We are the real winners of Eurovision!!! (Well, sort of…)

Adrian Kavanagh, 16th May 2011

Congratulations to Jedward and their team on a great perfromance in Dusseldorf and a great result in taking 8th place for Ireland in the final (and also the semi final, proving earlier point that getting out of the semi final would be as difficult as doing well in the final!) They also won the Artistic Award (voted on by all commentators at the Eurovision) and were thankfully very sedate when they received it…NOT!

In the previous post, I suggested that Azerbaijan would win the contest if based on past voting history and voting patterns of the 43 countries (or rather 42 countries, as Italy could not be included due to returning to the contest this year after a 13 year absence) during the televoting era (1998-2010). Comparing the predicted results based on voting history with the actual results could give us a glimpse of what the actual results might have been once the bloc (or rather, geographical/diaspora) voting dimension was discounted.

As Italy could not be included, the final results were recalculated with Italy’s 189 points redistributed amongst the other 24 finalists based on their results on the night.

The predicted results were: 1. Azerbaijan 259, 2. Greece 240, 3j. Ukraine and Serbia 205, 5. Russia 199, 6. Bosnia 143, 7. Sweden 130, 8. Georgia 123, 9. Romania 119, 10. Hungary 114, 11. Denmark 113, 12. Moldova 95, 13. Estonia 88, 14. Germany 80, 15. Iceland 79, 16. Finland 66, 17. Spain 48, 18. Lithuania 44, 19j. UK and Slovenia 38, 21. Ireland 31, 22. Austria 18, 23. Switzerland 11, 24. France 10.

The actual results (re-standardised with Italy’s 189 points redistributed amongst the other 24 finalists) were: 1. Azerbaijan 239, (Italy finished in 2nd place), 3. Sweden 200, 4. The Ukraine 172, 5. Denmark 145, 6. Bosnia 135, 7. Greece 130, 8. Ireland 129, 9. Georgia 119, 10. Germany 116, 11. United Kingdom 108, 12. Moldova 105,  13. Slovenia 104, 14. Serbia 92,  15. France 89, 16. Russia 83, 17. Romania 83, 18. Austria 69, 19. Lithuania 68, 20. Iceland 66, 21. Finland 62, 22. Hungary 57, 23. Spain 54, 24. Estonia 48, 25. Switzerland 21.

Comparising these results, we can see which country’s actual results compared most favourably with that would have been expected based on past voting patterns/geographical-diaspora voting and possibly suggest who the real winners of Eurovision were! The results we get are: 1. Ireland 98, 2. France 78, 3j. United Kingdom and Sweden 70, 5. Slovenia 66, 6. Austria 51, 7. Germany 36, 8. Denmark 32, 9. Lithuania 24, 10. Moldova 10, 11. Switzerland 9, 12. Spain 6, 13j. Georgia and Finland -4, 15. Bosnia -8, 16. Iceland -13, 17. Azerbaijan -20, 18. Ukraine -33, 19. Romania -35, 20. Estonia -40, 21. Hungary -56, 23. Greece -110, 24. Serbia -113, 25. Russia -115

The analysis suggests that had all geographical/diaspora voting been discounted, Ireland would have won this year’s contest, with Jedward and Co. winning almost 100 more points on the night than would have been expected based on past voting patterns. This suggests that the 8th placing they achieved on the night does not fully reflect their achievements in achieving our best Eurovision result since Eamonn Toal in 2000, especially for a song-type that is far far removed from the usual Irish genre (ballad), and in putting on a performance that was ranked best in show by all Eurovision commentators.   

Interestingly, the closest country to Ireland is France, the pre-contest favourites who finished in a disappointing 15th place, with other pre-contest favourites, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom and Denmark, also ranking highly. This suggests that the bookies may “have been on the money” in terms of their rankings of song quality and impact but that these odds didn’t sufficiently take account of geographical/diaspora voting.  

