The Romanian broadcaster has released a statement about the scandal surrounding their jury votes. Their latest statement is disapproving of how the EBU has handled the situation. The broadcaster is considering withdrawal from future editions of Eurovision.
The broadcaster’s statement
The full statement can be found here (in Romanian), and an English translation is available on the broadcaster’s Facebook page. The rest of this article will quote the statement in short chunks.
This statement follows the latest in the jury votes scandal, which saw Romania’s jury votes for the entire contest excluded from Eurovision 2022. They were one of six countries for which the jury votes were excluded. This was due to suspected voting irregularities in the jury voting for semi-final 2. The Romanian jury votes for the contest were replaced with an aggregate from other countries with similar voting patterns; those in its semi-final pot.
Initially, the broadcaster released this statement. They now have issued a follow-up statement with a shift in tone.
‘TVR disapproves of how the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) handled the situation’
The statement begins with TVR expressing their disapproval of the EBU’s handling of the scandal. They also accuse them of a double standard towards some countries. The algorithm used to replace Romania’s votes is also criticised.
TVR investigates the allegations made by the EBU, but disapproves how it handled the situation generated by the votes expressed by the national juries, on the occasion of the semifinals and the final of the Eurovision 2022 contest
TVR disapproves how the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) handled the situation generated by the votes expressed by the national juries on the occasion of the semifinals and the final of the Eurovision 2022 contest.
We find the behavior of the EBU unacceptable, which has applied a double standard to some groups of countries whose votes were split in a way that raises suspicion.
While some countries have been penalized, jury notes have been replaced with grades awarded by the EBU – through a so-called non-transparent “algorithm” which in turn raises suspicions – for others no sanction was applied. Worse, they benefited from extra points, directed by the EBU on behalf of the penalized countries (details at the end of the statement).TVR, statement
‘TVR only found out after the final how the jury voted in the semi-final’
TVR go on to claim that this is down to poor communication on the part of the EBU. They were willing to cooperate with these concerns and fix the situation ahead of the Eurovision final. This is if it were the case that votes in the semi-final were irregular. However the EBU did not contact them. TVR also claims no knowledge of any of the details of their jury’s votes, according to Eurovision regulations.
The impact of these suspicions on the contest and on the reputation of sanctioned televisions could have been eliminated entirely if the EBU had communicated its concerns to the parties involved as soon as they were observed, i.e. Wednesday, May 11, after noon 2nd semi final for jury duty
If the EBU had communicated, the next day after the vote, to the targeted delegations the notes given by the juries of the six countries and explained convincingly the existence of a “irregular voting pattern,” TVR would have had time to react to investigate the allegations promptly and correct the situation if there was the case
This way, during Thursday, May 12, we could eliminate any suspicion that was planning on the votes given by the jury during the second semi-final, and during the public gala the finalists could be announced on the basis of the jury’s grades, n and those generated by the “algorithm.” “This would have been possible, however, only if the EBU had treated TVR as a real partner and had kept in mind that the Eurovision regulation is the one that gives total independence to the national juries and that the televisions cannot find out and neither in fluency in scores given by swear, long after they have been sent to the EBU. Thus, TVR found out only after the final how the Romanian jurors voted in the semifinal.
Unfortunately, because the EBU decided to send us the relevant information only seven days later, all we could do was ask the Romanian jury for official explanations, “post-factum,” about the vote in the second semi-final. Even in this context, where we have already been judged and sanctioned, without being given the opportunity to defend ourselves, TVR will collaborate with all other sanctioned televisions to find out if the irregularities reported were the result of an attempt assets of fraud.TVR, statement
‘In the case of these countries, the organizers did not report “irregular voting typing.”‘
TVR also makes the claim that the EBU’s observers did not report any fraud from observing two of the six, hence why EBU executive supervisor Martin Osterdahl was able to announce a ‘valid result’.
They go on to highlight a set of other countries, Belgium, Australia and Sweden, who exchanged high points in this year’s jury voting process. TVR calls these countries “sanctioned” and compares it to the situation with the six countries whose jury votes were excluded.
NB: when considering these claims, it’s important to note that every valid jury vote in semi-final 2 voted for Sweden and Australia, each getting by far the most 12s and 10s respectively. All but 2 voted for Belgium. From the affected countries, Azerbaijan and Poland received high jury points from other nations, the other 4 countries with excluded votes received between 3 and 5 valid jury votes in semi-final 2.
From the table in our analysis, including the excluded votes would have resulted in all six countries climbing between 2 and 4 places on the semi-final 2 jury scoreboard. The excluded votes would not have changed any of the actual qualifiers from semi-final 2.
TVR’s argument includes that Sweden, Australia and Belgium benefited from the algorithm that the EBU used to replace the votes of the six excluded nations. This is true, using simulated votes based on the votes of other countries would have benefited already popular songs moreso than less popular ones. However, as of now, no voting irregularities have been found by the EBU between these three countries.
Another aspect to note is that the EBU has prevention and control mechanisms. When a jury is suspicious, he can send observers to oversee the voting process. This is what happened this year when the EBU decided to send observers to two of the six sanctioned countries.The observers’ conclusion was that the vote was regulatory and they did not report any fraud or attempted fraud. This is one of the reasons why, at the beginning of the final test for the public, the EBU representative announced that all votes cast by the jury are valid.
