On Saturday evening Russia’s Sergey Lazarev won the hearts and minds of Eurovision voters across the continent, topping the televote with 361 points, just ahead of televote runner-up Ukraine (323 points) and well ahead of third-place televote finisher Poland (222 points). But, as with Italy’s Il Volo last year, the professional juries marked Russia down, ranking him only fifth (behind Australia, Ukriane, France and Malta) and costing him the title.

Today his composer Filip Kirkorov spoke out, decrying the fact that Sergey received zero points from 21 juries. Yes, that’s HALF of them. Clearly offended, he went on to suggest that the jury’s share of the overall vote should be reduced from 50% to 25%.

Kirkorov, an influential figure in Russia’s Eurovision scene, even suggested that a change is necessary if Russia is to stay in the contest.

As the composer and producer of Russian entry I fully respect the result. I knew the rules and I accepted them. As a fan of this contest I am sad that a song, an entry and an artist like Sergey Lazarev was given zero points from 21 juries! When at the same time, the audience all over Europe voted for him with 3 points and above. 29 countries gave him 8, 10 and 12 points!! I really believe that EBU should reconsider the way juries are voting. Maybe take them down to 25%? Something needs to be done for Russia to take part again. This is my opinion.

This follows comments from the Russian broadcaster Channel One, which make it clear they are not amused by the jury’s sway over the results.

In a report published last night, the broadcaster points out that the Ukrainian jury did not award Russia any points, while the Ukrainian public awarded Russia top marks.

Yuri Akutsya, the head of Music Broadcasting at Russia’s Channel One, said:

For me, the most important thing is the results of the audience voting. Because music is as a whole composed of the audience. A professional jury is for some other form of music scores. Viewers and listeners appreciate the song, so I think that is a victory for Lazarev! Lazarev won.

Sergey is staying positive and diplomatic.

In an Instagram post he published on Sunday, he thanked televoters for crowning him their favourite, but also gave a congratulatory shout out to Jamala.

Where do you stand on the matter? Do the juries need to be reformed? Is Sergey the real winner of Eurovision 2016? Let us know in the comments box below.

As for now you can watch our video about jury reform from 2015 below.

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Bart Staelens
Guest
Bart Staelens

If it was only televoting Poland would have been 3th place and Australia 4th place. Poland before Australia???? That’s ridiculous. There’s diaspora that has an influence on televoting. Other exemples of how absurd the televoting was: Israel only 11 points (it’s outside Europe, it has no neighbours), Malta only 16 points (it’s an Island, so it has no neighbours), Australia couldn’t win the televoting because it’s outside Europe. The juries are political, but the televoters are even MORE political.

Alex
Guest
Alex

@Mushroom: In theory I am not against the doubling of the jury sizes. But I don’t think it’s necessary. Plus, you’re making it twice as hard for a jury to be chosen and kept – remember, their hotel stays need to be paid for (and wouldn’t the jury members need to be compensated for their time as well?). I don’t agree that the EBU should choose them – how should the EBU be expected to find qualified people in all these countries who have no conflicts of interest with any of the entrants? That should be the responsibility of the… Read more »

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Though I can understand Russia’s disappointment with the lack of any score from 21 countries, Ukraine also failed to gain any points with 17 juries, much to my surprise! Clearly Australia cleaned house with the juries, save 3: San Marino, Ireland (!) and Czechia. Nonetheless, in the televote, Russia managed points with EVERY single country, as did Ukraine–with the exception of Iceland. Conclusion: Australia was the clear jury fav; Russia and Ukraine the televote fav. The end.

anka
Guest
anka

Russia has gained and will enjoy a triple victory at this year’s Eurovision and probably well into the next year for these three reasons: 1) Russia was a true uncontested winner way before the Eurovision started, Sergey enjoyed the status of the major favorite for nearly 3 months. He obviously won with the true and honest vote of Europe 2) In the process of voting Russia has discovered that what the mainstream mass media has completely failed at demonizing Russia 3) Because the voting at this song contest was so coarsely forged by the EBU, the thinking people of Europe… Read more »

Dicke Fix
Guest
Dicke Fix

I agree with Filip Kirkorovs call for a reduced weight for the jury votes. The question is why they are needed at all since the jury-system is susceptible to both bribery and political pressure. The polish song was ranked 3 by the combined public vote. It was ranked 25th by the combined jury vote Some other very striking examples of the undemocratic “cultural and political correct” jurys: Despite the chilly relations between their goverments, the russian people voted the ukrainan song on second place, their jury put it on 24th place! The Ukraine people voted the Russian song on first… Read more »

