The European Broadcasting Union excluded Montenegro’s jury vote at Eurovision 2015 without a detailed explanation — and without publishing those results for public scrutiny. Earlier today we published those jury results on wiwibloggs.

As you can see at the end of this post, the inclusion of the jury result would not have greatly affected the points Montenegro awarded at Eurovision. Even so, there are other consequences to annulling the Montenegrin jury vote — both on the individual jurors and Montenegro’s state broadcaster RTCG. So much so that Montenegro’s Eurovision delegation has described its participation in Eurovision 2016 as “questionable”.

Montenegro’s Head of Delegation Sabrija Vulic detailed the consequences in a letter sent to Jan Ola Sand, the executive superviser of the Eurovision Song Contest, and other members of the Eurovision Reference Group, which met in June to discuss this and many other issues.

You can read the full letter below, but here are some highlights.

(1) It points out some of the other jury results that were not annulled by the EBU, but could be considered suspect

(2) It argues that media attention on the jury result has overshadowed Knez’s success at the event

(3) It suggests that Montenegro will struggle to find jurors willing to participate in the future

(4) It asks why the EBU accepted the results of its jury for the second semi final, but annulled its televote in that semi

(5) It questions why the EBU does not accept the notary’s decision that the Montenegrin jury results were valid

(6) It suggests the reputations of the individual jurors and RTCG have been damaged

(7)  It asks that the EBU reinstate Montenegro’s jury vote. Not doing so may compell RTCG “to seek justice elsewhere”

Montenegro’s response to the EBU

Dear Jan Ola, dear members of the Reference Group,

In previous emails I wrote that the position of our house is extremely negative on the decision of the Reference Group to cancel the jury votes from Montenegro and that we are disappointed with this decision, because our jury worked in accordance with the rules with their opinion without any pressures from the side.

I have to remind you that the members of our jury are people with academic titles, some of which work in high positions in our school system, and they had a remarkable career like artist musicians.

The consequences of the man who gave the recommendation to annul the votes of Montenegrin jury are extremely negative and far-reaching. So we ask a few questions:

Is it possible that the jury members think similarly (example: the German jury gave all the first place to Latvia and Italy, as a bookmark like favorite, placed in the other half of the table)?

Are you aware that because of this decision in the Balkan media success of Montenegro and the success of the entire event move in the background, because all the media talk about the decision that canceled the votes of the Montenegrin jury?

Are you aware, that next year, if Montenegro will participate in ESC, we will not be able to find anyone to be a jury member because no one wants him to an unknown person tried on his voice?

Are you aware, that you are accepted the voices of the same jury in the Second semi-final, and you cancel the votes of the audience from Montenegro?

Which document states how many SMS votes we need for the vote to be valid?

By whose order , the secretary of the Reference group to talk to me and suggested that I talk with other delegations about points just before second semifinal? On what basis and whose statements he concluded that I as the Head of the Montenegrin delegation talked with someone?

Which document states that judges may not similarly to vote?

How do we justify the money what we gave to the jury members for their work when their work is not recognized by the Reference Group?

Why are we engaged Notary to control the voting and why not complied with her conclusion that the vote passed regularly?

For all these reasons, we request from Reference group, that the votes of the jury from Montenegro to be confirmed in the Final , because  the members of the jury and RTCG feel hurt and damaged, and we will be forced to seek justice elsewhere or to judicial authorities.

I thank you for your understanding and we believe that you will approve our request.

In case you think this is necessary, I am willing to attend a meeting of the Reference Group and give further details.

Sabrija Vulic,

HoD Montenegro

He raises a number of very reasonable questions that I think the EBU should answer. It’s a very important step the EBU has taken to discard tainted jury votes. But it’s equally important that they do so only when a jury is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the EBU present their evidence and allow a delegation to rebut that evidence. Otherwise we’ve traded allowing fraudulent votes for a witch hunt, which is equally bad.

And the change in the final results would be…

wiwiblogger Robyn looked at how re-instating the Montenegrin jury vote would impact Montenegro’s votes. It looks like it would have gone like this.

