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A Eurovision scoring screw up means rock bottom UK actually did worse than initially announced

In related news, it means Ireland are no longer bottom of the Eurovision table.

Eurovision contestant for the UK Michael Rice.
Eurovision contestant for the UK Michael Rice.
Image: Persona Stars

EUROVISION ORGANISERS SCREWED up the scoring of Saturday night’s final, and it means Michael Rice, the last-placed UK contestant, did even worse than initially thought. 

A revision of the scores leaves Rice on just 11 points – down from the 16 announced during voting in the Tel Aviv final. 

Eurovision said a substitute set of jury points had been assigned to the 26 finalists after the Belarusian expert jury was dismissed for revealing the results of Tuesday’s first semi-final. 

Rice was awarded 13 points from juries across the Eurovision countries in the results announced on Saturday night.

But this revision leaves the UK on eight points from the juries, leaving them with a total of 11 points when the public votes (their three points from Irish viewers) are included. 

Other results have also been adjusted, with all top three countries including winners The Netherlands gaining points. The placing of the top four countries remains unchanged, but Sweden moves up to fifth in the recalculation, swapping places with neighbours Norway. 

Here’s the text of the full statement released by organisers the European Broadcasting Union: 

“The Belarusian jury was dismissed following the reveal of their votes from the first Semi-Final which is contrary to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest. In order to comply with the Contest’s voting regulations, the EBU worked with its voting partner digame to create a substitute aggregated result (calculated based on the results of other countries with similar voting records), which was approved by voting monitor Ernst & Young, to determine the Belarusian jury votes for the Grand Final.

“The EBU can confirm, following standard review practices, we have discovered that due to a human error an incorrect aggregated result was used. This had no impact on the calculation of points derived from televoting across the 41 participating countries and the overall winner and Top 4 songs of the Contest remain unchanged.

“To respect both the artists and EBU Members which took part, we wish to correct the final results in accordance with the rules. The correct jury points have now been added to the scoreboard and the revised totals for each participating broadcaster, and their country, have been published on eurovision.tv.

The EBU and its partners digame and Ernst & Young deeply regret that this error was not identified earlier and will review the processes and controls in place to prevent this from happening again.

Ireland no longer last 

Not that it quite amounts to a silver lining, but this announcement means Ireland’s Sarah McTernan is no longer bottom of the Eurovision table. 

McTernan didn’t make it through from last Thursday’s semi-final but full scores from the semis released on Monday showed Ireland attaining just 16 points in scoring from other Eurovision countries. 

The UK dropping to 11 lifts Ireland off the very bottom of the table. 

Eurovision viewers in Britain were quick to blame the Brexit factor in the wake of Saturday’s dire showing. 

Rice himself insisted to The Sun that even Gary Barlow or Elton John wouldn’t have been able to take the crown for the UK in Tel Aviv, due to anti-British sentiment stoked up by Brexit. 

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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