President and CEO of TV Romania: I will support not to participate in Eurovision and the option of suing EBU!

The President and CEO of TVR announced on Friday evening that he will support the TVR’s governing bodies to stop public television from participating in Eurovision. Dan Cristian Turturică is also considering the option of suing EBU and claiming damages for image damage.

The reaction of the president-general director of TVR comes after this year’s Eurovision scandal: EBU claims that there would have been voting irregularities in the case of six countries, including Romania.

TVR disapproves of the way in which EBU handled the situation generated by the votes cast by the national juries, on the occasion of the semifinals and final of the Eurovision 2022 contest.

In his personal profile at social media mr Dan Cristian Turturica, posted the following photos of the jury voting of three more countries, in order to prove that more countries voted in a strange way:

You can read the latest statements from each of the broadcasters at the links below:

Source: TVR

Romania: Threatens to withdraw from Eurovision Song Contest after response to juries voting irregularities

TVR is threatening to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest, after the EBU’s response to irregular voting patterns from six juries in the second semi final of Eurovision 2022, including Romania.

The Romanian broadcaster is threatening to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest due to the damage that the EBU’s response to jury voting at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. The Romanian public broadcaster is also stating it is considering legal actions against the European Broadcasting Union!

The Romanian broadcaster joins other broadcasters in arguing that Sweden, Australia and Belgium also voted for each other, the full examples cited can be seen on the TVR website.

The three countries cited voted as follows:

  • Sweden awarded: 12 points to Australia, 8 points to Belgium
  • Australia awarded: 12 points to Sweden, 8 points to Belgium
  • Belgium awarded: 10 points to Sweden, 8 points to Australia

TVR disapproves of the way in which the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) handled the situation generated by the votes of the national juries during the semifinals and the final of the Eurovision 2022 competition votes were divided in a way that raised suspicions.

While some countries have been penalized, the jurors’ grades have been replaced by EBU grades – through a so-called non-transparent “algorithm”, which in turn raises suspicions – for others no sanctions have been applied. Worse, they received additional points, directed by the EBU on behalf of the penalized countries (details at the end of the press release).

The impact of these suspicions on the competition and on the reputation of the sanctioned televisions could have been completely eliminated if the EBU had communicated its concerns to the parties involved as soon as they were observed, ie on Wednesday, 11 May, after the second semi-final for the jury.

Had the EBU communicated to the delegations the notes given by the jurors of the six countries the day after the vote and convincingly explained the existence of an “irregular voting pattern,” TVR would have had time to react to promptly investigate the allegations and correct the situation, if any.

In this way, on Thursday, May 12, we could eliminate any suspicion that hovered over the votes given by the jurors during the second semifinal, and during the gala, for the public, the finalists could be announced based on the notes of the jurors, not on those generated by the “algorithm.”

However, this would have been possible only if the EBU had treated TVR as a real partner and had taken into account the fact that the Eurovision Regulation is the one that gives full independence to national juries and that televisions can neither find out nor influence the scores. granted by jurors, than long after they were sent to the EBU. Thus, TVR did not find out until after the final the way in which the Romanian jurors voted in the semifinals.

Unfortunately, because the EBU decided to send us the relevant information only after seven days, all we could do was ask the Romanian jury for official explanations, “post-factum,” on the vote in the second semifinal. Even in this context, in which we have already been tried and sanctioned, without being given the opportunity to defend ourselves, TVR will collaborate with all other sanctioned televisions to find out if the reported irregularities were the result of an attempted fraud.

Another point to note is that the EBU has prevention and control mechanisms. When there is a suspicion of a jury, it may 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 conclusion of the observers was that the vote was regular and they did not report any misconduct or attempted fraud. This is one of the reasons why at the beginning of the final audition for the public, the EBU representative announced that all the votes cast by the jurors are valid.

In the case of these countries, the organizers did not report “irregular voting patterns.” Moreover, they were given the most points awarded, by “algorithm”, from the countries sanctioned for voting among themselves. Of the six countries accused of having an onerous deal to reach the final, only three succeeded. Of the three countries that received points by “algorithm” from sanctioned countries, all managed to enter the final.

The incomprehensible attitude of the EBU towards TVR, a traditional member of this organization, which deserves to be treated with respect, is also underlined by the fact that the Eurovision organizers chose to lie during the transmission of the final results of the competition. When it was Romania’s turn to announce the result of the jury’s 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 problem! Eda Marcus was ready to go live, and the connection worked perfectly. The only reason we were forbidden to announce the vote of the Romanian jury, which had awarded 12 points to Moldova, was that we refused to accept the score imposed by the EBU.

