Archive for the ‘Eurovision’ Category

Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Semi Final 2 Review

May 10, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 10th May 2016

Following on the previous post reviewing Semi Final 1, this post will offer a brief review of the 18 acts competing in the second of the two semi-finals for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. 19 countries were initially drawn to participate in this semi-final but the expulsion of Romanian TV station TVR from the EBU meant that Romanian act, Ovidiu Anton, was very unfortunately disqualified from the contest, literally days before rehearsals commenced in Stockholm. As in the case of Semi Final 1 (and also the Final), this contest will take place over two nights, with the professional juries voting on the contest taking place on the night of Wednesday 11th May, while the public will vote on the televised show, which takes place on the night of Thursday 12th May. (more…)

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Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Semi Final 1 Review

May 9, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 9th May 2016

The post will offer a brief review of the 18 acts competing in the first of the two semi-finals for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. This contest will take place over two nights, with the professional juries voting on the contest taking place on the night of Monday 9th May, while the public will vote on the televised show, which takes place on the night of Tuesday 10th May. (more…)

Key Dates in Eurovision Song Contest history (1956-2016)

May 9, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 9th May 2016

1956: First ever Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland. Seven countries took part (the six founder members of the EEC, as well as Switzerland – Austria, Denmark and the United Kingdom would all enter the contest in the following year). For the only time in the contest’s history, each act performed two songs. Jury members were, for the only time, allowed to vote for their own country and only the winning song was revealed by the jury – Refrain by Lys Assia – and no further voting details/places were revealed. Only solo artists were allowed to take part, although duos were permitted in 1957. The songs were limited in terms of time to three and a half minutes (with this being reduced to three minutes for the 1958 contest). (more…)

The Curse of Last Year’s Hosts at the Eurovision Song Contest

May 9, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 9th May 2016

One trend that seems to be fairly consistent across Eurovision Song Contests relates to the often poor performances by countries that have won the contest two years beforehand and thus hosted it the year before, in what many people refer to as the curse of last year’s hosts. (more…)

Sunlight or Shade? Which countries tend to give Ireland the most/least Eurovision points?

May 6, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th May 2016

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? The trends that emerge show that some of Ireland’s very best “supporters” at the Eurovision Song Contest (since the introduction of televoting in 1998) do, admittedly, include a number of “Western” states – including Denmark, Malta, San Marino, Finland and Sweden, but particularly the United Kingdom – but Irish acts have also won higher levels of support from the Baltic States – particularly Latvia – and Hungary than they have won from the rest of the “Western” countries. Indeed, some of Ireland’s lowest scores during the period since televoting was introduced in 1998 have come from “Western” countries, such as Italy and France.

Figure 1: Average number of points, by country, awarded to Ireland at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals/finals between 1998 and 2015

Figure 1: Average number of points, by country, awarded to Ireland at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals/finals between 1998 and 2015

The map above (Figure 1) shows that there is a pretty defined geography in terms of where Ireland has won the most Eurovision points across most of the past two decades, but what seems to be most important here is probably “cultural proximity” rather than “geographical proximity”. (more…)

“I Don’t Speak French…but Zoë from Austria does!”: Language, the Eurovision Song Contest and Success Levels (1999-2015/16)

May 3, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 3rd May 2016

Does the language that a song is sung in matter at the Eurovision Song Contest? A review of past success levels at the contest by language, as well as a review of the numbers of times that different languages have been used since the abolition of the national language rule in 1999, would seem to confirm this. (more…)

Eurovision Song Contest 2016 – Details on the Voting Juries

May 3, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 3rd May 2016 (Updated on 4th May)

In 2016 (as in 2014 and 2015), in a break from the pattern of the previous four contests (in which no details were provided on the split televotes and jury votes of the different participating countries), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is allowing for a greater detail of voting information to be released after the Eurovision final, in part as a reaction to various vote-rigging allegations after the 2013 contest. In a bid to promote further transparency, on May 1st 2015 the European Broadcasting Union also released the names (and gender/age/profession details) of the 210 different jurors who will form the professional juries for this year’s 42 participating countries.

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Making sense of the changes to the Eurovision voting process

April 8, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 8th April 2016

As you may have heard, changes are being made to the voting process for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest – changes that the official Eurovision website claim are the “biggest change to Eurovision Song Contest voting since 1975”. In reality, in some ways the changes being made are probably less dramatic than the decision to move from jury voting to televoting/public voting in 1997/1998 and the decision to revert to a 50-50 split between televoting and jury voting in 2009/2010. But there are notable changes, all the same, with these perhaps mainly relating to the manner in which the Eurovision votes are presented at the Final – changes that the EBU claim will make the contest more “exciting”. As seen in relation to the decision to have “producer-driven running orders instead of randomly drawn onces (introduced the last time Sweden hosted the contest in 2013), sometimes the effort made “in creating TV magic” can involve a lack of fairness to certain participants. (more…)

Sunlight or Darkness? – Predictions for the 2016 Eurovision Semi Final contests

April 8, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 8th April 2016 (Updated: 22nd April 2016)

As I used this model to successfully predict the Azerbaijan win at the 2011 contest,  Denmark’s win in 2013 and Sweden’s win in 2015,  I am going to use this to tease out who the likely qualifiers will be now that we know the running order for the two 2016 Eurovision semi-finals. Those of you who have read The Eurovision Handbook 2013 (as well as the 2014 edition of this – sadly low purchase levels of this notwithstanding…) will know that I used this same model to (sort of!) successfully predict most of the qualifiers for the 2013 and 2014 finals. This same model also succeeded in predicting most of the semi-final qualifiers in the 2015 contest.

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Eurovision 2016 Semi-Final running orders revealed – What does it mean for Ireland?

March 29, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th March 2016 – updated 8th April

After some delay, SVT, the Swedish host broadcaster for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, finally announced the running order allocations for this year’s two semi-final contests at 7am on Friday 8th April. While the semi-final allocation draw in January did determine which half of the semi-finals the 18 countries in Semi Final 1 and the 19 countries in Semi Final 2 would perform in, the host broadcasters (as has been the case since the last time Sweden hosted the contest in 2013) get to determine the exact position in the running order that each country/act will perform in. (The same rule applies also for Eurovision Finals, although there was a draw this year to determine the position that the hosts, Sweden, would be performing in (and Sweden drew the 9th position in the Final running order).

The running orders are: (more…)