Cheryl Baker dismayed by Eurovision voting fix scandal

British pop star Cheryl Baker is fuming over reports some countries participating in the annual Eurovision Song Contest have paid for their votes. An investigation has been launched after Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, who came 19th out of 26 finalists in the competition in May (13), alleged she overheard Russian officials demanding to know why they didn’t receive the votes they bought.
An executive from an unnamed country also told a Swedish newspaper this week (beg09Sep13) that he knew of nations offering to strike deals in exchange for support in the competition.
Baker, who scooped the prestigious trophy in 1981 with her group Bucks Fizz, admits she is horrified by rumours of rigging.
In an opinion column for Britain’s Daily Mirror, she writes, “You’ll always get people voting for their neighbour, but taking money, I think that’s shocking, a travesty. It’s turning a really joyous occasion into something really sordid and nasty.
“The ones who have won in the last few years have been good, but if it’s down to vote-rigging then something needs to be done. If there is video evidence of people trying to vote-rig, then that country needs to be banned. If they sit back and let it happen, it isn’t a competition at all. The actual show is fantastic, it’s the voting that makes us groan and lets it down.”