Earlier this morning the EBU and SVT announced that they are changing the Eurovision voting system so that the winner of Eurovision is not known until the very last minute. That sounds promising and we’ve spent the morning crunching the numbers to see if it would actually make for a more dramatic ending. Based on past instances, that might not always be the case. Given that Alexandery Rybak, Loreen, Emmelie de Forest and Conchita Wurst all won the jury vote and televote, it’s clear the system wouldn’t have affected many previous results. But would it have made the last portion of the show any better? We’ve taken a look at a couple examples for y’all to make up your mind:

The Good: 2011 results under the 2016 voting system

So, let’s take a (relatively) positive example to start: Eurovision 2011. With all the jury votes in, we’d have the top five looking like this:

  1. Italy – 251 points
  2. Azerbaijan – 182 points
  3. Denmark – 168 points
  4. Slovenia – 160 points
  5. Austria – 145 points

Italy’s 69 point lead at this point would look healthy, but not insurmountable – even Austria, though 106 points behind, would have been in with a shot. Not only that, but after the jury votes were in, you’d have the likes of Sweden (9th place), pre-contest favourite France (11th place) and even the UK (22nd place) down the order. It would take a landslide for them to win, but any of them would surely be popular enough with the televote to do so.

Once the televotes started to come in, there’d be some real shocks of course. Austria – in the top five – would finish 24th with the public. Then, Slovenia and Denmark until finally Italy only receives 99 points in 11th place. With a grand total of “just” 350 points, a lead of 168 points and nearly 1600 points left to share between 10 countries, it would suddenly become a question of if any of the other countries could have got a landslide win. After a certain point, it would also become obvious that only Azerbaijan could, in theory, be victorious. The mathematical certainty of Azerbaijan winning wouldn’t come until Greece received 176 points in 3rd place. Certainly tense towards the end and very reminiscent of Ace being dethroned by Sanna right at the death of Melodifestivalen 2014.

The Bad: 2012 results under the 2016 voting system

So, SVT and the EBU have been very keen to point out the lack of drama in the Eurovision 2012 result. “We’ve had 25 and 30 minutes to go…when everyone knew that Loreen had already won“. Well yes, that was true. Unfortunately, the new system would have had exactly the same result. Again, let’s look at the top 5 after the jury votes.

  1. Sweden – 296 points
  2. Serbia – 173 points
  3. Albania – 157 points
  4. Italy – 157 points
  5. Spain – 154 points

With a 123 point lead, would anyone have really thought Loreen would lose at this point (even after seeing Italy’s lead evaporate in 2011)? With a hugely televote friendly song and her only other “real” competition, Russia, being 200 points behind her, it would have been an absolute foregone conclusion. Admittedly, it would not have been until the final two votes that Loreen would have been “guaranteed” victory. Certainly it would have been a bit more drama, but one that would feel entirely artificial (unless Europe had truly lost their minds that night in Baku).

Much the same would have likely happened in 2015 as well. Måns Zelmerlow’s victory would be a mostly foregone conclusion — even with Måns finishing third in the televote, he could not be caught by either Russia or Italy thanks to his jury lead. With cases like this, it might be difficult for the EBU to keep voters interested. Too many obvious results post-jury would surely lead to the public doubting if their vote really mattered.

Would you have liked to see the results of previous contests with the new voting system in place? Let us know in the comments section below.

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[…] You can watch a video explaining the new rules below. To see how this new system would have affected recent contests, check out this article. […]

Random.sage2.5
Guest
Random.sage2.5

About the jury voting.

Juries are there to have more thorough opinions about the songs and go beyond who/what ppl FEEL should do well. They have experience in music that the average person would pick up on. If they did, Italy or Russia would’ve won and Georgia and Latvia would’ve done poorly.

They exist (other than to cut down bloc voting which isn’t 100%) so if Rodolfo Chickilaquatras or Silvia Knights or Verdka Sedushkas or Dustin The Turkeys wanna compete, they better bring quality with their camp.