Serbia 12 (no change)
Albania 10 (no change)
Italy 8 (2 more)
Slovenia 7 (3 more)
Russia 6 (1 less)
Sweden 5 (no change)
Azerbaijan 4 (4 less)
Israel 3 (no change)
Armenia 2 (previously 0)
Greece 1 (previously 0)
Spain 0 (loses 2 points)
Estonia 0 (loses 1 point)

The only change to the overall Eurovision 2015 ranking is Armenia. Montenegro’s extra 2 points pushes Armenia’s total score from 34 to 36 points, beating Romania’s 35 points and therefore putting Armenia in 15th place (previously 16th).

What do you think? Does the EBU owe Montenegro answers? If there are no compelling answers, should the jury vote be reinstated?

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

Follow all of our Montenegro Eurovision news here

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
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Anonymous
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????????????????????????????????????????? ????? ??????? ?? ????? 28800?? (???)???? ????? ??????? ?? ????? 28800?? (???)? BOX? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 35Q?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Oh yes tell us ebu why you never did anything about the azerbaijan jury where SUPRISINGLY all the members puted armenia last! But oh i forgot, azerbaijan has a lot of money….

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[…] melodramatisch formuliert es Sabrija Vulic, der montenegrinische Delegationsleiter, in einer von Wiwibloggs publik gemachten Mail an den obersten Eurovisionsschiedrichter Jan Ola Sand. Grund der Entrüstung: […]

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“You know guys, if you want to be taken seriously as a site you shouldn’t be encouraging or write these kinds of articles that only creates further tension, distrust and even hate between different groups. That’s not what it’s about.”

So … This is your first time on the internet then?

jr esc nl
Guest
jr esc nl

Denis – dude have you actually ever looked at the azerbaijani jury results? You say “innocent until proven guilty” but how can we be so sure if montenegro is so guilty when the ebu hasn’t even come with evidence or arguments

Denis
Guest
Denis

First of, why are we still accusing Azerbaijan? Are we that quick to judge without knowing the truth? There was no evidence that there was cheating in the Azeri jury. All we have are rumours and hearsay, that’s not reason to make assumptions. We only have what a few people said, and they don’t even know what they heard. Unless they speak Azeri. Or Russian Everyone seems to believe Azerbaijan did something wrong, and this site sure does add fire to that debate. Aren’t you guys supposed to be serious in your articles? This was amateurish done. Haven’t you heard… Read more »

Comi
Guest
Comi

@NoYesNoMaybe?
As a Montenegrian, I agree 100% 😀

random.sage2.0
Guest

I’m still surprised Azerbaijan’s vote got throught with the 26th placement for Armenia and vice versa but Montenegro, with an average ass vote, isn’t included?

Was there some kind of love for Estonia and Sweden to keep their votes relevant?

NoYesNoMaybe?
Guest
NoYesNoMaybe?

Unlike a lot of people here, I think Montenegro should not get over it. Getting over injustices would just means it was okay. I think it is brave of them to do this, especially when most of the other countries would have given up.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

What is with all the elitist comments here? What has Montenegro done to you personally such that you feel the need to criticize them and say they are complaining too much etc? No country should feel intentionally singled out by the EBU for no reason so hopefully Montenegro gets an apology from the EBU and if anything, the Azeri jury should be thrown out.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

They should just stop complaining and get over it.

Garcia
Guest
Garcia

NO NO NO!!! I want this to STOP!! Euro 2015 is over baby!!! and now it is time to move on! WOOHOO!!

Comi
Guest
Comi

And where is the proof that our jury was actually corrupted? I guess even if they had proofs for Azerbaijani corrupted votes they would act like nothing happened. Sad.

Oostenrijk
Guest
Oostenrijk

Interesting how Azerbaijan got 8 points from the televote. For some reason Azerbaijan, which deserved last place, was very lucky this year with the juries, who favoured them over unlucky Czech Republic, but also lucky that their bought televotes in small Montenegro got all through.

Comi
Guest
Comi

We(Montenegrians) are not drama queens as some of you down there are stating. We got the point, want to admit or not. So basically, according to EBU, jurors can’t have simmilar taste(?), or other way around, they can’t have different taste(?) Seriously? Of course, it is Montenegro, a small country, so they can hit us with no problem, but what about Azerbaijani vote, both from this and last years? They were even more suspicious than ours! I def won’t be surprised if we skip ESC for some years ahead us, and I won’t blame if we actually do. We have… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

As much as I wanted Italy to win, I don’t want to return to all-televotes. The result was decided exclusively by juries for the first 40 years of the contest – are those results also invalid? It’s a flawed system, but I think it’s best. UK would’ve given Poland 12 points last year if it had been televoting, purely because of the amount of Polish migrants in the country. This is the best compromise.

