Why Eurovision is a sham

By | 24th May 2015

I love Eurovision. I love it because you often see something different or weird or silly. It’s mad and that makes it great.

But recently Eurovision have tamed these impulses. They’ve started to make it less silly and, quite frankly, more boring.

They’ve done this with judges votes. There was a time when telephone voting was all that mattered. And that led to things like the UK giving this glorious entry by Lithuania 10 points in 2006. It also led to Lordi winning in the same year. Lordi!

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This year’s winner was Sweden. It was an OK song. But it was very safe for Eurovision.

But DID Sweden win? Did the judges make a difference? Luckily, there’s a way to find out. Eurovision publishes it’s full results. I simply took out the judges voting and ranked all of the countries by phone voting. (San Marino appear to have to have not done telephone voting, so I’ve excluded their results. This means that their judges decided to give Electric Velvet 3 points. Madness)

According to my calculations, Italy won. By a lot. Here’s the final standings:

Italy 349
Russia 282
Sweden 272
Belgium 190
Estonia 144
Australia 124
Israel 102
Albania 93
Serbia 86
Latvia 83
Armenia 77
Romania 69
Georgia 51
Azerbaijan 48
Poland 47
Noray 37
Montenegro 34
Lithuania 32
Slovenia 27
Spain 26
Greece 24
Hungary 17
Cyprus 8
Germany 5
UK 4
France 3
Austria 0

I’m glad in the real results Germany did better than our AWFUL entry. Sad to see no points for Austria.

I think Judges votes were brought in to get rid of ‘political’ voting (ie countries near each other and having similar cultures liking the same type of song). If that’s the case, it’s failed spectacularly. Russia have LESS points with telephone voting than with judges and telephone voting. All it does it hurt acts like Italy, Eurovision outsiders.

Let’s also talk for a second about another outsider. The learning disabled act Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, who played punk rock. Not Eurovision’s usual thing. They didn’t make it through the semi final.

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But here’s the thing, they should have made it through to the final. They lost exclusively on judges votes. Televoting actually favored them significantly. If it was just based on the voice of the people we’d have seen Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät in the final. And it’s a shame we didn’t. Because since Conchita Eurovision stands for something. Maybe it always has, but it’s more obvious now. It’s about inclusiveness. About similarities not differences, and I think to exclude this band because of the type of music they play was rubbish.

I don’t normally ask people to share stuff. This is a maths website aimed at providing resources to other maths teachers, but please share this. Hopefully if enough people see this, the system might change.

Peace out. My spreadsheet here-> ESC-2015-grand_final-full_results

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