Ukrainian singer Jamala took the first place in the contest this year and we think that she really deserves this win. But is everything so clear about it? As a member of the Danish jury, Hilda Heick was expected to rank the songs from 1 to 26 – with 1 being the best and 26 the worst. However, Ms Heick was confused by the instructions for the contest’s new voting system and did exactly the opposite – thinking she was meant to award ’26 points’ to her favourite and ‘1 point’ to her least favourite. It means that Heik wanted to put Australia on the first place and Ukraine was on the bottom of her list, but her misunderstanding of the system led to ranking the singers oppositely – Ukraine as the first and Australia as the last.
Number-crunchers have worked out that with the mix-up taken into account, Ukraine would have got zero points from the Danish jury as a whole instead of 12, while Australia would have got the 12 points, up from 10.
Ms Heick confessed to Danish tabloid BT: “My heart stopped… When you realise you’ve done something wrong, it’s really mortifying. When I saw the other [jury member’s votes], I could see that I had voted the opposite way to them.”
The seismic mistake prevented Australia from coming within inches of winning the contest – with a corrected tally leaving Dami Im on 513 total points, behind Jamala on 524.
If just one other jury member in another country made the same error in the same direction, Australia could have won.The juror added that after getting abuse over the incident, she was left upset and unwilling to be involved with Eurovision in the future.The 69-year-old said: “It’s my huge mistake and I completely admit it – but I am not senile, despite people saying on Facebook that I should retire and be kept away from everything. It may well happen that I do not say yes to more with [Danish Eurovision selection] Melodi Grand Prix in the future – but I will not retire yet.” It’s not the only interesting quirk of the new voting system: the new method of separating jury and televoting points also resulted in a different winner.
But we have what we have and the winner has been chosen, there can be thousand of “what ifs” but they don’t influence on what has already happened.