Last year we noted some very questionable voting by Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Montenegro during the grand final of Eurovision 2014. So we weren’t that surprised when Montenegro’s jury was disqualified this year.

Looking at the results for 2015, we see a dramatic decrease in the number of suspicious incidents. That’s great, but some results still make us raise our eyebrows. If we probe the votes of Azerbaijan’s jury, for instance, we see remarkable consistency across the five “independent” jurors.

What we do in the following charts is rather simple. We look at the range of votes by the five jurors from a single country. Australia demonstrates what appears to be a fair and varied result.

AustralianJuryVotesThe five colored dots represent the five individual jurors from the country. The left hand-column shows where they ranked the song (1 to 27) and the row at the bottom represents each competing country.

You will tend to see a grouping for the most and least popular acts. So, as you can see, the jurors all ranked Sweden in their Top 5 (you only see three dots because multiple jurors ranked it in the same spot). You see a wider spread on the rest of the songs, such as Austria, which has a high of fifth place and a low in the 20s. Beyond the top acts (Sweden and Russia) and the low acts (UK and Armenia) you see a very good spread between jurors.

Now let’s take a look at the jury in Azerbaijan.

AzerbaijanJuryVotes

This shows, at a minimum, a group mindset. Across 26 songs they rarely differ by a ranking of more than 3 and never by more than 6. This is not five independent votes. This suggests they do not understand the concept of a free and fair election.

Now let’s take a look at Belarus. This shows that a country can switch to an independent jury, despite questionable voting in the past.

BelarusJuryVotesThis is a very diverse jury. It’s closely grouped with its top votes for Sweden, Russia and Belgium, but all three are very good songs and that’s understandable. Well done Belarus.

Let Me Finish…

A bunch of monkeys randomly typing on a voting machine will deliver a properly spread out series of jury votes. That doesn’t mean they’re a good measure of the quality of the song.

Clearly independent votes individually determined by each juror are a necessary but not sufficient condition for a quality jury vote. In short, we still have a problem with the jury.

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Bruno B @ Geeky Explorer

This has happened for years in a row and nobody does nothing.

Nick
Nick
5 years ago

If it was 25 % jury voting and 75% televoting, as suggested by wiwibloggs, here is what would have happened: Sweden 335 Italy 332 Russia 306 Belgium 217 Australia 163 Latvia 138 Estonia 122 Israel 100 Serbia 64 Albania 58 Armenia 56 Norway 55 Romania 55 Georgia 49 Azerbaijan 48 Lithuania 40 Montenegro 38 Slovenia 33 Greece 25 Poland 24 Hungary 19 Spain 18 Cyprus 10 UK 6 France 5 Germany 3 Austria 0 Sweden still would have won, but Italy would be second over Russia, and we would have watched the closest race since 2003. Maybe it is not… Read more »

PACO
5 years ago

Todavia me pregunto…como pudieron ganar ESC 2011 derotando a IRLANDA.

Lotus
Lotus
5 years ago

yeah such a scandal. better read this http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/article20968103.ab

stommie
stommie
5 years ago

“… right after everyone in the Netherlands complained about them qualifying over Trinijte…”

Really Eris? The Dutch were complaining that Albania qualified instead of Trijntje? Where you in the Netherlands after the semi? Because I was and I can’t remember such thing happening. By the way, the Dutch jury ranked Albania 13th out of 15 countries in the first semi. Maybe the fact that she was completely out of tune had something to do with that.

whats the story
whats the story
5 years ago

I guess they just were seating and discussing the whole show and shared their opinions. That’s why we’ve got such results from them

Eris
Eris
5 years ago

Why are you attacking only Azerbaijan? Because they hadn’t Sweden in their top 5 of the jury voting?
The fact that Sweden is in top 5 of the juries is more suspicious than the Azeri voting. And Albania seems to have been voted by the dutch juries 20th-27th… right after everyone in the Netherlands complained about them qualifying over Trinijte…

scooby
scooby
5 years ago

well, just get rid of jury and that’s it. It’s up to EBU, isn’t it?

