The final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 had perhaps the largest number of quality acts ever. It’s tough picking between all those extraordinary songs, so it’s only natural that some amazing performances were bumped from the top. And yet some results were so clearly wrong, so egregious, so appalling, that they constitute crimes against Europe! Here are five of my picks…

Italy: Il Volo finishes third

The wiwibloggs staff had a variety of favorites going in to the final. Yet at the end of the show the consensus among many (but not all) of us was that Italy was the winner. They closed the show with the most amazing performance of the night and they won the televote. And they were given third? This is not just a crime, it’s a sin. (Obviously not everyone agrees with me).

France: Lisa Angell places 25th

Lisa Angell delivered a beautiful song in a beautiful way. The staging was incredible, and the message in the song was powerful. As we wrote ahead of the final, “Her LED screen simply and beautifully tells a story of perseverance — not just of the individual, but also of the French people who, in recent months, have stared terror in its face.” This wasn’t a pop song, but rather a form of opera that that told a story and lifted us up. Everything about this screamed Top 10. And then it gets FOUR points? And finishes behind even the UK? Merde!

Spain: Edurne finishes 21st

The only reason Edurne comes after Lisa is that Europe gave her some more points. But again a brilliant song, an amazing voice, and great staging. From the Jesus-meets-Mary-Magdalene opening to the dress reveal to the ridic dancing-while-singing sequence, this brought drama, class, suspense and emotion. Again, another deserving of the top 10. And 21st place? Europe, were you not watching this? Mierda!

(Some members of) the audience booing

When members of the audience started booing Russia as the votes were announced, they brought disrepute upon themselves and Eurovision. Polina is a singer and she is not running the government of Russia. She did not pass the anti-gay laws and she did not decide to invade Ukraine. Some have said she should speak up for LGBT rights. These people forget there is an anti-propoganda law in Russia, and doing so could put Polina at risk. She hinted strongly at her semi final press conference that she supports rights for all, and she was consistently sweet to Conchita. The audience denigrated Eurovision with their rude and boorish behavior.

The Juries

Ok, we have crimes but who committed these crimes? In the case of Italy it was clearly the jury. But it wasn’t just Italy, they downgraded the excellent productions from Serbia, Armenia, and Poland.

The juries also have been consistently shown to be corrupt (examples 1, 2, 3, 4, there’s more). Even in the cases where it’s not clear corruption, many jurors appear to be making their decisions before ever watching the show. Or they’re afraid to vote for an artist because others will consider it a poor decision.

The end result? Every year they reduce the placement of some of the best and most popular songs. Italy this year, Poland last (and this) year, Romania the year before.

It’s time to eliminate the juries.

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furnace maintenance
Guest

Good answer back in return of this query with genuine arguments and describing all regarding that.

BooToTheJury
Guest
BooToTheJury

I think the ranking should only include the points 1 – 8, 10 and 12..If for example a country chooses a song as their 15th favorite nd the juries give them the 1st place, whereas another song as their 1st favorite and the jury gives them 16th place, then the jury has immense power over the public, which infact generates the income frm this competition…The ranking should include only top 10 from public and top 10 from the jury, because it doesnt matter if a song is 11th or 27th…its still not a song that the public/jury wants to award… Read more »

E95
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E95

ehm..what ab ALBANIA?
Its worth a guiness world record…I challenge #wiwibloggs to find me another entry since the split voting was presented in the Eurovision Song Contest, where the juries ranked a song 17 places lower than the public!!
That is really a case to discuss…

eurana
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eurana

As they did to FIFA, Eurovision should be investigated by FBI.

