Iceland: RÚV refuses rumoured voting incident at Söngvakeppnin 2018

by Stratos Agadellis 1,349 views

The verdict of the Icelandic national selection Söngvakeppnin 2018 was announced last Saturday; the public chose Ari Ólafsson with the song Our choice will fly to the Portuguese capital. However, the country’s national broadcaster RÚV received subsequently several opinions that a number of telephone votes was not finally registered. After careful investigation, both the broadcaster and the responsible telecommunications company are now denying that any problem has emerged.

RÚV on the issue

The managing director of Söngvakeppnin Birna Ósk Hansdóttir stated that the broadcaster had been investigating the issue since Sunday. The concerns within RÚV began after a plethora of relevant comments in the social media.

Dagur Sigurðsson, who came 2nd in the super-final, was reportedly denying the show’s result, as he came 1st during the first round both with the juries and the public (44,730 total votes to Ari’s 35,861). In parallel, RÚV was in constant contact with the composer of his competing entry Í stormiJulie Heiðar Halldórsson.

Birna Ósk Hansdóttir initially made the following statements:

We are aware that Dagur received messages from friends and relatives. We have sent a query about Vodafone’s case. Something like this has never happened again at Söngvakeppnin. If this is a serious issue, we will respond to it and comply with our working standards.

The conclusions

Following RÚV and Vodafone‘s investigation, their common statement was that there hasn’t been any voting irregularity throughout the final voting procedure and the true outcome of the Icelandic national selection is as announced on Saturday’s final (44,919 votes for Ari Ólafsson and 39,474 votes for Dagur Sigurðsson). Hence, Ari Ólafsson and Our choice will remain as the winner of the event and will represent the Scandinavian nation in Lisbon.

Here are the broadcaster’s statements:

The results are clear and rule out the possibility that the phone system could have been acting differently between the two competing numbers during the voting procedure.

Whilst the telecommunications company Vodafone said:

Our investigation doesn’t show any malfunction in any way. Both the SMS part as well as the phone-in part worked without trouble. Also, individual numbers in the televoting all have the same set-up and use the same device, so it is impossible that one number works and the other one doesn’t.

You may witness the Icelandic 2018 Eurovision entry here:

Iceland will participate in the 1st half of the first semi-final on 8 May.

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