While Romania and five other countries were sanctioned for voting each other, here’s how the votes were distributed, in the second semifinal, in the case of three other countries:
Australia has given up to:
North Macedonia 7
Australia received from:
North Macedonia 5
BELGIUM PASSED TO:
Belgium received from:
Sweden has given to:
Sweden has received from:
In the case of these countries, the organizers did not report “irregular voting typing.” “Furthermore, they also gave them the most assigned points, through “algorithm,” from the countries sanctioned because they voted among themselves. Of the six countries accused of having an honorary deal to enter the final, only three managed. Of the three countries that received points through the “algorithm” from sanctioned countries, all of them managed to reach the final.TVR, statement
‘TVR representatives are considering Romania’s withdrawal from the upcoming editions of Eurovision’
TVR continues to blast the EBU’s attitude towards TVR and their actions surrounding the scandal, particularly regarding the presentation of Romania’s votes in the Grand Final.
As a reminder, the Romanian jury results were announced by Martin Osterdahl. The EBU claimed ‘technical difficulties’ was the reason for this. TVR denies that there was any technical issue and that their spokesperson was ready to announce the results. Rather, they claim that the reason that Osterdahl announced the results was that TVR would not accept announcing the EBU’s aggregated jury votes. These aggregated votes did not award 12 points to Moldova as the Romanian jury wished.
Due to this situation between the EBU and TVR and the way in which TVR feels they have been treated, TVR is considering a withdrawal from Eurovision.
The incomprehensible attitude of the EBU towards TVR, a traditional member of this organization, who deserves to be treated with respect, is also underlined by the fact that the Eurovision organizers chose to lie during the broadcast of the final results of the contest Oops. When it came to the Romanian representative to announce the result of the jury vote, the organizers invoked a non-existent technical problem to present the notes provided by the “algorithm.”
“We reiterate what we said in our first statement: there was no technical issue! Eda Marcus was ready to go live, and the connection worked perfectly. The only reason we were forbidden to announce the vote of the jury in Romania, which awarded 12 points to Moldova, was that we refused to accept the point imposed by the EBU.
Following the situation created and the image damage to public television, TVR representatives are considering Romania’s withdrawal from the upcoming editions of Eurovision and the court action of the organizers of the event.TVR, statement
The statement ends with TVR providing a description of the Romanian jury’s activities during the contest. Read this below:
For a better understanding of how the jury’s activity was conducted, in accordance with the procedures imposed by the regulation of the contest, we present you the chronicle of the events:
– Wednesday, May 11, from 22.00, the second semi-final took place during the competition – rehearsal for the jury -, an identical show to the one for the public, which was going to take place the next day.
– Members of the jury arrived at the TVR headquarters 30 minutes before the start of the contest, presented the identity documents to the notary, watched and were informed about the voting rules – not to communicate / express their opinions on the plays e/performance/show to the other members, let the rating begin after performance to the last contestant, the moment the Voting Chief announces them that they can start. After handing out the forms, the jurors waited until the Voting Chief was informed by the Digame operator (the EBU partner in charge of the voting component, including the relevant graphics) that their vote was valid and that they could leave the venue (jury) he was forced by the rules not to leave the location for 90 minutes after the last performance of the contest).
– The only two people who knew the result of the jury’s vote in the second semi-final were the notary who legalized the result and the Voting Chief. No one else in Romania had access to this information until Monday, May 16, after the contest ended, when the votes were made public by the EBU.
– Until Friday, May 13, the jury did not meet.
– On Friday, May 13, there was a rehearsal for the jury of the final, an identical show to the one for the public that was going to take place on the last day of the competition (May 14). The jury, the notary and the head of the vote have resumed the procedure carried out during the semifinal for the jury, together with Digame representatives.
– After this moment, the Romanian jury never met.
– During Saturday, May 14, the Voting Chief held two teleconferences with organizers, to establish the rules for presentation / positioning / reading of Eda Marcus and participated in two repetitions of transmitting the jury result to Romania, without receiving any information regarding the possible suspicions regarding the jurisdiction of in Bucharest
– 14th May, at 12:30 (approx ): the table with the result of the final vote attributed by the EBU to the Romanian jury (Ukraine 12 points) was transmitted by the organizers of TVR representatives. The person in charge from Bucharest reported the inconsistency and requested explanations from the Digame operator. During the final for the public, at the headquarters of TVR, together with the Chief of the Voting, the president of the jury and the notary were also present.
– 0.50-1.09 – the interval in which it was announced, during the show, the result of Romania’s jury, which was calculated based on an algorithm set unilaterally by the EBU.
– 1.09 – EBU transmits the first official message, through which all delegations are notified that the organizer has identified certain irregular voting models (“irregular”) in the results of six countries, without nominating any participant.
– Regarding the results of the vote assigned in the second semi-final, we emphasize, again, that they were announced only on Monday, after the end of the contest.TVR, statement
Romania in Eurovision 2022
In the 2022 contest, Romania’s WRS returned his country to the grand final with his song ‘Llámame’. It was the first appearance of Romania in the final since 2017. ‘Llámame’ placed 18th in the contest with 65 points.
During the final voting sequence, Romania was one of three countries whose votes were announced by Martin Osterdahl. The EBU claimed technical difficulties, as noted above. As such, Romania’s planned spokesperson, Eda Marcus, did not appear on screen.
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