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

@1944
That parody is disgusting & insulting, not only to Sergey but gays. Shame on you.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

PhysalisFranchetti :-

Oh…….. my last post was a response to one of your comments and I agree we need the jury to be more “cohesive” and less random. Less tactical and biased ranking should be eliminated by appointing true music professionals.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

The criteria set for the juries by the EBU are just guidelines and we clearly saw from the Russian jury video the voting form just has only one line for narrative per song. I’ve not seen any evidence that there is any % attached to the criteria, let alone changing them?? I have always assumed they carry the same weight, who knows. You said “Sweden sent in a song with very little staging.” I assure you it was not “sent” by desire. Bjorkman said he had a song capable of winning ESC in each semi. You can usually tell his… Read more »

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

@Alexanderized I’d correct you. “Russian government has recognized that issue in 1944 as such and even apologized for it.” For first, Crimean Republic still not restored like it was created in early USSR (as national), which means that crimean tatars is still out of caretake of their native lands. For second, only for last half-year we here in Crimea saw probably most numerous detentions and trials for nothing against tatars because of new bans of social and philosophic organizations. So the background is even raising more now, which never was since they started to return over past 25 years. Beware… Read more »

Millie
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Millie

At the end of the day, the song that inspires people to pick up their phone and vote or download it to their phone may not be ‘technically the best’ song. And that’s OK. Eurovision is about the whole package and people liked and voted for Sergey’s overall performance. Losing because a few record company execs or whatever didn’t like it is really is unfair to him. And don’t get me started on how poor Sergey, who was the sweetest and most darling thing when I was lucky enough to meet him, was basically used for the producers LOLOL EVIL… Read more »

Ern
Guest
Ern

Ukraine and Australia were better! That bit is undisputed.

However, the Russian entry should have been in everyone’s top 10. The fact that so many juries overlooked it is ludicrous. This was deliberately done, and it shows a bias with the jury system.

That being said, this is how Eurovision works. It’s all part of the game.

Jatvarður Gunlaugsson
Guest
Jatvarður Gunlaugsson

Or you could send a less bad song.
By the way, we always used to laugh at this guy because he genuinely looks like something out of the Hunger Games. With more plastic surgery.

Nebi
Guest
Nebi

The Russian number was one of the most spectacular since I’ve been watching Eurovision. It didn’t need to win with the Jury but 0 points from 21 juries? That means that it didn’t even come in the top ten for 21 juries? I find that very hard to believe.

musicfan
Guest
musicfan

Pure emotion succeed – congratulation Jamala.
Sergej, the staging, his performance was on a very high technical level BUT because of that fact there was too less emotion in his song and performance and thats the reason why he didn’t win. From the very beginning on Russia wanted to win, they felt sure to win . Its not wrong to want to succeed but it´s not good to be too self-assured of smthg. Sometimes is less more.

Alexanderized
Guest
Alexanderized

@Racal “the real problem is Russia lost to a Crimean Tatar singing about Russian crimes. That’s what they will never swallow.” You seem like a very profound expert on those matters. Over the past few year, Russians have learned to ignore this childish behavior when some of the people from ex-Soviet countries are trying to put the blame of the Soviet government on the current Russians. And if you must know: Russian government has recognized that issue in 1944 as such and even apologized for it. But as we’ve all seen it works out just fine bringing the political issues… Read more »

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

“You Are The Only One” Musically – very dated. It felt like something Greece would have submitted a decade ago. Lyrically – “Thunder and lightning, it’s getting exciting” was cringe-worthy and irritating. English that seems reasonable to non-English speaking people, but lame to those of us who do. Visually – this year, any interaction with visual effects were going to be compared with “Heroes”. Russia’s song felt like an expensive imitation that totally missed “Heroes” key ingredient – simplicity. When I first saw the video clip, I KNEW this would win ON THE CONDITION THAT Russia could reproduce the video… Read more »

kblomkvist
Guest
kblomkvist

Such a drastic difference between the televoters and the juries looks like a conspiracy to not let Russian guy win who was the public’s absolute favorite. I see so much hatred toward anything Russian (russophobia) in this forum, and in general, that it makes me scared that people’s preconceived hatred is overshadowed by an objective opinion. Ukraine of course had every possible ingredient to have the juries let her win: a political message (i thought those weren’t allowed, but since it was Ukraine vs. Russia, that was fine), a catchy tune, a good looking crying woman (who came out of… Read more »

