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:
- Italy – 251 points
- Azerbaijan – 182 points
- Denmark – 168 points
- Slovenia – 160 points
- 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.
- Sweden – 296 points
- Serbia – 173 points
- Albania – 157 points
- Italy – 157 points
- 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.