they might go as far as removing that broadcaster as Eurovision partner and replacing it with another broadcaster from Georgia.

Julian
Julian
6 years ago

Why should you punish countries where jurors have the same opinion as televoters? Are not they humans from the same country? Would make more sense to punish countries where jurors deliberately deny televoters options. There are countless examples of this sort.

marinek
marinek
6 years ago

FOR ME 60%TELEVOTING AND 40% JURY VOTE FROM A COMMON TEAM FOR ALL THE COUNTRIES WITH 30 OR 35 MEMBERS.AND THAT’S IT.NOT ANYMORE NATIONAL TEAM OF 5 PERSONS.JUST INTERNATIONAL JURY TEAM.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

Should Georgia stay or go?

What do you guys think?

beccaboo1212
6 years ago

@Deven O’Kearney

B.) No! Georgia is an important member of the Eurovision family.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

Should Georgia be banned from taking part in Eurovision 2015?

a.) Yes
b.) No

What do you guys think?

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

@Hebbuzz: The word “independent” is in and of itself a rule. The jurors were supposed to make their decisions independent of one another, i.e. without each other’s input. The EBU discovered that Georgia broke their rule, which is why Georgia’s jury vote was disqualified. Also, it very much looks like Armenia and some other countries broke these rules by having very similar jury voting patterns, but in these cases it can’t be statistically proven.

Hebbuzz
Hebbuzz
6 years ago

Keep on dreaming Thielen.

There were NO rules on how the independent jurors were to come to their lists. So only thing is to make those rules of behaviour. It’s of no use to punish without a rule being broken.

You start with Mol-Rom, Azb-Arm but what about Nor-Swe Bel-Net Den-Ice, Slovakia-Malta, sky’s the limit?

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Your proposed solution is not exactly fair to the other countries, David. If Poland and the UK happened to vote each other in last, then they would automatically both jump to first in their rankings. The other countries might not be so pleased. Furthermore, you’re saying that if Romania and Moldova want to vote for each other, they should just vote each other into last, thereby achieving the same effect. The problem is, as the EBU correctly stated, you can’t statistically prove countries like Armenia cheated. If you want to guard against such actions, then one way to do that… Read more »

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

Fraudulent jury votes should not add up, this can be done in the aftermath of the ESC, why not? And their broadcasters should pay a considerable fine.

Oostenrijk
Oostenrijk
6 years ago

Belgium and Germany also must be punished for their fishy jury votings!

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

I agree with Darren, Georgia should sit out of 2015 but take part in the voting. Exactly like Serbia and Montenegro (and Kosovo, I suppose) and then come back in 2016 with the best song. A lot like Serbia in 2007.

Franco
Franco
6 years ago

Really? Block voting has plagued the whole Europe since forever and now Armenia/Azerbaijan and Moldova/Romania are supposed to be the bad guys?

Darren
Darren
6 years ago

Sorry, but if the Georgian votes were fraudulent, then yes, they should be banned from taking part, maybe not for as long as 3 years, maybe just 1 year. But that doesn’t mean that Georgian voters and viewers would lose out, maybe they could still participate in the voting, even thought they wouldn’t have a song, like what Serbia and Montenegro did in 2006.
Either way, they need to be punished to stop this getting out of hand.

Maya G
Maya G
6 years ago

Heavy fine will take care of it, money talks, bullsh*t walks.
And while we’re at it, they should cancel juries altogether, they contribute nothing but suspicions and corruption. In light of what happened with Georgia’s jury corrupt juries will just do a cleverer job at concealing their foul play.

D
D
6 years ago

Honestly I don’t think they should be punished unless the jury members admit they discussed their rankings. Sure they had identical votes but they doesn’t necessarily mean that they cheated. They could’ve just had similar taste. But anyways, if you must punish them just not allow these jury members to be on the jury in the future. Don’t ban the whole country because that’s just insulting to the Georgian people and viewers who did nothing. I understand if the broadcaster made a huge mistake like with Lebanon getting banned for a few years, but with something like this a ban… Read more »

David
David
6 years ago

Or ofcourse a 1 year ban and a heavy fine. If the EBU decides that then I would support that. Ban azerbaijan and armenia as well. Their juries voted obviously fraudalent againsy eachother.

David
David
6 years ago

It is simple. Dont let the country use jury voting for some years. And a heavy fine.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

Georgia needs to learn that it if you fail, you must be punished.

Oh and by the way, Eurovision, for a country that does not participate and is a day long flight away, is quite popular. However, the ratings are barely above 400 thousand in Australia. So Australian popularity can be argued. But I think that the reason why the ESC is fairly popular in Australia is because there is a huge Irish diaspora in Oz (DO NOT CONFUSE WITH THE WIZARD OF OZ!) and you know that Irish people LOVE the Eurovision.

DR
DR
6 years ago

They have to be banned. I bet if it was Russia or Azerbaijan, or a country with a history of bad entried, e.g. my UK or Latvia, you would say banned. It’s only because they have generally good entries you don’t think Georgia should. If you break the rules, you need to face to the consequences. One rule for all countries.

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
6 years ago

Melissa, Eurovision is not very popular in Australia. This is a lie peddled by EBU & SBS (the television station that broadcasts ESC in Australia); it is in their interests to promote this myth. The majority of Australians have no interest in it.
Only participating countries should get a vote.

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
6 years ago

I agree, no countries should be banned. The offending jurors should get a life time ban. The delegates should get a 5 year ban. In the following year, an EBU representative (at the offending country’s expense) should sit with the jurors during the show & while they deliberate. The representative should review the voting pattern & reject any results that are too similar. If the jury’s vote can’t be fixed then televoting is only used. International jurors can’t be used, they do not reflect that country’s opinion. Nothing will stop countries (like Greece & Cyprus) televoting for each other but… Read more »

Melissa Kutcher
Melissa Kutcher
6 years ago

Australia should really have a jury of their own based on how popular Eurovision is there. In addition, there also be an international jury from other non-EBU countries as well.

Deven O'Kearney
6 years ago

I think that Georgia SHOULD be banned out of Eurovision for 3 years. They made mistakes and need to learn from them and the best way to learn from your mistakes is by suffering the implications. To be honest with you, I would be VERY surprised if Georgia got away with this. I am sure that Jon Ola Sand is very strict when he has to be and after Azerbaijan’s little bribery stunt last year, there were stricter, more discipined rules put in place with harsh punishments that follow. Georgia broke those rules this year and as a result, they… Read more »

AndreaIT
AndreaIT
6 years ago

I agree that banish them for a year is necessary. And when they will return they could use only televote for 3 years. I also agree with @Jak ,but I think it’s better to not include non European countries, and if there are some jurors from countries in the Eurovision (like Switzerland) the will favor their own country, do you understand what I mean? What you’re saying for Romania/Moldova, Cyprus/Greece is okay but I don’t think it will work…If what you are saying will be done, the jury will rank the other country a bit lower, like 5th/6th, and the… Read more »

Easpag
Easpag
6 years ago

I think banning the country, even for just a year is necessary.

If the EBU doesn’t do something relatively drastic, the fraudulent jury voting will never truly end. It may decrease with other, less severe punishments, but unless full bans are put in place, certain juries will never abandon their corruption.

AnesBosna
AnesBosna
6 years ago

I say we banish them to the Shadow Realm!

(jk, i think only televoting for 3 years would be a good one)

Jade
Jade
6 years ago

Or…. get rid of juries. Their job was to STOP the political voting of the public but they are making it worse and making it boring in the process

Jak
Jak
6 years ago

I don’t support %100 televoting at all, it is not the best punishment for the countries which had an unfair voting. Political voting in the jury simply wasted amazing voices such as Molly. If it has been much fair, Eurovision could be a mediator for alternative/popular music industry of Europe. You can see my idea following. • Countries, which had an unfair voting, will be able to particape in next years – but they won’t have a national jury. An international comission for each of these countries will vote as the jurors of these countries for three years and they… Read more »

George ciprian
George ciprian
6 years ago

Why are romania and Moldova dragged into this? we’ll televote for each other no matter what

beccaboo1212
6 years ago

Eurovision NEEDS Georgia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peris
peris
6 years ago

eurovision 2015 tamta georgia winner