Late last night the EBU decided to release the Jury and Public Split votes of the Eurovision Contest 2013. First note is that these figures were average rankings for every country in both jury and televoting.. Ranking the countries based on these average rankings mean very little, because they include the full rankings, while the points were given to 10 songs only after adding up the televoting and the jury ranking.
Now I am going to bow down to the mathematician Ervin Juhász from ESCXtra who has written a very good article on why the results do not bring us closer to knowing the true votes within each of the countries. However there are a few interesting facts that we can look at.
When you look at how the Juries and Public voted and differed from the overall final positions of the songs in the final it is a pretty even looking profile
The Jury Vote
The Jury agreed with 4 countries placings, The Jury ranked 11 countries higher that their final placing and finally the Jury ranked 11 countries worse than their final placing
The Public Vote
The Public agreed with 2 countries final placing, The Public ranked 11 countries higher than their final placing and The Public ranked 13 countries lower than their final placings
There are however a small group of countries that must be feeling hard done by the apparent (I say that as we do not have the full picture) Jury votes
Hungary made their return to the Eurovision Top 10. Their overall ranking percentage had them in 10th place – with the Public having them ranked 8th yet the Jury had them down in 21st place!
Romania placed 13th overall yet having won the public vote in Semi Final 2 and ranking 7th in the Grand Final with the public, the Jury had Cezar way down in 24th. If you look at the Italian votes that were released Romania/Cezar won the Public vote by a landslide margin – yet when Italy announced their votes in the Grand Final Romania on received 1 point thus wiping the Public vote completely – is this REALLY a 50/50 Jury vote under the ranking system? 5 people on the Italian Jury overruled the Italian Public.
Sweden bucked the trend and surprisingly ranked 3rd with the Jury in the final and 18th with the public thus bringing them to 14th overall.
Ireland placed 26th in the Grand final yet they ranked 14th with their Public percentages and 23rd with the Jury.
These figures are all subjective as they are not based on solid votes and just on percentages!
In both Semi Finals there were Public ranked songs that were denied a place by the Juries.
Montenegro were ranked 4th in the Public vote in Semi Final 1 while Switzerland ranked 5th in the percentages in the public vote. In both cases the Jury vote would have appeared to have taken their votes down.
So why can we not see the full set of figures from each country?
The EBU are taking the stance that to disclose the country splits would highlight where the televote did not reach the threshold limit. If the threshold level is not met then the Jury vote is classed as the country vote. Fears that if people know where the threshold is not met that it may make them targets for potential televoting fraud. This is something that the EBU is investigating at present following the alleged video of Lithuanian televotes being attempted to be bought on behalf of Azerbaijan.
However the Jury vote is fundamentally flawed!
Firstly a Jury is made up of 5 members. Working on averages all it takes is for one Jury member to not like your song and your Jury score is impacted. When Eurovision was last purely based on Jury Voting, the Jury was made up of 16 members. What this does is to balance out the Jury vote and allow for potentially a wider range of songs to be merited.
Secondly it makes it much more difficult for a jury to be influenced by external forces or by the opinion of one jury member.
Thirdly how can we take the EBU pledge in complete faith when they say that all jury activities are independently monitored and all jury members have to sign a contract/pledge saying that they are neutral. Well according to our friends at WiwiBlogs, the EBU failed to notice that one of their Big 5 contestants – Italy – did not comply with the EBU directive on 2 counts, According to Wiwiblogs
“The composition of the Italian jury did not comply with more than one of the EBU rules regarding the National Juries. Thus, Italian jury members Paolo Giordano (chairman), Gianni Sibilla, Luca Dondoni, Fabrizio Basso and Luigi Bolognini are all journalists and music critics, but none of them are, as the EBU rule dictates, either “radio DJ, artist, composer, author of lyrics or music producer”. Moreover, all of them are male, which violates another EBU rule: “There shall be a balance among the members of each National Jury to ensure sufficient representativeness in terms of gender, age and background.”
If such a glaring oversight can be made and not picked up by the EBU, how can they expect the Europe public to take the voting split “Percentages” in good faith. Also how secure do you feel that the EBU will carry out their investigations into vote buying attempts if basics are allegedly not being adhered to. Why is transparency an issue here?
Now I am no lawyer so bear with me. In many countries the National Broadcaster that comes to Eurovision is run by the local government. Hence it is a Government Agency, thus their data could be seen as falling under the jurisdiction of the “Freedom of information laws ” that allow access by the general public to data held by national governments. They establish a “right-to-know” legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information, to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Also variously referred to as open records, or sunshine laws (in the United States), governments are also typically bound by a duty to publish and promote openness.
In summary we suggest the following to the EBU
- Full disclosure of Eurovision voting on a country basis every year
- Full details of Jury members to be released to the public
- Penalties for countries that do not comply with EBU directives
- Jury size and demographic to be increased from 5 members to a minimum of 16 – one might suggest 26 to fit in with the ranking system
- Jury members must listen to the songs prior to the Jury voting broadcasts (as this negates them judging the songs on the criteria that the EBU has set out)
We are going to indulge ourselves as we feel cheated out of Seeing Montenegro’s “Who See and Nina” in the Grand Final complete with space suits and sexy cyborg!
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source : EBU, EscXtra, WiwiBlogs and Eurovision Ireland