This is so ridiculous
Did Azerbaijan cheat in voting?
Dirty money talks....
oting patterns are mostly predictable in Eurovision, but seeing Malta give 12 points to Azerbaijan last week made us wonder...
Yesterday 12points.tv dug deep into some voting statistics, concluding that so called block voting in the end didn't really affect the result of the contest. Today we are taking a closer look at something else in the field of voting statistics: the votes Azerbaijan has been receiving in the last few years. Just for the record, we are just basing ourselves on statistics here, we do not want to to trivialise the quality of the Azerbaijani songs in the past three years. After all, there were three good Swedish songs from Azerbaijan in a row!
Suppose you'd really want your country to do well in Eurovision, what could you do best to assure that? Well, the most obvious answer is of course: send a good song. But what if that hasn't got you where you want to, entirely? Would there be other ways? We dived into one example we thought was remarkable: Azerbaijani results over the last three years.
For the third year in a row, Malta granted 12 points to Azerbaijan. For the second year in a row Cyprus granted 8 points to Azerbaijan, 10 in 2010. Bulgaria awarded 12 points in 2010 and 10 this year. Lithuania and Moldova are two more examples of countries giving amazingly high votes to last year's Eurovision winner in most recent years.
The number of televotes per country is not a figure that has to be shared by the voting countries as far as we know, but we assume that these countries don't have massive amounts of televotes. Due to their size or due to the Eurovision enthusiasm in the countries concerned.
The figures above are actually the top scores for Azerbaijan in the last years, but after seeing how this country approached Eurovision by pouring money into making everything look pretty, one would think that this could extend into ensuring voting went their way as well. It would be extremely easy to rig a top score there by paying a 100 or so people a fair price for sending a maximum number of sms messages each.
To us, it is striking that during the last three years (especially 2010 and 2012), Azerbaijan mainly got its votes from friendly big brother Turkey, friendly little brother Georgia, Soviet big brothers Russia and Ukraine (the latter being responsible for the production of the Azerbaijani Eurovision entry in the last years) and small countries in the rest of Europe.
Of course we wouldn't dare to insinuate anything, but we wonder if this is something worth investigating since it seems pretty easy to fix voting via sms. One could ask if results were balanced between jury voting and televoting, or were these votes cast by telephone or by sms voting? Some countries tend to phone in more votes, and others prefer to send SMS, so would a rush of identical SMS votes suddenly cause suspicion?
Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark are four countries that have a very big and active Eurovision fanbase. Guess how many points these countries gave Azerbaijan this year? Can anyone say nil?
UPDATE 1 JUNE: Apparently, the Cypriot jury made a complaint to CyBC that they hadn't placed any votes for Azerbaijan. This could mean that Azerbaijan had to receive a LOT of televotes to score 8 points. We are awaiting confirmation.
UPDATE 1 JUNE, part 2: The Israeli jury didn't place any votes on Azerbaijan. Israel gave 8 points to Azerbaijan however, that means the televoters granted it 10, but more likely 12 points.