Gibson
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Gibson

When I first heard that Il Volo was entering Eurovision I was shocked. I thought why should stars of this caliber enter a singing contest. After all, this is the group that sang before thousands at the Nobel Peace Concert, sang before heads of state, sold out Radio City Music Hall in NYC & the Greek Theater in L.A. & whose concerts on PBS have been viewed by millions of people. Then I read an article saying it was only a ploy for them to become better known to Europeans. I guess that regardless of the outcome, in that respect… Read more »

Marcela
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Marcela

Dear David, National juries’ mission is to evaluate contestants’ according to their professional performance, not to diminish diaspora influence, to punish one country or another for political reason, to vote in block or to favor a certain country. So, if the national juries would do their job, and not something else, there would be nothing to argue year after year. In my opinion, Italian song was not the best, so I don’t understand all this fuss. On the other hand, if it is true that the Italian performance was underrated by national juries, we all have to admit the boomerang… Read more »

GerRoland
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GerRoland

No one said IL VOLO was like Mr. Bieber or One Direction…. and they’re doing their 4th PBS show…. They FILLED Radio City Music Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, sang with Barbra Streisand on her Back To Brooklyn Tour, were on Jay Leno 1/2 dozen times, “brought down the house” (CBS’s words) on American Idol, performed many times on the Today Show, were in the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in front of 10,000 in Oslo, have sold out tours in theatres and arena’s all across North, Central and South America… sang in front of the Kings of Norway and Sweden… Read more »

CookyMonzta
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CookyMonzta

@Alex: That’s why I made the suggestion that an additional half-hour be applied to the whole show, to give the jurors time to make up their minds. Of course, this would mean that the Tuesday and Thursday shows could run upwards to 2½ or even 3 hours each night, and the Saturday final could go 4½ hours (the May 23 Grand Final ran for 4 hours). That brings me to another possible solution in having the jury watch the same performance as the public does: Let them grade each performance, like the Wiwi people do with the songs before the… Read more »

Richard
Guest

Let it be known right at the outset that I am an American who has only been caring about Eurovision for two years (previously, I only knew it as a thing Benny Hill made fun of). This means that I don’t have the proverbial dog in the fight; I can just watch it to enjoy all the good music. With regards to “N’Oubliez pas”, it was a good song, and a fine performance, but France’s strategic mistake was bringing a war memorial song to Europe’s biggest party. Who needed that downer? With regards to all the fuss over the jury… Read more »

Linus
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Linus

The jury system is good but then the jury must be competent and hold the songs against a high standard. It really hasn’t happened the last two-three years so… do we keep the jury? Do we get rid of it? I think they should go. They don’t really have any better music taste than any of us fans. I think ranking Il Volo 6th this year really proves that. Most of us know that Grande Amore deserved better. It really didn’t have any competition of the same musical quality.

Alex
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Alex

@Itreg: Where did you read that some jurors didn’t watch Il Volo’s performance?

Alex
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Alex

@CookyMonzta: I don’t know… I personally don’t like the idea of all jury members rushing through their decision to rank the contestants 1 to 27 in the same time it takes for the voters to select their choices. The jury rating is supposed to allow for care to be taken in the decision. Then again, I have no idea how long they are given to submit their vote after the jury rehearsal. It would be interesting to try such a thing, but perhaps it wouldn’t work.

Itreg Knarf
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Itreg Knarf

The exception of my never watched Eurovision after perhaps the very first starts more than 30 years ago – I watched Il Volo this year. Of course being an Il Volo fan since 2011 of course I was prejudiced. Their song at the end of this long evening was superb! Looks, sound, singing and performance – flawless and wonderful like always – if not better. Sure my number one performance. Reading, that some jurors did not even WATCH IL VOLO on the evening they had to watch and judge because of being too tired tells everything. So I shall continue… Read more »

Vicente
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Vicente

Not sure if Eurovision eliminate juries would be a absolutely good thing. People are blind sometimes.

But without the jury thing, everything in this article is perfectly correct.
Well, I’m ok with Sweden’s victory; Il Volo get 3rd place with scary high scores was perfect enough, I’m happy for both of these two countries, and also Polina from Russia, what a great job she did! 🙂 But on the contrary, poor Lisa and Edurne, how could this happened to you both 🙁

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Ola: Interesting point, regarding the jury performances. In this contest (at least, perhaps since the beginning of this century), all contenders must perform TWICE (once for the juries and once for the public); is that correct? I’m pretty sure there have been cases where a top contender had an outstanding jury performance but a lousy public performance, and vice versa. You have to wonder, especially if a contender ranks top 5 in the televote and bottom 5 in the jury vote, or bottom 5 in the televote and top 5 in the jury vote (cases in point, Netherlands and Poland… Read more »

