One of the most memorable moments of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 came when Poland’s Michal Szpak — who received just seven points from the juries — earned 222 points from the televote. That gap in rank ordinals — from 25th place to third — is the biggest ever seen at Eurovision, eclipsing Austria’s 19-place disparity from 2011. In his semi-final the public also saved Michal, ranking him fourth and helping to offset the jury’s ranking of 15th.

It was enough to make the British commentator Graham Norton comment during the BBC broadcast.

“Now this is extraordinary,” he said. “Poland just got seven from the jury vote and look at them now – they are going to get a massive percentage of the phone vote. Euro-nerds are going to have a field day analysing those votes.”

One could argue that the juries don’t reflect music trends or prevailing tastes, and that the public around Europe really wanted to discuss the colour of their life. Another take is that Michal benefitted from Poland’s vast diaspora.

When looking closely at the votes, there’s definitely evidence for the latter. As BBC Magazine points out, Poland’s top ten highest televoting scores came from the top ten countries with the largest number of Poles living there (Austria, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, France and Spain).

Poland is not the only country to demonstrate a significant boost from the televote, potentially because of diaspora voting. Lithuania and Serbia followed the pattern as well.

Lithuania received three sets of 12 points from the televote — from the UK, Ireland and Norway. These are all countries with a large Lithuanian minority to vote for Donny Montell. But the jury wasn’t feeling him. The British jury gave Donny four points, the Norwegian jury gave him two and the Irish jury blanked him completely.

In the grand final the jury placed Serbia’s Sanja 23rd, whereas televoters ranked her eleventh. The “Goodbye” singer earned 80 points, with six nations giving the Balkan country douze points. They were Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Switzerland.

All these countries have a notable Serb minority. Most of these countries (except Switzerland) also gave Serbia some jury points, but no more than the eight points Bosnia & Herzegovina awarded.

A natural response is that diaspora voting has always existed. This is true. However, under the 2016 voting system, there is greater balance between the televote and jury vote. From 2013 to 2015 the jury ranked all songs in the final, creating a “drag effect” whereby jurors could “punish” songs by ranking them lowly — say, 24th, 25th or 26th. This year they only awarded points to their top choices — they didn’t “negatively rank” their least favourite. In short, diaspora voting could make more of an impact in 2016 than in recent years.

Read all Eurovision news here

Photo source: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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GermanQR
GermanQR
4 years ago

@Ann,

I’m NOT German. German is my NAME. And Yes, Germany was a joke this year, so? You missed my point. Maybe you’ll get it next time if you stop focusing on my nick and read my comment properly.

Ann
Ann
4 years ago

@ GermanQR
You completly right, We must end televoting because is the only way to push german song higher – even it’s will be so weak like this year 🙂

Josephine
Josephine
4 years ago

Dear wiwibloggers, with all respect to your job I have to express my huge disappointment with this article as it shows clear discrimination against Eastern Europe countries. No analysis about songs and performance, no numbers about real diaspora numbers, no look to previous results – NOTHING, and yet conclusion about results that these acts were not worthy to take these places. It’s a huge disappointment about your job. Also, it strengthens negative stereotypes about Eastern European countries (you even like to call it “former soviet” which is far from nowadays reality). The onlužy question is WHY are you doing this?… Read more »

GermanQR
GermanQR
4 years ago

Finally someone says it. European countries continue to send mediocre at best entries that get voted mostly on:

1.- Diaspora
2.- Ethnic Enclaves
3.- Positioning the pro-Russia or Anti-Russia camp.

This year’s appalling winner is a clear demonstration of that, as was Poland’s score.

Enough with the televoting. Time to go for a “Parliamentary” system with a few hundred or thousand voters in a single venue per country. Televoting has destroyed Eurovision.

Polichinelle
Polichinelle
4 years ago

@ Mandy “How about Hozier’s tweet about Michal (Fair play to my “prettier Polish cousin”) or J.K.Rowling saying that her husband voted for Poland? Are they from Polish diaspora? I don’t think so.”.

