Following calls for the revision of the final results of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in which Ukraine gained their second contest victory with their entry 1944, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has today released a statement in response to the highly publicised online petition.
Two days have passed since the Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Globe Arena in the city of Stockholm in which Ukraine’s Jamala and her song 1944 was crowned the winner of the competition, gaining much attention internationally and receiving a generally mixed response from the viewing public over the days to follow.
This year saw a change to the voting procedure of the competition, the main focus of that being on the voting presentation itself in order to build the tension and excitement of the results with the actual winner being revealed at the very end of the results revelation, similar to the style of that from the annual Swedish national selection, Melodifestivalen.
The results were revealed in 2 parts; the first half saw the results presentation of the national juries from each of the 42 competing nations which were revealed by each country’s spokespersons and the second half saw the revelation of the public televote.
Despite Australia winning the jury vote and Russia winning the public televote, the combination of the final votes concluded that Ukraine would go on to win the contest, receiving the highest amount of points to date with 534.
Following Saturday’s final results, an online petition calling for the revision of the results was set up, gaining mass interest and receiving over 320,000 signatures as of the time this was written. Due to this, the EBU has released a statement in response to the online petition.
The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was a spectacular show and a testament to a year of hard work by so many people from so many countries. The live shows were world-class television productions with a thriller climax on Saturday night.
We understand the passions and emotions that are engendered through the Eurovision Song Contest. In light of this, we have taken notice of your petition and appreciate this opportunity to respond.
The winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was decided by music industry professionals and you, viewers at home, each with a 50 percent stake in the result. Ukraine’s Jamala won, thanks to broad support from both the juries as well as televoters. She did so with an outstanding performance of an emotional song, telling a personal story.
Australia’s Dami Im won the jury vote and Russia’s Sergey Lazarev won the televoting. They both deserve credit for their world-class performances, their great songs and for taking their loss as true professionals. They may not have won the contest, but responded to the outcome as winners. We respect and appreciate them for that.
The Eurovision Song Contest is a competition. There can only be one winner. We understand that not everyone agrees with the outcome of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest however in a competition where the results are decided based on a subjective and often very personal opinions, there will always be people who do not agree. Regardless of this, the result remains valid by all means, in accordance with the rules as they were known to each participating broadcaster, each artist and each dedicated fan.
Ukraine is, and will remain, the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Whether you agree or disagree, we call upon those who signed this petition to embrace the result, valid in accordance with the rules, and to continue a constructive dialogue about how to further strengthen and improve the Eurovision Song Contest.
Preparations for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest are already underway with 5 cities in Ukraine having expressed their interest in hosting next year’s competition; Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk. The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is currently planned to take place on the 16, 18 and 20 May 2017.