August 8, 2022

Don’t you dare ruin this for us

Great Britain’s Sam Ryder could have his historic second-place finish taken away from him following potential Eurovision voting “irregularities”.

Following reports of “irregular  voting patterns” from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) production team, who are said to have informed the media of possible inconsistencies during Saturday’s show, the “Space Man” singer could in fact have come third overall, replacing Spain’s Chanel.

The reason his final position, along with a number of others, could shift is because of an apparent jury voting scandal, resulting in six different nations being disqualified from the competition.

An EBU spokesperson has since revealed that the countries in question were Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino, as per The i newspaper, suspecting that those involved were may have attempted to “manipulate the voting”.

The EBU has declined to give JOE any further comment regarding the situation at this time.

Nevertheless, the producers explained in a statement that they worked with the show’s voting partner “to calculate a substitute aggregated results for each country concerned”, which in turn resulted in a different series of points and finishing places being awarded.

How do Eurovision substitute votes work?

Ryder’s entry came fifth in on public vote with 366 points but did even better among the European music critics, being awarded first place by 40 different national juries. Nevertheless, it is thought that the disparity between the thrown-out votes and the EBU’s imposed scores may have been what pushed Ryder up into second place overall.

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In instances like this, substitute votes are handed out and Ryder was reportedly awarded the maximum of 12 points from Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as eight points from each San Marino, Romania and Poland – plus five points from Montenegro.

What have the countries involved said?

According to a statement from Georgia’s broadcaster GPB, they claim that they awarded first place to Ukraine – not the UK – adding that proof can be found in a notarised document sent to the organisers of the contest.

Officials from Azerbaijan and Georgia have also clarified that they gave Ukraine first place, with Ryder having possibly gained an advantage after Romania’s votes were overridden too.

Executive supervisor Martin Österdahl read out the results of the countries in question after citing “technical difficulties”, but Azerbaijan argue they simply refused to read out the substitute points.

The final decision remains unclear but we can’t say we weren’t all caught off-guard by how well the Essex-born singer did on the night. Here’s hoping that he stays on the podium after they get to the bottom of this.

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