Britain’s Eurovision flop Michael Rice should have done even WORSE than his 16 points and scored five fewer but TV chiefs blundered, fans say
- Belarus jury panel was disqualified from voting because of cheating before final
- Eurovision enforced an ‘aggregated voting system’ upon them to decide scores
- Fans believe the scores were calculated wrong and top scores accidentally given to lowest ranking countries
Michael Rice’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest may have dashed the public’s hopes of winning but now fans are claiming he should have received an even lower score.
Eurovision Song Contest history was rocked by a scandal on Saturday as it emerged the Belarus jury panel had been disqualified for revealing their favourite acts before the final.
They were made to give ‘aggregate scores’ which resulted in the UK receiving five points, bumping its total score up to 16.
But wily fans on Twitter have a theory that Belarus’s points were incorrectly allocated to the bottom ten songs rather than the top ten.
Michael Rice’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday may have dashed the public’s hopes of winning but now fans are claiming he should have received an even lower score
Professor Adrian Kavanagh, of Maynooth University in Ireland, said: ‘I think this is more a case of “you had just one job” rather than a scandal.
‘Just an absolute mess up.’
According to the Eurovision website semi-finalists get allocated into six pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest’s official televoting partner Digame.
They say: ‘Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called neighbourly voting and increases suspense in the semi-finals.’
Belarus was in the same ‘pot’ as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia so it is believed their aggregated scores were made by averaging the scores of these countries.
Eurovision Song Contest history was rocked by a scandal on Saturday as it emerged the Belarus jury panel had been disqualified for cheating. Pictured is their candidate, Zena
However, the points Belarus gave appear to be in the exact opposite order to the rest of the pot’s rankings – which put Malta at the top (which Belarus gave zero points to) and Israel at the bottom (which Belarus gave the maximum of twelve points to).
If this theory is correct it means that Belarus gave scores to countries that should have been at the bottom of their rankings.
This would mean that the UK’s Michael Rice wouldn’t have received any points from Belarus, resulting in an even lower overall score of 11 points.
Dr Kavanagh believes the UK’s low score was the result of a perceived lack of effort, rather than politics.
He said: ‘I don’t think the poor UK jury results in past years are a reflection on Brexit, more a reflection that other countries don’t think that the UK cares or tries at Eurovision.
‘When the UK has made a concerted effort at Eurovision, they’ve done OK with the juries, even in the Brexit era – Lucie Jones finished 10th in the Eurovision Final Jury Vote in 2017 (despite this being in the wake of the Brexit vote) on the basis that the UK had done a really great job that year in terms of the selection and staging of their entry.’
On the topic of Ireland’s jury giving the UK zero points Dr Kavanagh said: ‘While Ireland’s jury gave no points to the UK in the Final (the UK jury likewise gave no points to Ireland in the semi final), it was not unusual in doing so – only six juries awarded the UK points (and most of these only awarded 1 or 2 points).’
Wily fans on Twitter have done research which could prove that TV chiefs who calculated the aggregated scores made a mistake. Twitter user Bruno drew up a table to explain his theory that a TV official made a mistake when writing down the country’s aggregate scores
All five members of the Belarus jury flagrantly disobeyed the competition’s rules as they openly discussed who they had voted for in the semi-final on May 16, before the grand final had taken place.
The members were Anastasiya Tikhanovich, Anzhela Mikulskaya, Artsem Mikhalenka, Olga Rizhikova and Valeriy Prigun.
All of them openly discussed who their favourite entries were ahead of the final on Saturday – which is strictly against Eurovision Song Contest rules.
A Eurovision Song Contest spokesman said: ‘The Belarussian jury voting was revealed in an interview contravening Eurovision Song Contest rules.
‘In order to be compliant with the voting regulations, the European Broadcasting Union took action and dismissed the Belarussian jury from the Grand Final on Saturday.
‘An aggregated result approved by the auditors was used in order to determine to whom the Belarussian votes would be allocated.’