When Lithuania gave Russia’s Polina Gagarina exactly zero points at Eurovision 2015, the message seemed to go beyond “We don’t like your song”. There were distinct overtones of “Step away from our border!”

The lack-of-love came down to the jury of five music professionals, who account for 50% of the overall score, and not the Lithuanian public, who account for the remainder. Lithuanian televoters ranked Polina and her song “A Million Voices” third, but the Lithuanian jury placed her 20th — meaning she finished 11th in Lithuania and earned no points. That’s out of line with public will and, given that Polina finished second in the final, broader European tastes.

After Eurovision, the Russian press has been very critical of how the Lithuanian jury voted.

Alexei Denisenkov, a columnist for Komsomolskaya Pravda, was the most explicit.

Several years ago I thought Lithuania the most loyal to Russia of the Baltic states. To be rank, the Baltic Republics never felt much warmth for our country and its people, but Lithuania was usually less hostile than the others….I had thought that all the negativity was nothing more than the government’s rhetoric and journalists’ invention, but no: Eurovision or, more preicsely, its most intriguing part, the voting, showed that the patient is seriously ill. Propaganda has done its work: Polina Gagarina’s objectively strong song did not get any points from the Lithuanians because of the anti-Russian jury.

Others have alleged that Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, who oversees a pro-European political coalition, instructed jurors to vote against Polina in order to protest Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

As Delfi reports, President Grybauskaite brushed those allegations aside, joking, “If what they say is true, then I must be really influential.”

Lithuania: Eurovision 2015 jury-televote split

The Voting of the Lithuanian Jury in the Grand Final, Eurovision  2015
The Voting of the Lithuanian Jury in the Grand Final, Eurovision 2015

Lithuanian Juror responds

Lauras Luciunas, one of Lithuania’s jurors, has subsequently spoken out. As Delfi reports, Luciunas says politics had nothing to do with his low ranking of the song: he simply didn’t like Polina’s performance.

“I have no taste for far-fetched and over-acted songs. I prefer songs performed by singers, not by actors. What was so special about that song?”

“Let me underscore that we [jury members] do not have to justify ourselves to anyone. Including Russia. We should finally rid ourselves of this odd complex. The French did not ring me up to say I gave too few points, nor did anyone else.”

What do you make of all this? Do you believe the allegations against Lithuania’s jurors? Or do you think they’re full of hot air? Let us know below!

For more Lithuania Eurovision news, click here

For more Russia Eurovision news, click here

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[…] Lithuanian jurors putting their line in the sand having ‘A Million Voices’ in last place and firing up the Russian media against […]

Alvin Sebetero
Guest
Alvin Sebetero

I can’t accept that Lithuanian jury’s comment “What’s so special about that song?”
Regardless of the politics on where Russia stands, that song is just so spectacular… The only people that will not find that song special are heartless people…

Mendi
Guest
Mendi

To tell the truth Russia has never ever been loyal to any of Baltics states in ESC…finaly one was brave enough to return the ‘favor’. Just check how points fro Russia go to all former USSR coutries except Baltic States…

Axie
Guest
Axie

GET JURIES OUT

eurovision
Guest

Her song is amazing.
Visit my blog
https://eurovision12points.wordpress.com/

PhysalisFranchetti
Guest

There have been significant attempts recently (2014 & 2015) by the EBU to both improve the correlation (how much agreement there is) between juries and to pull-up those countries whose voting behaviour is unusual (Georgia 2014, FYR Macedonia & Montenegro 2015), but there are more countries than these three whose voting behaviour seems odd. You can tell that they have improved the correlation further this year because of the agreement there was about who was in the top 10 or so – did you notice in the voting that this was the case? The voting country often seemed to give… Read more »

zoharica
Guest
zoharica

Remember what happened last year?
Estonian jury placed Russia 24th (1 point in total), Latvian jury placed Russia 21st (2 points in total), and Lithuanian jury placed Russia 10th (6 points in total).
LRT probably expected the same “treatment” for Russia from their Baltic brothers this year, so they decided to do the same thing and rank the Russian entry as lowest as possible! Unfortunately, it backfired on them big time: Russia got 12 points from Estonia and 10 points from Latvia. Something that hardly anyone expected to happen.

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

Briekimchi said it better than I could have.

