Ah, yes. What a gift the combo of Sweden’s winning song title and Austria/Germany’s double nul-points has been to Eurovision journalism! Just to warn you – this may not be the last time I make use of the heroes/zeroes thing. But, in my defence, it is particularly relevant to today’s post:, even though today’s post isn’t particularly relevant.
Allow me to explain: it’s been over a fortnight since the first semi final of Eurovision 2015; over a week since the final; and three days since May came to an end (WHAT THE?!?!). That means it’s beyond time I did what everyone else has already done: look back on this year’s results. I’m going to pretend the lateness is intentional because I want to stand out from the crowd, when really it’s due to me being a slowpoke and taking this long to mould everything I want to say into something readable. You guys know by now that there’s waiting involved (for other people) in everything I do. It’s part of my charm…I hope.
At long last, though, I have performed a results analysis on all three nights of Viennese competition (feel free to applaud before reading any further). You won’t find a dissection of every single split and combined figure from all forty countries below – if you want the specifics, you can seek them out yourself here) – but you will find:
- Some brief opinions on the final re: everything except the performances (since I already reviewed all 27 performances in my previous post);
- An overview of how the Australian televoters and jurors ranked the finalists, and a reminder of where our first (but not last?) final points went; and
- Plenty of stats from/observations of the split and combined scoreboards of the final and both semis.
So, in the words of Eurovision groove master Guy Sebastian: let’s (oh) get on it, (ooh) get on it!
The ESC 2015 final: A Twitter-friendly, Jaz-eye view on everything BUT the performances
‘Twitter-friendly’ = brief. I am capable of being short and sweet, you know.
Having said that, it would take at least two or three Tweets to make all of this info public.
- The opening You had me at ‘flying Conchita in sparkly jumpsuit’. The Building Bridges theme song was a bit too JESC for ESC in my opinion, but I could learn to love it. The intro in its entirety was too long-winded. Nearly half an hour before song no. 1? Give me a break. A shorter break.
- The hosts Alice, Mirjam and Arabella became slightly more appealing as the shows progressed – by final night, they were almost charismatic. But the main reason I was happy for them to have camera time was so I could stare at their outfits (Austrian design gets my tick of approval!). Conchita, as Green Room host, left the other three ladies in her glittery wake. #QUEEN.
- The postcards As adorable as something can be when that something isn’t a puppy. These pre-performance featurettes were somewhat similar to last year’s – all thematically linked, but all unique in what they depicted each act doing, this time around Austria. It’s obvious there’s a lot to do over there, and if showing us that was ORF’s way of increasing tourism, it’s worked on me. But I think I’ll leave the bungee jumping to Monika and Vaidas.
- The interval acts An interval act has to be really, really, really good for me to watch it without thinking to myself ‘Is this STILL going? Me want results!’. Unfortunately, Mr. Percussionist didn’t fit that brief. But Conchita’s mini-medley was fabulous – I could watch and listen to her all day long. Can we have Conchita at Eurovision every year in some capacity? She can be the new Lys Assia (even though we still have the old Lys Assia).
- The voting sequence The most exciting one we’ve sat through in years…but more on that later. I will say now that I’m legit going to start a petition to stop that ‘We don’t need to hear the results from any more countries to know that so-and-so is the winner! Congratulations! Oh, but I suppose we’d better hear the rest…’. HATE. IT. WITH. A. PASSION. It’s unnecessary, and disrespectful to the countries who are yet to announce their points and who aren’t in first place on the scoreboard. Yet it’s becoming a contest trend. Ugh.
- The end result I more or less covered this last time, but in terms of the winner and where we’re headed in 2016 as a result, I’m RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY. CAPS LOCK IS TOTALLY NECESSARY TO GET ACROSS TO YOU JUST HOW HAPPY I AM. Take Eurovision as seriously as Sweden does, and there’s no reason you can’t win twice within four years. I expect them to equal and overtake Ireland’s winning tally in the not-too-distant future.
‘Straya’s say: A little look-see at the points from the land Down Under
Speaking of Eurovision strutting back to Scandinavia next year…with Australia-in-the-ESC-for-keeps advocate Christer Björkman in a position of power where the 61st contest is concerned, it’s becoming more and more likely that we Aussies will be invited back to the party. I’ll make my thoughts on this matter public when the time’s right. For now, let’s just have a nosy at Australia’s debut grand final votes.
