Every year, fans love to pore over the results from each edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, especially looking for differences between the jury vote and televote results. But there’s one year where the data isn’t so complete. The official results for Eurovision 2013 do not include the split totals for the jury and televote scores. Let’s take a look at why this is and figure out if we’ll ever get the full data.
The Eurovision 2013 voting situation
The voting system for the Eurovision Song Contest has evolved over the past decades and 2013 was another year of change.
Prior to 2013, each country’s jury only supplied its top ten ranked songs, while the televote ranked the full list of competing songs. From 2013, this was changed so that juries supplied their full list of rankings, not just their top ten.
However when the EBU released the full results for 2013, there was one big difference. Unlike in previous years, there were no longer split totals for the overall jury and televote scores.
The year of averages
Since the 50/50 televote/jury vote mix began in 2009, a breakdown of the totals scores for each competing country from the two voting groups had been made available.
Instead in 2013, the EBU had provided an average of the jury rank and the televoting rank that each competing country had received. This change was confirmed prior to Eurovision 2013, when the EBU published the updated voting rules. The rules stated:
“The combined split ranking of the televote and the combined split ranking of the jury vote will be published by the EBU’s Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on www.eurovision.tv within four weeks after the Final.”
The new system changed the information provided about the results. For example, in 2012, Sweden came top of the televote with 343 points and topped the jury vote with 296 points, and had 372 points overall. In 2013, however, all we know is that Denmark topped the televote with an average rank of 4.97 and topped the jury vote with an average rank of 6.23. We also know that Emmelie de Forest earned an overall points total of 281. A concise victory for Denmark, sure, but why did the EBU only release average ranks and not total scores?
At the time, the EBU did not give a specific explanation for the results format, but this page seems to imply that under the new voting system, the EBU considered ranks to be more useful data than scores.
The EBU did, however, explain why voting rankings from each country’s jury and televote would not be given. It was to avoid revealing which countries had not met the minimum threshold for televoting.
“To protect the fairness of the voting, the EBU does not release the split ranking of televoting and jury per country. Publishing these numbers would explicitly highlight if countries don’t meet the televoting threshold — the minimum number of televotes needed to become a statistically valid result — is and where thus only the jury voting was regarded valid. Explicitly highlighting these countries could lead to unwanted disproportionate influence on the televoting in these countries in future years to come.”
The importance of transparency
But that concern didn’t last long. From 2014 onwards, in the name of transparency the EBU published a full breakdown of both jury and televote results from all countries. This included a return of the total scores of the split results.
This decision stemmed from major concerns about problematic voting at Eurovision 2013. That year, Lithuanian media published video footage which they claimed showed Azerbaijan’s efforts at vote-buying ahead of Eurovision 2013.
Publishing the full results proved to be a smart choice. In 2019, it was fan analysis of the full results that resulted in the miscalculated composite vote for Belarus being spotted and officially amended.
So why can’t the split results from Eurovision 2013 be released?
The big question is, if the original reason for not revealing the split results in 2013 is no longer an issue, then why can’t the full jury and televote totals be revealed for Eurovision 2013?
In 2013, at the time of announcing the more transparent jury rules for 2014, the then Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand was asked if the points per jury member would therefore be revealed for previous years. He responded:
“No, the rule changes are for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. According to the rules for the previous years, this is not an option.”
This is likely to also be the reason why the overall jury and televote split totals for 2013 can’t be released — it simply wasn’t allowed for in the rules for Eurovision 2013.
All jurors and broadcasters participated in 2013 with the agreement and expectation that their voting totals would not be publicly released, so the EBU cannot arbitrarily go back on this agreement.
One thing’s for sure — if the full split results for Eurovision 2013 are ever released, there will be a lot of fans and Eurovision academics happy that they can complete the one rogue column in their spreadsheets.
What do you think? Should the EBU release the full split results from Eurovision 2013? Do you like analysing Eurovision data? Tell us your thoughts below!