Kristian Kostov bulgaria eurovision 2017 russian naviband belarus dihaj azerbaija

Depending on your perspective, Russia has either withdrawn from Eurovision 2017 or been forcibly ejected. Regardless of your take, there’s a new question on the horizon: Which countries benefit the most from Russia’s absence? The path is now clear for another country to make it out of Semi-Final 2. And the incredibly large Russian diaspora vote is now up for grabs. Let’s take a look at this new dimension to the contest.

VOTING PATTERNS TOWARDS RUSSIA

We decided to look at the voting data of this decade so far (from 2010 to 2016). Russia has participated in every edition of the contest and has received a high amount of televote and jury points from former Soviet countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), as well as from countries with large Russian diasporas, particularly Germany and Israel.

Russia has received an average of 7.62 points from these countries each year since 2010, the highest for Sergey Lazarev last year in Stockholm, with an average of 11.1 points from these countries, and the lowest for Alexey Vorobyov in 2011 with an average of 5.3 points from these countries.

Of the total points given out from these eleven countries, 55% of all scores awarded to Russia have been above 8 points. The highest average came from Belarus with an average of 10.4 points awarded to Russia and the lowest came from Georgia with 5.1 points. We mustn’t forget that Russia and Georgia entered this decade whilst at war. But there is still a great deal of shared history and members of each nation’s diaspora living in the other.

WHICH COUNTRIES WILL BENEFIT FROM RUSSIA’S WITHDRAWAL?

Russia was originally drawn to perform in the second semi final in performance slot number three. Russia were to compete against their neighbours BelarusLithuania and Estonia as well as having Israel competing and Germany voting in this semi final. Other neighbouring countries in the first semi final are Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Armenia and Latvia.

BULGARIA

One of this year’s big favourites comes in the form of Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria. He’s currently second in the betting odds, owing to the quality of his entry “Beautiful Mess”, which is well-produced and delivered with vocal maturity that belies his 17 years.

Of all the contestants left in the competition, he has the strongest connection to Russia. Born in Moscow to a Bulgarian father and a Kazakh mother, he was raised in the city and rose to fame on The Voice Kids Russia under the guidance of Russian megastar and former Eurovision winner Dima Bilan.

He is a recognisable face and name within the Russian community throughout Europe and the lack of a Russian singer will only elevate him higher on the scoreboard. Sofia 2018 seems like an increasingly realistic outcome as May approaches.

BELARUS

Belarus’ NAVIBAND is the other country in Semi-Final 2 likely to pick up Russia’s diaspora vote. Being one of Russia’s closest neighbours in terms of culture, lifestyle and language, Belarus’ entry “Historyja Mahjo Zyccia”, performed entirely in Belarusian, has a catchy and memorable chorus and a great place in the running order (fourteenth out of eighteen countries).

It’s likely that all former Soviet countries and the large Russian diaspora throughout Europe will vote for this, elevating it from what was generally thought as a “borderline qualifier” into an entry that will more than likely squeeze itself into the final.

AZERBAIJAN

Despite performing in the first semi final this year, Dihaj from Azerbaijan could make big waves in the grand final.

Combining votes from the former Soviet countries, as well as the Russian and Turkish diasporas in Europe (and those are big), things could work in Azerbaijan’s favour and make “Skeletons” climb toward the Gods.

Do you think any other countries could benefit from Russia’s withdrawal from Eurovision 2017? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Jean
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Very well written article. It will be supportive to everyone who employess it, as well as myself. Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.

TheBG
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TheBG

As a Bulgarian myself I can fairly say that Russia hasn’t ever given us much points. In 2016 we received a total of 0 points from them. There just always exists some kind of hate towards Bulgaria from them. As for the Bulgarian diaspora they are many in countries like Spain, Germany, the UK, Greece and Ukraine(I checked in Wikipedia) but they don’t watch the contest and don’t help us a lot with the exception being last year when they loved Poli. The Balkan states(except Macedonia due to being one nation with us until the end of ww2) also never… Read more »

Eva M.
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Eva M.

The real loser of the drama will be Eurovision, if top 3 or 5 this year are all Western countries. It will send the wrong message and make Eastern Europe feel that it needs Russia to be successful in ESC… this can have long lasting consequences and bring further division and political voting in an already poliarized competition.

