The Eurovision grand final would normally see the speculation over who would place where at the contest finally come to rest, with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) revealing the complete and finite results after the confetti has fallen. However, in 2019, the drama around the voting is still very much alive over a week after the contest came to an end. And it doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon.
Yet another possible discrepancy in the voting has recently emerged – this time from the Italian televote in semi-final two. As a result, the Lithuanian broadcaster LRT is now seeking clarification on the matter.
So what exactly is the discrepancy that LRT is inquiring to the EBU about?
Yesterday, Italian broadcaster RAI published the full Italian televote results from both semi-final two and the grand final. Although the latter of these aligns with the results published by the EBU, the former does not.
EBU Published Results
Albania – 12 points
Romania – 1o points
Norway – 8 points
Russia – 7 points
Switzerland – 6 points
Moldova – 5 points
Azerbaijan – 4 points
The Netherlands – 3 points
Malta – 2 points
North Macedonia – 1 point
RAI Published Results
Albania – 16.08% (12 pts)
Romania – 10.39% (10 pts)
Russia – 9.92% (8 pts)
Moldova – 8.66% (7 pts)
Norway – 8.58% (6 pts)
Switzerland – 5.93% (5 pts)
North Macedonia – 5.47% (4 pts)
Azerbaijan – 5.40% (3 pts)
Malta – 4.42% (2 pts)
Lithuania – 4.13% (1 pt)
If the results published by RAI are indeed the correct televote results (Eurovision fan-site ESCXtra contacted a member of the Italian delegation who stated that they were), this would see Russia, Moldova, North Macedonia and Lithuania each gain points, while Norway, Switzerland, Azerbaijan and The Netherlands would all lose points.
The most significant of these changes is Lithuania’s jump up to tenth place and one point gain. Although this seems a relatively small change, the current overall standings of semi-final two show that the Baltic country finished in eleventh place, just one point behind tenth-place qualifier Denmark. The change in results would see both Lithuania and Denmark tie for tenth position on 94 points.
The current rules for tiebreakers associated with ties for last position in the semi-final state: “Should there be a tie for the last position in a Semi-Final (because two songs have received the same number of points)…the winner shall be the song which has obtained the highest rank from all the National Audiences [televote]”.
Therefore, since Lithuania received 77 points from the televote in semi-final two, where as Denmark received 41 points, Lithuania would win any possible tiebreak situation.
This leaves the question, should Lithuania have qualified to the grand final of Eurovision 2019 instead of Denmark?
It is possible that the EBU and their voting monitor Ernst & Young discovered some errors in RAI’s calculations that were later corrected without the broadcaster’s knowledge. However, until the EBU officially comments on the matter we can only speculate on what could have been.
LRT seeks clarification from EBU
After hearing about the discrepancy in results, Lithuania’s Head of Delegation at Eurovision, Audrius Giržadas, confirmed that the broadcaster would be formally applying to the EBU to ask for clarifications about the Italian televote result:
The situation is really interesting. We, as a broadcaster, have suffered moral and rating misconduct, and we may have enough to acknowledge the error.
Audrius also comments that Lithuania’s Eurovision 2019 representative, Jurij Veklenko, could be due compensation for the error:
The songwriter and performer could claim substantial financial compensation – when the song is performed to such a large audience, the author’s reward for playing the song twice is significantly higher than when it it is performed only once.
However, speaking to LRT.lt himself, Jurij remains unfazed by the situation and says his job is to focus on the music rather than the money:
I did everything I could, but it happened as it happened. Those who were in the finals were worthy of it, and I don’t see the point of unnecessarily hitting or depriving them of their place in the table. I think [my managers] will decide whether to take action and my job is to create music.
What if other semi-final two ‘mistakes’ were corrected?
This most recent voting discrepancy follows on from the correction to the grand final results last week, after “human error” led to the incorrect aggregated result being used for the Belarusian jury.
However, this is not the first potential mistake in the results of the second semi-final. It was earlier reported that Swedish juror, and former Alcazar singer, Lina Hedlund had ranked the songs in the reverse order – putting her favourite song, Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade” for the Netherlands, last and her least favourite tune, PAENDA’s “Limits”, first.
This affected the points given by the Swedish jury. If Lina’s song order had been correct and new averages for the Swedish jury calculated, the revised guesstimate of the Swedish results (without applying the EBU’s weighting system) would see Denmark gain two points and Lithuania lose one.
If this possible error was also corrected, in addition to the discrepancy in the Italian televote results, then Denmark would remain in tenth position, with 96 points. Lithuania would instead be three points behind on 93 points and still in the non-qualification eleventh place.
It is important to note that neither Lina, Swedish broadcaster SVT or the EBU have commented on this matter.
Therefore, like the discrepancy in the Italian televote, this ‘mistake’ is still not official. Although highly unlikely, maybe the “Victorious” hit-maker really did have a complete change of heart in the two days between the second semi-final and the grand final, which resulted in her placing The Netherlands last in the former and first in the latter.
Update (15:50 BST 28/05/2019)
Further reports suggest that a Russian juror may have also ranked the semi-final two songs in the reverse order, putting Denmark first instead of last. If this potential error was also corrected, the revised guesstimate of the Russian jury votes would see Denmark lose the three points it was initially awarded. Adding this change to the others noted above would result in Denmark falling to 93 points. Thus, Lithuania and Denmark would once again be tied for tenth place.
As always, until the EBU officially comments on the matter and confirms any errors, any ‘mistakes’ are purely speculative.
What do you make of this latest voting discrepancy? Are you annoyed that there appear to be so many mistakes in the results? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below!