Slovenia is the only entry that was not one of the pre-contest favourites to break into the Top 5 on these rankings, pointing to a strong performance over the by two nights by Maja Keuc in helping Slovenia to one of its best ever Eurovision results – one that probably could have earned Slovenia a Top 5 finish had geographical/diaspora voting been discounted.

Could Slovenia's Maja Keuc have earned a Top 5 finish with no bloc voting?

A similar point could be made in relation to the 6th ranked, Nadine Beiler of Austria. Based on this analysis, Switzerland’s Anna Rossinelli, who finished in an undeserved last place, would have earned a mid-table ranking.


5 Responses to “We are the real winners of Eurovision!!! (Well, sort of…)”

  1. William Organ Says:

    Interesting article. How were the predicted results calculated though? Azerbaijan have only been in the contest since 2008 so predicting results from such a limited source of data sounds odd, especially when factoring in the jury vote reintroduction in 2009 to add extra variance to trends in voting observed in other counties.

    • Adrian Kavanagh Says:

      The details on how the predicted results were calculated are offered in the previous post/article, which is actually linked in this post/article.

      I note your point about Azerbaijan but would take issue with the “odd” remark.

      In the case of Azerbaijan, while this country has only contested Eurovision since 2008 it is important not to forget that with Azerbaijan contesting a semi final and final in the three years leading up to this contest, meaning that its vote average was based across six different contest.

      The 2009 figures used are all televoting figures – as the results of the 2009 semi finals were mainly based on televotes (apart from the jury ‘wild card’). As the EBU also released each country’s televoting (and jury) votes for the 2009 Final (which saw the introduction of the new 50-50 voting system) it was possible to use the televote figures for the 2009 Final also, which I did.
      Alas the EBU did not release country-by-country televote and jury vote figures for the 2010 final, which means the votes used for 2010 are the 50-50 televote/jury vote figures.

  2. William Organ Says:

    Ahh, my apologies I somehow missed the link. Fantastic work and a very interesting read. I will definitely be checking in here next year.

    By odd I meant that in only a 3 year timeframe it was possible for a country to slot into the other country’s voting trends. While they have taken part in six contests as it were, the Big Four countries would have only voted for them 3 times, as well as countries that have never been in a semi-final with them like Iceland and Malta. I just thought it odd that a recent debut to the contest can slot into a niche so very quickly, but I suppose they’ve made a pretty strong debut with all 4 songs doing very well.

    Do you mean these vote figures? http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=18893&_t=EBU+reveals+split+voting+outcome%2C+surprising+results

  3. Adrian Kavanagh Says:

    Ah I get you now! 🙂
    What is remarkable is how quickly a country’s voting patterns can get established with a voting pattern being established for Azerbaijan even in that country’s first contests in 2008 where its act got a large number of votes from other Former Soviet states, but also won a big chunk of the points on offer from other Islamic countries such as Turkey, Bosnia and Albania, while also winning a number of points from (its diaspora population in?) Western Europe. Azerbaijan has developed a sort of a catch-all dimension to its voting pattern wherein the Former Soviet bloc offers the biggest vote shares but wherein Azerbaijan also wins a good number of votes across all the other blocs. This in some ways may reflect the strenght of the acts that Azerbaijan have sent to Eurovision in its first four year of competition.

    The link for voting figures you provided is for 2010 when only the total votes by televote and jury vote were provided – no breakdown was offered on a country by country basis.
    However, in 2009 it was possible to see televote and jury vote votes for each of the countries involved – http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=3503&_t=Exclusive%3A+Split+jury%2Ftelevoting+results+out%21

  4. The real winner of Eurovision 2012 is…er the actual winners « Adrian Kavanagh's Blog Says:

    […] outlined in an earlier post. In a similar analysis for last year’s final, it was found that Ireland would have been the country who would have won that year’s contest if friends and neig…. So which country would have “won” this […]

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