DeadlyAUS
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DeadlyAUS

@Zebb. Thanks ???? My post was already long so I didn’t think a specific answer to thread was needed since I’d given a general answer, but your invitation encouraged me to write another post so again thanks ???? I agree with Zebb’s earlier posts. I believe once we’ve seen Rehearsals we will have a better idea of who wins from Russia’s absence (besides Ukraine ????) and who possible contenders might be. I don’t think Russia would ever have won, but its absence means, I believe, that the points that normally go to Russia (and Russia normally gives which they will… Read more »

Zebb
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Zebb

@azaad – you’re right about FYRoM. The only arguable moment is that it hasn’t got solid chorus. But that’s my personal issue. I think both FYRoM and Bulgaria have universal appeal but a bit lesser than Bulgaria of 2016, as you pointed that out.

@DeadlyAUS – you’ve made great comment but you’re also welcomed to make your opinion on this delicate theme 😉

Nils
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Nils

This article makes me really sad. Diaspora vote is the main reason why Eurovision is not really taken seriously neither by the majority of people in Europe nor by the rest of the world.

azaad
Guest
azaad

@Zebb

Unless it’s a mess live (which it could be in a worst case scenario, as the song lends itself to the club rather than the stage, in a good way) Macedonia will qualify, although it will do well more with Western voters and juries than the country’s neighbours.

azaad
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azaad

@Marc

I think Bulgaria’s success last year came from selecting a former Eurovision participant (instantly gets a lot of hardcore ESC fan votes not going to Donny) with a great song that spoke both to the East and West.

azaad
Guest
azaad

I think Serbia are screwed. Apart from performing first, they’ve lost out on valuable jury and televote points. Furthermore, Austria will impress live, and Macedonia is probably the best and most Western friendly song out of the East. Russia previously insulated Serbia as a “so so” song from being directly compared to better entries, but since that’s gone, Serbia will look paltry compared to Austria and Macedonia. Plus, 2009, 2013…2017. They don’t qualify every four years!

DeadlyAUS
Guest
DeadlyAUS

Hi Everyone, I’m a long time WiwiBlogs comments observer, first time poster. ???? In my opinion, whilst the Eurovision Historical and Present Day voting blocks and voting motivations are well known and discussed AND it’s undeniable in my opinion that they can still have an impact on voting patterns at least sometimes, I believe there has been and is a growing trend in Eurovision towards a more simpler voting explanation. Recent previous winning Songs and Artists have brought the total package. The Song lyrics, music style and music composition have been meaningful and written beautifully with best genre audio transference… Read more »

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

i have no idea what’s going to happen but i’m so excited
like never before has there been such a voting gap where all the eastern european + caucasus countries can’t give 12 or 10 or 8p to Russia
going to be so unpredictable

Colin
Guest
Colin

I think nobody mentioned this, but for obvious reason, Austria and Macedonia benefit from not having to be right next to Russia. To extend, Malta also, as their ballad in now the first one of the genre of the night. Mind you, I think all three songs are better than the one Russia intended to send, but honestly, since it’s Russia, it would get a lot of attention.

George
Guest
George

Sofia 2018!

D
Guest
D

These are some of my three favorites this year so I would not object to this happening.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

@Polegend Godgarina – I can’t guess about Naviband’s possible success amongst westerners, I just wrote about possible support from neighbours in qualification.
Yet balkanians may sunk each other in 2nd semi, scattering their votes. Now FYRoM is already non-qualifier on betting odds but same time odds on borderline stay very close to each other.

v
Guest
v

Now I have made my final predictions pre-rehearsals, so excited to see how they will emerge in the weeks to come 🙂

In running order
Semi final one
Sweden
Australia
Belgium
Azerbaijan
Portugal
Greece
Poland
Iceland
Armenia
Latvia

Semi final 2
Serbia
FYROM
Romania
Hungary
Denmark
Norway
Switzerland
Belarus
Bulgaria
Israel

Good luck to everyone <3 greetings from Malmö

Sven
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Sven

Belarus benefites the LEAST with Russia’s withdrawal. 2x 12 points lost for NAVI Band.

I think the Western countries do benefit the most – Russia does never vote for countries like Ireland, Norway, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Jon Smith
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Jon Smith

SOFIA 2018 ????????????????????

