Ireland at Eurovision 2015: Loved by the Juries, Killed by the Televote

May 24, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd May 2015

Ireland’s Molly Sterling finished in 12th place in the second Eurovision Song Contest on 21st May, winning 35 points in total and finishing 18 points behind the country taking the 10th, and final, qualification slot, Azerbaijan.  However Molly Sterling fared much better with the jury voters than she did with the televote. This goes against the trend noted at the 2012 and 2013 Finals, as well as last year’s semi-final, in which Jedward, Ryan Dolan and Kasey Smith did much better in the televote than in the jury vote. Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Eurovision Final results estimate: Sweden? Russia? Azerbaijan? Italy? Who Knows?

May 22, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 22nd May 2015

I have used this model to successfully predict the Azerbaijan win at the 2011 contest  and Denmark win in 2013, while this same model correctly identified 17 of the 20 qualifiers from this year’s semi finals. Now that we know the running order for the 2015 Eurovision Final I am going to use this to try and tease out who the likely winners will be of the 2015 contest will be. There are, however, a variety of factors that suggest that the 2015 Final model may not be as accurate as in previous years (and particularly before the new rules on combining jury votes and televotes were introduced at recent contests).

With the numbers crunched, Sweden and Russia – both with relatively good positions in the contest running order, a tendency to do well in terms of “friends and neighbours” and “diaspora” voting and very high rankings in the bookies odds – stand on top of the pile. Azerbaijan, Italy, Australia and Serbia also figure strongly here. But be wary.

  • This model cannot take account of the impact of the actual performances on Final nights (jury show and public show).
  • As the voting history statistics are based mainly on past televoting trends, the model cannot take account for the voting decisions of the highly influential professional juries, who have as much bearing on the result as the televotes have (if not more).
  • There are no voting history statistics for Australia, so there is no real sense here as to how the Australian televote will go, nor is there any real sense as to where Australia is more likely to pick up Eurovision points.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eurovision: The Luck of the Draw?

May 21, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 21st May 2015

Song, performance and staging matter in terms of ultimate Eurovision success. “Diaspora” and “friends and neighbours” voting can also help a country’s prospects of doing well in the contest, though of course not in themselves proving sufficient to win the contest for those countries that can especially benefit from these voting trends. But another key factor that can shape a country’s hopes of winning the contest is the position in the contest running order that they get to perform in, with the usual rule of thumb suggesting that a later draw position will significantly help a country’s hopes of doing well in the contest. Positions in the running order had traditionally been decided by a draw up to the 2012 contest. But since the 2012 contest in Malmo, participating countries have just drawn to decide whether they will perform in the first half or second half of a contest, with the host TV producers then deciding the running order based on what combination of entries works the best in terms of producing a better TV show. (The host country is the only one that draws to decide their position in the Final running order).  Read the rest of this entry »

Eurovision: The Curse of Last Year’s Hosts

May 20, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 20th May 2015

One trend that seems to be fairly consistent across Eurovision Song Contests relates to the often poor performances by countries that have won the contest two years beforehand and thus hosted it the year before, in what many people refer to as the curse of last year’s hosts. Read the rest of this entry »

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 – Details on the Voting Juries

May 19, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 19th May 2015

In 2015 (as in 2014), in a break from the pattern of the previous four contests (in which no details were provided on the split televotes and jury votes of the different participating countries), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is allowing for a greater detail of voting information to be released after the Eurovision final, in part as a reaction to various vote-rigging allegations after the 2013 contest. In a bid to promote further transparency, on May 1st 2015 the European Broadcasting Union also released the names (and gender/age/profession details) of the 200 different jurors (and 40 back-up jury members) who will form the professional juries for this year’s 40 participating countries.

Read the rest of this entry »

“I Don’t Speak French…”: Language, the Eurovision Song Contest and Success Levels

May 18, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 18th May 2015

Does the language that a song is sung in matter at the Eurovision Song Contest? A review of past success levels at the contest by language, as well as a review of the numbers of times that different languages have been used since the abolition of the national language rule in 1999, would seem to confirm this. Read the rest of this entry »

Key Dates in the History of the Eurovision Song Contest

May 18, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 18th May 2015

1956: First ever Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland. Seven countries took part (the six founder members of the EEC and Switzerland – Austria, Denmark and the United Kingdom would all enter the contest in the following year). For the only time in the contest’s history, each act performed two songs. Jury members were, for the only time, allowed to vote for their own country and only the winning song was revealed by the jury – Refrain by Lys Assia – and no further voting details/places were revealed. Only solo artists were allowed to take part, although duos were permitted in 1957. The songs were limited in terms of time to three and a half minutes (with this being reduced to three minutes for the 1958 contest). Read the rest of this entry »

Fallon and Kavanagh Guide to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest Entries

May 16, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh and Johnny Fallon, 16th May 2015

Each year, Eurovision throws up a new selection of thirty-something or forty-something new entries. Some are immediate classics, while some sink without a trace in the semi-finals. The great thing about Eurovision is that different people will have different favourites and this is always the case with the annual (well annual since 2013) review of the different entries by Johnny Fallon and myself. As a classic TV show once put it, it takes different stroke to review Eurovision. And so it is the case here. There’s me with my cool, edgy, taste in music. And then there’s Fallon. A man for whom “Rock ‘n Roll Kids” was probably just that bit too much edgy back in 1994…. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s our views on all of this year’s entries…   Read the rest of this entry »

Playing With Numbers – Predictions for the 2015 Eurovision Semi Final contests

April 7, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 7th April 2015

As I used this model to successfully predict the Azerbaijan win at the 2011 contest and also Denmark’s win in 2013,  I am going to use this to tease out who the likely qualifiers will be now that we know the running order for the two 2014 Eurovision semi-finals. Those of you who have read The Eurovision Handbook 2013 (as well as the 2014 edition of this – sadly low purchase levels of this notwithstanding…) will know that I used this same model to (sort of!) successfully predict most of the qualifiers for the 2013 and 2014 final.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Luck of the “Draw” for Ireland in Eurovision semi-final running order allocations

March 23, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd March 2014

Having finished “Playing With Numbers”, ORF, the Austrian television producers, who are hosting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, have today announced the semi-final running order allocations for the two semi-finals in this year’s contest. (As of the past few years, there is no longer a draw to determine positions in the running orders of Eurovision semi-finals and finals – with the exception of one to determine whether acts will perform in the first or second half of a contest  – with the exception of position taken up by the Host country in the Final. Instead, the host television producer decides on the running order, ostensibly to make sure that different types of acts are balanced throughout the running order in order to improvement the entertainment value of the show. This is – I would argue – an overtly large level of power to give to the host producers, given that statistics show that an act’s chances of doing well at Eurovision can be significantly helped/hindered by their position in the show’s running order.)

Figure 1: Average points per position in the running order at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals between 2008 and 2014

Figure 1: Average points per position in the running order at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals between 2008 and 2014

Ireland has been allocated the second position in the running order for Semi Final 2, being scheduled to perform just after Lithuania, who open the show, and San Marino, who will perform third on the night. Read the rest of this entry »


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