In-Depth: Eurovision 2013 Split Results – What Happened?

Nearly 9 years on and it’s the scandal that still gets Eurovision fans talking

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Eurovision in the past decade is why the EBU never released the split results for the 2013 contest in Malmรถ, leading to complaints from fans, with many demanding that these are published. In this in-depth article, we delve into why the split results were not published, and whether we will see this happen anytime soon.

What Do We Mean By โ€˜Split Resultsโ€™?

From 2009 to 2012, each countryโ€™s televote ranked all songs in each Semi-Final and Grand Final from first to last, whereas the juries only ranked the top ten for each. In 2013 this changed slightly, so that each jury had to provide a full ranking of each show, from first to last place; this rule has been implemented ever since. The results of the 2013 contest gave each country a placing and an overall points score from each show it appeared in. However, there was one big difference compared to other years โ€“ there was no full points breakdown of the jury and public votes, instead an average rank was provided for each country, based on the votes of the juries and televote in isolation. Although we know the points that each country received in each show (a combination of jury and public votes, as was done in each year between 2009 and 2015), there is no specific information about where each country ranked in the jury and televote, and how many points they received from each.

Final scoreboard of Eurovision 2013
Credit: EBU

For example, Montenegro, represented by Who See with Igranka, came 12th overall in Semi-Final 1 with 41 points. Although we can see which countries these 41 points came from, we donโ€™t know how these points were calculated, and to what extent the jury and televote contributed to this score. We also donโ€™t know if there were any countries that came close to giving Montenegro points, e.g. countries whose televoting would have given points, but this then was negated by a poor jury score (or vice versa). In terms of the individual jury and televote scores, all we know is that they had an average rank of 7.33 in the televote, and 10.16 in the jury vote. While we can compare the average ranks to those received by other countries (this would put Montenegro 4th and 14th in the jury and televote, respectively), these may not be accurately reflective of where countries actually came in each vote.

Igranka by Who See, Montenegro’s entry for Eurovision 2013
Credit: EBU

Why did the EBU use this method in 2013?

Its not entirely clear why the EBU chose to reveal the scores in this way, especially since it has proved unfavourable with fans down the line.  As this was the first year that we had full rankings for both juries and televoting, it appears that the EBU may have used 2013 as an opportunity to experiment with this new availability of data. The EBU said in 2013:

โ€œThis allows to combine the ranking of all songs, instead of just the top-10 of the televoting and jury voting, and giving more weight to different rankings outside of the top-10.โ€

European Broadcasting Union (EBU), 2013

This suggests that the EBU believed that giving an average rank to all songs was a potentially useful method of calculating scores achieved outside the top 10s of televotes and juries. However, the EBU then seemed to abandon the โ€˜average rankโ€™ method the following year, as from 2014 onwards the EBU published each of the individual votes for juries and televoting across all three shows.

Why didnโ€™t the EBU publish the 2013 split results?

In response to why they didnโ€™t publish the split results at the time, the EBU said the following:

“To protect the fairness of the voting, the EBU does not release the split ranking of televoting and jury per country. Publishing these numbers would explicitly highlight if countries don’t meet the televoting threshold โ€“ the minimum number of televotes needed to become a statistically valid result – is and where thus only the jury voting was regarded valid. Explicitly highlighting these countries could lead to unwanted disproportionate influence on the televoting in these countries in future years to come.”

European Broadcasting Union, 2013

The EBU statement tells us that showing the 2013 split results would reveal which countriesโ€™ results consisted purely of jury voting, due to not receiving a sufficiently high number of televotes. By revealing this, this might indicate which countriesโ€™ televotes can be easily influenced. For example, if the split voting showed Albania did not receive enough votes for a televoting score, this might prompt another country to use fraudulent techniques (e.g. SIM card swapping) in the next edition of the contest to ensure that Albaniaโ€™s votes are in their favour. While this seemed like a reasonable decision at the time, many complained about the lack of transparency available in the 2013 voting. This led to the rules changing the following year, in which the full split results were published.  Although there has been full transparency from 2014, there remains the question over why the 2013 split results still havenโ€™t been released today.

Why have the 2013 split results still not been published?

The method used to reveal the 2013 results was outlined in the predetermined rules for the contest, and was agreed with all juries and broadcasters. In order to reveal the 2013 split results, the EBU would likely have to clear this with every single juror that participated in Eurovision 2013, to ensure that they are fine with changing something that had previously been agreed when they took part in the 2013 contest. Although this could be done in theory, and its unlikely that many jurors would protest to doing this, it would involve substantial time and resource to achieve something that would have a small return on investment. While there are many dedicated Eurovision fans who want the split results published, the majority of the Eurovision-viewing public have no idea about this issue, and it has not impacted viewership of the contest.

Ultimately, the EBU would have to retroactively change the rules of the 2013 contest for the split results to be revealed, which is something they refuse to do. However, this has somewhat been done recently. In an article published on in October 2020, the EBU revealed that the 1956 Dutch entry โ€˜De vogels van Hollandโ€™, the first ever Eurovision performance, came second in 1956. Previously, the 1956 results were kept secret, with the public only knowing that Switzerlandโ€™s Lys Assia won with โ€˜Refrainโ€™. Since a previously secret result from 1956 has been now made public, why shouldnโ€™t this be the case for the 2013 split results? Although, given how long it took for this 1956 revelation to come out, we may be waiting until 2070 to find out the split resultsโ€ฆ

Jetty Paerl: Eurovision’s first ever contestant, who performed De vogels van Holland in the 1956 contest in Lugano, Switzerland.
Credit: Wikimedia

Much to the frustration of many fans, its unlikely that we are going to get the split results of Eurovision 2013. Until then, we will just have to make do with the results that have been made available. Perhaps the closest thing to the split results is an estimate by Twitter user @euro_bruno, which was put together after analysing voting patterns from other contests. Click here to view Brunoโ€™s excellent work, which is the next best thing to the actual split results until the EBU changes its mind!

Do you have your theories in regards to the 2013 split results scandal? Be sure to let us know!

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