30
May
2019

Eurovision 2010 – 2019: The best scoring countries this decade

Eurovision 2010 – 2019: The best scoring countries this decade

Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden 2015)

With two victories and another five songs in top 5, Sweden is best performing country this past decade. Russia comes in as second. We take a look at how each country have done the past ten editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.

As the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest ended, a whole decade came to an end. For next year’s contest in the Netherlands, we will start a fresh new decade with great entries, controversial victories, fantastic outfits, a whole lot of drama, but also a lot of fun – and we can’t wait for it to begin!

To close this current decade, we’ve thrown all the results together and created a list of the best ranking countries these past ten years. To find out which countries performed best at the Eurovision Song Contest, we calculated an Average Relative Position for each country, for every year in the past 10 years. The full calculation method is explained below the list.

It probably comes as no surprise to many that Sweden is on top, but there are a few more interesting things to pay attention to. We’ll highlight a few here:

  • All three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) are in top 10.
  • Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia are all to be found in top 15.
  • Turkey comes in as 7th on the list. They did score rather well – until they left after the 2012 contest.
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina participated four times this decade. Their results were good enough to earn them a 12th place.
  • Only 9 out of the 23 best scoring countries in this Eurovision decade participated the maximum 10 times. Another 8 countries have been out one year.
See alsoDiscrepancy between RAI and EBU televote results probably explained

Eurovision 2010 – 2019: Best scoring countries this decade

With appearances from a total of 46 participants this decade, we have divided them into two half’s; best scoring and worst scoring. Below you find the 23 best scoring this decade – and tomorrow, we’ll bring you the remaining countries, who are the in the worst scoring half.

RankCountryAverage Relative PositionTimes participated
1Sweden20,36%10
2Russia24,35%9
3Australia25,05%5
4Italy27,54%9
5Ukraine30,458
6Azerbaijan31,47%10
7Turkey34,41%3
8Denmark42,32%10
9Romania43,11%9
10Norway47,25%10
11Serbia48,24%9
12Bosnia & Herzegovina49,27%4
13Hungary50,50%9
14Armenia51,089
15The Netherlands51,61%10
16Greece52,07%10
17Belgium53,05%10
18Bulgaria55,12%7
19Moldova56,01%10
20Czech Republic58,28%5
21Austria58,43%9
22Cyprus58,79%9
23Estonia61,0210

These Relative Positions are calculated by dividing a country’s actual position by the lowest possible rank this country could have gotten that year, each minus 1. Semi-final positions are appended to the bottom of the Grand Final scoreboard, in such a way that an 11th position in a Semi-final results in a 27th position. The lowest possible rank in the 2019 first Semi-final would be 35. This would give that particular 11th position a relative rank of 29.41%.

The sum of all relative positions is then divided by the number of times that country took part, to come to the above listed Average Relative Positions. This results in the fairest possible way to compare Semi Final positions against Grand Final positions in the reality of Eurovision where not all countries come from a semi final, and not all semi finals have the same number of participants.

Stay tuned as we tomorrow finish this with the 23 worst scoring countries this past decade.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

29
May
2019

Mayor of Amsterdam: We want Eurovision, but not a tough fight

Mayor of Amsterdam: We want Eurovision, but not a tough fight

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam will be a logic choice to host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, Mayor Femke Halsema said. She made it clear that the city is interested in hosting the contest, but that they don’t want to stand in the way of other cities that can do the job.

“We will handle it with respect”. With those words, Mayor of Amsterdam Femke Halsema spoke about their thought’s on hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. She was asked by the party D66, who at a city council meeting said that Amsterdam is the best choice. The Mayor said that she acknowledged that the capital naturally will be a logic option, but also they don’t want to overshadow other cities that might also be able to offer what is needed to be a great Eurovision host city.

Cities interested in hosting the Eurovision Song Contest can now officially work on their bids for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. Based on the words from Femke Halsema we can expect Amsterdam to put in a bid, though she doesn’t want to make it all about prestige.

We will deal with it respectfully.

Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema

The GroenLinks Mayer also mentioned that Amsterdam next year will have Sail – and European Championships taking place, so there is no need for the city to get into a tough battle.

If you want to read more about what is required to host the Eurovision Song Contest, we have put together an article with the requirements a previous host country received from the EBU.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

29
May
2019

Eurovision 2020: Bidding process open – this is what will happen now

Eurovision 2020: Bidding process open – this is what will happen now

Duncan Laurence at Schiphol Airport

Dutch cities interested in hosting the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest can now start to apply. The selection process is expected to take a couple of months. Finding the right host city isn’t an process.

