This year – again – I found the Armenian and Azeri jury votes somewhat troubling. And especially the Azeri jury’s treatment of the Cypriot singer Hovig, who is born in Cyprus, but has an Armenian father. Looking at the Azeri jury’s ranking this fact seems to have influenced the Azeri jury a great deal.
so I emailed the EBU with a bunch of questions. As always it is quite hard to get straight answers from these guys, but at least they returned with a statement. Since my reporting on this is made in Swedish I thought I’d share my questions and the EBU reply with you in English too, for those of you also interested in this but not fluent in Swedish.
These are the questions I emailed to the Eurovision press-guys:
Armenian and Azeri juries have a history of ranking each other’s entries at the very bottom. It is consistent and looks the same every year. How can the EBU and PWC still consider this as part of a valid result, that no matter what the song sounds like it always get ranked the last?
This year, the Azeri jury also seems to have ”punished” the Cypriot singer because of his background, all Azeri juries ranking Hovig as second from bottom in the semi-final. In the final the individual juries vary their rank a bit, but their combined ranking is still second from bottom. Are the EBU still considering this being a valid result?
Did the Azeri jury members get a warning between the semi and the final regarding everyone ranking the bottom two exactly the same?
Has the Cyprus delegation filed a protest against the Azeri jury?
This is the reply I got from ”a Eurovision spokes person”:
The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is decided by televoters and juries (comprised of music industry professionals), who each have a 50% stake in the outcome. Each juror signs a declaration, stating they will judge the songs independently, based on a number of criteria, such as the song, the lyrics, the performance and hit potential. They understand that their judging also excludes any personal views pro or against a performers personal background. We expect them to, and are happy that they do, respect these rules in order to keep the contest clear from (geo) political influences.