Axie
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Axie

Also, other than the strawman example of “Italy gives 12 to Romania”, televotes are a lot more fair and less political than juries and always have been. Any country can be top 5 in televoting, even the UK managed it in 2011. Televotes favoured Eastern Europe in the 00s because Western Europe was mostly SHIT. Deal with it. The saddest part is that juries haven’t always been like this. The jury voting in 2011 was wildly different from the televote and yet it felt natural and not at all political – they rewarded the technically solid entries of Austria and… Read more »

Axie
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Axie

Yesssss, finally a post in this site I agree with, complete with dragging that horrible SVT-asslicking article through the mud <3 I can even forgive the writer for saying France deserved even one of the 4 points it got!

Alex
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Alex

@David: The point is rather that the diaspora have a well-demonstrated, significant effect on the voting. There are academic papers on this topic. It’s hard to explain otherwise why Germany is so historically enthusiastic for Turkey, Italy for Romania, UK for Poland, Ireland for Lithuania… and for this and many other factors, the televote is a very flawed measure of the quality of an act. @GerRoland: I would dispute this notion that Il Volo is very popular in the US and Canada, or at least put this statement in some well-needed context. I live in the US and I’m pretty… Read more »

Annika
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Annika

I agree with your list. When juries were reintroduced in 2010/2011 (don’t remember exactly) all the countries wanted to have their best musicians in the jury and the combined jury result turned out to be of high quality (ranking Slovenia high in 2011 for example). Years pass and now there are no professionals in the juries anymore, merely ordinary musicians with taste differences like you and me. The point of having a jury is to boost the songs of high quality, but it didn’t happen this year and I doubt it will in 2016. At this point, the jury is… Read more »

mawnck
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mawnck

“IL VOLO is already very popular in USA/Canada”

American here.

No.

They do concerts, and they had a special on PBS, which indicates that a very small niche audience has heard of them. But that’s about it. Don’t bother looking for them on the radio here – because they aren’t there.

GerRoland
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GerRoland

Yeah, I want to say one thing to all you arm chair “airheads” who think that IL VOLO’s televote ranking was due to their looks or their singing last…. News flash people… IL VOLO’s song had already over 33 million hits on Youtube… pretty much the equivalent of all the other 39 contestants PUT TOGETHER…. Il Volo is the only group that doesn’t need the political/hissy fits that Eurovision seems to have every year…. What placing them into 3rd place against the voters will… is what we in the USA call “Jury tampering”… where that is illegal… but in Europe… Read more »

Fishy
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Fishy

Why would anyone believe in the juries or the EBU when they let Azerbaijan & Armenia rank each other last each year? This is proof that the judges do not follow their own criteria and are cheaters and the EBU does nothing and just watches them do it ALL the time. They should ban judges from both countries because it gives a hint that their ranking is not based on the criteria, especially with Azerbaijan who called in the people who voted for Armenia. This should be a sign that both countries should have their televote count 100% Judges are… Read more »

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

@Sonja, Conchita was asked on ORF whether she was rooting for Russia and she indirectly confirmed that. Conchita is a big fan of Polina and of her song, which conveys a pledge of forgiveness (thinks Conchita), and she wouldn’t have minded to visit Moscow for ESC 2016.

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

*that the

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

nobody’s mentioning Germany/Austria/Switzerland’s failures and the the Czech Republic was totally robbed

Daniel
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Daniel

Thank you. The juries indeed have to go.

They are just too much of a single point of failure.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest

Oostenrijk :- You are correct two significantly large jury groups had a different agenda and there is no coincidence I’m afraid. One marking down Italy and scoring Sweden high, the other marking down Italy and scoring Russia high. Whereas the people from those same countries voted honestly and voted Italy high full stop. It was unfortunate for Italy, a two pronged attack. Italy however gave 12 points to Sweden and 10 points to Russia, now that’s just sheer class!!

