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Eurovision: What if there were only juries? Aug 09

August isn’t the most topical month for a Eurovision Song Contest posting. At May’s content, juries were reintroduced to combat allegations of political voting, with each country’s votes being decided half by phone vote and half by a jury of “industry experts”.

The European Broadcasting Union has now revealed what the results would have been if voting had been by jury only. Norway would still have won, although not by as huge a margin. Here are the jury and actual votes side-by-side.

Position Jury votes Telephone votes Actual result
1 Norway (312) Norway (378) Norway (387)
2 Iceland (260) Azerbaijan (253) Iceland (218)
3 United Kingdom (223) Turkey (203) Azerbaijan (207)
4 France (164) Iceland (173) Turkey (177)
5 Estonia (124) Greece (151) United Kingdom (173)
6 Denmark (120) Estonia (129) Estonia (129)
7 Turkey (114) Bosnia & Herzegovina (124) Greece (120)
8 Azerbaijan (112) Russia (118) France (107)
9 Israel (107) Armenia (111) Bosnia & Herzegovina (106)
10 Greece (93) United Kingdom (105) Armenia (92)

The most notable difference from a UK perspective is that the music industry experts put us two positions up, in third place. Perhaps they were more likely to be sympathetic to a Lloyd Webber track than Europe’s wider population? Phone voting alone would have placed the UK tenth.

Both Greece and Turkey – upbeat tracks with strong performances on the night – found more favour with the audience than with the juries, while France’s ballad and Israel’s “worthy” entry reach the juries’ top ten, but not the audiences’.

The EBU has also released full country-by-country breakdowns of the voting. The UK scored six 12s from juries, but only one by phone vote (and only one on the night). Here’s how the votes cast by the UK through telephone vote and jury vote compared.

Points Jury votes Telephone votes Actual votes
12 Germany Turkey Turkey
10 Iceland Greece Norway
8 Norway Lithuania Iceland
7 Malta Norway Germany
6 Turkey Malta Malta
5 Ukraine Iceland Greece
4 France Azerbaijan Lithuania
3 Bosnia & Herzegovina Denmark Azerbaijan
2 Armenia Germany Ukraine
1 Azerbaijan Portugal France

I’m surprised to see that Germany’s swing number topped the UK’s jury vote – but the jury was outvoted by the audience, who managed to get the 12 points for Turkey while placing Germany ninth. Norway’s strong performance on both lists contrived to place it second overall, higher than on either. Again, Greece fared much better with the telephone voters, as did Lithuania, Denmark and Portugal.

If you take a similarly geeky interest in how the votes from each country were affected, you can download the full voting data from the Eurovision website.

11 Responses

  1. Very interesting. Now calculate it again, weighting countries’ votes according to a logarithmic scale. That’s the system we should be using, IMHO.


  2. Strange that there were no politically driven complaints when, during the middle of the Bosnian war, the Bosnian Moslem Nazis “won”. Niobody complained about that being a stitch up to make people committing genocide look good. Guess that you didn’t think that was so important.

  3. 3

    Neil, who’s “you”? I haven’t made any claims about political voting in this post and if you’re talking about 1989’s Yugoslavian victory, I was 9 years old…

  4. I think you mean 1999.

    In which case you should check out what your racist, criminal & pro-Nazi party stands for.

  5. 5

    Sweden won in 1999. Although maybe not on your planet.

  6. On my planet the 1999 war was fought to grab Kosovo which is a different place from Bosnia. As I said perhaps you should check out things that happened when you were a 19 years old child.

  7. 7

    I checked out enough to know that they didn’t win in Eurovision in 1999, which possibly explains why there wasn’t an outcry at their victory.

  8. But you didn’t check out the years when the fighting was actually on. As it turns out I was wrong & they didn’t win in 1993 but they certainly got a disproportionate amount of publicity.

  9. 9
    Pete Smith 

    Excellent non-apology to Will there Neil. Do you ever check your a facts before venting an opinion and insulting people better informed than you? Or is this a one off?

    The juries have been brought back precisely to counter the problems of neighbourly voting and ex-patriate voting, which have always been a factor in Eurovision but now have an ever greater effect upon the results as more countries with tiny populations join with equal voting rights.

    I think the phrase “political voting” is a misnomer, as I doubt that people are voting based upon political opinions but upon their familiarity and fondness for a particular style of music that they’re used to hearing in their region.

    When Marina Serafovitch won for Serbia in 2007, as well as scoring highly with several non-Balkan states, she recieved the maximum 12 points from Bosnia & Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro AND Croatia. Not good news in terms of the fairness of the contest for countries which have not fragmented in to constituent parts who can vote for each other, but extremely good news in terms of a festival of music and entertainment being able to rise above even very recent conflicts in Europe. WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT, in case anyone hadn’t noticed.

    Fact-based rant ends :o)

  10. 10
    Pete Smith 

    And MY apologies to Marija Šerifović for mispelling her name there!

  11. 11
    Neil Craig 

    So you are claiming the disproportionate amount of voting for our openly genocidal Bosnian Nazi catspaws was entirely because Bosnia’s borders abut all the NATO countries.

    Perhaps you might wish to acknowledge, as I did, when you say someting not fully compatable with the facts.

    No? Thought not.