As another Eurovision season comes to a close, John Egan crunches some of the numbers from this year’s Grand Final. There are some surprises!
For the second year in a row the bookies’ favourite has triumphed: congratulations to the Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence, whose Arcade joins the list of Eurovision champions. Duncan and his songwriting colleagues also won the Bezançon Press Award this year. Once again Italy is runner-up, with Mahmood’s Soldi joining Arcade as the only songs finishing in the top five with both the public and juries. And Russia’s Sergey Lazarev has landed once again in third overall, though Scream did not top either the jury or televote table.
This was the most exciting vote sequence since 2016 and certainly the meanest. It was gutting—yet again—for Sweden to tumble from a high jury score to a much lower televote one. Except this time it was the last televote score announced. Ouch. The Czech Republic and North Macedonian delegation had similar crashes.
Let’s look at some interesting bits of the data. [I have finally calmed down from the EBU stuff up and reworked these analyses. Grrrr.]
After the jury votes were reported we had three entries separated by 10 points: North Macedonia, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Italy was only 18 points farther back, with the Azeris also breaking the 200 point barrier with 202 points. Australia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic were all clustered around the 150 point mark; Russia was well back in ninth place on 126 points. Malta’s 87 points still earned them a jury top 10.
But that meant the difference between first and ninth in the jury vote was 121 points—and we have seen larger vote swings in the subsequent televotes. Knowing that Lazarev starts with about 120 televotes from the russosphere, his fortunes would be determined by what he could get from outside his reliable voting market—and whether it would deliver for him as efficiently as it did with You Are the Only One in 2016.
Figure One: 2019 Grand Final Jury scores and rankings (Source: Eurovision.tv)
After Russia it’s almost a 40 point gap between them and 10th ranked Malta. Looking at the bottom of the table, the bottom five were Belarus (18 points), San Marino (12 points), the UK (8 points), Spain (7 points) ,and Israel null points. Given Spain prized late place in the
draw performance order, the Spanish delegation must be gravely disappointed.
Hosts Israel must be gutted. In the five most recent Contests, the hosts have finished last three times.
Overall the jury scores are relatively flat. North Macedonia’s score of 247 works out to a mean per delegation score of 6.33 points—or a rank of 5th on the douze points scale. Not a mammoth score.
But the jury scores are only half the story. Read on.
Televotes with the Fairies Now
Norway was ranked 18th after the jury scores were announced so their televote was reported around halfway through the proceedings. Their 291 televote points scored lifted KEiiNO to the top of the table for most of the rest of the voting sequence–and turned out to be the top televote score in this year’s Grand Final. Norway’s televote score included 12s (which are no longer announced ) from eight countries: the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, UK, Denmark, and Germany. There’s a lot of Scandilove there; more if you include the 10 from Finland and 10 from Estonia.
Aside from the anticipation-humiliation inflicted on songs with a lot of jury love and not much public support, there’s another problem with this reporting method: we lose context of who has been the public’s favourites. There was never any announcement that KEiiNO’s Spirit in the Sky were top of this table. That’s not fair: they should get the love by at least being acknowledged they were. In the end, their combined scores brought them up from 18th to 6th overall. This is exactly how the aggregate scoring system is supposed to work: both jury and public rankings are equal. KEiiNO’s mean televote score of 7.46 gives an average rank of 4th on the douze points scale. Again, a great score…but not a mammoth one.
Arcade ended up runner-up to Spirit in the Sky by 30 points. They received 12s from Romania and Belgium, and at least one point from every other country. No other entry did.
Figure Two: 2019 Grand Final Televote scores and rankings (Source: Eurovision.tv)
Mahmood’s Soldi was only a bit back from the Netherlands, on 253 points. This included televote 12s from Spain, Switzerland, Malta and Croatia. In fact, both Malta and Croatia awarded Italy a double-double: 12 points from both the jury and the public. Soldi was the highest televote ranked song in a language other than English in 2019. And no, the Sammarinese bogus “televote” score didn’t go to Italy: Mahmood only got 8 televote points from them.
Russia’s Scream was only 9 points behind Soldi on 244 points. Lazarev got a bunch of douze points from San Marino (aha!), Israel, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Armenia, Belarus, Albania and the Czech Republic. So the Russophone bloc delivered nearly perfectly for Russia: Georgia gave Scream 8 points, but Georgia has been less consistent in supporting Russian singers at the Eurovision since the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.
A couple of other televote results are noteworthy. First is Hatari’s sixth place (186 points), which lifted them to 10th overall—despite a lack of jury love. Remarkably, San Marino were tenth in the televote rankings, though their 65 points is one of the lowest top 10 scores since we started having Grand Finals. Those came from 11 delegations, though it works out to an average score of 1.67 points per delegation—10th in other words.
Coming up: the Semi-Finals
The house is mostly tidy (after our NZ Eurovision party, which kicks off at 07h local time), but the long day, Euro-adrenaline, and the consumption of copious amounts of carbs is catching up with us. But we will have more analyses in the coming days.
We will look at each semi-final’s results in two separate articles. In one semi-final the difference between 10th and 11th places was merely two points: in the other it was only one point. Gutting for a couple of delegations. WOW! We’ll also look at performance order and its potential impact on the results (particularly qualifying). And we’ll see if our qualifier prediction model worked.