Eurovision Song Contest releases statement after strong calls for ban
Organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest had to issue a lengthy statement in the early hours of Sunday morning, following calls to introduce a ban on jury voting following Ukraine’s victory.
Ukrainian act Kalush Orchestra propelled Britain’s Sam Ryder to the top spot on Saturday night, but show bosses admitted “some irregular voting patterns” showed up in results from six countries when the votes were tallied.
As reported by the Mirror, the votes of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Poland, Montenegro and San Marino have all been replaced by aggregate scores, after unusual trends were noticed at night.
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Acknowledging the apparent controversy, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) released a full statement.
The statement read: “In the analysis of the jury vote by pan-European voting partner the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) after the second dress rehearsal of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, certain patterns irregular voting patterns were identified in the results of six countries.
“In order to comply with the contest’s voting instructions, the EBU has 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 on the basis of results from other countries with voting records).
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“This process has been recognized by the Independent Voting Monitor.”
The bosses added: “The EBU takes any alleged attempt to manipulate the vote in the Eurovision Song Contest very seriously and has the right to suppress such votes in accordance with the official voting instructions, whether or not such votes are likely to influence the results and/or the outcome of the vote.”
Fans watching at home took to social media to address the irregularities, with one Twitter user writing: “REMOVE ‘PROFESSIONAL’ JURIES!”
The drama follows the UK’s superb run to the top two in the competition, with contestant Sam Ryder winning the night’s jury vote with 283 points – the best return since 2017.
The TikTok superstar came second in Ukraine with his viral song Space Man, the first time in 20 years that the UK finished the night in first place.
Sam was amazed after hearing the news, saying, “There’s so much gratitude, what an experience.”
The Essex singer even won plaudits from the Prime Minister himself, as Boris Johnson tweeted his congratulations to Sam on Sunday.
Boris wrote: “Congratulations Ukraine for winning the @Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
“It’s a clear reflection not only of your talent, but also of your unwavering support for your fight for freedom.
“Incredibly proud of @SamRyderMusic and how brilliantly he represented the UK tonight.”
The Eurovision Song Contest can be rewatched on their website here.