The Aussie points were presented by our beloved newsreader Lee Lin Chin (can’t help wishing it’d been me though). Lee Lin may not look like a badass (in fact, if Twitter is to be believed, she looks more like a certain extra-terrestrial, which I think is a very cruel and not at all amusing comparison) but I can assure you that her appearance is deceiving. She swept her sass to one side for her result-reading time, ever the professional when she needs to be. Here are the points she revealed to Europe and beyond:
- 1pt Georgia
- 2pts Israel
- 3pts Estonia
- 4pts Norway
- 5pts Serbia
- 6pts Belgium
- 7pts Latvia
- 8pts Italy
- 10pts Russia
- 12pts Sweden
As it turned out, Australia’s combined result was in keeping with quite a few other countries’ results. Our top three – Sweden, Russia and Italy – matched the Belgian and Latvian top threes exactly. Romania, Spain, Israel and Portugal also deemed Måns, Polina and Il Volo worthy of top points, in one order or another.
In addition, we predicted the eventual top six, not including ourselves (obviously) and with Belgium and Latvia in the wrong places. I don’t think that’s an indication of our collective psychic prowess so much as an indication that a handful of countries were almost universally popular this year.
So that was the combined result. Now, let’s banana split it a bit.
The Australian jurors’ top threes:
- J1 Amanda Pelman – Russia, Sweden, Cyprus
- J2 Richard Wilkins – Russia, Italy, Sweden
- J3 Danielle Spencer – Russia, Belgium, Sweden
- J4 Ash London – Sweden, Belgium, Russia
- J5 Jake Stone – Russia, Sweden, Norway
Russia and Sweden were particularly popular with our jury, making it into all five members’ top threes. Italy, a little surprisingly, only featured once (who knew Richard Wilkins had such good taste? Amiright, Aussies?) as did Cyprus and Norway. Belgium was ranked second twice.
The Australian televoters’ top three:
Sweden, Belgium, Serbia
Clearly, we were feeling some Serbia ljubav that the jurors – who ranked Bojana 9th in the final – were not. This could have something to do with our sizeable Serbian population, or it could be down to the bulk of early-morning voters being Eurovision fans easily sucked in by the oh-so-ESC anthem of self-love that is Beauty Never Lies. Or it could be neither. I didn’t vote for Serbia, so you’ll have to direct any whys to someone who did!
The Australian jurors’ bottom threes:
- J1 Amanda Pelman – Belgium, Poland, Montenegro
- J2 Richard Wilkins – Armenia, Israel, Albania
- J3 Danielle Spencer – Poland, Armenia, Slovenia
- J4 Ash London – Germany, Montenegro, Slovenia
- J5 Jake Stone – Armenia, United Kingdom, Slovenia
Reading the above as places 24, 25 and 26, you can see that Slovenia was ranked last three times. I’m somewhat taken aback by this. Could it be because Marjetka’s voice left a bad taste in multiple mouths (a.k.a. bad sound in their ears)? Or was there a widespread aversion to those damn headphones? My confused face is well and truly on. Interesting here is Belgium’s appearance, when Loïc was ranked in the top five of three other jurors. These bottom threes are a lot more varied than the top threes, with nine different countries appearing (as opposed to six appearing in the top threes).
The Australian televoters’ bottom three:
France, Albania, Azerbaijan
Now you can see just how different the tastes of televoters and juries can be. Without any specific criteria to assess the songs/performances against, we ranked three countries that barely factored into the jury’s bottom three at all 24th, 25th and 26th. For further comparison, our jury ranked France 21st, Albania 23rd and Azerbaijan…6th. It doesn’t take a genius to determine which party Elnur was more appealing to (and that wasn’t the case in Australia alone).
So, all of the above was Australia’s first – but, as we’ll be forced to say until who knows when, perhaps not last – contribution to the final results. ‘What results?’ I hear you ask. ‘It’s been that long since the final actually happened that I can’t remember a thing about them!’. Well, fear not, because I’m about to refresh your memory.
Final-ly…an overview of the expected and ‘OMG!’ outcomes of Eurovision 2015’s last hurrah
This year’s voting sequence really was an epic one. The algorithm employed by the EBU to make the results as exciting as possible can only do so much when it has to be based on the jury votes. Often the addition of the televotes screws it up completely (i.e. it’s quite obvious who’s going to win when we’re only a quarter of the way through the announcements).
But this year, we were treated to a spectacle in which Russia took an early lead and held it with both hands for the entire first half of the sequence. Then, Sweden slowly but surely closed the gap, overtook Russia, then built up their own lead. By the time there were five or so countries left to announce their points, we knew Måns had Polina beat – but that’s far, far later than usual. The tension up to that point nearly killed me.
Knowing how the sequence ended will make future viewings much less taxing, and I intend to enjoy many of those in the coming months. How come? For the result that was in my favour for the first time. For Guy Sebastian personally thanking the artists from the countries that gave Australia high points (*melts*). For Måns’ priceless facial expression when it dawned on him that he’d won! I could go on, but instead I’ll jump into the promised scoreboard overview.
