Sunday, May 24, 2015

Assorted Euromusings

We all know about Eurovision. It is the longest running annual international televised music competition in the whole wide world. It is a celebration of music, of cultures, of emotions and technology. And it is the perfect proof that Skype is not reliable.
But what I really love about it (besides the music) is the voting. Every year some countries surprise everyone with their unusual choices. To combat giving votes to neighboring countries, all countries have a jury of local music 'experts', whose votes are tallied up and account for 50% of the final result of the country's votes. The other 50% comes from a public SMS vote. Sometimes the decision of the jury and the thoughts of the public work well together. Sometimes they go and stand on different sides of a giant chasm. One example would be last year's votes from the UK - the public's FAVOURITE song did not get even a single point from UK because the local jury absolutely hated it.
Among this year's surprises was San Marino who decided to give 12 points to Latvia. This can be explained as San Marino's public was disqualified and only jury votes mattered, and for some reason Latvia was a big favourite of many juries, but not of publics'.
To those that don't know, each country that takes part in the competition (40 in total this year) gives points to the national top 10 selection on a scale of 12, 10, 8-1 to countries that qualified to the Grand Final (27 in total this year). Eurovision does not only span Europe, but parts of Asia (including Georgia, Israel etc.) and this year had a guest star Australia.
So, without further ado, assorted musings concerning the votes of this year's Eurovision Grand Final:
  • Sweden, the winner, received 12 points 12 times in the final. 14 times in the semifinal. Out of possible 39 (21 in semifinal).
  • Germany and Austria (the host country) were the only ones to not get even a single point. They didn't even give any to each other. Austria was just out of reach of a single point in several countries.
  • 7 countries qualified directly to the grand final. 4 of them  - Austria, Germany, France and UK occupied the very last positions of the scoreboard.
  • As an oddity, Lithuania gave no points to Russia, with kind regards of the country's jury.
  • The public's top song in France was the jury's 15th (Italy). The jury's top song was the public's 12th (Latvia).
  • The public's second favourite song was the jury's 20th and hence only got 3 points from France. The public's 4th, 5th and 8th top picks did not get any points as the jury ranked them 24th, 25th and 26th (out of 26).
  • The public of the UK loved Lithuania's song this year, which I honestly liked as well. Their jury, however, dropped it down to getting 4 points from the UK. It could be worse, it could be Poland.
  • UK public's second favourite song (from Poland) received 2 points from UK as the jury ranked it 17th best.
  • Latvia's jury loved Austria, ranked it the 3rd best song in the grand final. The public disagreed and ranked it 21st, narrowly leaving it without a point. Austria did not get a single point from anywhere else, either.
  • The Netherlands' public's 5th best (Armenia) and 7th best (Poland) were also snubbed by their jury - 26th and 25th places respectively.
  • Germany's jury violently disagreed with their public - the jury's unanimous fave Latvia was only 12th most popular with the public. The public's fave Italy was ranked 18th by their jury. The jury's 3rd, Norway, was the public's 15th. The jury's 8th, Austria, was the public's 17th, again narrowly escaping a single point. Germany's public's 6th favourite, Albania, dropped down to a low 15th place in the country's rankings as the jury ranked it absolute last.
  • Hungary's public's favourite received a whopping 2 points from Hungary as the local jury ranked Italy 20th best. The jury loved Latvia, helping it get 5 points despite being only the public's 10th top pick.
  • Israel's jury threw the public's 3rd, 8th and 9th most favourite songs out of the country's top 10, giving them 24th, 21st and 22nd rank respectively.
  • The people of Ireland loved Lithuania most, but the jury dropped it down to 4th place. It only got worse after that as the public's 2nd, Poland, was the jury's 22nd. The public's 7th top pick, Romania, and 9th top pick, Estonia, were thrown out of the national top 10 as the local jury stuck them as 24th and 23rd respectively.
  • A similar thing happened in Belgium - the public's 6th and 8th most favourite songs were ranked 20th and 23rd by the jury, throwing both Poland and Israel well out of the national top 10.
No other great disagreements between jury and public votes caught my eye as most disagreements are relatively small. Yet I do find it really curious when the jury and the public rank the same song over 20 spots apart on a scale of 1 to 26.
 All data has been taken from - Eurovisions official website.

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