Sonja
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Sonja

I totally disagree re Russia. I do not say that it is a good thing that Polina was booed. But she is not just a Russian citizen, she was representing Russia. In which case you can expect people directing their negative views of your country towards you. Although there are laws against so-called gay propaganda in Russia, other people have spoken up. Strongly hinting to support rights for all is as meaningless as it sounds. And remarking that Polina was “consistently sweet” to Conchita is not only insulting to Conchita and the gay community, but to every Eurovision fan. And… Read more »

Maya G
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Maya G

The juries have to go. When the 50%-50% system was introduced in 2009 it was expected that they would balance the block voting, but in a sense they only exacerbated it – e.g. Iceland would have given Italy 12 points this year if full televote was used, but combined with the jury the 12 went to their block buddies, Sweden. Also, the juries tend to bury any song that is more daring and innovative than your average schlagger or power ballad. e.g. Montenegro 2013 and Poland 2014 were huge hits before the Eurovision, both scored handsomely with the televoters and… Read more »

blondboybc
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blondboybc

Generally agree with the gist of your article, especially the farce that was Italy being ranked 6th by the juries, and quite a number of individual jurors ranking Italy in 26th position! Really? Seriously? Unless they have a hate-on for Italy, (or just hate “pop era”) you’re really only left with the conclusion of some serious collusion or vote-buying or some such thing. Yes, corruption. Judging in any competition is often know for this, especially in artistic contests. For these reasons, juries should and must have their role diminished. NO one I talk to believes 5 PEOPLE should have 50%… Read more »

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

@Eugene, you are right, Italy which is a block-free country, got basically steamrolled (like everyone else) by the massive political voting power of the Nordic and Soviet blocks, and it is outrageous that in particular the juries from these blocks were far from fair but sticked to their blocks.

This is why the Nordics and Soviets will rule Eurovision in the future, especially the Nordics. The Rest of Europe can only hope to find a bridge building sensation like Conchita or hope for a weak competition like in 2010 when blocks were neutralizing each other with their mediocre songs.

PP
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PP

I predict before Eurovision that points for Sweden and Australia by juries will be overrated like Sweden in 2012. Same happened with Sweden in 2015, and they overrated with juries in 2013 and 2014.

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

btw. I suspect Azerbaijan of vote buying once again, in Malta as usual but also in Czech Republic. Isn’t it strange how CR always gives Azerbaijan 12 points?? For silly songs sung in gibberish?!?

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

@Ola, I don’t know if you were in the Jury Final or not, but I was. And I can tell you that Italy got a massive reaction from the crowds, everyone was cheering and screaming their name. They were the number one this night together with Serbia (and don’t count Austria). Sweden got a pretty underwhelming reaction. Even the cheers for Israel, Montenegro and Spain were louder and more massive, than the reaction for Sweden. So I guess the 6th place of Italy in the jury final is a result of winning scare, as many jurors might have had interests… Read more »

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

We do not need the juries to find a winner, we have never needed them at all!

We need the juries though for a fair and balanced Top 10 and for that everyone stands a chance to qualify for the final. And what we need even less are the new voting rules since 2013.

The winner of Eurovision should always come from the televote, even if juries disagree with it. And all other places should come from a combined score.

Oostenrijk
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Oostenrijk

As an Austrian I should be upset about the nul points, but I am not. What really brings me to tears everytime, is when I watch the Il Volo performance, knowing that they won the televote and yet we have awarded Sweden the winner – again! and so undeservedly again!

I just can’t….. :_(

Ola
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Ola

My God, I couldn´t agree LESS!! The juries are so much needed to decrease diaspora and ‘clown acts’. Just because the juries do not agree with televoters one year, does NOT mean they should be removed. All participants know it´s 50/50-voting and that they have to deliver TWICE. Italy weren´t that good in the Jury Final, which gave them a 6th place only that night. Måns Zelmerlöv on the other hand was fab BOTH nights – and won. It´s that simple! I say: KEEP THE JURIES, nothing has to change! Next year perhaps it´s the other way round, with televoters… Read more »

John
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John

Italy was overrated and boring. Mans had an up-to-date song and was very easy on the eye (I only find Gianluca hot out of Il Volo).

Julian
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Julian

Wonder what will happen if Sweden or Norway gets first place with televoting in several countries and are marked below 20th by juries. Like Italy was marked down with no reason this year.