In a joint collaboration between broadcasters NPO, AVROTROS and NOS, the host city search has now officially begun in the Netherlands. Many cities, big and small, have expressed an interest in hosting the 2020 contest, but so far, no one has officially applied. That will change now.

The process consists of three phases:

  • Interested host cities will receive a document with the requirements they need to live up to. It’s not enough to have a large arena, it will need to be able to match requirements for a big TV production like this, space for commentator boxes, green room, working facilities for the delegations, wardrobes etc. They cities will also need to have suitable press facilities and sufficient hotel capacity. We recommend that you check out our previous article for requirements to host a Eurovision Song Contest.
  • The cities who can match the requirements will have four weeks to put together a book which presents their plans and in details describe how they can host the contest. This will need to be officially submitted in the first half of July. We typically see the number of interested cities go down a lot at this step as many realise that they can’t match the requirements.
  • From mid July, the organisers will visit the cities whose plans they want to take a closer look at. They will involve EBU closer in the process at this time. The host city will need to be approved by EBU.

We can probably expect an announcement regarding host city for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest to come in August or early September depending on how many cities will end up being able to host the contest.

See alsoDuncan Laurence points at Davina Michelle and Naaz as possible Dutch participants for 2020

Previously we put together a list of likely arenas for next year’s contest. They will all be suitable to host the shows, so question is just now; who will officially submit a bid?

In case you already forgot why the Netherlands will host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, you can remind yourself of Duncan Laurence’s Arcade in the video below. With that song he won the 2019 contest.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

28
May
2019

Nina Kraljić creates a universal connection between us with her new video

Nina Kraljić creates a universal connection between us with her new video

Nina Kraljić (Croatia 2016)

2016 Croatian Eurovision representative Nina Kraljić is back with a new single “Mi”, which translates to “We” in English. It is an atmospheric song with a strong message.

In a press release, Nina Kraljić describes her new track Mi as a song that tells a story about a universal connection between all of us. It aims to remove the differences and create a feeling of calmness in the general atmosphere of unrest, which we often feel. The song is also telling us, that we are never alone, and that every and each of us has his own individuality and distinctiveness.

Mi is written by Ines Prajo and Arjana Kunštek, who co-wrote the Croatian Eurovision entry MyFriend back in 2017. They also wrote Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entry NeBrini, which Mija Martina performed at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest.

The video was filmed during Nina’s concert in Tvornica kulture (Culture Factory) in Zagreb, where she was accompanied by a children dance squad “Zagrepčanke i dečki”.

Nina was very happy about her collaboration with the children dance squad:

Children represent the truth, connection with yourself, playfulness and emotions – something we always try to maintain. That’s the reason why we invited them to sing the chorus together with us. In this way I got fulfilled one of my big wishes to sing together with the beautiful children, who can teach us many things.

Furthermore we made an arrangement where simplicity and purity are placed in the foreground. The song Mi causes a very emotional reaction inside me, not only because of it’s deep simplicity, but also because it shows our beautiful guests and the beautiful atmosphere that spreads love and connection in the best possible way.

Nina Kraljić to Music Box.hr

Back in 2016 Nina Kraljić managed to qualify her country for the final for the first time in six years, after Croatia failed to reach the final for four years in succession (2010–13), before withdrawing from the contest in 2014 and 2015.

See alsoJacques Houdek angry for being accused of taking advantage of Roko for self-promotion

In the video below, you can watch Nina’s latest track Mi

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Categories: Eurovisionary

28
May
2019

The Continuing Mystery Of San Marino’s Complicated Televote

The Continuing Mystery Of San Marino’s Complicated Televote

Do you trust the result of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019?  Why has the community’s confidence been damaged since the credits rolled over ‘Arcade’? Mistakes in the recalculation of Belarussian jury vote have been acknowledged, other issues are left unanswered, and questions remain over the San Marino televote. For the long term health of the Song Contest, it is time for the EBU to publicly show how the process works. Security by obscurity is a fantasy.

Since the curtain came down on Tel Aviv, the Eurofandom’s elite squad of spreadsheet enthusiasts and statisticians have been hard at work highlighting errors and raising questions around the scoring. In this article we take a deeper view at how the system for calculating backup votes works.

  • We finally found out how (one of) the systems for creating emergency backup Eurovision votes works, and it has had some impact on this year’s scores.
  • The system used to create the backup Belarussian jury vote is not the same as the one used to simulate the San Marino televote.
  • Why would there be two different systems for simulating emergency backup votes?
  • In a year where the winner was decided by 26 points and qualification was decided by single point margins, transparency concerning scoring is hugely important

Sorting The Belarussian Vote

Portuguese Eurovision fan @Euro_Brunotracked down the error in the aggregated score that replaced the dismissed Belarus jury, resulting in a correction of the scores that affected placings. Several other community members have done work showing that some jurors likely ranked the entries backwards, and showed the comparative margins of victory for the Top 50 songs of the decade.

