This is a site about the nerdtastic side of the Eurovision Song Contest. We love pop music and mathematics. 58 points comes from the total number of points each participating country allocates in a semi-final or grand final:
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 10 + 12 = 58
The maximum number of points available in a semi-final or grand final for all entries is therefore the number of voting countries minus one (since you cannot vote for your own entry) times 58:
The number of voting countries is always more than the number of participating countries. In the semi-finals, half of the pre-qualified grand finallists (the Big 5 plus the host) vote in either semi-final. That means in a 17 song semi-final there are 20 voting countries (17+3). In a grand final all participants from that year–whether their entry has qualified for the grand final or not–vote.
Descriptive rather than inferential
You’ll perhaps notice a preponderance of descriptive statistics in this site and a surfeit of inferential ones. That is no accident. Our position is simple: there is no predictive value from previous years’ results to logically predict a future result.
- The central limit theory doesn’t apply to the overall set of Eurovision scores, since each year is an unique data set
- Under the current douze points Eurovision scoring system, results are purposely skewed: they’re not a Gaussian distribution
- The voting population varies every year, both for jurors and the televoting public
The current voting system is one of several that have been used over the decades: until 1997 the viewing public had little or no input on the results: juries determined the winner each year. Regardless, finding a completely accurate predictive model (i.e. regression) is a somewhat seductive idea…but that would also scrub out the magic of the show*.
We are not an official site or source for the Contest.
No, we are not changing our name in light of the 2016 scoring system. After all, both the public and jury components still produce a score under the
douze 58 points system. Sorry Spence!