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

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.

Country Jury Rank Pts* Televote Rank Pts* Overall Rank Points
Australia 6 5 13 0 11 0
Azerbaijan 9 2 9 2
Cyprus 5 6 13 0 10 1
Czech Republic 3 8 12 0 6 5
Germany 4 7 12 0 9 2
Iceland 9 2 16 0 14 0
Israel 13 0 12 0 14 0
Italy 9 2 13 0 13 0
Latvia 2 10 14 0 7 4
Lithuania 7 4 12 0 9 2
Malta 12 0 12 0 13 0
Montenegro 9 2 9 2
Norway 8 3 14 0 11 0
Poland 10 1 12 0 11 0
Portugal 12 0 14 0 15 0
San Marino 6 5 6 5
Slovenia 7 4 14 0 10 1
Sweden 3 8 14 0 8 3
Switzerland 6 5 14 0 13 0
United Kingdom 2 10 6 5 3 8
Total  Points   84   5   35

As the table above shows, Ireland would have won 84 points if Semi Final 2 had been solely decided by the jury vote – this would have allowed Molly Sterling to comfortably qualify for the Final (in Joint 5th place with Malta and Slovenia in that semi final based on analysis by the Wiwibloggs site). In the televote, however, Ireland would have won points off only one country – the United Kingdom – and finished in 16th place in that semi final, with just 5 points from the United Kingdom and 9 points from the three countries whose televotes were not used in thise semi final (14 points in all). The importance of the jury vote for Ireland this year can be seen in the fact that Molly Sterling won points in this semi-final off all of the countries whose scores had been solely determined by the jury vote – Montenegro, Azerbaijan and San Marino.

In all, Ireland won points off the United Kingdom (8), San Marino (5), the Czech Republic (5), Latvia (4), Sweden (3), Montenegro (2), Azerbaijan (2), Lithuania (2), Germany (2), Slovenia (1) and Cyprus (1). In all of these cases, these point tallies were shaped by a strong jury ranking, but a low televote ranking meant that a larger number of points were not awarded.

As noted earlier, and as is evident from the table above, Ireland struggled in the televote in this semi final. The only country that Ireland would have won points from if the televote had solely determined the overall points allocations was the United Kingdom. Even in this case, the 6th place ranking was well below the much higher rankings allocated to Ireland by the United Kingdom televote in most recent contests. Amongst the other countries, Ireland fared no better than 12th in their televote rankings and was ranked in last place by the Icelandic televote.

By contrast, Molly Sterling was ranked highly by most of the professional juries in this semi-final, with only the Israeli, Maltese and Portuguese juries failing to rank her amongst their Top 10 acts.  She was ranked in second place by the United Kingdom jury, in third place by the Czech jury and the Swedish jury, in fourth place by the German jury and in fifth place by the Cypriot jury.

As regards Ireland’s voting patterns, Ireland awarded 12 points to Latvia in the Final, 10 to Sweden, 8 to Russia, 7 to Lithuania, 6 to Italy, 5 to Australia, 4 to Norway, 3 to Poland, 2 to Belgium and 1 to the United Kingdom.

Update 18th February 2016: Had the new system for the 2016 contest in which jury votes and televotes will no longer be combined, but will count on their own, been in place, Ireland would still have finished in 12th in this semi final but would have come very close to the 10th place final qualification slot. Malta would have qualified for the Final in place of Azerbaijan. Under the proposed new voting system the results of the Eurovision Semi Final 2 would have read as follows: 1. Sweden 403, 2. Israel 271, 3. Latvia 271, 4. Norway 248, 5. Slovenia 179, 6. Cyprus 156, 7. Lithuania 150, 8. Poland 124, 9. Malta 116, 10. Montenegro 105, 11. Azerbaijan 104, 12. Ireland 98, 13. Czech Republic 85, 14. Portugal 47, 15. Iceland 36, 16. San Marino 22, 17. Switzerland 21.

Lithuania won the Irish televote at the Final, with Poland in 2nd (having won last year’s televote, but finished last in that year’s jury vote), Latvia 3rd, Russia 4th, Sweden 5th, Italy 6th, Romania 7th, Australia 8th, Estonia 9th and Belgium 10th. (The United Kingdom was in 11th place.) Sweden won the Irish televote at the Final, with Latvia in second place – although three jury members ranked Latvia as their favourite act as against just one jury member for Sweden. Russia were in 3rd place with the Irish professional jury, with Italy 4th, Norway 5th, Cyprus 6th, Australia 7th, Lithuania 8th, Azerbaijan 9th and Austria 10th. (The United Kingdom was in 13th place.)  Armenia was ranked in last (27th) position by both the Irish televote and the Irish jury vote.

Lithuania won the Irish televote at the second Eurovision semi-final, with Poland in 2nd (having won last year’s televote, but finished last in that year’s jury vote), Latvia 3rd, Sweden 4th, Israel 5th, Cyprus 6th, Norway 7th, Slovenia 8th, Iceland 9th and Portugal 10th. Sweden won the Irish televote at the Final, with Latvia in second place – although two jury members ranked Latvia as their favourite act as did jury members for Sweden. Israel was ranked in 3rd place, followed by Malta 4th, Cyprus 5th, Norway 6th, Czech Republic 7th, Lithuania 8th, Iceland 9th and Poland 10th. San Marino was ranked in last (16th) position by the Irish televote, while Portugal finished in last place with the Irish jury vote.

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