Upcoming Conference (14th March): Eurovision Unplugged: The Eurovision Song Contest – The Geography, The History, The Votes and The Songs

March 7, 2018

Eurovision Unplugged: The Eurovision Song Contest – The Geography, The History, The Votes and The Songs

One-Day Conference (11.00 – 3.30), Wednesday 14th March 2018

Room 11, School of Education, Maynooth University (North Campus)

Featuring Contributions from:

  • Zena Donnelly: Ireland’s representative at Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (only contestant to write their own composition)– only person to finish in the Top 10 of a Eurovision contest with an entry in the Irish language)
  • Michael Kealy (RTÉ): Irish Head of Delegation for the Eurovision Song Contest
  • Padraig Muldoon: Deputy Editor of wiwibloggs – the most-read independent Eurovision website)
  • Johnny Fallon (Carr Communications): Eurovision aficionado
  • Caoilfhionn D’Arcy (Maynooth University): Geography/Music graduate and Eurovision enthusiast
  • Adrian Kavanagh (Maynooth University): Lecturer at Maynooth University Department of Geography, Eurovision fanatic…er analyst
  • And…Members of the Audience

Read the rest of this entry »


Ireland’s Eurovision 2018 Semi Final Draw: “A lot done, more to do…”

January 29, 2018

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th January 2018

So, from the perspective of Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Final, how good was today’s Eurovision semi-final allocation draw in Lisbon? The initial reaction was very positive, especially given that the United Kingdom was drawn to vote in the semi-final that Ireland is performing in. But was it really that good? It’s time to unpick the 2018 Semi Final draw, especially with reference to the potential selections that I had earlier identified as Ireland’s dream draw and night draw, as I discussed in greater detail in the previous post. Read the rest of this entry »

Eurovision 2018 Semi-Final Allocation Draw: What is Ireland’s “dream draw” and “nightmare draw”?

January 23, 2018

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd January 2018

As reported on the official Eurovision Song Contest website, the allocation draw for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest semi finals will take place on Monday (29th January 2018) in Lisbon City Hall (at 13.00 Common European Time). After this draw, Ireland will know whether the Irish act will be taking part in Semi Final 1 (on 8th May 2017) or Semi Final 2 (on 10th May 2017) and will also know the 17/18 other countries that will be competing against the Irish act for one of the ten qualifying slots from this semi final. The three Big 5/Host countries that will have the right to vote in the different semi finals will also be known after this. This post will assess the possibilities facing Ireland ahead of this draw and pinpoint what would be an drawn/nightmare draw for the Irish act.  Read the rest of this entry »

43 countries take part in Eurovision 2018: Here are the Acts/Songs

January 9, 2018

First posted by Adrian Kavanagh on 9th January 2018

Towards the end of 2017, it was confirmed that 43 countries will take part in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Lisbon in early May – the Final will take place on Saturday 12th May, with the two semi-finals to take place on Tuesday 8th May and Thursday 10th May. The line up of countries is very similar to that for the 2017 contest, which involved 42 countries. Following their controversial late withdrawal a few weeks ahead of the 2017 contest, Russia will return to the contest after a one-year absence.

At this stage, we already know all forty three of the acts that will be taking part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and have heard all forty three of the songs. (See the table below for more details). Read the rest of this entry »

Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Final/Semi Final YouTube Views

May 25, 2017

Adrian Kavanagh, 25th May 2017 – updated 8th February 2018.

As reported on the official Eurovision website (23rd May 2017), 182 million people viewed the three Eurovision live shows (final and two semi-finals) in 2017. (The number is down on the 2016 level, as the show was not broadcast in Russia this year.)

But, of course, it is possible to watch replays of the show, as well as the different acts, online by means of a number of different mechanisms, including YouTube.

