After speculations of vote fraud have been aimed at the Moldovan delegation following the split results of the Grand Final and the Second Semi Final of Eurovision 2021, the EBU has made it clear that they do not intend to initiate any investigation.
The Dream Team & Philip Kirkorov
Following the release of the full results of Eurovision 2021 there has been speculations that jury groups have exchanged votes with each other. Some of these accusations were aimed at Philipp Kirkorov, Russian TV personality, artist and music producer who has been a songwriter for the Moldovan entry in this year’s Eurovision.
Kirkorov is part of the so-called Dream Team which has been behind a number of successful Eurovision entries over the years, including Ani Lorak’s “Shady Lady” 2008 for Ukraine and Sergey Lazarev’s “You are the only one” from 2016 for Russia. The Dream Team consists of Dimitris Kontopoulos, songwriter and choreographer Fokas Evangelinos and financier and PR expert Ilias Kokotos.
Fans and Eurovision experts have highlight Moldova’s jury score in the semi-finals, receiving 12 points from Greece and Bulgaria. Greece, which also used Philipp Kirkorov and his Dream Team to produce its own competition entry, and Bulgaria, which is Kirkorov’s birthplace. 4 out of 5 jury members in Greece and 5 out of 5 in Bulgaria thought that Natalia Gordienko’s song and performance was the strongest in the semi-finals.
12 points in the Semi-Final
As for the televoting, in their semi-final Moldova received the highest score from the telephone votes in eight countries out of 16 possible: France, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Serbia, San Marino, Greece and Portugal. Speculation has arisen surrounding those 12 points as these countries have a smaller population, making it easier to possibly influence the telephone voting with lower costs.
When taking a look at Moldova’s results in the Grand Final, the country did not get a single point from the telephone votes in Estonia, Latvia, Serbia or Greece, which had given their 12 points to Natalia Gordienko’s entry in its semi final.
The Moldovan jury score has also been highlighted, suggesting that a voting exchange might have taken place. Moldova’s 12 points in the final went to Bulgaria, who gave their 12 points to Moldova in both the semi final and the final. Moldova’s 10 points in the final went to Russia who gave their 12 points to Moldova in the final. Besides, Moldova’s 8 points went to Greece which gave Moldova 12 points in the semis and a 10th in the final.
Aftonbladet’s journalist Tobbe Ek has asked the EBU whether they have drawn attention to Moldova’s scoring results and whether they plan to launch an investigation into this case.
A spokesperson for the EBU has replied the following:
All votes from juries and the public in the Eurovision Song Contest were checked and verified by our voting partner Digame and auditors EY and we are satisfied we have a valid result.
Until this year, the names of each juror were made public before the Eurovision final took place. The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Österdahl has argued that keeping the identity of the juror’s hidden is necessary “to protect the integrity of the event and to allow them to vote independently without any outside interference or pressure.”
Moldova has placed 13th in the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, with scoring 62 points from the televoting and receiving 53 points from the jury.
Statement from Dream Team
Following the publication of the article, a representative of the Dream Team contacted Aftonbladet with the following statement:
“For many years we have proven our love for this contest. Why would we now all of a sudden start trying to manipulate televotes? These accusations are absurd. For example in Portugal there’s a large diaspora from Moldova. And Greece always tend to support our projects”
They went on to discuss the televote scores from certain countries in the Semi-Finals explaining:
“I’m not surprised that Russian diaspora in for example Latvia and Estonia would have voted for her in the semi since there was not Russian artist to vote for”
Source: Aftonbladet / Image Source: EBU (Andres Putting)
Moldova debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005 when the contest was held in Kyiv, Ukraine. That year, Bulgaria also debuted in the contest and Hungary returned after a long absence since 1998. Moldova’s best result in the contest to date was the 3rd place in 2017 for Sunstroke Project with “Hey Mamma!”, this was the second time the group had represented their country in Eurovision.