Eurovision Juror Dismissed for Periscoping from Dress Rehearsal

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Anastasiya Stotskaya attends the Hello The Most Stylish ceremony on May 13, 2015 in Moscow, Russia.

Yesterday (May 9), during a dress rehearsal ahead of this year's first semifinal in Stockholm, Anastasiya Stotskaya made a video recording and published it over the online video service Periscope. Stotskaya was later quoted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti as saying that she did nothing wrong. "They say that I broke confidentiality rules," she was quoted as saying. "We were warned about those rules. They told us that we shouldn't make the results of the judging public, and I didn't do that." She added that she published the video in order to promote Eurovision.

The contest's organizers viewed the matter differently.

"Following constructive talks between EBU [European Broadcasting Union] and VGTRK [All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company], Russia’s participating broadcaster, VGTRK]proposed to withdraw the respective jury member who produced the video recording," the EBU, which operates Eurovision, said in a statement.

Stotskaya's voting result was declared invalid, and VGTRK will have the opportunity to provide a replacement judge for the contest's final, scheduled for May 14.

In a statement to the EBU, VGTRK "expressed regret at the actions of its juror," the EBU says, adding that during its investigation the European broadcaster sought advice from PwC as an independent observer, in line with protocol for the event. VGTRK also apologized to Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS and Armenian broadcaster AMPTV as Stotskaya's video broadcast featured performances of contestants from those two countries.

The EBU said that Stotskaya didn't formally break the contest's rules, but that her action was "not in keeping with the spirit of the competition and potentially prejudicial, as it imposes a potential risk of accidentally revealing results."

"The broadcast of the Jury semi-finals and Jury final is an internal transmission, not meant for public distribution," says Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU.