Trying to make sense of the Jury/Televote split results of Eurovision 2013

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th May 2013

The change in the rules over the manner in which televotes and jury votes are combined in the 50-50 televote/jury vote system to determine the points that a country is giving has mystified many and caused no little controversy in the wake of the 2013 Eurovision Final, with political leaders in countries such as Russia, Belarus and Azerbaijan all expressing concerns on this issue and with Irish people generally bemused at the low one point score for Ryan Dolan from the United Kingdom. Prior to 2013, countries which were ranked highly in other countries’ televotes would normally have expected a relatively healthy number of points from those countries even if they were not ranked highly by those countries’ juries. This was due to the fact that only the scores for the Top Ten countries in the televote and jury vote were included when these votes were combined (with ten placed country in the televote (and jury vote) being allocated one point, ninth being allocated two points…second being allocated ten points and first being allocated twelve points). As the country that would have ranked highest in the televote would have a score of at least twelve points after the jury vote points and televote points were combined and given that ties are generally broken in favour of the act with the highest televote ranking, this was guaranteed an overall tally of at  least 6 points even if it failed to be ranked by the jury and usually would get an even higher number points (7, 8, 10 or the douze points). In 2013, however, the rankings for all the songs in a contest were combined, meaning that for the final televote/jury vote rankings from 1 to 25 (or 26 if that country did not qualify for the final) were now being combined. If a country won the televote of another country (e.g. Romania winning the Italian televote, Russia winning the televote in Azerbaijan), but attained a very low ranking from that country’s voting jury, there was now a good chance that this country would win only a small number of points from that country or even no points at all. This seems to have been the scenario accounting for the awarding of no points to Russia from Azerbaijan even though indications suggest that Dina Garipova won the televote in Azerbaijan and the awarding of just one point to Romania’s Cezar from Italy even though the release of Italian televotes by RAI shows that he received the highest number of votes by far from the Italian televoters. This scenario also would seem to account for the low number of points being awarded to Ryan Dolan this year from countries such as the United Kingdom and Denmark; countries that would normally offer healthy levels of support for Irish acts.

Country Points Avg. jury rank Rank_Jury Avg. televote rank Rank_Televote
1 Denmark 281 6.23 1 4.97 1
2 Azerbaijan 234 7.77 2 5.86 3
3 Ukraine 214 8.74 6 5.66 2
4 Norway 191 8.23 4 7.14 6
5 Russia 174 9.67 10 6.84 5
6 Greece 152 12.28 14 6.00 4
7 Italy 126 9.46 8 11.70 10
8 Malta 120 9.54 9 10.97 9
9 The Netherlands 114 9.05 7 11.70 11
10 Hungary 84 15.59 21 8.19 8
11 Moldova 71 8.69 5 16.57 19
12 Belgium 71 9.92 11 16.03 17
13 Romania 65 17.82 24 7.49 7
14 Sweden 62 8.05 3 16.19 18
15 Georgia 50 12.10 13 17.08 23
16 Belarus 48 16.15 22 14.11 13
17 Iceland 47 13.44 17 13.05 12
18 Armenia 41 14.44 19 15.11 15
19 United Kingdom 23 12.46 15 17.03 22
20 Estonia 19 13.41 16 19.59 24
21 Germany 18 15.44 20 15.81 16
22 Lithuania 17 17.95 25 16.73 21
23 France 14 10.95 12 21.68 25
24 Finland 13 13.77 18 16.68 20
25 Spain 8 19.64 26 22.92 26
26 Ireland 5 16.21 23 14.62 14

Today the European Broadcasting Union have released split voting details (televote and jury vote) for this year’s Eurovision contests:

The table above shows these details for the Grand Final. Split voting details have been released in terms of the average ranking of different countries in the jury votes and the televotes of the other countries. The table above shows that Ryan Dolan would have fared relatively well if the contest had been based solely on televoting as was the case between 1998 and 2009, with Ireland being ranked in 14th place overall in terms the average televoting ranks but only in 23rd place in terms of the average jury ranks. But there is also indications that this table is not giving the full picture here. Spain is shown to have had the lowest average ranking in both the jury voting and the televoting in this year’s final, but Spain finished in 25th overall with 8 points – one place ahead of Ireland – after the jury votes and televotes of each country had been combined to give the overall points being awarded. In a similar vein, the average ranking of Ireland both in the jury voting and the televoting was higher than Lithuania’s, but again Lithuania finished four places ahead of Ireland in the overall rankings and, with 17 points, won 12 points more than Ireland’s Ryan Dolan did in the overall, combined, points tally. This suggests that, as with all electoral rules and electoral systems, a degree of luck, or a degree of bad luck in cases such as Ireland, was involved in relation to how the combinations of televotes and jury votes translated into country’s overall combined points tallies in the different countries. But the different average rankings for the jury voting and televoting also suggest that low jury ranks cost Ireland a number of points in this contest that they would have otherwise won under the old system of combining televotes and jury votes, or indeed under the 100% televoting system that had been in use between the 1998 and 2009 contests. This was perhaps even more pronounced given the unexpected high ranking for Sweden in the jury voting, meaning that jury votes would have pushed Sweden ahead of Ireland in the combined points tallies in the Nordic/Baltic Bloc countries, or parts of north-western Europe, that usually offer the highest points at Eurovision to both of these countries.

