Two days after the final, there is still much to be done about the alleged vote fraud among juries from six participating countries of the Song Contest 2022. Their jury results were declared invalid and promptly replaced by other, composite points. But what exactly is going on?
It was just after midnight on Sunday when in the PalaOlimpico Alessandro Cattelan and Mika started contacting scorers in the participating countries of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 to get the jury points. At the start of the tour through Europe and Australia, the EBU suddenly sent a special press release which we wrote about earlier.
The jury vote of six countries from the second semi-final, in which Belgium also participated, was found to be too suspicious. The juries were thanked for services rendered before the final. We discovered then that it was about the jury results of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino, because complete rankings per jury member of those countries are missing on the official website of the Song Contest. In the meantime, vrtnws.be has learned from a good source that the juries in question had made mutual agreements to reward each other with points.
No new juries were called, but instead points were determined based on other countries’ voting results, as the EBU reported. There is also the greatest secrecy about this. We do know that this isn’t the first time jury results have ended up in the trash because of alleged cheating. In 2014 it happened to the Georgian jury points, in 2015 to those from Montenegro and North Macedonia. It is striking that two of those countries are now mentioned again.
Six of the twenty countries that voted in the second semi-final thus had an aggregated jury result based on other votes. That means that fifteen percent of the total result was determined in that way. It is noteworthy that the EBU is not more transparent about the chosen method and how it is determined which countries receive points.
A look at the jury points of the six countries in question in the second semi-final and the final shows us that they are indeed very similar to be. On Thursday evening, all six gave twelve points to Sweden and ten to Australia. The points of Poland and Romania are literally identical, both in the semi-final and the final. The same applies to the final points of Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Broadcasters and pointers stunned
However, the stocking is not over yet. Broadcasters from Georgia and Romania already announced that their jury results were in fact completely different. In Montenegro, it is firmly argued that the local jury verdict is in line with the general result, and that there is therefore nothing suspicious going on. And in Azerbaijan and again in Georgia and Romania it was already said that there were no technical problems at all during the scoring. We did not see any pointers in those countries, but we did see the Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl who announced the top score himself. Officially, this happened because a good radio connection could not be established, but according to the pointers themselves, that turns out not to be true at all. Images of the Romanian have already surfaced on social media spokesperson who was ready to hand out points, but stunned the moment she heard she was being skipped.
The question is how the EBU will handle the case further and what steps will be taken to prevent juries from countries from trying to be very friendly to each other again. In addition, there is also a need for more transparency about the methods used to determine the alternative result, since it can have major consequences for the final result. There is a chance that the organization itself will want more control over who sits on the juries and under what circumstances they give their points. An important precedent for this was set in 2004. Since that year, the EBU has been working with the German company Digame to count the calls from all participating countries and thus determine the points. Before that, broadcasters did that themselves, but even then there was a lot of cheating and barter.