NKN
Guest
NKN

Hilarious. They gave Sweden first places and they ask what was so special about Russian entry? Are you kidding? Even if it’s not special, it didn’t deserve the 20th place. What was so special about the swedish entry?

steve
Guest
steve

Countries like this should not participate and should never be allowed to. Keep it to “true European countries please.”

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Good point Lithuania!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

One group of five people did not like your song? Get over it.
I hated your song too and I managed to come to that conclusion without any Lithuanian governmental influence.

fikri
Guest
fikri

major respect to the lithuanian jury. u tell’em!

PP
Guest
PP

For me russian song is overrated in final rankings on second place. We had so many better songs in final than russian song, song from Italy ,Belgium, Australia, Estonia,Latvia

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

mawnck :- The juries voted Russia 3rd and the televote voted Russia 2nd and Russia ended up 2nd only 62 points behind winner Sweden. You need to sort yourself out. The televate had the eventual winner 1st 6 years in a row since 2009 only 18 juries (90 so called experts,) prevented the 7th. 57 (38 + 19) of the 75 (38 + 37) voting groups agreed about ITaly and ranked them 1st to 6th, that’s 76%. But still the 90 people (18 x 5,) (24%,) determined the result by ranking Italy 7th to 20th? As I said before, is… Read more »

Sibuna
Guest
Sibuna

Russia didn’t give Lithuania any points as well. So what, are Lithuanian politics crying about it? No. Stop the stupid propoganda and move on.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

The jurors are “music experts” my a***!! Just take a look at the full list!!

The real truth is………………..in another year or decade Russia may have won. We all know why they did not!!

Mario
Guest
Mario

My opinion? Well the lithuanian jury did vote politically.. To rank Polina’s song 20th that would be enough place with having Russia finishing outside of the top10 & get no point at all by Lithuania.. They really can not hide that when there are 2 juries that even placed Polina’s song dead last one(!!) It would be understandable if they ranked it on not high place but not on that worst place! Russians have the right to complain about the unfair tactical voting of Lithuania’s juries.. Russia finished that high as 3rd in countries televoting and the 20th place that… Read more »

xoxo
Guest
xoxo

that’s the same as with Maria Elena from Greece being so disappointed because Cyprus did not give her 12 points.That’s called self entitlement – Russia assumes Lithuania, just like all ex-Soviet countries would give them votes. But that’s not how it is. Get over it! And the juror was right – Polina, as talented as she is, highly overacted the song, it was very fake and really turned me off.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

the backlash against Lithuanians by some Russians on the Internet is quite dramatic
you would think think the country built a giant middle finger in Vilinus facing Moscow or something by the way people are reacting

Lawrence Gibb
Guest
Lawrence Gibb

For heavens sake the clue is I’m the phrase “we thought Lithuania the most loyal to Russia”. To me that suggests that the Russian commentator is more politically motivated than the Lithuanian jurors. Yo can’t have it both ways folks. Want the jurors when televote doesn’t go your way hate them when that doesn’t go your way. Get over it and move on. Sometimes your favourite won’t win. It happens.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

It’s hilarious that Alexei Denisenkov is complaining. Please can someone explain to him the meaning of the term ‘pot kettle’.

raash
Guest
raash

Well done to Lithuanian juries!
They did right!
I don’t know why even she became second?
An overrated cliche song with a fake message!

Julian
Guest
Julian

They killed Italy too. 6th in televote and 15th in jury vote.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“Ranking a song 20th that came 3rd in the public vote clearly is politically motivated” You guys keep saying stuff like this, and it’s not true! The public has HORRIBLE taste. “Ice Ice Baby” was an international hit, for crying out loud! They thought the song sucked. They’re allowed to think the song sucks, even if the public (and YOU) gave it a million billion votes. That’s how the Eurovision Song Contest has always worked, except for those few years it was 100% (more or less) televote. He’s the juror. You’re not. You want to be a juror? Then call… Read more »

Huh
Guest
Huh

Can’t we just mix the juries from a particular country to be randomly placed and represent a different country instead?

