Azerbaijan got second place at ESC 2013, but apparently this wasn't an earned victory - more one that was paid for.
Last year, we here at 12points.tv analyzed the voting patterns among all countries and discovered a pattern in the voting results for Azerbaijan. In past years, countries with small populations and/or with little Eurovision engagement were voting for the Azerbaijani entries. This resulted, for example, in Malta awarding the full 12 points to Azerbaijan three times in a row. Read the entire article from last year here.
Things seem not to have changed since last year, Malta awarded its 12 to the Azeri again, and so did Bulgaria, Israel and Lithuania, to name a few - just like in 2012. There is no argument in the fact that the stage presentation of "Hold Me" was one of the most original and well executed. However, yesterday some proof for this theory appeared when Lithuanian journalists filmed a meeting they had with persons who had been offering 20 € to vote for specified artists, as often as possible. The footage is below - and it's in Russian without subtitles:
The music is appropriately cheesy for such a deal. But if you're not a Russian speaker, the website 15minutes.lt summarized what their journalists did in the video:
"Eurovision 2013" can only be won by buying votes. Two Russian-speaking men were sure of this who boldly and without shyness offered Lithuanians money for their votes for one of the participants. The story began on Saturday morning when several students came to the edition and told an amazing story: near the White Bridge in Vilnius Russian-speaking men approached them and offered money. It was necessary to vote in the evening for a specified artist of "Eurovision-2013" as much as possible, and to get 20 euro fee for that. With this vote buyers have promised to provide sim cards, on which the account was topped up in advance.
Journalists of 15min.lt pretended greedy citizens and went to meet the buyers of votes. Along the way, they armed with hidden cameras and tape recorders. Already at the meeting it was discovered, that students mixed country - vote buying was conducted not for Russia, but for Azerbaijan.
The buyers came to the appointed place in the cafe on time. Only a little more than ten minutes of conversation they had time to put the whole scheme, boasted that the purchase was in nearly all countries that otherwise there would be no competition for a long time, nobody would win, and indeed, almost did not let reporters ask a single question - told all themselves and without constraint.
The man without any hesitation said that Azerbaijan is working in this way in 15 countries. When asked how much it cost to win the contest, the man laconically answered that millions.
After seeing how the EBU handled all of the endless Azeribaijan reports from the mass media and the Eurovision fan press - i.e. not at all, will this video provoke them to investigate what happened? It's not the EBU's fault if the voting is corrupted, more to do with the participants who are working to rig the result. The Azeris would not be missed in the competition if these allegations, this time with proof, prove to be too much for the contest next year.