Geography of Junior Eurovision 2016 points: Where did Ireland’s Zena Donnelly get her votes from?

Adrian Kavanagh, 20th November 2016

After one of the most competitive Eurovision Finals ever, Ireland’s Zena Donnelly has finished in 10th place with 122 points!

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This marks a number of milestones in Irish Eurovision history:

  • Ireland’s first Top 10 finish at a Eurovision Final since Jedward in 2011
  • Ireland’s first 12 points/douze points (thank you Italy and Malta) at Eurovision since Jedward in 2011
  • The first 12 points/douze points (from Italy and Malta) awarded to a song in the Irish language in the history of Eurovision
  • The first ever Top 10 finish for a Eurovision song performed in the Irish language
  • Ireland’s best performance to date at the Junior Eurovision Song contest

Ultimately, Junior Eurovision 2016 ranked as one of the most successful Eurovision contests for an Irish act during the 2000s. Only three other acts have finished in the Top 10 in a Eurovision Final during the 2000s – Jedward (8th in 2011), Brian Kennedy (10th in 2006) and Eamon Toal (6th in 2000).  But no other Eurovision act has won more points in a contest than the number won by Zena Donnelly in Valletta (122 points) – the closest being Jedward’s 119-points haul at the 2011 Final, followed by Brian Kennedy’s 93 points at the 2006 Final, Jedward’s 92 points at the 2012 Semi Final and Brian Kennedy’s 79 points at the 2006 Semi Final. But where/what countries did Zena win these 122 points/votes from? The most generous countries to Ireland were (in order of generosity!):

zena_maltapoints

Malta: Zena won 22 points: 12 points/douze points from the adult’s/professional jury and 10 points from the kids’ jury.

Grazzi Malta

Italy: Zena won 20 points: 12 points/douze points from the adult’s/professional jury and 8 points from the kids’ jury

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Grazie Italia!

Ukraine: Zena won 17  points: 10 points from the adult’s/professional jury and 7 points from the kids’ jury

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Дякую Ukraine!

Australia: Zena won 14 points: 8 points from the adult’s/professional jury and 6 points from the kids’ jury. G’day and thanks Australia!

Albania: Zena won 9 points: 1 point from the adult’s/professional jury and 8 points from the kids’ jury

Cyprus: Zena won 8 points: 3 points from the adult’s/professional jury and 5 points from the kids’ jury

Poland: Zena won 7 points: 7 points from the kids’ jury

Serbia: Zena won 6 points: 6 points from the adult’s/professional jury

Bulgaria: Zena won 3 points: 3 points from the adult’s/professional jury

Russia: Zena won 2 points: 1 point from the adult’s/professional jury and 1 point from the kids’ jury

The Netherlands: Zena won 2 points: 2 points from the kids’ jury

Belarus: Zena won 2 points: 2 points from the kids’ jury

Israel: Zena won 1 point: 1 point from the kids’ jury

There were no points for Ireland from the juries of Armenia, Georgia and FYR Macedonia, meaning that Zena won points from 13 of the 16 (other) countries participating in the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

In all, Zena was very consistent across both the adult/professional juries and the kids’ juries. Zena finished 10th with the adult/professional juries with 56 points. Zena also finished 10th with the kids’ juries with 57 points. Zena also won 9 points from the expert jurors – winning 5 points from Jedward and 4 points from Mads Grimstad – to bring her total number of points up to 122 points.

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Figure 1: Eight most popular acts with the “Western” states at Junior Eurovision 2016: Average amount of professional/adult and kids’ juries points awarded

Breaking the different states into three different groups – the Former Soviet states (Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia), the other Eastern European countries (including Israel, Poland and the Balkan states – Serbia, FYR Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Cyprus) and the Western states (Australia, Ireland, Italy, Malta and The Netherlands) – it can be seen that Zena fared notably stronger – on average – with the other Western states in terms of winning Eurovision points. Zena took an average of 14.50 points from the adult/profession and kids’ juries of the other Western states, winning big points numbers from Malta, Italy and Australia. As Figure 1 shows, Zena ranked as the second most popular act for the Western juries, following Australia’s Alexa Curtis (average of 16.00 points). The Western states voting group was perhaps the most geographically defined, or influenced, given that the four states that won the highest points levels from this group of states were, themselves, members of the Western states voting cluster (Australia, Ireland, Italy and Malta). The only exception here was The Netherlands, which ranked in tenth place (with an average of 7.50 points) in terms of the average number of points awarded by the Western states voting cluster. The Dutch act fared much better, in terms of winning points, with the Former Soviet states group.

Zena won an average of 4.86 points from the group of Eastern European states (and an average of 5.20 points from the Balkan states in particular). Zena won her biggest points tallies within this group from the kids’ juries of Albania, Poland and Cyprus and the adult/professional jury of Serbia.

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Figure 2: Eight most popular acts with the Balkan states at Junior Eurovision 2016: Average amount of professional/adult and kids’ juries points awarded

This meant that Ireland was ranked as the tenth most popular act with the Eastern (and the Balkan) group of states. The Balkan state grouping was, by far, the least influenced by geography when it came to voting patterns at the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with most of the votes from this group of states going to acts outside of the Balkan region. As Table 2 shows, Bulgaria was the only Balkan state to figure among the eight most popular acts for the Balkan adult/professional and kids’ voting juries, with Armenia, Georgia and Italy featuring as the most popular acts for the juries of this region. In any case, Bulgaria’s ranking with the Balkan states was effectively the same as the Bulgarian acts ranking with the Western and Former Soviet groups of states.

zena_jescfinalannatrincher

Finally, Zena won an average of 4.20 points from the Former Soviet states. In this case, the adult/professional and kids’ juries of Ukraine accounted for 17 of the 21 points won by Zena from the juries in the Former Soviet states. As in the case of the Western group of states, geography had a notable influence on the voting patterns of the Former Soviet states.

junioreurovision_formersoviet

Figure 3: Eight most popular acts with the Former Soviet states at Junior Eurovision 2016: Average amount of professional/adult and kids’ juries points awarded

Figure 3 shows that four of the five most popular acts with the juries of the Former Soviet states were themselves acts from the Former Soviet states – including Georgia, Armenia, Belarus and Russia. The only exception to this rule was the very strong showing within this bloc of states for the Dutch act, which was the third most popular acts for the voting juries of the Former Soviet states. The only Former Soviet state not to rank among the eight most popular acts within this region was Ukraine, but the Ukranian act fared notably better with the voting juries of this region (average of 3.00 points) than with the juries for the Western (average of 1.00 points) and Balkan (average of 1.20 points) groups of states.

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