Wow… Gosh! J.K. Rowing’s husband voted for Poland! Incredible! And…so what?

The Brightest Falling Star
The Brightest Falling Star
4 years ago

@EugeneESCUK

Thank you for the information and I agree with you, it would be interesting to see the amount of televoters per country and how many voted for each nation. Also, do you know why San Marino used their televote for the first time?

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

The Brightest Falling Star :-

The reason your post was waiting moderation was because you had 2 internet links in your post, 1 is fine.

In 2013 they only gave us the averages, perhaps they had something to hide? They have never published the full splits for that year since.

As there were a lot of complaints about 2013, as part of being transparent they gave us the full detailed splits in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

I would also like to see how many televotes there were per country and the total revenue from the televotes.

ella
ella
4 years ago

I don’t believe it’s all about diaspora voting. Michal Szpak is such a talent. He was one of my favorites. And I don’t have any connections to Poland at all.

The Brightest Falling Star
The Brightest Falling Star
4 years ago

@EugeneESCUK

I posted a comment for you yesterday and it still says that it’s awaiting moderation. Do you know why?

Deshawn
Deshawn
4 years ago

Lithuania and Serbia??? I can agree with Poland but juries gave even more points to Lithuania than the televoters did so what you on about guys! Serbia came like 18th and imo it was underrated. Lithuania came 9th and I think it’s a decent result but should 100% be higher than Poland and Sweden

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

Some are still not convinced this is MORE than just Diaspora I see. Here is more proof :- Poland :- In the last 10 times the Poles entered, they failed to qualify SIX times. The other 4 times, the have only come in the Top 10 ONCE………….THIS YEAR, 8th. The other positions were 14th, 23rd and 24th!! Lithuania : In the last 10 years, Lithuania has failed to qualify 3 times. The other 7 years, they have only come in the Top 10 ONCE……………….THIS YEAR, 9th. The other positions were 14th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Diaspora helping these… Read more »

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

@ct_greece: I have to back up the juries on this – Malta is highly underrated by the public each year. They’ve done a pretty good job since 2013 and they care a lot about musicality, from my point of view. Why shouldn’t the modern, well-sung and difficult-to-sing Walk on Water get more points than Russia’s dated entry? Why shouldn’t have the 2013, 2014, and 2015 entries gotten lots of points from the juries? I don’t remember those entries being particularly high in the betting odds.

Zephyr
Zephyr
4 years ago

*”in your analysis”

Cutie
Cutie
4 years ago

Anyone who claims it isn’t diaspora is lying to themselves.

Zephyr
Zephyr
4 years ago

As somebody else already pointed out, you missed the Russian “diaspora” from your analysis (those large ethnic-Russian minorities living in former Soviet republics).

Eurovision Buddha
Eurovision Buddha
4 years ago

Serbia only got points from diaspora countries and Ex-Yu countries in the televote… So yeah.

karminowe.usta
karminowe.usta
4 years ago

In my opinion diaspora didn`t play the most important role. Before 2016 Poland has never been in top 3 in televoting. Europe loves Michal Szpak. Their reactions from pre-Eurovision parties proved Michal`s big talent. Szpak touch hearts and deserved to third place. Serbia song was great, jury underrated this song.

Maciej
Maciej
4 years ago

I do not agree that Poland benefited only from the so-called diaspora voting. When taking into consideration the full rank of televoting results (places from the first to the last), Poland would be in the 3rd place. Here are the average points from televoting this year: Russia 2,90 Ukraine 3,71 Poland 6,46 Australia 6,61 Bulgaria 7,00 Sweden 8,61 Austria 8,78 France 9,05 Armenia 10,24 Hungary 11,95 Lithuania 12,02 Cyprus 12,02 Latvia 12,93 Belgium 13,63 Italy 13,73 Spain 14,88 The Netherlands 15,15 Azerbaijan 16,02 Israel 17,54 Georgia 18,02 Serbia 18,12 Germany 19,49 United Kingdom 19,90 Malta 20,22 Croatia 20,85 Czech Republic… Read more »

musicfan
musicfan
4 years ago

…. i think, that the effect of diaspora is not so massive as supposed. People voted for their favorite songs. Additionally we must say, that russia won the public voting because of the russian diaspora, Ukraine because of the ukrainian diaspora and so on and so on? At the other hand we must ask,why did the greek entry not qualify to the final, why did the italian and spanish song charted badly etc etc etc?
it depends on the song, the performance. The best package wins!