Following the situation created and the image damage brought to the public television, the TVR representatives consider the withdrawal of Romania from the future editions of Eurovision and the action in court of the event organizers.

The full statement can be read here.

The six countries whose jury votes were removed from the contest and replaced by the EBU with results based on previous voting patterns are: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino.

You can read the latest statements from each of the broadcasters at the links below:

Source: TVR

San Marino: SMRTV’s press release on the alleged irregularity in the judges’ vote!

A few moments ago, San Marino’s broadcaster SMRTV issued a press release on yesterday’s EBU announcement on the irregularity in the voting of the six-countries jury. SMRTV is the sixth and last broadcaster from the countries involved to react to the cancellation of its jury vote.

SMRTV’s press release states the following:

EBU changes the vote of San Marino which had given 12 points to Italy.

As for the EBU press release on the alleged voting irregularities that would have occurred during the Eurovision just ended, San Marino RTV specifies that it has always remained in contact with EBU and considered EBU the only interlocutor until yesterday’s release in the late afternoon.

The statement was not shared despite the fact that RTV – and the other 5 countries involved – are active members of the consortium. It is important to underline this because the way in which EBU has moved in this affair seems in our opinion a bit authoritarian rather than inspired by the associations that instead guide and regulate the relations between EBU members. We have already pointed out to EBU our disappointment with the way and we are not referring to just the press release that has just come out.

When asked if EBU believed the suspicions of voting irregularities to be 100% founded, the answer was no. When asked if EBU had noticed that a group of countries in the second semifinal would apparently have exchanged 12, 10, 8, 7 and 6, the answer was no. When asked why the canceled votes of San Marino and the other 5 suspected countries were all given to Sweden (who were given 72 points) and Australia (60 points for her) the answer was because “they had the best songs.”.

Nothing makes us think our jurors voted for something they didn’t like. Their – and ours – 12 to Italy was replaced by EBU with a 12 to Spain. We asked how this new vote was “calculated” but we have not been given a precise answer. We know Eurovision and have been collaborating with them for years, we continue to believe in institutions and in the competition and we cheer for the best, even if it doesn’t always have the best song.

Achille Lauro represented San Marino in Eurovision 2022 and with “Stripper” he came in 14th place in the second semi-final. You can listen to his entry here:

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SourceSMRTV

Greece: Amanda’s new song “Plans” is out!

After representing Greece at Eurovision, Amanda released her new song “Plans”. The announcement of the song was made with a video through her personal account on TikTok, which she later posted on Instagram.

“Plans” is the second song from Amanda’s new album, as the first one is “Die Together”, which gave Greece the 8th place in the Grand final.

The lyrics of the song were written by her together with Bjørn, as he also produced the song. Martin Bremnes has taken the photo that will appear in the song, trondheim solistene which is a set of musicians from Norway plays the strings in the song. Other contributors are Henrik Lødøen, dePresno and Fredrik Svabø.

Listen “Plans” here:

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Montenegro: RTCG’s answer to the EBU about the voting irregularities!

A few hours after EBU’s announcement about the irregularities in the jury voting in the second semi-final, the Montenegrin broadcaster, RTCG is the first broadcaster to share their thoughts on the announcement!

The RTCG states the following:

Following EBU’s announcement about the alleged irregular voting of the jury of experts in up to 6 countries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, we want to emphasize that it has nothing to do with Montenegro and that it is only speculation that is not true and unverified information.

As they point out, it is statistically impossible to avoid certain repetitions, as evidenced by the fact that the group of countries participating in the second semi-final night, as in Sweden, Australia, Belgium, Estonia…

These are, according to RTCG, examples of mutual exchange of points between the countries in the second semi-final:

Australia
12 points for Sweden
10 points for Israel
8 points for Belgium
7 points for North Macedonia
6 points for Ireland

12 points from Sweden
10 points from Israel
8 points from Belgium
5 points from North Macedonia
5 points from Ireland

Sweden
12 points for Australia
10 points for Estonia
8 points for Belgium
7 points for Malta
6 points for the Czech Republic

12 points from Australia
12 points from Estonia
10 points from Belgium
12 points from Malta
12 points from the Czech Republic

Belgium
10 points for Sweden
8 points for Australia
7 points for Israel

8 points from Sweden
8 points from Australia
7 points from Israel

So, with such a small number of countries in the semi-finals, it is impossible to avoid certain repetitions.