Looking at the rankings for other countries, Emmelie de Forest’s victory at Eurovision is doubly vindicated by the fact that Denmark ranks highest of all the Eurovision finalist countries in terms of both the average jury voting ranks and the average televoting ranks, suggesting that, as with all the recent contests with the exception of 2011 when Italy was ranked higher in the jury vote than contest winners Azerbaijan, this year’s winner was the most popular act both for the watching public and the voting juries. The details also suggest that Ukraine’s Zlata Ognevich would have finished in second place had the final scores been solely based on televoting, with a higher average rank in the jury voting pushing Azerbaijan ahead in terms of the combined/overall scores. Sweden’s rather lacklustre You is seen to enjoy the 3rd highest ranking of any countries in terms of the jury scores (but being ranked only in 18th place in terms of the average televoting ranks), putting this ahead of acts that would have been expected to have won stronger support from the juries such as Anouk’s Birds (Netherlands) and Marco Mengoni’s L’essenziale (Italy). Other countries that seem to have gained significantly from higher jury rankings at the Eurovision Final include Moldova, Georgia, United Kingdom, Estonia and France. By contrast, low jury rankings seem to have cost other countries dearly in terms of their overall scores, with this list obviously including Ireland, but also countries such as Greece, Hungary (suggesting some degree of good taste on the part of the juries in this case 🙂 ) and Belarus.

Country Points Avg. jury rank Rank_Jury Avg. televote rank Rank_Televote
1 Denmark 167 3.58 1 3.33 1
2 Russia 156 3.74 2 3.89 2
3 Ukraine 140 5.16 4 3.94 3
4 Moldova 95 4.32 3 8.28 11
5 Belgium 75 6.63 7 7.72 7
6 The Netherlands 75 6.42 6 7.94 9
7 Belarus 64 8.26 9 7.83 8
8 Ireland 54 9.26 10 7.61 6
9 Lithuania 53 9.37 11 7.44 5
10 Estonia 52 7.47 8 10.06 13
11 Serbia 46 10.95 15 8.39 12
12 Montenegro 41 10.16 14 7.33 4
13 Croatia 38 9.95 13 8.00 10
14 Austria 27 6.32 5 12.33 15
15 Cyprus 11 9.47 12 12.00 14
16 Slovenia 8 11.47 16 13.17 16

Carrying out a similar analysis for the two semi-finals, the table above (which looks at Semi Final 1 – Ireland’s semi-final) again shows Ireland enjoying a higher degree of popularity among the televoting public than among the voting juries, though the respective ranks for both of these suggest that Ireland’s Ryan Dolan would have qualified for the final had it been either solely based on televoting (Ireland ranked 6th highest) or jury voting (Ireland ranked 10th highest). As with the final, Denmark is shown to have been the most popular act for both the juries and the televoting public. The table suggests that Montenegro would have enjoyed a Eurovision Final debut had the overall points being solely based on televoting and another Former Yugoslav state, Croatia, would have joined the Montenegrins in the final, with Moldova and Estonia missing out. Had the overall result been based solely on jury voting, the table above suggests that Austria’s Natalia Kelly would have qualified for the final instead of Lithuania.

Country Points Avg. jury rank Rank_Jury Avg. televote rank Rank_Televote
1 Azerbaijan 139 4.60 2 5.28 3
2 Greece 121 5.55 3 5.00 2
3 Norway 120 5.80 4 5.50 4
4 Malta 118 3.40 1 7.78 7
5 Romania 83 9.70 13 4.78 1
6 Iceland 72 7.40 8 8.61 9
7 Armenia 69 7.15 7 9.44 11
8 Hungary 66 8.55 11 8.39 8
9 Finland 64 7.05 6 8.89 10
10 Georgia 63 6.05 5 9.89 13
11 San Marino 47 8.40 10 9.47 12
12 Bulgaria 45 10.75 17 7.44 6
13 Switzerland 41 10.65 16 7.00 5
14 Israel 40 7.95 9 10.67 14
15 Albania 31 9.10 12 11.78 15
16 Macedonia 28 9.75 14 12.22 16
17 Latvia 13 9.90 15 13.28 17

Looking at the same details for Semi Final 2 offers some interesting insights. While this semi-final was won by Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan was not the best ranked country either in terms of jury voting (Malta was ranked higher – effectively marking the first ever Eurovision contest to be “won” by the small island state) or televoting (Romania and Greece being ranked higher). While there was general agreement in terms of the average jury rankings for three of the countries that did not qualify from this semi-final – Latvia, Macedonia and Albania – the other non-qualifiers would have made it to the Eurovision Final if qualification had been solely based on televoting (Switzerland and Bulgaria replacing Georgia and Armenia) or jury voting (San Marino and Israel replacing Romania and Hungary).

Ironically, looking across both semi-finals, the voting juries seem to have saves some countries that have enjoyed some degree of success due to “bloc-voting” in previous years (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova), while the use of 100% televoting would have helped countries that have never yet reached a Eurovision Final (Montenegro) or else only reached the final on rare occasions (Switzerland, Bulgaria).


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3 Responses to “Trying to make sense of the Jury/Televote split results of Eurovision 2013”

  1. William Organ Says:

    Are there details online to actually see who the juries of each country are? I saw alright that we’ve had Emma O’Driscoll from Six (real music expert badass there), Bill Hughes (which is fair enough), and Paul Harrington (who’s new album “Grow Old with Me” speaks to the demographic he’s representing).

  2. Bart Botden Says:

    I totally agree, i’m still confused about this voting of the juries, maybe it’s better to let the televote public choose.. I liked Montenegro, Bulgaria, Switzerland more but they only didn’t pass because of the jury voting. The reason Turkey is not on the competition is also because of the 50/50 split voting, maybe they have a point.

  3. William Says:

    Pure public televote would only work if they let us have a proportional representation system where a single transferable vote of a top 5 would be used. I’m glad they addressed the identities of the juries in the change made to the rules this year at least.

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