DS
Guest
DS

Funny how international competition tries to stay away from politics. This whole situation reminds me of 1936 Olympic Games and considering that noone wants this to repeat thus don’t want to go to Moscow for next Eurovision. Meanwhile Russia will spend whatever needed to win so it can justify current regime. To be totally honest with the audience organizers should expell countries involved in military conflicts from the competition. That includes Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia as of today situation. If two countries are in a state of war you will se war on eurovision as well. Lets do Hunger Games… Read more »

Aly Marvel
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Aly Marvel

Such voting system ruins the real choise of ESC fans. Just look at Poland! From last place in jury voting to 8th because he was third by televoting, third among 26 performances!!! How that’s possible?! Is it possible that Malta’s jury gave 12 points to UK fairly? Let’s be honest – they don’t deserve it. I think this time it was great poitical show “Ukraine vs Russia” and I hate it so much. My trust to voting results decreases every next year. May be Jamala deserves to win but not this way. By the way I’m not sure that her… Read more »

BasterClaster
Guest
BasterClaster

@CookyMonzta – Russia has given to Ukraine 10 points!!! Tele-voting! Do not lie to us in the eye!!!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@vlvikin: JL said the same thing in the very first post, prompting my response.

Mushroom
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Mushroom

@vlvikin 4 million ethnic Ukrainians as well as 500,000 Ukrainian refugees and 2 million gastarbeiters live in Russia.

vlvikin
Guest
vlvikin

@CookyMonzta

The Russia public gave Ukraine 10, while their jury left them blank.

ESCArgy
Guest
ESCArgy

@Oxana

I love Kirkorov’s face, ha ha ha! Seriously, I can’t stop watching the results video on YouTube! It’s so funny! Kirkorov and some others act like babies. I still remember when I was a little kid that we played games and when someone lost, they said that it was unfair and they wanted the rules to change. Kirkorov is doing exactly the same, I can’t believe he is so immature!

Mushroom
Guest
Mushroom

@Alex After learning the information about the Danish jury I realized just how crucial is the voting of every jury member. Just imagine that there may be another one who was mistaken and there can be another one (or dozens) who have been paid to vote in a specific way. So who is the real winner if no fraud. No one can be sure. The jury should stay, however their number should be increased (at least to 10), they shouldn’t be chosen by the broadcasters, but by the EBU. There can be applied a trust ranking for jury members. For… Read more »

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Last year Israel’s Golden Boy did better in the televote.
Maybe this year Hovi was not good enough.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@SD: Just saw your post. Indeed. Israel and the Czech Republic would have been sent packing after the semis, and the Aussies would have finished 4th overall.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@JL: The Ukrainian public gave Russia 12, while their jury left them blank.

@Patrick: Interesting point. Not to mention that 18 juries also left Ukraine blank. The jury system must be retained, but I also think it would be a good idea to have 10 on the jury.

And let us consider this: If there was no jury, Israel would be the biggest loser, because Hovi would have been sent packing in the semifinal by the public. 🙁 Even Gabriela and the Czechs would have failed to make it to Saturday.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Last year, Polina Gagarina accepted her defeat because she knew she did not
win the televote, Italy did (without any diaspora or bloc, so you see what
happens when you have a good performance – good for Italy), but this year
it is hard to accept that you are defeated by jury who just hate you because
your staging was too good and too expensive.

Krinos
Guest
Krinos

I always will consider the televote’s winner to be the true winner. Jamala won with these rules, but Sergey won the hearts of thousands and deserves the title. I don’t know if it would have saved him, but I think the juries should award 8 points max.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I totally disagree with Kirkorov. @Racal and @Charles make good points here. First, nobody ever will make the suggestion of 75% jury, and Kirkorov should at least point out why juries are inherently less meritorious than public vote if he’s going to make this suggestion. Second, why should the jury be obliged to vote for the song that the televoters like, or vice versa? The intent of the jury-televote system that was introduced in 2009 is that you should have to please both a methodical, discerning jury and a popular audience to win a contest. And that’s what Ukraine did.… Read more »

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Instead of reconciliation, now ESC will bring new ”historical” entries
and I’m sorry for Russia, it was punished because it’s staging was
too good. ESC should become an radio contest then, if only music
should matter.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Jury rules to make them less biased: – 10 people instead of 5 – National broadcasters make a list of at least 300 professionals from their country. The morning jury needs to mark the songs 10 are randomly drawn from that list by the national EBU designed superviser who sends them the rules and the documents they need to fill in and bring them signed. The evening they come in a room with 10 computers with headphones for each and independently mark the songs they think are best. After that the national broadcaster can throw a small party where members… Read more »

BasterClaster
Guest
BasterClaster

I’ve been wondering! The Ukrainians themselves are not ashamed of such a victory? After all, there’s no need to be smart to see clean politics! Political song wins the song contest, which positions itself as not a political contest! Under strange circumstances, very strange voting!!!

