The European Broadcasting Union has revealed the voting patterns of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Six countries, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan and San Marino, had their jury votes removed due to irregular patterns. The EBU has now revealed what actually happened that night.
EBU detects pattern of vote swapping
In their statement, the EBU confirm that they detected patterns of vote swapping between the six nations. They summarise the detection as follows:
In the Second Semi-Final, it was observed that four of the six juries all placed five of the other countries in their Top Five (taking into account they could not vote for themselves); one jury voted for the same five countries in their Top 6; and the last of the six juries placed four of the others in the Top 4 and the fifth in their Top 7. Four of the six received at least one set of 12 points which is the maximum that can be awarded.EBU
The reason the pan-European voting partner was alarmed by these rankings is because five out of six countries involved were placed outside the top eight in all fifteen remaining participating nations. Four of these six were in the bottom six with all other remaining voters. The EBU draw a strong conclusion, being:
A jury voting pattern irregularity of such a scale is unprecedented.EBU
For clarity, the EBU have also revealed the semi-final jury results without the six nations’ votes being taken into account. You can see that result below, with the six countries being highlighted in red.
How did these countries vote originally?
The EBU has also released the original votes by the six countries. In these results, we can see how they voted for each other. Some of the remarkable votes include Montenegro’s jury ranking Georgia, who finished last with the other fifteen countries, first. Georgia, Azerbaijan, Romania and San Marino all ranked the other five countries in their top five. For Montenegro, only Serbia managed to break the line, finishing in second place. For Poland, Sweden and Finland took 6 and 5 points, pushing Georgia down to #7 – still much higher than the other countries did.
What is an ‘irregular vote’?
The EBU has also clarified what they classify as an irregular vote. An irregular vote is detected if multiple security checks are triggered:
a) Deviation from the norm – Does the result reflect the overall taste of the other professional jurors? Bearing in mind that they are all music professionals requested to vote on the basis of the same criteria laid down under the Rules of the Contest (e.g. a national jury puts at the top of its ranking (a) song(s) that the majority of the others
b) Voting Patterns – Are there visible patterns of voting within the jurors?
c) Irregularities – Did the juries observe the Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest?
d) Reoccurring Patterns – Do other countries repeat similar voting patterns?
e) Are there beneficiaries – If deviations occur, who benefits from the result?
If the answer to more than two of these questions is Yes then the pattern is considered as irregular and the votes affected by such irregularity are removed provided that the irregularity is confirmed by the pan-European Voting Partner (benefiting from 17 years of experience administering the ESC voting) and acknowledged by the Independent Voting Monitor.
ESCXTRA.com is busy analysing these scores and will bring you more info as soon as we can! For now, we’d like to ask you… Do you think the voting patterns are as irregular as EBU claims? Were they right to be alarmed? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, make sure you follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts.