Just glazing over the Armenian and Azeri disputes over Nagorno-Karabakh region like that is not okay, but today I'm just sticking Eurovision!
So without further ado, I'll note the top 3 most controversial voting moments in Eurovision. As you all know, there are controversial acts and occurrences in the contest, but this is specifically about voting.
#3 1956 - Luxembourg letting Switzerland vote on their behalf
In the very first contest back in 1956, two jurors from each country could cast a vote each, in secret, for any country of choice. Including your own. The jurors from Luxembourg were unable to travel to Lugano, Switzerland and so delegates from Switzerland were allowed to vote on their behalf. Only the winner was announced, and with the secrecy in voting, it is perhaps a little controversial that Switzerland won with Lys Assia's 'Refrain'.
But I think we can let EBU off with this one. At the end of the day, Lys Assia has taken her throne to Eurovision with true ascension, is more than delighted to be wheeled out by the host country each year, and let's be honest, who doesn't love her?
#2 1968 - Cliff Richard dramatically loses to "LA LA LA"
I mentioned in yesterday's vlog that Cliff Richard's loss in 1968 is a fan flop - but it's also considered one of the biggest voting controversies in the history of Eurovision. And for good reason.
Everyone thought Cliff was guaranteed to win. In my opinion, Congratulations is better than La La La by Spain's Massiel, but even if you disagree, Cliff was and still is a much, much bigger name than Massiel. It's okay to at least question the integrity of the songs and voting procedures...
...and with revelations that General Franco bribed and threatened TV execs to ensure a Spanish victory, it's enough to include it at #2. Let's be honest for a second, with regimes in Eurovision today being "accused of threatening voters for a lack of patriotism", "refusing to show a certain country's entry", and "denying the safety of other country's entrants", it's fair to say Cliff closing doesn't compare to some voting controversies of today. But I argue it sets a precedent. Or it might just be British pride, I'm not sure...
According to Russia, they would have won in 2003 if Ireland hadn't falsely used their jury because of televoting issues. It was proved to be a vacuous claim, with Turkey still having won even if the televote was used. So piss off Russia.
For a fact, we know that the true controversy of 03 was the UK's score... muahahahaha ;)
Conchita Wurst and Dana International are often contrived as top controversial moments in Eurovision. Their voting patterns garnered support from nations which have political and social structures reflecting anti-LGBT laws; but this isn't controversial. This is just stupid and evil politicians being dicks...
We could talk about Serbia & Montenegro's entire national final voting procedure. Thank goodness those countries got a degree of separation (no pun intended).
AND FINALLY...where would I be without mentioning the hilarity of the 1969 contest? As we all know, at the end of voting four countries were tied in 1st place and all were guaranteed winners. With the flexibility of television schedules and the fact no televote would need take place, I don't understand why all countries' jurors didn't just vote again to determine a winner out of the four. Oh well! Strange decisions, but the 1969 four-way-tie is considered one of the most controversial voting moments. I don't think so, simply because it's not controversial, it's just a lack of forward-thinking. Thank goodness the tie-break rule was introduced, Sweden 91 >>> France 91.
#1 1963 - Denmark snatching victory from the claws of Switzerland
All fans of the contest have a favourite from '63: Denmark or Switzerland. It was so long ago that it fails to be decisive, but if it was say 10 years ago, it would be so much more heated. Personally, I'm camp Switzerland, and Esther Ofarim should have won as it is one of the best entries of the 60s no doubt.
BUT the voting was so controversial! The voting in 1963 was the accumulation of votes from five jury members. From this accumulation, the highest placing country received 5 points, then 4, 3, 2 and 1. Similar to our votes from now, just 1 to 5 instead of 1 to 12.
When the votes were being announced by the Norwegian jury, Katie Boyle (presenting) had to tell Norway to go away and come back again as they were not announcing them correctly. The same thing happened to Monaco, but that's because they tried to give six countries points and not five. The Norwegians were just sneaky. Before they were given two fingers by Boyle, Norway had clearly and audibly given Denmark just one point, while awarding Switzerland three. When Norway phoned back in at the end of the show, Switzerland instead took just one, and Norway this time awarded Denmark four! That gave Denmark the win by three points! Suspicious?
Eurovision officially states that the Norwegian jury weren't ready to give their results and that the correct results were given at the second time of asking. Still smells a bit fishy if you ask me...
SO THERE WE HAVE IT. 3 controversial voting moments from the history of Eurovision. Join me for day 12 tomorrow when I'll be counting my 5 favourite Swiss entries.