Welcome back to What Went Wrong – a series where we document everything that went wrong in specific Eurovision years. In this second edition, we’re travelling back to 2015, where the contest was held in Vienna, Austria. You can read the previous edition here.
The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest was initially going to take place on the 12, 14 and 16th of May, but the dates were pushed back a week to accomodate the candidate cities.
Ukraine withdrew from the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, reportedly due to financial difficulties and the ongoing conflict in the country. Croatia also withdrew from the contest.
Installation of Anti-Booing Technology
After intense booing of Russia at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, ORF and the EBU installed Anti-Booing Technology for the first time in the history of the contest. Booing was still intense in the Arena, with presenter Alice Tumler leading to make a statement during the voting process: ”Our motto is ‘Building Bridges’, and music should stand over politics tonight.”.
She wasn’t booed during her semi-final – but if it happens tonight, organisers have reportedly said they will take measures to mask it and make sure it’s not heard.Citation from BBC Article
Smoke Machine Incident (Jury Final)
In the first Semi-Final Jury Show, Belgian artist Loic Nottet was forced to perform in smoke. Smoke is not used in any of Belgium’s performance. Reportedly, the haze and smoke was remaining on stage after Australia’s pyrotechnic-heavy performance. The Belgian Delegation requested to perform again at the end of the show, but the request was denied and instead, the jury was told to disregard the smoke.
Australia: Inability To Vote & Others Unable To Vote For Australia
Australia debuted at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest as a guest, celebrating the 60th edition of the contest. With that debut, it meant that Australian viewers could vote for their favourites of the contest, but sadly, the voting lines crashed several times, leaving many viewers unable to vote.
‘Fans trying to vote for their favourite countries received error messages telling them voting had already closed or the service they requested was unavailable.’Citation from the Australian SMH Website.
Other viewers from other countries also experienced problems voting for Australia via their voting lines. The cause of this problem is unknown. According to SBS, Australians were unable to vote ‘because they did not have premium services activated on their phone’.
Smoke Machine Incident (Grand Final)
During Georgia’s Grand Final performance of ‘Warrior’, performed by Nina Sublatti, a large puff of grey smoke covered the stage, completely blocking the camera view and covering the artist. This was reportedly a malfunction, and not due to the smoke operator’s actions.
Several Voting Crashes & Loss Of Connection Instances
During the voting process of the 2015 Eurovision Grand Final, several countries’ satellite feeds with the voting correspondant lost connection. Estonia, Portugal and Georgia all respectively crashed during their voting announcement. They were made to announce their results after all other 37 countries had voted. The problems in the voting also led to some angry audience members, with one shouting ‘NOT AGAIN!’ when Georgia’s voting process lost connection.
Exclusion of Macedonia and Montenegro from Voting
In the Grand Final of Eurovision 2015, the votes from F.Y.R. Macedonia (now known as North Macedonia) and Montenegro were excluded from the final result. According to the official Eurovision Rulebook, each country’s result must be 50/50 of Televote and Jury, but Montenegro and Macedonia’s result was 100% televote. The final winner and result was not affected. The Eurovision Press Office gave this statement to the BBC:
The jury results of FYR Macedonia and Montenegro for the grand final have been excluded after consultation of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the contest’s independent voting observer, and upon the decision of the executive supervisor and the chairman of the reference group. In both countries, televoting applied for 100%.Statement from the European Broadcasting Union