It is not for us to judge why these countries did not raise suspicions, whereas there were 6 countries where it was impractical to have repetitions. On the other hand, in some of the countries on the EBU list, the organiser almost completely changed the votes.

Montenegro’s votes were announced by the artist Zombijana and, as you could see in the live stream, the jury’s vote coincided almost perfectly with the final results.

As you can see on the Eurovision website, among the countries that received Montenegro’s jury votes in the final, there were none of the entries from the semi-final night.

Finally, the Eurovision Song Contest is a contest that has its regular and large audience and is almost always accompanied by various intrigues, which, we are sure, also contribute to its popularity

Vladana represented Montenegro in Turin and with “Breathe” she ended up 17th in the second semi-final. You can see her performance here:

https://youtu.be/L-ViRVRiGl0

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SourceRTCG

The official announcement by EBU on voting irregularities during Semi-Final 2

Moments ago EBU released an official announcement on “irregular voting patterns” during the second Semi-Final 2022, naming for the fist time the juries of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, San Marino.

Below is the full announcement:

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was an enormous success in bringing hundreds of millions of people across the world together in unity and celebration.

As communicated on Saturday 14 May, the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) independent pan-European Voting Partner detected irregular voting patterns in the jury votes of six countries taking part in the Second Semi-Final: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, San Marino.

The integrity of the voting, both by the national juries in each country and the viewers voting by phone or SMS, is essential to the show’s success. It is the EBU’s duty to all stakeholders, not least all 40 participating public service broadcasters, to ensure we can deliver a valid result at the end of each of the Live Shows. Any breach in the rules is consequently taken very seriously.

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.

The pattern in question was detected as irregular by the pan-European Voting Partner and acknowledged by the Independent Voting Monitor, as five of these six countries were ranked outside the Top 8 by the juries in the 15 other countries voting in the same Semi-Final (which included three of the Big Five: Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom). Additionally, four of the six countries were ranked in the Bottom 6 of the other 15 countries voting in this Semi-Final. A jury voting pattern irregularity of such a scale is unprecedented.

 

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As stated in the Eurovision Song Contest Rules and in the Official Voting instructions of the Contest, if votes by National Juries present irregular voting patterns (as may be detected by the pan-European Voting Partner and acknowledged by the Independent Voting Monitor), the ESC Executive Supervisor has the right to remove the votes concerned for allocating the ranks and to replace them with a substitute aggregated result calculated automatically to determine the final country result of these countries in the Second Semi-Final.

Given the unprecedented nature of the irregularity detected in the Second Semi Final, the EBU in consultation with the pan-European Voting Partner and the Independent Voting Monitor decided, in accordance with the Voting Instructions of the Contest, to exercise its right to remove the votes cast by the six juries in question from the ranking allocation in the Grand Final to preserve the integrity of the voting system. Consequently, the same procedure was followed and the automatically calculated substitute aggregate result has been used to determine the final jury results of the six countries involved, in the Grand Final.

These decisions were approved by the Chair of the ESC Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board, and the Deputy Director General of the EBU in line with the requirements of the Voting Instructions of the Contest.

The EBU has since discussed the jury patterns with the relevant broadcasters and given them the opportunity to further investigate the jury voting in their countries.

The EBU reconfirms its decision to replace the jury votes for these six countries with a substitute aggregate result in both the Second Semi-Final and the Grand Final.

The EBU also confirms the final rankings of the 40 participants in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.

The EBU, its Members and the Reference Group will continue to collaborate closely on safeguarding the integrity and success of an event that has been a unique platform for creative talent over 66 years, and looks forward to continuing to entertaining audiences worldwide.

What are your thought on EBU’s announcement? How will the mentioned countries react? Tell us in the comments below!

Timur Miroshnychenko talks on Ukraine’s victory and the 2023 contest

Eurovision 2017 and Junior Eurovision 2009 and 2013 host, Timur Miroshnychenko, spoke to The Euro Trip podcast on commentating for Ukrainian television from a bomb shelter, his feelings after Kalush Orchestra won and hosting the 2023 contest.

Timur has been commentating Eurovision for Ukraine since 2007, with the exception of 2017 when he hosted the contest along Oleksandr Skichko and Volodymyr Ostapchuk. His reaction to Ukraine’s third victory in the contest while commentating from a bomb shelter, made headlines. When asked what did he say when Ukraine was announced as a winner, he replies:

First of all I’ve said that this victory is dedicated to the armed forces of Ukraine, because of their heroism we had an opportunity to participate in this year Eurovision, and to be with the free world. On 24th of February we didn’t think about Eurovision of course we just thought about how to stay alive, and in May just 2 1/2 months after that date, we were there and right now we think where to host next year.

