Rather late accusations from Swedish soil! According to Aftonbladet, the televoting results of this year's Swedish national final are doubtful. The newspaper quotes “hundreds of readers” who experienced irregularities, for example calls on their phone bills that were “never made”. Calls for Melodifestivalen winner Carola…
Just an example. When Swedish journalist Erika Scott got her phone bill she was “shocked”. It showed that she had made 108 calls to vote for Carola, which she says she never did. The calls were made within 7-20 seconds interval. Erika claims she tried to vote three times, of which one time was successful. “I am willing to testify in court that we made no more than three calls”, she said to the newspaper. According to Aftonbladet, hundreds of readers contacted the newspaper, reporting that calls for Andreas Johnson could not be made because the line was busy, while Carola's televoting line was available without prolems. Aftonbladet claims to have enough proof to reveal that a big amount of calls for Carola were never made by those people who were claimed to vote for her.
Phone company Telia refers to broadcaster SVT when asked about the televoting results of Melodifestivalen. Hans Hernborn, responsible for the televoting within SVT, would support an investigation regarding this particular case; “So far, we have no confirmation that here has been a mistake, but in case there is, we are willing to take back those 105 incorrect votes”, stating that officially, votes can still be withdrawn.
Other side of the story?
Aftonbladet, generally supportive towards the Swedish ánd international song contest, is widely known for its 'tasty' and tabloid-ish stories. In this case, it's unknown if this problem occured with other televoting lines during the Swedish final as well. Whatever the result of any investigation is, withdrawal of Carola is highly unlikely as it is not possible to send a runner-up to Athens for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. One thing is for sure; in situations like these, there are no winners…
1,913,152 votes were counted during the final of Melodifestivalen 2006. The profit from the televoting was donated by SVT to a special charity fund.
Fair and balanced as ever, esctoday.com asked SVT for a more detailed explaination regarding these accusations. As soon as we have more information for you, we will update this article.