The Azeri public broadcaster, İctimai (ITV) has given its response to the jury vote exclusion of Azerbaijan from Eurovision 2022. They sent a letter of inquiry to the EBU.
Previously stated by the EBU, 6 countries in Eurovision 2022 had their jury votes removed due to irregular voting patterns. Azerbaijan was one of these countries, the others were Georgia, Poland, Romania, Montenegro and San Marino. Three of these countries, Georgia, Romania and Azerbaijan had their Grand Final votes announced by Martin Osterdahl. This was stated to be due to connection issues.
As such, along with the other 5 countries, Azerbaijan’s jury vote was nullified and replaced with an aggregated score of other countries with valid jury votes and similar voting methods. Specifically, for Azerbaijan, this was from the other countries in Pot 3 with valid jury votes. As Georgia also were in Pot 3, and so were Russia (prior to their removal from the contest), this means that this was an aggregate of only three countries – Ukraine, Armenia and Israel. Azerbaijan’s jury votes were also therefore identical to Georgia’s.
The Azerbaijani broadcaster’s response is as follows – and you can read the original (in Azerbaijani) here:
The broadcaster has demanded an explanation from the EBU, stating that their original jury votes were rejected by the EBU. They had been asked to announce the aggregate votes instead, which they rejected.
The broadcaster denies that they had any technical issues that would have stopped them from presenting their votes. They did not give the EBU permission to announce votes on their behalf.
You can read their statement below:
The broadcaster’s statement
The events that took place during the final stage of the Eurovision-2022 song contest and the decisions made after that were met with regret by the Azerbaijan Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.
We declare that we sent the names of the countries voted by the Azerbaijani jury to the organizers of the competition. According to the list, 12 points were given to Ukraine. In response, the organizers of the competition urged the representatives of the Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company to announce other results at the end of the final show, without giving any reasons. We have categorically rejected this request. An official letter of inquiry was immediately sent to the organizers, and we said that we would announce the voices of our jury, and not the results of the live broadcast, and make this issue public.
Only then were we informed that there was some “strangeness” in the voices of six countries, including Azerbaijan, during Thursday’s semi-finals. It should be noted that we have not been informed about this “strangeness” from Thursday to the end of the final on Saturday, and no “evidence” has been provided so far.
Despite the fact that the representative of the Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company was ready to announce the results of the jury voting in Azerbaijan during the broadcast, the organizers of the competition were not closed to Baku, but announced their results on our behalf. The failure to carry out this process in Baku is due to technical problems. However, we did not have any technical problems to announce the votes live.
We emphasize once again that we have not given the organizers any right to announce the votes on behalf of Public Television. We are waiting for an official response to this issue and plan to take the next steps depending on it. We hope that the situation will be resolved soon, provided that justice is done. “ITV (translated from Azerbaijani)
The EBU’s position is that this situation was due to irregular voting patterns. Some media sources have claimed that this controversy is due to plans to exchange votes.
The full EBU statement on the matter can be read below:
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.
Azerbaijan in Eurovision 2022
Azerbaijan finished 16th in the Grand Final with 106 points. Their dark ballad “Fade To Black”, performed by Nadir Rustamli, was a big hit with the juries, scoring 103 points. It received only 3 points from the public.
As stated above, during the voting sequence of the Grand Final, Azerbaijan was one of three countries, along with Georgia and Romania, where the spokespersons could not be contacted to reveal their votes. This was stated to be due to technical difficulties in establishing a connection. Instead, the contest’s executive supervisor, Martin Osterdahl, read out Azerbaijan’s jury votes to be added to the scoreboard.
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