The top five (a.k.a. the five countries I predicted as potential winners, by some miracle):
1. Sweden (365)
2. Russia (303)
3. Italy (292)
4. Belgium (217)
5. Australia (196)
- The televoters’ top five consisted of Italy, Russia, Sweden, Belgium and Estonia. The juries chose Sweden, Latvia, Russia, Australia and Belgium as their favourites. Sweden becomes the first country in the combined jury/televoting era to not win the televote and still win the entire contest.
- Sweden and Italy were the only countries to receive points from everyone but themselves. Sweden’s lowest score was a 4 from Greece; Italy’s was a single point from Belarus and Lithuania.
- Sweden scored twelve sets of 12 points, to Italy’s nine and Russia’s five. Belgium received three sets, including one from Hungary, and Australia nabbed two, from hosts Austria and winners Sweden.
- Måns’ victory is Sweden’s second in four years and their sixth overall (watch out, Ireland!). If you’re still not convinced that they know how to succeed at Eurovision, just take a look at their track record, starting at 2011: 3rd, 1st, 14th (as the 2013 hosts, you can cut them a bit of slack), 3rd, and 1st. If the pattern continues, the winner of Melodifestivalen 2016 should prepare themselves for a mid-table finish at the ESC.
- The winning margin of 62 is the biggest since Sweden last won in 2012. Back then, Loreen defeated the Buranovskiye Babushki by 113 points.
- Russia is the runner-up for the second time in four years. They haven’t finished outside of the top ten since 2011.
- Italy makes up for last year’s misstep with their second-strongest finish since their comeback, also in 2011 (a lot happened/has happened in/since 2011).
- Belgium can be proud of their first top five finish since 2003. Only three countries – Azerbaijan, Malta and Montenegro – saw fit to leave Loïc pointless.
- Australia rounded out the top five with points from all but six countries. We found ourselves the third favourite of seven countries, scoring a very respectable 8 points from Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Poland, San Marino, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
The rest of the top ten:
6. Latvia (186)
7. Estonia (106)
8. Norway (102)
9. Israel (97)
10. Serbia (53)
- After a string of non-qualifications between 2008 and 2014, Latvia not only advanced to the final (just behind Sweden) but rose up the ranks into the top ten for the first time in ten years. This amazing success (seriously…I’m SO proud) was helped along by three sets of 12 points. If the contest had been completely decided by the juries, Aminata would have finished second.
- Estonia also makes a return to good fortune after Tanja’s surprise DNQ in Copenhagen, despite not scoring any douze points. Neither did fellow top ten finishers Norway and Israel.
- Speaking of Norway…Mørland & Debrah’s eighth place is Norway’s second in a row, and their third top ten result in a row.
- Israel pulled a Latvia/Estonia, with a happy ending that was a long time coming. Having not seen a final since 2010, it took a sixteen-year-old in the body of someone twice that age to get them there. Nadav and his shiny sneakers secured Israel’s best placing since 2008.
- Rounding out the top ten was Serbia, scoring just 53 points. This is the lowest score for a 10th-placed entry since Croatia squeezed in with 42 points in 2001.
The mid-to-low table finishers:
11. Georgia (51)
12. Azerbaijan (49)
13. Montenegro (44)
14. Slovenia (39)
15. Romania (35)
16. Armenia (34)
17. Albania (34)
18. Lithuania (30)
19. Greece (23)
20. Hungary (19)
21. Spain (15)
22. Cyprus (11)
- Azerbaijan didn’t quite manage to manoeuvre their way back into the top 10, but their 12th place is a big improvement on last year’s 22nd place, which was their worst-ever placing by far. After finishing 8th with their debut entry in 2008, then enjoying successive top five results between 2009 and 2013, it still seems like they’ve lost their touch a bit. But perhaps jumping from 22nd to 12th is evidence that they’re clawing their way back up. Will we see an equally impressive leap to 2nd place in 2016?
- Montenegro can bask in the glory of their most successful Eurovision to date as an independent nation, while Adio composer Željko Joksimović can only wonder what went wrong as he contemplates his first finish outside of the top ten. For Montenegro, though, 13th place in the final is a coup. After their first semi-final qualification in Copenhagen, they seem to be surfing a little wave of success.
- Greece scored less than last year, but received a (slightly) higher placing with Maria Elena’s ballad than they did with Freaky Fortune’s dance banger. If the latter had represented Greece in down-tempo Vienna, I suspect the country would have fared a lot better.
The bottom five:
23. Poland (10)
24. United Kingdom (5)
25. France (4)
26. Germany (0)
27. Austria (0)
- Poland finished 15th in the televote, but the juries weren’t keen on In The Name of Love at all and ranked Monika last.
- After two years of avoiding the bottom five, the UK found themselves back there once again. France languishes in the lows of the bottom five for the fourth time in a row (ouch). Still, with four whole points to her name, Lisa Angell doubled Twin Twin’s measly two points from 2014.
