With emails, texts, Facebook comments and tweets flowing in three minutes after the online voting window was open during the final of the 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, it was evident that something had gone wrong.
"Saturday night taught us that we have to cater for far higher amounts of traffic on the junioreurovision.tv website," said Guido Jongen, of televoting partner Sound of Data.
"In fact, it was us who underestimated the interest," said EBU JESC Executive Supervisor, Vladislav Yakovlev. "We had around 4,000 online viewers in 2013 and thought that online voting might raise that figure to around 8,000. We thought that Sound of data were being extra-careful with 15,000."
However, as was announced during the Winners' Press Conference live after the show aired on Saturday night, there was far more than 4,000, 8,000 or even 15,000. In the first three seconds alone, THIRTY SEVEN THOUSAND (37,000) online viewers clicked to cast their vote online.
"We apologise for not being able to count your votes," Yakovlev said today. "We were absolutely amazed at the huge increase in interest - we are sorry that the system did not work, but are also delighted that interest in Junior Eurovision from all over the world is so high."
Televoting partners Sound of Data have since revealed that a further 91,000 'unique requests' to vote online were tried in the remaining time frame. The top non-participating countries who were the most keen to cast their vote were:
- United Kingdom
- United States
In addition to strengthening the online voting system in plenty of time for 2015, Sound of Data are also investigating whether to use a different timeslot to allow for an extra period of time for online viewers to be able to confirm their vote. For example, if the voting times are from 8:30 to 8:45pm, then they could allow people to vote online during that time but to confirm their votes (through their emails) until 9:00pm. This would enable someone who votes at 8:44pm to confirm their vote via email up until 9pm.
No online award was given out this year, and the last time the actual trophy was seen it was in the hands of this man:
....and we think that he deserves to keep it!