PhysalisFranchetti
Guest

I love that Lithuanian judge! Good on him for standing up for his professional opinion and independent judging rights. The phenomenon of “anti-voting” (placing a song so low in the rankings that even a televote win will not place you in the points) is not new though – if we cast our mind back to last year, the voting was rife with it against Conchita Wurst; not from Russia admittedly, but from countries nearby. Anti-voting has also been used to make sure that a country never gets votes – how often have Azerbaijan and Armenia placed each other last in… Read more »

Allen
Guest
Allen

They should be honest, it was an obvious political voting.
But also, this is not the first (nor the last) time some jury members voted this way.

See Armenia and Azerbaijan? I think the EBU should exclude Armenian and Azeri jury votes becuase second year in row they placed each other last (all jury members).

If the same happens next yearthe EBU should do something.

Statistically, it is impossible to vote the same way the said in the EBU.

Mario
Guest

I’m gay and I’m afraid of women :**

Cause I’m Mario Summer, yes I’m the real Mario
All you other Mario Summer are just imitating
So won’t the real Mario Summer please stand up,
Please stand up, please stand up?

Ewan
Guest
Ewan

“I have no taste for far-fetched and over-acted songs,” I say as I rank Sweden in the my 10.

HAhaha, yeah…nah, I just can’t believe politics didn’t have a part in this particular guy’s vote. More drama with the whole full ranking system shows just how bad it is and how badly it needs to be scrapped.

Luca
Guest
Luca

“To be rank, the Baltic Republics never felt much warmth for our country and its people, but Lithuania was usually less hostile than the others…” Seriously, Russia? Hard to imagine their dislike for previous occupations.

Joyce
Guest
Joyce

I do not trust Russian press-:))

Tobias
Guest
Tobias

Do they honestly think the President of a European country has nothing better to do than try to influence the jury of a singing competition?

Aufrechtgehn
Guest

I totally share jury member Lauras Luciunas’ resentment that “A Million Voices” is a “far-fetched and over-acted” song. Still, one has to give it to Polina that she’s a seasoned and perfect performer with a great voice. As much as I hate her song, surely there weren’t 19 better ones. Ranking a song 20th that came 3rd in the public vote clearly is politically motivated – and given the Baltic history and the recent war in neighbouring Ukraine, it is perfectly understandable. Having in mind that the EBU always preaches that the contest must be free of politics, this can… Read more »

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

@mafioisa

As far as I know, Russia has no such plans

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

The juror is right. He can vote whatever way he pleases, but in my eyes putting Polina on 26th place seems very political and lacks credibility. Just the way Azerbaijani and Armenian juries vote for each other, especially Azerbaijani ones (Armenia did give one point to Azerbaijan in 2009) – it has nothing to do with songs. Azerbaijani and Armenian juries will always put each other’s songs last – regardless of the song.

Leon
Guest
Leon

So much for jurors being there to “balance” the votes. Yep, they balanced it alright.

Yaniv
Guest
Yaniv

Eurovision Cry contest was cancelled this year – so stop your bitching already!

Hypocrete losers

Huh
Guest
Huh

Polina IS a singer. She won the Russian music competition show “Star Factory” years and years ago.

Jon
Guest
Jon

It’s old news, in Lithuania there were discusions about this jury’s decision, but now it endedn, but it seems some russians just can’t use calculator and see that if Lithuania would have given them 12 points, they still would need 50 points to win.
And how about lithuanians would start complaining about russian jurors, who did not put Lithuania in top 3.
By the way Russia got 3rd place in televotes just because almost 6 % of Lithuania’s population consists of russians, so they voted for themselves.

Britz26
Guest

I understand Lithuania 🙂 I think it is no problem 😀

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

Well, that explains a lot. I didn’t expect that from Lithuania.

Chrysovalantis
Guest
Chrysovalantis

Anything is possible…or should I say”nothing is impossible”…whatever-the final ranking wouldn’t have been different.though…

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

The only one thing that can be said in defense of Russia here is that two of the jurors ranked her dead last… seriously?

Other than that, LOL @ the comments.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Russia cares more about the nul from Lithuania than San Marino.
just because you are neighbours, it doesn’t mean that they are obliged to vote for you. Perhaps, they thought that Polina’s popularity was a reason to expect a lot of points from Lithuania.

mafiosa
Guest
mafiosa

Lithuania doesn’t want Russia to invade them…

Xepher
Guest
Xepher

Even if Russia did get 12 from Lithuania it wouldn’t really had changed anything. Russia just seems butthurt from 2nd place