MischelBlau
MischelBlau
5 years ago

It’s always Azerbaijan. When in fact it’s a crises of the whole Eurovision voting system. Just have a look at how Balcan States and Scandinavian countries started to kind of exchange points this year. The whole voting system should be changed next year…

Patrik Letr
Patrik Letr
5 years ago

I’m so amazed that Australian jury results are the norm of “fair voting” when it was all over the papers and telly that one of Australian juries openly and quite unashamedly confessed how he deliberately places Russia high up for 12 points, because one of the songwriters was his close friend. So, if any of you ever speak of the supposed “fairness” of any jury voting, you might as well try and kiss my entire ass tbh, for i know better. oi and i don’t give a single crap about what nonsense Jon Ola spoke to Swedish broadcaster, Australia needs… Read more »

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

@blondboybc why would they give any to these barbarians who as you perhaps still remember the Azeri secret services summoned and interrogated those few who have voted for Inga and Anoush back in 2009. Armenians in the previous years were giving them some votes.. But hey, they have a honor after all. And yes, the jury is f. biased. Almost all of them in each country in some degree. It’s old news. Still surprised?

blondboybc
blondboybc
5 years ago

Hmm, with these facts, one has to wonder why Azerbaijan’s jury votes were not also thrown out, as they were for Macedonia and Montenegro…and, what about Armenia’s jury? Every juror placing Azerbaijan LAST, and vice-versa for Azerbaijan? Biased much? LOL!

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

I mean ‘I can’t believe..’

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

I can believe I once actually wished to see them at the ESC.
Today my only wish is to see them gTfO of the ESC. They’ll be happy singing their songs about grey wolves to their turkic asian relatives with the same mentality at that backward contest they call Turkivizion.
They brought nothing to ESC except hatred and corruption.. and f. swedish songs for 7 f. years in a raw. Disgusting all buying freaks. Such a disgrace.

Fishy
Fishy
5 years ago

For god sakes NOBODY is saying that the jury should go nor is that implied in the article. Juries can stay BUT there should be a stricter regulation and all their votes should be checked beforehand. Montenegro and Macedonia didn’t get away with what they did so why should the other countries? Azerbaijan’s jury vote should have been scrapped like those countries and any other country that have suspicious voting. The EBU was doing fine without Azerbaijan why do they all of a sudden need them, they aren’t part of the BIG five either unless Azerbaijan is secretly funding them,… Read more »

Huh
Huh
5 years ago

Again, EBU will never release Azerbaijan. Look at their gullible Azeri fans reacting how they love Eurovision, how their country are always the winner every year, how they bash people they hate (Armenians) all over again like they are stuck in old times, and how they will spend lots of money to buy votes from other countries. That’s a huge income to this “European” Broadcasting “Union”. When money talks, rules get bent.

PhysalisFranchetti
5 years ago

Uncovering more collusion – what do you think? These are actual results from 2014, and you wouldn’t spot this if you just looked at the results Get yourself a piece of paper & a pen or use Excel Draw two axis – x axis is for juror 1, y axis is for juror 3 Results: (Juror 1, Juror 3) = (2,3),(1,1),(3,6),(5,4),(4,5),(9,7),(8,8),(6,10),(7,9) Final Overall Jury Position = (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11) You should have a graph, with points forming 2 lines in the direction of top left to bottom right, with the first two results forming a line bottom left to top right. If… Read more »

Beast
Beast
5 years ago

@mario, i am sorry to have my oppinion, wiwiblogs are tendencious as hell, everybody knows, and every year they are getting worst. and it is very notorious!! they do free publicity to one´s and help to forgget others and that never can be taken as fair!! i am sorry! this kind of tendencious blogs make a wype to some songs that sometimes are bad, but as they like the coutry and they are in the press center receiving gifts, thats ok!! i´ve been there, i saw it with my own eyes!!