Gilho Ahn
Guest
Gilho Ahn

Can’t we just return to the times there were no juries and people vote please? I will never accept that Swedish guy winning over Il Volo. Nor does anyone who actually spent money to vote. And Montenegro has every right to complain. We all saw that the Azeris had more “corrupt” jury votes than other countries, not only Montenegro. And Serbia and Montenegro are going to be the bew Greece and Cyprus! And… That’s all folks!

Robert
Guest
Robert

Montenegro has every right to complain, clearly EBU wanted to show they are in control and exclude corruption but didn’t have the balls to go after the big countries like Azerbaijan

Esceire
Guest
Esceire

Dont blame the EBU…Blame your corrupt jury members.

Leon
Guest
Leon

This really shows how biased EBU’s treatment of small countries is vs big/wealthy countries and in the case of Azerbaijan, countries that are willing to spend a billion dollars on a three night concert. If Germany, UK or any of the other top 5 had voted like Montenegro, their jury vote would have been counted. But Montenegro, a country of half a million people – somehow their vote is not up to EBU’s taste. Same with Azerbaijan – if the violations that Azerbaijan has been committing since their debut in this contest were done by any other country, they would… Read more »

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Well I mean they have a point….

Chris
Guest
Chris

@ Liana Montenegro has never had the Soviet mentality, since they were never a part of the Soviet Union. Moreover, as a part of communist Jugoslavia they never even were in the so called ‘Soviet bloc’ (‘Eastern bloc’). They didn’t belong to the military Warsaw Pact or to the economic Comecon. On the contrary, maintaining the communism, Jugoslavia cooperated with the Western world. The finest example was… Eurovision, in which they took part since 1961! In contrast to all countries from ‘Eastern bloc’, which weren’t interested in that due to political circumstances. So you should not insult them, saying about… Read more »

Mitchelvaneijk
Guest

@zaachepilovwkaa really? Why did Sweden win than? O wait they won tbe combined results

Mitchelvaneijk
Guest

#dramaqueens

Mitchelvaneijk
Guest

#dramequeens

zaachepilovwkaa
Guest

italy should won! Remove jury tards

Mario
Guest
Mario

Personally I really have a serious issue with San Marino’s pathetic messed up voting..
The san marinese jury is corrupted & they vote tactically..
Both winners Emmelie & Conchita receive nul zero points by San Marino!
And S.M. was the only single country from all in Malmo’s Vision that did not vote at all the winner Denmark!
Im really annoyed by their unnacceptable tricky attitude! Just shame on them..

Jack
Guest
Jack

I would like the EBU to be more transparent on number of televotes required to count and also reasons why a countries jury votes get scrapped. I’d also like to know why Armenia and Azerbaijan are allows to be political in their jury votes each year too. That said, Montenegro need to get over this and just try harder next year to make sure there is no corruption within their jury voting. Regardless, I don’t mind if there are less countries and the ones treating the contest so politically don’t return next year as these are the ones who always… Read more »

jr esc nl
Guest
jr esc nl

Well they are totally right… And the ebu is very corrupted themselves just even a 5 year old can see that the votes of azerbaijan are way worse.

Its Hard To Say *Adio* Isn't It?
Guest
Its Hard To Say *Adio* Isn't It?

Well what can i say really….
There is no big deal & fuzz..
But on the other way i don’t care really much about this..
If this negative issue means *Adio* for Montenegro in our EuroVision then whatever..
We can’t persuade anyone to still participate in ESC if they think otherwise..
Its not like Montenegro belongs to my favorite visionary countries anyway..

Deniz@TurkNL
Guest

Okay.. they are obviously not happy. And that, about anything so meaningless. But I guess the EBU should do what they say, to make Montenegro stay.

Liana
Guest
Liana

Oh for crying out loud. These people need to get over their soviet mentality and just need to accept the facts. Don’t take part in the contest next year if you don’t like the results so much. Who needs ya anyways!