@Euro_Bruno investigates the Belarus vote (Twitter)

@Euro_Bruno investigates the Belarus vote (Twitter)

Thanks to Bruno’s analysis, we now have a very good working model how an aggregated ‘emergency’ jury score is calculated. It makes sense to see whether this model can be used to calculate the aggregated televote score that is attributed to San Marino.

It would make organisational sense for there only to be one system for generating emergency scores – you could use it for the case you’re expecting every year (San Marino, which has no independent phone system); cases that crop up from time to time (when the televote in a country is too small to constitute a representative sample); and emergencies (when a jury fails to act with the required discretion and must be dismissed). Then you could be sure that you’re applying the same maths in the same way to anyone who needed an emergency score. Applying the same method to everyone makes the system auditable, gives the appearance of fairness and avoids the need to scramble together a last minute solution.

When You Need To Create A Televote

The San Marino televote has been a long-running conundrum. Back in 2016 Ben Robertson and I investigated the aggregated score that replaces San Marino’s televote. We had been told that the score was composed of an aggregation of other real televote scores. I used a data fitting technique called non-negative least squares to try and reverse calculate which televotes were part of the aggregation.

The answer was inconclusive. No matter what combinations of televote rankings we tried, it was not possible to verify how the televote was created. It is impossible to know if the San Marino televote is correct or if there are mistakes similar to the Belarussian jury vote.

The Belarus Jury incident gave us insight into one EBU aggregation method, thanks to the methodology worked out by @Euro_Bruno. This method combines countries in the same semi-final draw allocation pot as the country you’re calculating for. The individual jury rankings are combined to produce an average value for each country. The average values are then ranked to produce the aggregated ranking.

Let’s look at Semi Final 1, where San Marino had 58 televote points to distribute and the margin between qualification and missing out on the Grand Final was 2 points.

The countries from San Marino’s pot competing in Semi 1 were Greece and Cyprus. Let’s look at what the rankings look like if you just use Greece and Cyprus. The San Marino 12 and 10 points were awarded to Greece and Cyprus, which works out just fine as Greece and Cyprus both came highest in each other’s televote. But looking further down the rankings, it’s clearly more complicated than that. Georgia was ranked 2nd in both the Cypriot and Greek televotes, but was ranked only 10th by the San Marino process. Poland should be ranked 13th if the aggregator just includes Greece + Cyprus, but instead they were ranked 6th and obtained 5 televote points.

San Marino's 2019 Televote - Greek and Cypriot combination (image: Ellie Chalkley)

San Marino’s 2019 Televote – Greek and Cypriot combination (image: Ellie Chalkley)

So we are clearly looking for another constituent for the aggregation. In order to produce the San Marino ranking, that extra ingredient in the ranking must look like this:

  • Greece is ranked more highly than Cyprus, but not necessarily 1st or 2nd.
  • Georgia has an extremely low ranking, possibly last.
  • Poland has a good ranking, possibly top 3.
  • Iceland and Estonia both have good rankings, likely top 5.

It would make sense to combine one of the Big 5 + Host nations into the simulated televotes. For 2019 Semi 1, this is Spain, France or Israel. Looking at the table below, let’s check these off:

  • Israel – 1: False. 2: False. 3: False. 4: False.
  • Spain – 1: True. 2: True. 3: False. 4: True.
  • France – 1: True. 2: False. 3: True. 4: False
San Marino's 2019 Televote - French/Spanish/Israeli potential (image: Ellie Chalkley)

San Marino’s 2019 Televote – French/Spanish/Israeli potential (image: Ellie Chalkley)

Next, we look through the rest of the semi final for countries which fit these criteria.

…It appears that no single country fits all four of our criteria. The San Marino televote does not appear to be an aggregate of Greece + Cyprus or Greece + Cyprus plus any one of the other countries in Semi Final 1. Let’s just run the numbers including Finland and Belgium just to make absolutely sure.

San Marino's 2019 Televote - Poland and Georgia High/Low combinations (image: Ellie Chalkley)

San Marino’s 2019 Televote – Poland and Georgia High/Low combinations (image: Ellie Chalkley)

No, it’s not Finland

San Marino's 2019 Televote - Cyrpus and Greece with Finland (image: Ellie Chalkley)

San Marino’s 2019 Televote – Cyrpus and Greece with Finland (image: Ellie Chalkley)

It is also very much not Belgium either.