- The double-whammy of woe for Germany and hosts Austria is the first of its kind since 1997, when both Norway and Portugal got the goose egg. Germany wasn’t ranked last with the televoters (25th) or juries (20th), so got a particularly raw deal. Austria did rank last in the televote, but 13th in the jury vote.
And that, ladies and gents, was the final. Before I wrap up this momentous post, let’s whiz through the semi results as well.
A snapshot of the semi-final scoreboards, split and combined
Here are the combined results of semi final 1:
- Russia (182)
- Belgium (149)
- Estonia (105)
- Georgia (98)
- Romania (89)
- Greece (81)
- Armenia (77)
- Hungary (67)
- Serbia (63)
- Albania (62)
- Moldova (41)
- Belarus (39)
- Denmark (33)
- The Netherlands (33)
- FYR Macedonia (28)
- Finland (13)
- The winner of this semi, with the televoters, juries and overall, was Russia. This is the second time Russia has won a semi they’ve participated in – the Buranovskiye Babushki also won theirs in 2012.
- Placing last, Finland achieved their worst result in Eurovision semi history. But if it had been purely up to us televoters, PKN would have qualified!
- Four of the ten qualifiers did not qualify last year – Belgium, Estonia, Georgia and Albania (Serbia did not participate in 2014).
- The televoting top three = Russia, Estonia and Belgium. The jury top three = Russia, Belgium and Greece.
- Loser of the televote was FYR Macedonia; loser of the jury vote was Finland.
- Only Russia and Georgia were ranked equally by the televoters and the juries. Both parties did agree on three of the eventual top five, with Russia, Belgium and Georgia appearing at the top on both sides of the split vote. The televoters also had Estonia and Romania in their top five, while the juries had Greece and The Netherlands up there.
- The most drastic differences between the televotes and jury votes involved Armenia (6th T, 12th J); Serbia (7th T, 13th J); The Netherlands (15th T, 5th J); Finland (10th T, 16th J); and Estonia (2nd T, 9th J).
I predicted nine of the ten qualifiers (thinking Denmark would qualify in place of Serbia…d’oh!) but only predicted the correct finishing positions of Russia, Greece and Albania. How did you do?
Here are the combined results of semi final 2:
- Sweden (217)
- Latvia (155)
- Israel (151)
- Norway (123)
- Slovenia (92)
- Cyprus (87)
- Lithuania (67)
- Poland (57)
- Montenegro (57)
- Azerbaijan (53)
- Malta (43)
- Ireland (35)
- Czech Republic (33)
- Portugal (19)
- Iceland (14)
- San Marino (11)
- Switzerland (4)
- This semi’s televote, jury and overall winner was Sweden. This marked Sweden’s third semi final win after 2011 and 2012 victories.
- Unfortunately for Switzerland, they lost a semi for the third time. Piero & the Music Stars and Michael von der Heide also finished last in 2004 and 2010.
- Three of the qualifiers did not qualify last year – Latvia, Israel and Lithuania (Cyprus did not participate in 2014).
- Azerbaijan recorded its worst-ever result in a semi final, qualifying tentatively in 10th.
- The televoting top three = Sweden, Israel and Latvia. The jury top three = Sweden, Latvia and Norway.
- Loser of the televote was Switzerland; loser of the jury vote was San Marino.
- This time (Lithuanian pun not intended) three countries – Sweden, Cyprus and Portugal – were ranked equally by both parties, while Sweden, Latvia, Israel and Norway were agreed upon in both top fives. The televoters had Poland in their top five, while the juries had Malta in the mix.
- In semi no. 2, the split revealed big disagreements regarding Malta (12th T, 5th J); Ireland (16th T, 7th J); and Poland (4th T, 16th J).
I also predicted nine out of ten qualifiers in this case (a personal best), under the impression that Iceland would qualify instead of Poland. Oops. Again, I managed to guess three finishing positions – Sweden’s, Malta’s and Ireland’s. Better luck next year to me, and to you if you couldn’t see the future so well either!
That’s all for today (as if it wasn’t enough for a lifetime) but rest assured that I have serious posting plans for the nest few months.
Up next will be my argument in favour of retaining the jury vote in the wake of Sweden’s “controversial” triumph. Then, you’ll have your chance to vote in the People’s Choice categories of the EBJ Eurovision Excellence Awards 2015 (woohoo?); the EBJEEs themselves will take place; I’ll reveal my top 10 performance highlights from Vienna and my picks for the national final runners-up who probably should have gone to Eurovision; and I’ll be publishing my exposé on all the lookalikes from the Class of ’15.
I hope you’ll drop by for some or all of these (hopefully) exciting events! In the meantime, let me know what you thought of this year’s voting sequence, results and winner. Please note that members of the Anti-Måns Brigade may be given the cold shoulder for a few days.
Until next time…