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

vitalina,
Zhyve Belarus! 🙂
stop writing me your Russian nonsense, I’m not interested in Russian propaganda today. come tomorrow 🙂

Linnea
Linnea
4 years ago

I can honestly say that i love the song from Lithuania and I voted 20 times for it.
I’m swedish!!!!
Lithuania has for the record only been in top 10 one time before in 2006. So please stop! Lithuania ended up in top 10 mostly because people love the song. Can you please leave it to that!

Racal
Racal
4 years ago

And that is why the juries should NEVER be removed again. Although diaspora voting is somewhat normal, it is certainly not a good thing. It gives countries with a big diaspora an unfair advantage, and gives more importance to the country than the song itself. When the televoting was introduced, a country like Turkey went from being the eternal loser to top 10 almost every year. If anything should be changed, it should be going back to a 100% jury vote. The jury is more objective and we’ve seen here this year: since when has Norway not given any points… Read more »

vitalina
vitalina
4 years ago

Oxana- Nu vot molodets) Teper’ idite na maidan i krichite vot eto tam, nu i a tom kak vy nenavidite Rossiyu konechno) Tam vam budut rady, a zdes’, uvy, net)
Do pobachennya!

sg
sg
4 years ago

Poland was amazing this year, his voice and song are on point! He deserved top 3.

The Brightest Falling Star
The Brightest Falling Star
4 years ago

@EugeneESCUK

Do you know why they have only revealed the full jury and televote results of each country from 2014 onwards and not the ones of the previous years? For example, here you can see the full top of each juror and of the televote of Armenia last year:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest_2015
On the other hand, you can’t see the full voting of Armenia in 2013:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest_2013

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

PhysalisFranchetti :- I don’t “need” to do anything, I just give an opinion, happy for you to disagree with it though. I have no problem with the male/ female issue, it’s the rest. Rules are just rules, we have seen juries break them for several years and the EBU do absolutely nothing. Juries only need to rank the song 11th so the song gets no points…………….that IS killing the song……….not sure what you are talking about there? That is exactly what happened to Russia and Ukraine. With regard to Sweden :- In the Jury vote Sweden finished 9th with 122… Read more »

PhysalisFranchetti
4 years ago

@Eugene Why do you think that the rules for the contest say that the jurors must have an equal number of men and women and have a range of ages? It is to match up with the public. The jurors are not meant to fight with the public’s choices; they are supposed to add a little sanity, in particular reducing the impact of diaspora-driven voting. Having a panel of people to represent the public is a common method used in all sorts of areas e.g. food product testing, TV program assessment, how the public is going to vote in elections… Read more »

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

vitalina,
Yes, “slava ukraini”, “krym tse ukraina”, “ukraina tse evropa”, “putin huilo”

anything new?

vitalina
vitalina
4 years ago

Oxana- Ya voobshe to iz Belarusi) I net uzh, takoe skoree vsego u vas na Ukraine mogut sdelat’) A vy vmesto togo chtoby pisat’ tut vsyakuyu gadost’ pro druguyu stranu poshli by na maidan i tam by krichali “slava ukraini”, “krym tse ukraina”, “ukraina tse evropa”, “putin huilo” i t.d. Tam vas budut slushat’, a vash bred tut- net)

daniel
daniel
4 years ago

Brits also live abroad .. ! Spain 400,000 in 2010 ..so it’s pure jealousy ! 🙂

Michael
Michael
4 years ago

You can’t blame Poland for the diaspora vote. Before 2011 Poland did horrible in the televote. What about that? Did polish people around Europe start watching Eurovision in 2014. I don’t think so. Although diaspora can
help countries do better than they should. For example Armenia finished
11th last year in the Televote. And
what about Greece? Until 2013 we had
diaspora helping us but since 2014
nothing. Did Greek people around Europe stop watching Eurovision? Again i don’t think so.Poland would
still have finished in the top 10 even
without the diaspora but not 3rd probably.