Leon
Leon
5 years ago

Azerbaijan’s rosy history at Eurovision: 2009: On the night of the final, Azeri broadcaster took out Armenia’s voting number so people in Azerbaijan woul not vote for Armenia. EBU took no action, but in May BBC broke the news that Azerbaijan’s national security had interrogated those who had voted for Armenia. On the bright side, Rachel Maddow in USA covered the story. Link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pefFixcusE0 2011: Azerbaijan was again accused of vote buying in smaller countries such as San Marino and Malta 2013: Lithuanian video emerged showing that Azeris were organizing mass vote buying in Lithuania. 2014: Azeri jury ranking… Read more »

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
5 years ago

As soon as the EBU sees a jury result like Azerbaijan’s, they should disqualify the jury immediately. If Azerbaijan keeps putting in dodgy jury results year after year, keep disqualifying them.
Similarly if all the Armenian jury vote Azerbaijan last, BAM!, disqualified. If all of Moldovan jury votes Romania first, BAM!, disqualified. Same Greece & Cyprus (weren’t their juries good this year).
Just keep banning corrupt juries. They will lean eventually.

zoharica
zoharica
5 years ago

Here are the full excluded Montenegro’s jury rankings:
http://i.imgur.com/xZhqAb4.png

Bronson
Bronson
5 years ago

Corrupt country, corrupt results. Hardly a surprise. They had evidence that was legitimate and clear a few years ago, but the EBU chose not to catapult at it. Azerbaijan love to throw money at events that have little shelf life or actual benefit (I mean why spend a billion dollars on ESC 2012 and billions on the European Games 2015 when your country is still facing poverty and corruption?). I wouldn’t be surprised if they sent a ton of cash in the EBU’s way to keep their mouth shut. Azerbaijan will never be a true participant in my eyes. Everything… Read more »

Maya G
Maya G
5 years ago

@Vladimir P. Indeed my theory can be applied to any country’s jury, I didn’t mean to single Belarus out. I think that though the 100% televote system has its flaws, it’s still much better than the 50-50 system.

Racal
Racal
5 years ago

I’ll say it once again: Azerbaijan should have been banned from the ESC a long time ago. The contest is their only international exposure, they are desperate to win it and will do everything in order to achieve that. They are corrupt cheaters, and should not be allowed in the competition.

Sal
Sal
5 years ago

EBU ‘the transparency will make sure the juries know they are being monitored and therefore won’t rank irregularly’ NOT THE CASE, EBU! GET RID OF THESE CORRUPT PEOPLE FROM OUR CONTEST!

eurovision
5 years ago

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Mario
Mario
5 years ago

@ Well 4 WiWiBloggs to cover more the more popular acts over others less is normal..
It doesn’t mean that they are really prejudized but they just focus on these acts that stand out more & they are more appealing than others…This makes perfectly sense..

Graph
Graph
5 years ago

Instead of having the juries rank the songs, each jury member should assign each song a score from 1 to 10. Then, a song’s official jury ranking for a country would be based on its point total. It would be the same process used by the Wiwi jury.

It is not practical to have the juries rank 20+ songs. It is impossible to make objective rankings because multiple songs will be deemed the same quality. In such cases, juries probably rank the songs based on personal taste, consultation with fellow juries, or bias toward certain countries.

Vladimir P.
Vladimir P.
5 years ago

@Maya G

Because Belarus normally gives their top votes to Sweden and Belgium? I doubt it. Your theory can be applied to any country’s jury – but it’s just theory that cannot be substantiated by any proof. The voting of the Azerbaijani jury, on the other hand, is something different. There is a clear pattern which is why there is a very good reason to be suspicious of their voting.

Maya G
Maya G
5 years ago

The Belorussian jury voting may indicate that it was indeed an independent jury, but it could also mean they learned spread their voting in a calculated way that eventually brings the desired fixed result, without raising suspicion.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
5 years ago

Five human beings with ears put Lithuania in the top ten? Suspicious! Should have had their results thrown out just for that!