San Marino's 2019 Televote - Cyrpus and Greece with Belgium (image: Ellie Chalkley)

San Marino’s 2019 Televote – Cyrpus and Greece with Belgium (image: Ellie Chalkley)

Wait though, we don’t seem to be getting closer. Can we construct a single set of rankings that would give us the correct result? We know roughly what values we’re aiming at, so we can try and solve it like a logic puzzle.

The two biggest clues are Poland and Georgia. To see if it’s possible to get Poland ranked 6th and Georgia ranked 10th, I’ve started by ranking Poland 1st and Georgia 16th. This results in average ranks of 8.67 for Poland and 6.67 for Georgia, which cannot result in Poland ranking higher than Georgia, whatever the other ranks from a single real televote are.

What is clear is that the system used to generate the San Marinese televote is different to the system used to generate the Belarussian televote.

I asked an EBU spokesperson to clarify how San Marino’s televote was calculated:

“The calculation for the San Marino televote is based on the standardized calls and SMS of countries with the same voting pattern. The formula for the calculation is confidential and agreed between EBU and its voting partners to generate the fairest substitute result.”

A Voting Frustration

The San Marino televote remains a mystery, and this remains a problem.

For the Eurovision Song Contest to remain as successful as it is, viewers, delegations, broadcasters, and performers must have confidence in the results of the Song Contest. If you cannot trust the scoreboard, why enter the Contest. If you cannot trust the scores why watch the Contest?

Without a transparent explanation of how the aggregated votes used in the Song Contest are generated, there will always be uncertainty over the veracity of the scoring. Following the Contest in Tel Aviv the ‘generated’ Belarussian jury vote was proven to be wrong, investigations are continuing over the Italian televote discrepancy, and various individual jury rankings are being questioned.

When qualifications are won and lost over a single point, it is important for everyone involved to be able to track where every single point comes from – a sign-off by an auditor is no longer enough when the auditor has been proven to miss a glaring error in the 2019 Grand Final. Giving everyone the data to work out where these aggregated scores come from (at least after the event), would enable those in competition and the extremely engaged audience to have confidence in the results.

Confirming the San Marino televote process should be one of the EBU’s first steps in rebuilding the loss of trust in the results of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Categories: ESC Insight

28
May
2019

From immigrant to top performing artist – Dami Im tells her story

From immigrant to top performing artist – Dami Im tells her story

Dami Im (Australia 2016)

Her second place at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 made Dami Im known to the Europeans. Most however didn’t know her fascinating story of how she came to Australia as Korean immigrant at the age of 9. That story, she will now tell through the show “My Life in Songs”.

Dami Im’s Sound Of Silence took Europe by storm in 2016. Australia’s participation at the Eurovision Song Contest was still in it’s beginning. She was only the second artist to represent the country, and the first one who had to go through a semi-final in order to qualify for the final. That turned out to be no problem for the young artist with the amazing voice. She won her semi-final – three points ahead of Ukraine’s Jamala who would later win the contest with Australia’s Im as runner up.

The young Australian artist had a fascinating story. She came to the country at the age of 9 as Korean immigrant. Her mother, her brother and her stayed with a family member in Brisbane, Australia. The father stayed back in South Korea to earn money to support the family. Soon after arriving to Australia, she was enrolled into the young conservatory. Dami Im hoped to become a concert pianist. She had a musical talent – and today she do master the piano well, but she is also a fantastic pop singer who writes songs of her own too.

Dami Im – My Life in Songs

At the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Dami Im will premiere her new show “My Life in Songs”. The shows will take place on the 13th and 14th of June. Dami Im will tell her story through the songs that made a difference.

Australia’s Dami Im is one of the most revered pop artists of the new millennium. A classically trained musician, Im walked off The X Factor stage in 2013 victorious and strode, without delay, into the #1 spot on the ARIA charts with her platinum self-titled album.

With a string of hits, sold out shows and world-wide recognition as Eurovision royalty you may think you know her well. But the story of her life as an immigrant and her success is a rare one that hasn’t been told before.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Exactly what the show will be like, the lucky attendants will have to wait for. Dami Im did share a little teaser today though as she wrote about it on her Facebook page. She uploaded a picture of herself at the age of 10 performing at Queen St Mall. With that photo, she then told a little of the many changes in her life –  which will be a part of these “My Life in Songs” shows.

I was about 10 when I performed in Queen St Mall. Not long after moving to Brisbane I had started training at the young conservatorium in hopes to become a concert pianist. Music was always a part of my life and it meant more to me than just fun as I was adjusting to a brand new country.. but the transition from being a classical pianist to writing and singing pop songs came later on. I’m going to be sharing some of my story here as I get ready for my show ‘My Life in Songs’ June 13, 14 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Dami Im on Facebook

In the video below, remind yourself of Dami Im’s Eurovision Song Contest entry Sound Of Silence.

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