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.

The best

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.

The worst

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmlXHo0eEp8

 

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.

Oddities

  • 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.

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(J)ESC Fanatic
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(J)ESC Fanatic

@Sam

It’s funny how many people claim that the results were rigged when they don’t like the winning entry 😛

Sam
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Sam

The fact that WiWibloggs repeatedly writes “after convincing victory of Azerbaijan” drives me up the wall every single time. I get an impression that you do this, as you have to be convinced by yourself they won fairly. You guys are trying to save the honour of the big corruption story which the contested faced that year. Try not to. YouTube views reveal the truth. Nothing against Azerbaijan..don’t get overexcited.

Avstriya
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Avstriya

Well, the actual televoting winners of 2014 to 2016, which were all massive winners in the televoting segment, would have led from the 2nd country to vote given the voting order and defended their led until the end.

Timbardur62
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Timbardur62

In 1977, Finland led after the first set of points coming from Ireland. Our sudden hype around Monica Aspelund’s Lapponia remained just one minute or so and she was “only” 10th at the end of voting.

Maya G
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Maya G

@Skin huh?

Skin
Guest
Skin

The winner of 1979 also snatched victory at the very last country, and technically also the 1998 winner – it just wasn't reflected on the scoreboard because the Spanish points weren't awarded correctly..

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

The winner of 1979 also snatched victory at the very last country, and technically also the 1998 winner – it just wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard because the Spanish points weren’t awarded correctly.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Excellent article, Daniel!
I really enjoyed reading it. It is not a coincidence that I think 2000 and 2009 are two of the best winners ever.

Avi Z
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Avi Z

I mean 12 points. not 20.

Avi Z
Guest
Avi Z

The winners of 1998 snatched victory at the very last SECOND… I didn’t know if Israel or Malta would be the winner until the very last 20 points.

Bjorn
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Bjorn

Indeed, they forgot Belgium in 86, leading from the second country on…

nn
Guest
nn

Yugoslavia was on 1 place from 3 rd to last voting in 1989, from 3 round of voting Yugoslavia had 24 points, 12 points from Israel who voted 2nd and Ireland who voted 3rd and Italy who voted first didn t gave any points to Yugoslavia that year. Interesting that Yugoslavia was 2 time in row on first place , in begining of voting in 1987 and 1988. They get 12 points from Norway in 1987 and be first in 5 round of voting, and in 1988 they get 12 points from Iceland and was on first place only in… Read more »

seriously
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seriously

Bobbysocks considered the worst winner ever?

What are your sources?

dave
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dave

“[…] is considered as one of the worst winners ever”… Excuse me, but by whom? I don’t think it is quite fair to write something like this, especially for a website which is very popular

cherry 3.14
Guest
cherry 3.14

The most dramatic voting was in 2003. Top-3 countries were constantly replacing each other during the voting. The final vote decided who’s the winner. The leaders were as follows:
Norway (after 1st voting country), Turkey (after 2nd voting country), Norway (after 3rd voting country), Belgium (after 4th voting country), Norway (after 5th voting country), Belgium (after 6th voting country), Turkey (after 8th voting country), Belgium (after 15th voting country) Turkey (after 16th voting country), Belgium (after 17th country voting), Turkey (after last voting country).

Basic
Guest
Basic

Hey wiwwiblogs

I would like to remind you that Safura has new song called “Baku’.

Plum
Guest
Plum

@Daniel
I’ve also paid attention that Australia is not being mentioned at all in the tremendous amount of articles by now.
Stupid political not-Russia-hosting juries voting maybe?

Goprake
Guest
Goprake

What about Italy 2011? Raphael ended second after having been low through the whole voting.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Hey, and what about Australia? They led almost all the way during the jury vote.
Stupid televoting…