Michael Kealy slams ‘crooked’ Eurovision juries

Ireland’s Head of Delegation, Michael Kealy, has aimed further criticism at “crooked” Eurovision juries. 

Kealy was speaking exclusively to The Euro Trip ahead of Ireland’s Eurovision national selection show, Eurosong, which takes place on Friday. 

It was announced last year that the EBU had decided to change the voting method for the contest’s Semi-Finals to 100% televote. This was in response to six national juries conspiring to vote favourably for certain songs at the contest in 2022. 

Criticising the events that took place in Turin, Italy, last year, Kealy said: “The EBU identified attempts of manipulation in the jury vote last year and that’s concerning and a worry for any of us taking part because it means we’re not operating on a level playing pitch.” 

Kealy questioned how long jury manipulation had been going on for at the contest and if it had affected Ireland’s results in the past, but conceded it would be something he’d probably never find out. 

“We’re back into diaspora voting and all that stuff. That’s something we’re just going to have to live with. 

“I’d sooner take my chances with the diaspora vote than with a crooked jury because you don’t have any chances up against a jury that has been bribed to vote for other countries except yours.” 

Six acts are competing in Eurosong on Friday, hoping to secure the ticket to represent Ireland in Eurovision in May. The winner will be decided by an equally weighted combination of a national jury, international jury and public televote. 

Asked by The Euro Trip if he considered making Eurosong 100% televote to match Eurovision’s Semi-Finals, he said getting “international perspective” is important. 

“Ireland is a very small country and sometimes people can be very loyal to music acts if they come from their locality or county. 

“Sometimes the phone vote may reflect somebody’s support in their particular county, as opposed to what people in that county might think is the best song for Eurovision. 100% televote…I’m not sure that’s the best way of doing it.”

Featured image – Michael Kealy (right) | Image – Andres Poveda

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