Coryn
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Coryn

actually i rather think Russia will hack the voting somehow.. your theory with Bulgaria is ridiculous, Russia can make whatever country it wants to win, or end up last.. they are probably developing a plan as we speak..

Eyal
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Eyal

I think – and I might be wrong – that a vice-versa scenario might also happen. The whole very political ordeal can create an opposite effect, where this Russian-speaking diaspora might actually feel that they actually do not want to support the “Russian” candidate. From my knowledge of the Russian-speaking diaspora in my country (Israel) and in Germany, they are of course pretty tightly connected to Russian culture – but not necessarily to Russian *politics*. In fact, I know of many who find themselves nowadays torn between these two affiliations, feeling very Russian in culture but rejecting its inner and… Read more »

:D
Guest
:D

I’m about to throw a curveball at you all. If Greece manages to qualify, they will benefit quite a lot because the Caucasus countries (mainly Armenia) have given to Greece in the past, also remember in 2014, Belarus gave 12 points to Greece in the semifinal. Belarus will benefit despite losing the points from Russia as they are guaranteed the Ukrainian top points as well as a bit more recognition from Estonia and Lithuania. The Nordics in SF2 (Denmark and Norway) will probably benefit as they will now get the top points from Estonia because they’re now Estonia’s closest allies… Read more »

Hada
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Hada

Definitely Bulgaria (because of Russian diaspora), and western countries because Russia’s votes aren’t there to elevate other eastern countries’ scores.

Also, possibly Armenia to a lesser extent, since Artsvik was on a Russian reality show as well. I don’t see Azerbaijan or Belarus benefitting that much just for being neighbors.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I don’t think the top 5 is that obvious. I feel like it’ll be full of surprises, so Sweden, Belgium and France might miss out. I only see Italy and Bulgaria certainly making it, while I feel like Estonia is the dark horse of the year (but I might be biased bc it’s my fave).

Ali
Guest
Ali

I see some mentions of “Bulgarian diaspora” but I honestly don’t think that exists…..until last year, Bulgaria were doing very poorly in the contest bc the songs weren’t catching on. If there was really a strong Bulgarian diaspora voting, they wouldn’t have NQ 6 times before 2016. In 2016 the song was just amazing, and I don’t want to take away from its quality by suggesting it was boosted by diaspora voting :/

Robert
Guest
Robert

We can discuss it until forever but it will be Italy with the prize on may 13.. Bulgaria and Sweden to complete the top 3 with Belgium and France making the top 5.. at least I hope so haha although I think no country will beat Italy this year..

Winner Winnerrr chicken DINNER!!!
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Winner Winnerrr chicken DINNER!!!

I hope that Bulgaria won’t be benefiting from this because their entry is not so deserving this year. @Briekimichi Kristian has a good song, a beautiful ballad but thats it. His live performances were weak visually & especially VOCALLY. There is no way he should be merited for the win if Esc can be fair this year. The odds are showing him at being 2nd favourite; but how difficult is it for his record label which is really spending a lot on a major promotional campaign, to pour the dollars into the betting odds as well. Azerbaijan has done this… Read more »

Paul D.
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Paul D.

How will Belarus benefit from this? They will have less 20 points so they’re losers in this situation

catalo
Guest
catalo

The girl from Belgium can’t speak, nevermind sing. It will be between Bulgaria and Sweden.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Kristian would win because he has a good, good song. I do not think Russia would have gotten a lot of points with their entry anyway.

berkay
Guest
berkay

Although my favourite Azeirbaijan Bulgaria is likely to win more so I hope diaspora will vote for Bulgaria in final 😀 the best songs this year for me : Belgium Bulgaria and Azeirbaijan.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

The thing here isn’t only about the Russian diaspora, it always existed over the years. The thing is about all the countries and expecially these who are friendly to Russia (ex soviet countries mostly) and how they wil vote!
I believe Bulgaria will benefit from this situation, but hey won’t win. They’ll have a better position in the scoreboard than expected.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

@ Zebb – I feel like Belarus will be more popular among the Westerners. The fact that Historyja majho zyccia sounds so different from what we hear in the West makes it even more interesting for us. So Russia’s absence won’t affect it, the Russians don’t see that song under a positive light anyway because they want Belarus to be “russified” while NAVI are celebrating the Belarusian language.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Better: Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Baltics, Bulgaria, Poland, Australia, Greece.
Worse: Belarus, Israel.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

@ Marc – last year the Bulgarian diaspora in the West didn’t do anything. The people simply LOVED the song. Jeez, if an Eastern countries achieves a good result it’s not always because of the diaspora, y’all need to metabolize this concept.

