The European Broadcasting Union on Wednesday announced that points awarded on behalf of the Belarus jury during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest were given erroneously.
It retroactively revoked all the Belarusian jury points, including the 12 — or “douze points” — won by Israel, thus denying the host country the only jury points it had won in the competition.
However, Israel held on to its 35 televoting points, and its ranking as 23rd in the contest remained unchanged.
Belarus’s jury had been dismissed shortly before the Eurovision final on Saturday, after members of the jury publicly shared their preferences in the competition, which according to the contest’s rules they are forbidden from doing before the final.
The EBU had previously said Belarus’s jury point were subsequently handed out according to an algorithm and “calculated based on the results of other countries with similar voting records.”
However, on Wednesday officials said it had “discovered that due to a human error an incorrect aggregated result was used.”
The Belarus jury points had been questioned after the contest, as many of them were oddly awarded to nations that, like Israel, were at the bottom of the jury and televote rankings.
The EBU stressed that “This had no impact on the calculation of points derived from televoting across the 41 participating countries and the overall winner and Top 4 songs of the Contest remain unchanged.”
Kobi Marimi, who ended up in 23rd place out of 26 with the slow, operatic ballad “Home,” said after the contest that he was happy with his performance and proud to represent Israel, despite his disappointing finish.
“I couldn’t have asked for more than this. I’ll remember this night forever. I don’t have words to explain how much I love this country, and how proud I am for myself and my team,” Marimi told the Ynet news site.
Critics had said Marimi’s song was too slow and lacked personality, but Marimi gave it a little extra for the performance.
He cried as he ended the song, barely managing to thank the crowd in Hebrew.
Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands won the 64th edition of the contest with his doleful piano number “Arcade.”
Laurence was tapped as an early front-runner before Saturday’s Grand Final, but he had to rely on the fan vote to secure the country’s fifth win in the competition. Italy finished second, followed by Russia and Switzerland.