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Antifake

Russian media accuse Eurovision of rigging vote in favor of Ukraine. Is it true?

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Following the victory of the song «Stefania» by the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra at Eurovision, Russian media reported that the song contest organizers canceled the votes of several national juries and added their own points instead. In the article called «The organizers of Eurovision-2022 accused of tampering with the scores» RIA «Novosti» wrote:

«Delegations from Romania, Azerbaijan and Georgia accused the international song contest organizers of rigging the scores.
The head of the Romanian delegation, Iuliana Marchuk, was quoted by the TVR channel as saying that the highest number of points from the Romanian jury was given to Ukraine instead of Moldova. «The result of the Romanian jury vote was not taken into account when calculating the final rating, the organizers used a different set of points on behalf of our country's jury,» she said.
As a result of the changes made by the organizers, Moldova did not receive any points from Romania.
According to 1news.az, the organizers of the competition cited technical problems with live broadcast and announced the wrong scores. As a result, Great Britain, and not the Ukrainian musicians, got the maximum number of points from Azerbaijan.
The Georgia News Portal also reports that the national jury representatives gave the maximum number of points to Ukraine, but the table of scores showed 12 points given to Britain.»

Thus, according to RIA, in one of the three disputed cases it was Moldova who suffered, and Ukraine was the «beneficiary», but in the other two cases, on the contrary, points were taken away from Ukraine and given to Great Britain. Other pro-Kremlin media outlets preferred not to pay attention to such subtleties. See the headlines in Komsomolskaya Pravda - «Falsifications found again at Eurovision-2022. Romania gave the highest score to Moldova but it was Ukraine who received it»; on the REN TV channel - «Eurovision organizers removed Romania's points and gave them to Ukraine,» in News.ru - «Romania says its score at Eurovision Song Contest was changed in favor of Ukraine.»

The contest organizers have indeed cancelled the votes of a number of national juries, not just three, but six. The following message appeared on the contest's website the day after the Final:

«In the analysis of jury voting by the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) pan-European voting partner after the Second Dress Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, certain irregular voting patterns were identified in the results of six countries.
In order to comply with the Contest’s Voting Instructions, the EBU worked with its voting partner to calculate a substitute aggregated result for each country concerned for both the Second-Semi Final and the Grand Final (calculated based on the results of other countries with similar voting records).
This process was acknowledged by the Independent Voting Monitor.
The EBU takes any suspected attempts to manipulate the voting at the Eurovision Song Contest extremely seriously and has the right to remove such votes in accordance with the Official Voting Instructions, irrespective of whether or not such votes are likely to influence the results and/or outcome of the voting.»
The six countries who had their jury votes removed are:
- Azerbaijan
- Georgia
- Montenegro
- Poland
- Romania
- San Marino
Instead, an «aggregated result» for each country was calculated and used. The aggregated result was calculated based on the results of other countries with «similar voting records».

There is a provision in the Eurovision voting rules that if for some reason it is impossible to get a legitimate result from any national jury, it should be replaced by the average score given by the juries of the countries whose votes at the previous contests were closest to the scores given by the jury of that country. This is precisely the mechanism that was used.

The official report does not specify the irregularities that led to the cancellation of the votes of the six national juries. But according to Global Happenings it turned out that during the second Semi-Final, the jurors from those countries had transmitted their scores to third parties and posted online photos of completed score sheets. The contest rules categorically forbid such behavior; the scores given by the Belarusian jury had been cancelled in 2019 for the same reason.

Those decisions could not affect the final result of the contest: the maximum score that a contestant can receive from each of the national juries is 12 points, and in the final protocol Ukraine was ahead of the second-place Great Britain by 165 points.

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