If my country got this win – I would be ashamed!

Dan in Oz
Guest
Dan in Oz

Well, beating 42 other coutries to win in Eurovision is a huge effort, as there are so many factors that could spell the end of your hopes. And so, why not have a jury vote winner and a public vote winner – i.e. 2 winners? There are good arguements for the juries – more measured and expert decision-making on the musical merits of the songs (Russia’s really wasn’t a great tune. Catchy, but lyrically dull, but deserved a public vote win because as a performance it was amazing). And good arguments for the televote (tele-anything is so old hat!). People… Read more »

Lolilly
Guest
Lolilly

Jury voting sucks big time! They were more political than ever. This really needs to change.

Lolilly
Guest
Lolilly

Jury woting sucks big time! They were more political than ever. This really needs to change.

Kilo
Guest
Kilo

I am sorry that it is not defeated Australia. I think low to push the two countries – Russia and Ukraine once again on the political basis. Their performances have been good but it is not the winners for me (((

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

50 to 100 members on each jury?

Um, no. Ten to twelve would be better.

Jumper
Guest
Jumper

I’m happy with the Jury result.

Juries should stay but with more people (50 to 100 is good) and more professional and independent.

The biased result from televote should to be mended to avoid neighbourhood blocking countries.

Eurovision should progerss their result in order to raise global awareness for their singers/contestant.

eurana
Guest
eurana

Help us to revise the results of this contest. Please sign and share. Your voice is important. Every voice is important. We need at least 1500 more voices

https://www.change.org/p/europian-broadcasting-union-make-eurovision-song-contest-revise-the-results-of-the-song-contest-2016

Erin
Guest
Erin

What’s changed with regards to Russia from 2015 to 2016 and is it politically motivated or a no-confidence vote in a megalomaniac scenography turning Sergey into a superhero from a video game console? Back in 2015 when ‘Lady Gagarina’ came in second, the only 2 countries not awarding it points were Lithuania and San Marino. That raised a few eyebrows back then, especially where Lithuania was concerned, but the vote was a valid one and it wouldn’t have changed anything in Russia’s final ranking. Here we are in 2016: Lithuania’s jury and 20 other national juries all of a sudden… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Funny how Philip Kirkirov is also the man who happened to write arguably the best song Ukraine ever entered (2008’s Shady Lady) and was beaten by Russia that time! Poor guy can’t catch a break.

Statistic's man
Guest
Statistic's man

One thing is sure, 5 members is really not enough. OK for a jury, but at least 15 members.
That’s crazy when you think of the danish jury mistake.
Thanks to an error of ONE person, a country (Ukraine) went from 0 point to 12 points.
Just one person can put a country from 0 to 12 points, it’s insane.

Can you imagine the power you have when only one vote of one person can totally change a country vote to the complete opposite !

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

C’mon Russia.

This also means that the song was visually appealing, but there was no substance and ‘intrigue’ for the jury to give votes.

Dan82
Guest
Dan82

Here’s my take on it: I don’t really care about all the varying opinions about jury voting versus audience voting and which is the most good or evil. Those issues and the politics that inevitably come with it have been part of the song contest for as long as I have been watching the event. You’ll never be able to get rid of it and if you can’t live with it, you clearly have been watching the wrong show all this time! Even if you were to take away jury voting entirely, then broadcasters would just spend the time leading… Read more »

mangou
Guest
mangou

He’s just mad they lost, that’s all. If the system had benefited Russia they would be touting it’s success right about now.

tania
Guest
tania

oh, uk jury vote is the one i respect. i think georgia was very cute. and 10 points to ukraine is also good.
what i can’t understand is why so many people with kirkorov on the head demand jury points to russia. they even created the petition. nobody is obliged to give them points. all in all the song was not very good. and it seems to me that mishmash of visual effects was intended mostly for surprising and attraction of non-professionals what it did in the end

BasterClaster
Guest
BasterClaster

If you look at the vote OGAE
http://esctracker.com/ogae
You will be absolutely clear that the song of Ukraine was not the best. It was a completely political vote. Has nothing to do with the real musical competition.

All the evidence suggests that Ukraine would have lost. If the competition was fair.

The most deserving winners: France, Australia, Armenia, Russia.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Maclaren

Didn’t surprise me in the least that the UK gave Georgia 12-points. Midnight Gold was a very british indie-rock sounding song. If anyone was going to like it, its the Brits.