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

Bulgaria and north-east slavic countries have nothing in common except of pra-language.They won’t benefit from russian diaspora unless Kostov will be announced everywhere as the guy with russian citizenship or as a Voice kids participant. They’ve also got neighbours in semi-final who are of almost same level this year so I assume a mutual share without clear leader in that region… Probably overall impressions and visual hooks will determine leader.
This year Belarus might gain some additional points from Ukraine and Lithuania in 2nd semi – case of language and/or old cultural ties that supposedly hidden in that folk truck.

catalo
Guest
catalo

This comments section is not about Eurovision, this is Yalta Conference 1945.
Who takes what from Europe.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I certainly hope none of these countries win. I don’t think their songs are strong enough.

Vytautas Landsbergis Junior
Guest
Vytautas Landsbergis Junior

Omg, this is hilarious to read some comments of delusional Russia’s sympathisers, as if their crappy opinion counted )))))

Vytautas Landsbergis Junior
Guest
Vytautas Landsbergis Junior

“Being one of Russia’s closest neighbours in terms of culture, lifestyle and language, Belarus”

What? Russians hardly understand Belarusian, they usually demand that Belarusians speak Russian, and call Belarusian “a language created by Poles”. On the other side, Belarusians and Ukrainians freely understand each other, so I guess Belarus would give 12 points to Ukraine, however, probably not this year, as Ukraine’s song 2017 is quite weak.

Savalan
Guest
Savalan

@ Polegend Godgarina – well said. )

Marc
Guest
Marc

I’ve said this since Kris was selected. Bulgaria wants to make a Rybak.

Last year Bulgarian diaspora in the West voted af.. I guess they’ll do the same this year.

That said, if Bulgaria wins due to diasora voting like Turkey 2013 is going to be an outrage.

And it’s awful and ridiculous to see someone writing that hopefully diaspora will push Bulgaria to the top. This is not what Eurovision is suppose to be about.

fikri
Guest
fikri

anyway i hope all the votes go to azerbaijan because it’s my fav ex-USSR song.

Bulgaria4Win?
Guest
Bulgaria4Win?

All countries are going to benefit cause Russia is almost an ‘automatic’ qualifier! But definitely Bulgaria is going to benefit the most which is good cause Kristian is my personal winner!!

catalo
Guest
catalo

This is not about diaspora, but about whole countries that vote for Russia = Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

fikri
Guest
fikri

guys this is too soon…

some of us need some time to grief before reading these kinds of articles. 😥

Möhrant
Guest
Möhrant

I consider Belarus to be a big loser from Russia’s withdrawal. Being in the same semi final, Belarus was guaranteed some high points from Russia.

I think the Balkan countries in this semi benefit the most as there is plenty of them to vote for each other and one less country to take some points off them.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

@ Sam – the Turkish diaspora around Europe doesn’t vote for Azerbaijan. Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria barely vote for Azerbaijan, while they always gave them at least 8 points to Turkey in televote.

Vanuatu
Guest
Vanuatu

Is more simple than all that. The russian diaspora who used to vote for Russia wont watch the ESC this year. In fact, im sure ESC 2017 will suffer a huge drop on viewers. – Russia will not be broadcasting. Thast around 15 mill viewers less. – Russian diaspora and any person who feels that ESC’17 is just a politized mess, or just feel simpathy over Russia and hate over Ukraine. – In Spain a lot of people are going to watch it on streaming, or simply not watching it, as a boicot for their national boradcast and the way… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

@ Daniel – what diaspora votes? They only qualified once between 2005 and 2013, their diaspora doesn’t help them at all.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Not when Russia would’ve given Bulgaria 24 points since Kristian was born in Moscow and participated in The Voice Kids Russia. Also, last year Bulgaria got more points from Western countries, so it’s not taken for granted that the Eastern ones will heavily vote for it.