I estimated that, roughly ten days after the 2017 Final, there had been over 70 million views (70,228,171) of the official final/semi-final performance videos for all of the 2017 Eurovision acts via the official Eurovision YouTube platform. Nine months later (on 18th February 2018), this number had risen to just over 107 million (107,161,846) combined views of the official final/semi-final performance videos. Read the rest of this entry »

From Estonia With Love: How Ireland Fared in Eurovision Semi Final 2

May 14, 2017

Adrian Kavanagh, 13th May 2017

Ireland’s Brendan Murray finished in 13th place in Eurovision Semi Final 2 (with 86 points). But he only missed out on qualifying for the Final by a relatively narrow margin, finishing 15 points behind 10th placed, Denmark’s Anja Nissen. He finished 12th in the Jury Vote (45 points) and 12th also in the Televote (41 points). Had the United Kingdom being voting in our semi final, it could have been an entirely different story, especially as Ireland won relatively few points off the Big 5/Host countries – France, Ukraine, Germany – that were drawn to vote in this Semi Final.

But which countries did award points to Ireland in this semi final and which countries did not? Read the rest of this entry »

The Eurovision Song Contest Final: The Luck of the Draw…or the Running Order?

May 12, 2017

Adrian Kavanagh, 12th May 2017

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 »

2017 Eurovision Final results (televote!) estimate: Can Italy (or Portugal or Bulgaria…) stop a seventh Swedish win?

May 12, 2017

Adrian Kavanagh, 12th May 2017

In these past, I used this model to successfully predict the Azerbaijan win at the 2011 contest,  the Denmark win in 2013, the Sweden win at the 2015 contest and Russia’s win in the televote at the 2016 Final, while this same model correctly identified 17 of the 20 qualifiers from the 2015 semi finals (although it proved decidedly less effective in predicting the 2016 qualifiers and predicted only 15 out 20 qualifiers for the 2017 semi finals). Now that we know the running order for the 2016 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 (including the problems in terms of predicting the 2016 and 2017 semi final qualifiers) that suggest that the 2017 Final model may not be as accurate as in previous years (or at least the years leading up to the 2016 contest). The changes being made to the voting process in 2016 effectively mean that each country’s jury vote score and public vote/televote score will be treated as separate entities for this year’s contest – i.e. each country will award two separate scores – a jury vote score and a televote/public vote score. It is the latter of these two different scores/rankings (i.e. the televote score) that this model should be most effective in predicting.

With the numbers crunched, Italy, Sweden, Bulgaria and Portugal stand on top of the pile. Some of these countries have relatively good positions in the contest running order, some have a tendency to do well in terms of “friends and neighbours” and “diaspora” voting and all of these enjoy very high rankings in the bookies odds.  Other countries/finalists, such as Belgium, Romania, the United Kingdom, Armenia and Croatia, also figure strongly in relation to these factors, or some of these factors. But be wary!

  • This model cannot take account of the impact of the actual performances on both Final nights (including the Jury Final on the Friday night and Public/Televised Final on the Saturday night).
  • 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 Final result as the televotes have.
  • The voting history statistics for Australia are quite limited and based on just three contests (2015 Final, 2016 Semi Final 2 and 2016 Final) – contests that Australia finished 5th, 1st and 2nd in respectively – meaning that the Australia vote estimates are somewhat over-estimated as regards this particular factor (especially with countries such as Russia and Serbia not taking part in this year’s Final).

Read the rest of this entry »

Previewing the Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest

May 12, 2017

Adrian Kavanagh, 12th May 2017 

Following on the previous posts reviewing Semi Final 1 and Semi Final 2, this post will offer a brief review of the 26 acts competing Grand Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. As in the case of the semi-finals, this contest will take place over two nights, with the professional juries voting on the contest taking place on the night of Friday 12th May (tonight!), while the public will vote on the televised show, which takes place on the night of Saturday 13th May. Read the rest of this entry »

Dying to…vote for Ireland? Which countries tend to give Ireland the most/least Eurovision points?

May 11, 2017

Adrian Kavanagh, 11th May 2017

Each year, usually after an Irish act fails to do as well as expected at a Eurovision Song Contest, we hear the usual rants about “political voting” or “Eastern European countries only voting for other Eastern European countries”. Most of these urban legends are, quite simply, ráiméis – they do match up with the actual facts, or the trends that can be observed from a study of recent Eurovision voting trends. “Give me facts” said that legend of English literature, Mr. Gradgrind, and that is what this website always sets out to do!

So what are the facts as regards the countries that Ireland is most likely, or least likely, to win points from at the Eurovision Song Contest? Read the rest of this entry »