Fiddle_sticks
Fiddle_sticks
4 years ago

I cant speak for other countries but the Polish and Lithuanian diaspora is definitely evident in the UK. For the past three years the Polish and Lithuanian entrants have received the top 12-10pts in the televoting even though a lot of their songs have been forgettable. So while this shows that a lot of the Polish and Lithuanian people who have moved here are voting for their home countries it also shows that obviously not that many people here actually vote when it comes to eurovision. As for whether this was the case for the polish entry and this diaspora… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

PhysalisFranchetti :- It is hardly surprising that the public and juries do not agree, the way of voting is not consistent at all. Each juror ranks their Top 10 and allocates the usual points; the public just vote for their winner and can have 20 stabs at it. The Juries have a set criteria of 4, the public can vote for whoever they want for whatever reason. Staging and performance is too important for the juries in a song contest. I’d like to think the public vote for the best song or “entry package” at least. There are 205 jurors… Read more »

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

vitalina,
what’s up, honey? have they swapped English subject with Patriotism in you Russian school? how comes you learned how to say nasty things but have to use your lame Russian where no one will understand what you said? that’s not cool 🙂 or it was your goal to cowardly insult me like you Russian usually do?

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

Rather than Wiwibloggs being narrow minded, they should perhaps compare results to previous years and look at the bigger picture. Referring to Poland on German TV William said “Thank God for the Diaspora vote” without even looking at the data?? Serbia came 18th so not so relevant, but 11th in the televote was perhaps a correct result in my view? You only need to go back to 2015 to compare the televote results of Poland and Lithuania to see that things were totally different as far as diaspora is concerned. In the televote the public in 2016 35/41 countries (85%)… Read more »

ct_greece
ct_greece
4 years ago

I am realy getting tired of all this xenophobic BS coming from the british and irish media regarding polish and lithuanian migrants. Between 2004 and 2013, Poland failed to qualify to the final a total of six times. They were such a failure that they even withdrew in 2012-2013. Their only recent success was in 2014 and that was only because of the milkmaids. And this year playing on the ’80s nostalgia theme which proved to be wildly popular across Europe. It was in the televoting top10 in 34 countries – there is no polish diaspora in all these countries!… Read more »

Stan
Stan
4 years ago

Does anybody know how the ranking would have been last year with the new voting method?

Stan
Stan
4 years ago

Sorry, I didn’t want to offend anyone by forgetting the capital P 🙂

Anton
Anton
4 years ago

I think it is both diaspora and success with televoters overall. My mother loved Micha? even though our family has no connections with Poles. I think diaspora has helped in the West and it was culturally close for the Eastern Eauropeans so it turned out to be a beneficial situation. And why should we try to completely eliminate diaspora voting anyway?

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

Maru fr,
if simple question angers you, get anger management help. and math class would be great. you clearly can’t put together numbers if you say there’s more Ukrainians in Europe than Russians. 17% of Ukraine is native Russians and I’m considering ’em also as “migrants”, they are scattered not only in Europe but in all countries they occupied during last century. Not a single nation can beat Russians who in addition to their 140 mln citizens have millions scattered all over Europe.
so the question stays. how do you estimate influence of Russian diaspora on voting results?

PhysalisFranchetti
4 years ago

Separating the jury vote and televote was a bit like opening Pandora’s box – all the evils of the world came flooding out. The EBU made all the issues with televoting and jury voting really obvious….. If the jury and televote don’t seem to agree, we should also look at the jurors. It turns out that this year there were 120 male jurors and 90 women – that’s a 1/3 more men! (follow the link to see the graph). The distribution of ages across the jurors is also of great concern, because Europe has two population bulges (dates when lots… Read more »

MTD
MTD
4 years ago

In the case of Macedonia awarding Serbia the 12, it’s not the diaspora per se but the fact that Macedonia has really close links with Serbia, being in the same country before (Yugoslavia).

