Eurovision 2020🇳🇴 Norway

🇳🇴 Norway’s NRK responds to media row following “scandalous” online voting crash during Melodi Grand Prix

During tonight’s grand final of Melodi Grand Prix in Norway, in which Ulrikke Brandstorp was crowned the winner with “Attention”, the online voting system crashed. This resulted in the four superfinalists being chosen by a 30-person demoscopic jury. As a result, Norwegian media and the public have caused the debacle “scandalous” and NRK have responded with a series of statements.

NRK explains the events

In a statement on the NRK website, NRK writes that at 9.15pm local time, it was reported from the stage that there were technical difficulties with the online voting. As a result, a backup jury determined the four superfinalists. 24 minutes later, ahead of the second round of voting closing, Melodi Grand Prix producers reported the online system had been fixed, Nevertheless, at 10pm, as the final round of voting between Kristin Husoy and Ulrikke Brandstorp was ongoing, NRK News received further reports that the public vote was not fully working.

“Things can go wrong”

Stig Karlsen, project manager of Melodi Grand Prix made the following statements:

“When there is such a large and complex production as this, things can go wrong and unfortunately the technical side wasn’t with us today. We had to use a public jury that has been prepared for such kind of situations. It was used to select four artists, then it was the audience that voted. We received over 700,000 votes in the last round.

A demoscopic jury

Regarding who the backup jury consisted of, Karlsen explains that it is a jury that represents the demographics of the entire country:

There are 30 people who are, of course, chosen to represent people from all over the country of all different ages. What we see is that we are left with a winner who has been a big favourite all the way, so we have a worthy winner, that I am absolutely sure of.

As the situation was unfolding, host Ronny Brede Aase explained that the online system had been overloaded by the “very keen” public and it had been “absolute chaos”.

“Absolutely scandalous”

The article mentions the uproar found both on social media and in local media outlets.

Melodi Grand Prix expert Anders Tangen says:

This is absolutely scandalous. They’ve had trouble before and have had time to check. We need to have confidence in the result, and then we need to know a little bit about who the jurors are. And where they are from.

Aftenposten’s cultural journalist Rober Gjestad made the following statement in Aftenposten, believing that one of the favourites, Rein Alexander, suffered most as a result of the backup jury vote:

Here you can probably guarantee that the result would be a completely different if the people had been voted as planned. One of the biggest favourites, Rein Alexander, was surprisingly eliminated now. Would he be in it otherwise? I think so. That the state channel NRK is unable to prepare for an evening like this is absolutely incredible. They got into trouble right away in the first semi-final in January. Then it’s a scandal that they haven’t solved before the final itself.

The public chose the winner

Nevertheless, an online voting result was deemed valid for the dramatic final showdown which saw Ulrikke Brandstorp crowned the winner by just a few thousand votes over Kristin Husoy.

Did you manage to vote in tonight’s Melodi Grand Prix? Let us know your thoughts @ESCXTRA!

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