At Eurovision 2016, the new voting system and the split presentation of jury votes and televotes made for one of the most exciting voting segments ever. The winner was not obvious until the very end, as Ukriane’s Jamala never led the pack during the jury votes, but surged to victory thanks to the viewers. Under the previous system, viewers usually knew which countries would do well midway through the voting. Now things are less certain — and much more dramatic. Here we look at the countries which slayed from the very beginning, and those who stole victory at the very end.
Since the introduction of the douze points system, only two winners have remained on top from the first set of votes to the last. This happened in 2009 with Norway’s Alexander Rybak, whose “Fairytale” was the hot favourite prior to the contest. More surprising was Denmark’s success with the Olsen Brothers in 2000. Not tipped to do well ahead of the show, they took the top spot on the leaderboard from go and refused to let go.
Other well-performing winners include Finland’s Lordi. After receiving 8 points from Slovenia, the first to present, they seized the top spot when Andorra, the second to present, awarded them 10 points. Back in 1982, Germany’s Nicole led for the majority of the segment, only relinquishing her lead once, to eventual runner-up Israel.
Norway’s “La det swinge” from Bobbysocks led the voting segment for the least amount of time — just 28% of the voting segment. The 1985 entry benefited from a lull in points being awarded to Germany near the end of the voting to clinch the title.
Another winner that fell short of a decisive lead was “Save your kisses for me”. Though the United Kingdom was firm favourite in 1976, Brotherhood Of Man’s cheery song only took the reigns halfway through the voting, and led for 50% of the scoring, but went on to become one of the most well-known Eurovision songs.
A few more countries that led for small amounts of time are Ireland in 1980, France in 1977, and The Netherlands in 1975. All led for less than 60% of the time, with the Netherlands only sitting on top 50% of the time.
- A famously open year, 2011 had many countries at the top at some point. Though Azerbaijan led for a convincing 68% of the time, five other countries held the top spot, including the United Kingdom, despite finishing 11th overall.
- 2005 saw the most countries sit atop the scoreboard. Despite Helena Paparizou’s “My Number One” being voted as the fourth greatest Eurovision song, Greece had a hard time holding on to the prime spot, as seven other countries were in the lead during the tense voting period, including 11th place finisher Croatia, and 8th place finisher Switzerland.
- There have only been four years in which the winner did not lead for the longest time — 1985, 1991, 1999 and 2015. Norway won the ’85 edition, and Sweden won the remaining three.
- No second place finisher led the voting between 2008 and 2014
- In 1984, the top four led the voting for the four highest time periods.
- The lowest finishing country to have been on top at some point is Ireland in 1999, and Greece in 2012. Both finished 17th after leading for one vote.
- In 1997, Greece and Malta were both on top, but neither finished in the top 5.
- Greece led every year from 2010 to 2013
- During the beginning of the voting in 2005, the top spot switched between six different countries in a row. It took until the 10th country before Switzerland defended first place.
- In 2015, Sweden was on top for 40% of the time, the lowest amount since 1999.
- In 1997, 2002 and 2012, Greece led after the first vote, but did not lead again.
- The winners of 2003 and 1988 snatched victory at the very last country.
- All of the top 5 led at some point in 1981, before Bucks Fizz secured the win.
- Malta has led a total of 20 times since 1975, but has never won.
- Yugoslavia led for over 90% of the voting in 1989.
Which winners do you think deserved to lead all the way? Let us know in the comments.