So, it’s not always about the diaspora but the neighbor relations (see Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland sometimes).

JayKay
JayKay
4 years ago

@Pieter, thanks for confirming and giving evidence that none of dutch liked Poland song and voted for it. 4 points from televotes last year and 10 from this year proves that Netherlands are nearly occupied by polish who have strange music taste and love long haired men singing ballads. None of dutch like it, really, none. Poor Netherlands…

Maru fr
Maru fr
4 years ago

Oxana You anger me already! Everywhere you mention Russia! STOP!
Ukrainian diaspora the MOST numerous! Plus Turks voted for your Jamala. And other migrants maybe…

JayKay
JayKay
4 years ago

I also checked that Poland must have also increased their population in Europe compared to last year, because lats year polish diaspora voted this way: Ireland – 10, United Kingdom – 10, Italy – 7, Belgium – 5, Norway – 4, The Netherlands – 4, Germany – 3, Sweden – 2, France – 1. Only 46 points… So emigration rates should be high in Poland, very high… (although it’s not enough to beat enormous lithuanian population in Ireland and UK 🙂 ).

Pieter
Pieter
4 years ago

I’m from the Netherlands and with the televote we gave Poland 10 points. I’m really sure nobody (dutch people) liked the song and performance, but we have a really high amount of Poland migrants. They probably voted 20 times each person so Poland would end high. This is one of the reasons why I don’t want that the jury goes away, I don’t want that Poland etc get in the top 5 every year just because the migrants….

Héctor
Héctor
4 years ago

Yes, they did. And the Polish venture to say they are affected by the juries. NO, you are saved by the diaspora, juries rank you fairly. The same to Serbia and Lithuania, though, both of them give a good show. To @Mandy, yes Poland has that large diaspora in several countries. About ‘Color of your life’ being listenable for a long time… I don’t really think so, it’s just dated. Also, as far as I know, J.K. Rowling’s husband is Polish (don’t know for sure, I read it!). Michal has a powerfull voice and a flamboyant look, but that was… Read more »

JayKay
JayKay
4 years ago

Lithuania got televotes in 2016 from these countries: United Kingdom – 12, Norway – 12, Ireland -12, Latvia – 8, San Marino – 8, Denmark – 6, Sweden 6, Estonia – 5, Georgia – 5, Iceland – 4, Albania – 4, Ukraine – 3, Moldova – 3, Cyprus – 3, Italy – 2, Montenegro – 2, Australia – 1. Last year Lithuania would have got televotes from these countries: Ireland – 12, United Kingdom – 12, Latvia – 8, Norway – 8, Estonia – 2, Georgia – 2. This means that Lithuania, which has a population of 3 millions, have… Read more »

Marc
Marc
4 years ago

-Poland benefits from diaspora but I guess Michal would have been top 10 anyway without that support. -Lithuania got always 12 from Uk, Ireland and Norway but they got points from other countries this year. -Serbia was just ridiculous because they only got points from friends and diaspora.. big dissapointment to that country, they shouldn’t even qualify. -Then we have Bulgaria, that got points from diaspora as well (12 points from Spain) and all their votw high for them but the song is being quite successfuk on charts, like Poland would have been top 10 without help but not top… Read more »

The Brightest Falling Star
The Brightest Falling Star
4 years ago

It’s a shame that the juries didn’t place Serbia higher, I thought that their entry had everything that a jury would ask for (great vocalist, powerful song with wonderful message, etc.). As for the diaspora voting, I think that it influences a lot the final result but I have a question: why did Poland place 15th last year in the televote and not 3rd like this year? Why were they in the bottom 3 of the televote in 2011 in their Semi-Final? Also, why did Lithuania place 11th in the televote in 2014 in their Semi-Final? The answer is obvious:… Read more »