Milla
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Milla

Well well.. What is a quality act for someone isn’t it for somebody else.. I can see why for instance Serbia and Spain failed.

Mar
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Mar

I agree with everything in this article except for the removal of the juries, and the opinion that Poland was good (she wasn’t). We do need juries, but they have to be honest, proffesional and imparcial, all of the things they weren’t this year. You may not like Il Volo, that’s perfectly fine, but it is beyond any doubt that they deserved to win. Why? Because they got the highest televote of all times, without relying on diaspora, neighbours or gimmiks, unlike the actual winner ( whom I like, don’t get me wrong). So yeah, no discussion there. Would Europe… Read more »

Darren
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Darren

Im sorry, but diaspora voting most definitely influences the vote. my country, Ireland, almost always gives its high placings (10-12) to the Baltic States, in particular, Latvia and Lithuania, not to mention Poland and Russia, mostly due to the large numbers of people from these countries living in Ireland. Ireland gave 12 points to Latvia this year, and other years, including 2008.

John
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John

Sorry, Czech Republic would’ve qualified in 2015, not Malta.

John
Guest
John

Here is a list of countries which would not have qualified without the jury support: 2015: Hungary, Azerbaijan (We’d have Finland & Malta) 2014: Azerbaijan, Malta (We’d have Portugal & Ireland) 2013: Moldova, Estonia, Armenia, Georgia (We’d have Montenegro, Croatia, Switzerland & Bulgaria) 2012: Hungary, Malta, Ukraine (We’d have Switzerland, Bulgaria, Netherlands) 2011: Lithuania, Switzerland, Serbia, Estonia (We’d have Armenia, Norway, Turkey & Belarus) 2010: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Ireland (We’d have Finland, Lithuania, Sweden). It’s clear that fewer and fewer countries are being let down by the juries these days, they are getting much more reliable and better at… Read more »

Paolo
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Paolo

i think that the juries should still contribute to the final result but should have less power in how the turnout will become e.g. 75% televote 25% jury (have no idea how that can be done though). At the end of the day the public are using their money to vote and should have their say.

James
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James

David – But a diaspora doesn’t have to achieve a majority of the vote to get 12 points. On the contrary, in most countries you can probably get the 12 with about 10-15% of the vote. Consequently it is very feasible that several diasporas can determine a country’s top marks. In fact, dare I say we saw it when the UK pretty much gave top points to either Turkey or Greece from 2004 to 2010, with few exceptions. Of course, they did send some good songs in those years, but as a Brit I can attest that we’re not sufficiently… Read more »

ct
Guest
ct

The pattern that emerges is that East and West seem to have exchanged votes on the two swedish songs with tons of western votes going to Russia and tons of eastern votes going to Sweden. Which explains how they both finished above 300 points even though they lagged in the televote.

The most dismal jury results for Italy were among Italy’s neighbouring countries. Was that because they were afraid that the televote there would be even stronger in favour of Italy?

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Sorry David, none of these were crimes. Italy would have been an underwhelming winner, France were lucky not to finish last (they had the worst song in the final), Russia deserved booed for having such an insensitive song and Polina playing ignorant throughout the process did not change that, Spain deserved their placing due to some awful staging and finally and the juries got it mostly right (particularly Armenia, which was terrible).

ct
Guest
ct

@ Felix I would propose completely disregarding the jury in case the discrepancy with the public on the most popular entry is above 20% and it influences the winner. But no matter what the rules are, if they want to bend them they will. Regarding swedish songs, isn’t it amazing how Russia got completley rehabilitated this year and suddenly ammassed tons of votes from western Europe simply by virtue of choosing a swedish song? I have no beef with the russians and I thought Polina was great, but this fact alone speaks volumes about who runs the contest. As for… Read more »

Felix Prochain
Guest
Felix Prochain

Great article.
The EBU should at least reduce the jury’s power from 50% to 25%.
They also should prohibit selling around Swedish etc. production. Let the ESC nations make their own music. It is disgusting what for example Azerbaijan does. Buying all inclusive since 2009? Really?!