The controversial decision to recalculate some of the votes in Eurovision 2022 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), organizer of the contest, is raising many questions about what will happen to the final result.
Ukraine's victory, with overwhelming popular support in the televote, would in no way be affected by these changes.
But the position of Spain could have been harmed.
When did the conflict with the votes begin?
The Eurovision organizer released a statement at midnight on Saturday, minutes before the announcement of the results of the great final gala began, explaining that the company that audits its voting system had detected "irregularities" in the jury's scores of six countries.
According to the organization in its statement, "certain irregular voting patterns were identified" after the second dress rehearsal of the second semifinal.
How can they have been detected in a dress rehearsal, before the gala?
This is possible because the irregularities only focus on the jury's vote, which is closed earlier.
Each country that participates in Eurovision must form a panel of five national professionals who are linked to disciplines from the world of music, scenery and choreography.
These experts issue their score based on criteria previously established by the UER and after seeing the second dress rehearsal, which takes place the day before the gala, whether it is the semifinal or the final.
Televoting, on the other hand, is collected live during the broadcast of each gala and is not part of these suspicious patterns mentioned by the European institution.
What kind of irregularities were detected?
The EBU has not yet ruled on the matter and has explained in statements to this newspaper that it will not do so until it completes the investigation process with the six countries involved.
But in his statement he mentions that he works "to avoid manipulation" in the votes, so it does not seem that it is an innocent technical error.
An article on the website of the public medium VRT, part of this year's Belgian delegation, cites sources close to the organization to point out that the reason for sanctioning those votes was that the six countries involved had agreed to vote among themselves.
Eurovision 2022: these are the countries that have given 12 and 0 points to Spain
What decision was made about it?
The EBU recalculated those votes from the jury (from only six countries) for both the second semi-final and the grand final.
It did so based on the results of other countries with similar voting records, complying with the contest's voting instructions.
That is, he used an algorithm that not everyone agrees with.
Would these changes affect Ukraine's victory?
It is mathematically impossible for Ukraine to stop being the winner of Eurovision 2022. The televoting, apart from this suspicion of irregularities, gave Ukraine massive support in the final, giving it almost all the
from the rest of the countries and a total of 439 points of the 631 total that he obtained.
So recalculating jury scores (not televoting) from six countries would not change Kalush Orchestra's victory.
The Ukrainian band outscored second-placed UK by 165 points.
Would these changes affect Spain's position?
In that case, perhaps the positions of the United Kingdom (466 points) and Spain (459) could vary, as they are separated by only seven points.
It is an important fact, since it can influence which country organizes the festival next year, given the possibility that Ukraine is not ready to host an event of such dimensions.
Which six countries saw their jury votes changed by the EBU?
The organization did not point to any country in its statement on Saturday and has not returned to give explanations so far.
But four of them have spoken about it, showing their disagreement with this measure.
They are Azerbaijan, Romania, Georgia and Montenegro.
Specialized Eurovision media point to Poland and San Marino as the other two countries involved, but it has not been confirmed that this is the case either by the EBU or by those two local delegations.
Do the vote changes imposed by the EBU benefit a particular country?
In principle, and according to the declarations of the countries involved, it is not detected that the change of these votes by the EBU marks a pattern that benefits a specific country.
In some cases Ukraine lost points with the new calculation, and in others gained them.
The same happens with the United Kingdom and with Spain.
But, as we mentioned before, the difference of only seven points between these two countries leaves the possibility open that their final position would be different, with Spain as second classified.
It is something that will not be known until the original votes can be compared with those imposed by the EBU.
Narmin Salmanova, the spokeswoman for Azerbaijan's jury announcer, explained on Sunday that the organization did not accept their scores.
In his case, he had awarded his 12 points to Ukraine, but after the EBU recalculation these went to the United Kingdom, thus harming the winner.
The country's public entity, ITV, claims to be waiting for an official response on this issue.
The same change was suffered by Georgia, which now claims to have awarded its highest score to Kalush Orchestra, although its points finally went to the British Sam Ryder.
TVR1, the Romanian public entity that participates in Eurovision, has published a statement on its own website in which it shows its surprise to see that the scores of its local jury "were not taken into account" and defines this readjustment as "non-transparent" .
In the text, he explains that he had decided to award his 12 points to Moldova —as is often the case with its neighboring country—, but the count left that score at 0. In this case, it was Ukraine that benefited from those 12 points.
Romanian spokeperson finds out LIVE at the same time as all of us about the "technical difficulties" that EBU reported last night.
This also happened to Georgia and Azerbaijan.
"I can't believe this. I really can't."#Eurovision pic.twitter.com/PpiBA2u1sG
– Raduc̶a̶n̶u̶ 🇪🇦🇳🇱🇷🇴 (@iamr4du) May 15, 2022
The fourth country that has asked for explanations has been Montenegro, reports Europa Press.
RTCG public television has guaranteed that the jury's vote was carried out in a "regular procedure" that was "duly certified" so "they see no reason to suspect the existence of any irregularity."
The RTCG Eurovision team states that it will inform the public as soon as possible about all the information it receives from the EBU.
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