If they bring Cheese it better be GOUDA!

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“Wouldn’t this just bring back bloc voting?”

It never left, but yes, it would make it somewhat more effective. There’s no perfect scoring system.

Keep in mind that it will reduce ANTI-block voting. Azerbaijan won’t be able to rank Armenia 26th any more (and vice-versa).

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Katy :- Yes if it was 100% televote, but it is still 50%:50% and part of bringing the juries back was to negate the diaspora vote. That is if the juries are 100% honest, we know that some are not and that is a problem.

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

This is a change for the better.

Katy
Guest
Katy

Wouldn’t this just bring back bloc voting?

MGR
Guest
MGR

WTF
Eurovision is dead because of experts like you!

avis
Guest
avis

In 2014, Slovenia as a borderline-qualifier would have qualified with the new system but Macedonia would have qualified instead because their “good” jury result would not be eliminated by the bad televoting result, right?

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

It is worth pointing out that if we applied the change to last year, 10 of the 37 juries would have given Italy ZERO points. (27%) What this change does is try to take away the power from just 5 people to agree to “kill” a song and score/vote tactically. I don’t care what anyone else says, some jury members are not music experts and they don’t all vote honestly. It is a real problem. In 2016 if a jury gives one of the favourites 0 points they will be exposed by a very knowledgeable audience. If a jury is… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

I feel as if it would feel more representative of the country if the televoting points were announced by the spokespersons.

Huh
Guest
Huh

Criticca: Preach it!!!

Criticca
Guest
Criticca

A bit off-topic but IMO 2011 was by far the worst winner of this millennial. Which is why 2012 marked a revolutionary year for ESC fans that WE choose the winner. Not the juries or suspicious televoters. This os why the recent winners after 2011 are all liked by ppl

WTF
Guest
WTF

@MGR: Garbage like “Bada Nakna” should have absolutely no business coming anywhere near winning, not even in a weaker year like this one… That is the only thing that is obvious and clear here…

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“My question is, will this new system be used in the semifinals as well?”

Yes. Of course they won’t announce the scores on the broadcast, but the new scoring system will be used.

MGR
Guest
MGR

I will never accept odds for Melodifestivalen! They hate the best entry!

Amerivision
Guest
Amerivision

Can everyone please accept it and hope for the best? No need to beat a dead horse. What’s done is done.

MGR
Guest
MGR

Isa is bad, Ace Wilder is bad, Wiktoria is bad, Molly Sanden will be bad, Robin Bengtsson is average, David Lindgren is average. Please Sweden send Samir & Viktor! You will be favorite against 42 weak and boring craps! It’s so obvious and clear!

MGR
Guest
MGR

I am 100% sure Samir & Viktor will be strong winners of televoting in Sweden! Only jury can destroy them!

MGR
Guest
MGR

Now the most important thing is that “Bada Nakna” is great hit in Sweden and number 1 in charts! Eurovision Song Contest is for hits and that’s why Samir & Viktor must be winners in Sweden!

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

New rules applied for semifinals:

2010: Finland would have qualified instead of Epic Moldova and Sweden instead of Ireland

2011: Belgium would qualify, the loser would again be Moldova

2012: Croatia would qualify, Norway would not qualify

2013: Austria & Bulgaria would qualify, Estonia and Iceland would not

2014: Portugal would qualify, San Marino would not

2015: Malta would qualify, Azerbaijan would not

MGR
Guest
MGR

Now the most important thing that “Bada Nakna” is great hit in Sweden and number 1 in charts! Eurovision Song Contest is for hits and that’s why Samir & Viktor must be winners in Sweden!

davve
Guest
davve

My question is, will this new system be used in the semifinals as well?

davve
Guest
davve

The reality is that this format change will change very little. for example sweden and måns would have won in 2015 anyway .. but with a larger margin than in with the current 50/50 system. I think it will increase the suspense for sure.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