He revealed that on the second day of the war he had to fled Kiev with his family and go to the West of Ukraine, while he had to go back and volunteer on various occasions. Being one of the hosts of the most popular morning show on Ukrainian television, which was relaunched a few weeks after the Russian invasion, he feels that he helps from his part to uplift the morale of Ukrainians and that is what he also tried to do while commentating Eurovision.

Miroshnychenko praised Kalush Orchestra and explained that “Stefania” became an unofficial anthem of Ukraine even before their victory, when it was the soundtrack of thousands of posts from people in the frontline fleeing the country. When asked for the meaning of this victory to Ukrainians, he tells The Euro Trip podcast:

When the hosts announced the results we just blew up with emotions. I received  hundreds of thousands of messages on social media from Ukrainian people who have written to me “we cried with you” […] On 24th of February all of us thought that we are alone in this war, and the result of this year’s Eurovision is like a sign for all of us that hey guys we are here, we stand by you everything is gonna be ok.

When it comes on hosting next years contest, Timur says that he strongly believes in the Ukrainian armed forces and he hopes that the war will end soon, enabling Ukraine to welcome everyone and use this opportunity to thank them for their support during these difficult times. He also notes that this decision will be taken at a later stage but he believes that cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Dnipro who had no big damages from the war, will be able to host next year’s Eurovision.

Below you can listen to the full interview of Timur Miroshnychenko

Do you think Ukraine will host Eurovision 2023? Tells us in the comments!

Iceland: Daði Freyr wants an end to pre-recorded backing vocals at Eurovision!

Daði Freyr called for an end to the  pre-recorded vocals in the Eurovision Song Contest. The singer who represented Iceland in Rotterdam , made a post on Twitter to express his feelings.

In  the tweet , which you can see below, Daði Freyr commented on the use of pre-recorded vocals. Mentioning  that it is less interesting to use vocals on a backing tape, as he would prefer to listen all the vocals live on stage.

Several Twitter users pointed out that last year, Daði og Gagnamagnið themselves made the most use of pre-recorded vocals. ” 10 Years”  was accompanied by a large pre-recorded choir of fans.

The pre-recorded vocals

In 2021, the new Executive Supervisor, Martin Österdahl , announced that pre-recorded vocals will be used in Rotterdam’s competition. EBU took the measure to create smaller delegations amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. A smaller delegation would most likely ensure a safer contest, as less people would be on the ground in Rotterdam.

In addition, EBU said that as the music landscape evolves, this change will allow live shows to be even closer to their studio counterparts. Examples of songs that had to be adapted due to the previous set of rules include Poli Genova’s “If Love Was a Crime” and JOWST ‘s “Grab the Moment” .

Prior to the 2022 competition, the EBU decided that the pre-recorded vocals would remain for the competition in Turin. The information originally came from the Icelandic television network RÚV and in the end turned out to be true.

Daði & Gagnamagnið and the song “10 Years” , represented Iceland in 2021, winning 4th place with 378 points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSMhu-PrLME

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Greece: Amanda is the Greek with the most monthly listeners on Spotify!

A few days after the Eurovision Song Contest, Amanda, the Greek representative, reached 1,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the Greek with the most monthly listeners on Spotify at the moment!

Die Together also reaches the one milestone after another on Spotify, as it reached 4,000,000 streams, applying for one of the most popular Greek entries on Spotify. At the same time, it appears in # 37 of the Global Viral 50 on Spotify, while it is in number 2 of the Greek Viral 50 and in # 28 of the Greek Top 50.

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Spain: The royal family congratulated Chanel!

Chanel managed to bring Spain to the top 3 of the Eurovision Song Contest standings after 27 whole years and the royal family of the country hurried to congratulate her for this important achievement!

On Tuesday, Chanel received a letter from King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain about its success at Eurovision.

Congratulations on your fantastic performance at Eurovision. You made history for Spain in this competition after taking third place in such a complex final, in which both the public and the jury recognized your strengths.

We also want to send our congratulations to the team that accompanied you and thank them for representing Spain so well and making us feel so proud.

The Spaniards gave an enthusiastic welcome to Chanel, which managed to collect 459 points in the grand final, more than those gathered together by the last ten representatives of the country in the competition.

Stay tuned at Eurovisionfun for all the updates!