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

There are problems with the jury voting, but for how many countries is a result like this true? Probably not that many…

Charles
Charles
5 years ago

We do waste a lot of our time commenting on alleged issues and controversies that shall never find a proper solution to end it all. Arguing voting every single year to this extent is exhaustive and pointless … none of us here can do a single thing to change it in order to appeal to the taste and conviction each one of us has … its not because I love a certain song that I want to make sure it wins or I am going to blow the whole arena off with a bomb … come on … Move on… Read more »

Hippo
Hippo
5 years ago

I noticed Azerbaijan’s results myself when looking through the results and thought it was odd. It actually looks worse than the graph shows. It isn’t surprising to see, for example, all jurors to have Sweden in their top 3 or to all agree that the Uk was bottom three. But for this level of agreement to be prevelant throughout all songs is statistically impossible.
It would be interesting to ser Montenegró’s rankings to see what it takes for the ebu to throw out the results, as this must be close.

Daniel
Daniel
5 years ago

Damn you Azeri jury.

Jericho
Jericho
5 years ago

LOL!! That chart is stark. How can juries act like this and expect people not to notice?!

esc1234
esc1234
5 years ago

The fact that some of you say that juries must stay because they help western countries is gross and i wannna puke. EUROVISION IS ABOUT COMING TOGETHER. COUNTRIES MUST HAVE THE SAME CHANCES AND DISCRIMINATING THEM IS FUCKING WRONG.

Axie
Axie
5 years ago

also why am I not surprised that multiple people here outright say “juries are good because they help the west” and “bring the contest back to proper europeans”

GROSS

Axie
Axie
5 years ago

“Looking at the results for 2015, we see a dramatic decrease in the number of suspicious incidents.” lol no we don’t. this year was more sketchy than 2014.

Beast
Beast
5 years ago

well, i could say the same about wiwiblogs, in a matter of fact, this blog is a very tendencious one, they interview a few but do not interview others, they do a lot of articles about some of the participants and almost forget others, so they use media press to “help” a few songs, speaking good about some and very bad about others, and in the end they try to get a polemic text speaking about corruption, when they all received head phones from slovenia, and a lot of gifts!! grow up, you are just a bunch ok kids playing… Read more »

Huh
Huh
5 years ago

I think EBU is liking what Azerbaijans are doing when it comes to vote bias in televoting AND jury votes. Every year, they have suspicions. Every year, they’ve garnered an enormous amount of votes from both said parties coming from their neighbor and “buddy” countries. And EBU are not doing anything about it? Yeah, right. Don’t tell me that Dilara (2014) and Elnur’s (2015) placing in the finals is an excuse just because they did not make it in top 10. They can’t get away from the fact that they are getting “clean” with all these recent “results”.

stommie
stommie
5 years ago

Except of course, Julian, that it isn’t true. But please, place the dots and share the result with us.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

@Stommie Place the dots for Netherlands. When you do not have all 5 jurors picking very close places you have 4 doing it and the 5th going wilder. It is a little more elaborate than Azerbaidjan but still strong suspicion that they talked.

Britz26
5 years ago

@Steve – Lithuania is 10000000% Europe, just like Moldova and Ukraine etc.

Fatima
Fatima
5 years ago

Calm down Darren, I for one am interested (but disappointed) to read more evidence of corruption from the former USSR. In any case if Azerbaijan really are a feted as you suggest, why don’t the EBU give them a bye to the final ?

WTF
WTF
5 years ago

@Some Thing: Calling Romania’s latest 2 entries crap when Israel was your favorite this year is incredibly ironic, you know…

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
5 years ago

I think the juries are incredibly important in Eurovision. Prior to the juries, the popular belief in Western Europe was that Eurovision was full of novelty acts, bad taste and neighborly voting. A lot of people in the West stopped watching because of those 3 factors. If the juries were to go: 1. Countries in the West that have found success in recent years (Germany and the Netherlands) could go back to sending any old trash. 2. Cultural voting (Misconstrued for political voting.) could take hold again. Possibly leading to walkouts from Western nations (Austria, Netherlands, France, Italy and Belgium)… Read more »

Dar
Dar
5 years ago

azeris at it again ..
azerbaijan , armenia , georgia and belarus have been nothing but trouble since entering the contest ..

WTF
WTF
5 years ago

@Mario: Do you still want the Faroe Islands in ESC? Hehe…