Final results 2014

FINAL 2014 Country Jury Televoting TOTAL
1 1 Austria 224 311 535
2 2 Netherlands 200 222 422
3 3 Sweden 201 190 391
4 4 Armenia 125 193 318
5 5 Hungary 138 98 236
6 7 Russia 70 132 202
7 6 Ukraine 78 112 190
8 14 Poland 23 162 185
9 12 Romania 51 103 154
10 11 Finland 114 39 153

11 8 Norway 102 39 141
12 13 Switzerland 27 114 141
13 23 Malta 119 17 136
14 22 Azerbaijan 108 26 134
15 9 Denmark 85 43 128
16 10 Spain 83 41 124
17 16 Belarus 50 56 106
18 15 Iceland 59 46 105
19 18 Germany 61 31 92
20 20 Greece 49 43 92

21 17 United Kingdom 52 29 81
22 19 Montenegro 48 33 81
23 21 Italy 37 32 69
24 25 Slovenia 21 15 36
25 24 San Marino 16 18 34
26 26 France 5 1 6

San Marino would not have qualified, but Portugal

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

@Adam

Thanks for your comments.

Expertise speaks for itself. So does ignorance.

Adam
Guest
Adam

@mawnck literally no one cares about your supposed music expertise. The fact that you feel the need to prove your “dominance” on the internet over simple music fans who have equally valid opinions on music taste shows your pathetic insecurities. Grow up.

By the way whatever musical expertise you have, I have a lot more of. How do you know that? Because I’m saying this over the internet of course.

MGR
Guest
MGR

At least we all know that jury results always are more controversial and people will see these results. In televoting people can’t vote against someone, but jury always vote for someone and against someone. Now people will know what jury is. Maybe this will be better for jury’s activity in future.

Brian
Guest
Brian

ruth lorenzo for spain 2014 ended up 17th televoting and 11th jury voting… what would that make her with this system? Last?

MGR
Guest
MGR

On the other hand, if there were no jury, 8th or 9th in televoting suffice to be in top 10. So the best option now is elimination of jury. If televoting is 60% fair and jury is 40% fair, still 60% is better than 60%+40%:2=50%.

MGR
Guest
MGR

I think all countries from top 6 in televoting should be always in top 10. UK in 2011 and Poland in 2014 are the best examples.

MGR
Guest
MGR

OK, I can accept these changes. Generally favorites are most important. Every favorite should have place in top 10.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“He’s one of those people who believes his musical opinion and taste is better and more valid than everyone else’s.”

My musical TRAINING and KNOWLEDGE is more valid than the rantings of fanboys who can’t detect off-key singing and have never picked up a musical instrument in their lives. That’s reality. Sorry if it hurts your feels. There are a LOT of valid opinions on this site, all worthy of respect … but it doesn’t necessarily mean yours is one of them.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Could this change make the winner seem less legitimate? For example, I know a lot of people weren’t happy with Azerbaijan winning in 2011, but wouldn’t it have been all the more annoying had they never once looked like taking the lead throughout the jury voting, and only shockingly overturning that lead at the last moment? Great TV yes, but it might just make people question whether it was a fair result, because they had been trailing all night. And of course if the actual winner only comes 2nd, 3rd or worse in the televote, doesn’t that also put a… Read more »

MGR
Guest
MGR

One injustice is clearly saved. It is about starting position. Both viewers and jury will vote more for entries later situated. Starting position in final ruined results of Israel and Estonia and with this new system their results would be even more destroyed.

Cassio
Guest
Cassio

@Freyah – I’d ignore mawnck. He’s one of those people who believes his musical opinion and taste is better and more valid than everyone else’s. Seriously, you’re lucky you only have to see his opinions on here.

smartllama
Guest
smartllama

tbh the uk gain from this. 2009 and 2011 when they tried hard both would be in top 5 with this system however its unfair to places with less diaspora, wouldnt be surprised if turkey make a return.

Freyah
Guest
Freyah

@mawnck
I didn’t even like Il Volo, I was just pointing a fact out. If anyone is being whiny its you, calm down.

Marco
Guest
Marco

@dutchie: that’s exactly what I’m afraid of. Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, UK, maybe even Bulgaria, Ireland or Israel will be pretty much screwed. Until now, they could hope to come at least 12th or so in the televote and to have a good jury vote (if deserved, of course). But now… a good jury vote will count much less if in some (too many) countries neighbours and friends always come first in televote.

I don’t even blame the people vo vote for their country of origin or their neighbours. But the EBU should not reinforce this bias even more.

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

Portugal who qualified with 4th place for the finals in 2010 would have crashed out as only 15th from their semifinal with the new rules.

Finland and Malta would have qualified instead of them and Moldova. (no epic sax guy in the finals)

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

I was initially quite positive about this, until I realized that this system means my own country Holland will very likely be screwed in the semis. Diaspora voting becomes a more important factor again, as countries like Armenia will certainly get points even if the juries don’t rate them. When they’re slightly below 10th place after the jury votes, that will help them get to the final.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

Reminder to Wiwibloggs … The results you calculated above aren’t strictly accurate, because of the “substitute points” thing (which you STILL haven’t mentioned in any of your articles). San Marino’s televote points under the 2016 standard, for instance, can’t be determined by the past data. “I certainly agree if this system had been in place last year, the outrage over Il Volo losing to Mans while winning the Televote would have been greater.” Uh, nope. That’s purely a fanboy thing. The normals (and for that matter, most of the rest of us fans) DO NOT CARE about your precious Il… Read more »

Marco
Guest
Marco

So the famous “…and our 12 points go to…” will only be for jury results? :/ that doesn’t seem right, the spokespeople always reminded me as “voice of the people” and the country, how it voted. now it will be only the jury results and neither final, since the 12 points from the country are never actually presented. I think they should have done it the other way round: spokespeople saying the televotes and at the end the juries. Also, I think it’s a bad idea to not combine the votes directly anymore. This way, we will have many countries… Read more »

dramalama
Guest
dramalama

wiwibloggs forgot to mention that the people who don’t qualify from the final will perform at a new show called andra chansen which means second chance in swedish where they will perform forna second chance to be in the final

Mario = Legend
Guest
Mario = Legend

MGR – This isn’t some great revolution or insurgence. It’s the Eurovision voting format. >.>

Marshpan
Guest
Marshpan

I won’t have a fully formed opinion until I see it itself in May, though I do have my trepidations about ESC 2016 being used as a testing ground for such a system. It might work quite well for Melodifestivalen, but there’s no real knowing how it’ll be translated to a much more complicated and international competition, as compared to a national final… To be fair to the sceptics, there is a huge difference in the scope and scale of the voting. There are a few concerns that I’ve seen other people raise so far with regards to this change… Read more »

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

“Hello Albania, we see your jury points already on the screen, now we are adding the points from 1 to 8 of the televoting, would you please proceed by adding us up your Top 3 from the televote?”

MGR
Guest
MGR

Too many beautiful words, too little real work. We have to move forward much harder and faster. We can not all the time stand, because we will die due to lack of activity.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

The 2015 results under the 2016 voting rules are so different!!!! Sweden 632 Georgia 84 Italy 537 Montenegro 78 Russia 520 Lithuania 75 Belgium 381 Cyprus 71 Australia 356 Slovenia 63 Latvia 349 Greece 53 Norway 206 Hungary 50 Estonia 197 Poland 49 Israel 181 Austria 40 Serbia 98 Spain 33 Albania 97 Germany 29 Romania 90 France 28 Armenia 90 UK 19 Azerbaijan 88

MGR
Guest
MGR

People in the world are increasingly demanding and you have to start really meet their expectations.