Copenhagen 2014Editorials & Opinion

With the old 50-50 system, the results would be a lot different!

As everyone knows, Austria’s Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Rise Like A Phoenix”. Straight after the final, the EBU has released the full results of this year’s Contest, for the very first time! We have the rankings of each and every juror per country, and the full ranking of the televotes in every country separately, for both semi finals, and the final.

Seeing how much I love statistics and numbers, I wanted to work out what would have changed if we still used the old system (last used two years ago in Baku), where the juries awarded points for the top 10 in their opinion, and when they didn’t have to rank the songs from first to last. Converting all the rankings we got this year into points (1 = 12, 2 = 10, … 10 = 1, 11-x = 0), and in a combination with the top 10 in televoting in each and every country, I saw that the results would be slightly different, and that we would have had a different final, than the one we had!

The current point system gives an advantage to the songs finishing just out of the top 10 in either jury or televoting, leaving them with a score, and giving them the possibility to score a couple of points in the 50-50 mix. The system also gives a big disadvantage to the songs which finish last in either jury rankings, or in televoting, making it impossible for them to score any points.

Let’s start with semi final 1:

The Netherlands won the first semi final with 150 points. Using the old system, they would still have won the semi final, but with two points less. Sweden finished in second, but in the old system, they would have scored 8 points less, and would have finished in fourth! Hungary would have scored 4 points more and finished second, while Armenia would have scored 5 points more, and finished third. Azerbaijan would have scored 10 points more, and would have been 6th instead of 9th, pushing Russia down for a spot, and Montenegro down for two spots. This is where it starts being interesting – in the new system, the difference between the 10th and 11th was only a single point! In the old one it would have been 3 points. Portugal, who finished 11th in the new ranking system with 39 points would have scored 2 points more in the old system, and would have finished as 10th, and would have qualified for the Grand Final! San Marino, who finished 10th this year, had a big advantage with the new system, and scored 7 points more than it would have with the rules from two years ago! In the old system, San Marino would have been only 13th in this semi final, with Estonia finishing 12th, and Latvia finishing 11th. Check out the full scoreboard if the old system was being used here:

SF1

(click on the image to see in full size)

Let’s take a look at semi final 2:

Austria won the second semi final with a total of 169 points, one point less than it would have had with the old rules. Romania would still have been second, and Finland third. Poland lost a total of 15 points with the new rules, and in the old rules they would have been 4th in the semi with 85 points, instead of 8th with 70. Poland won the televotes in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and would have scored 7 points in both countries, instead of scoring 2 in Ireland and 4 in the UK, and they would have finished 4th, and not 8th. Norway would have finished a place lower, with the same score. Switzerland, Belarus and Greece would all have dropped a place as well. Malta would still be 9th with the exact same score, while Slovenia would remain 10th, but with 7 points less than they scored with the current rules! Macedonia scored in three countries only in televoting, but only two countries had Macedonia outside of their top 10 in their jury results (with the old rules), and they would have been 11th, and only 3 points behind Slovenia. Check out the full scoreboard of the old system here:

SF2

(click on the image to see in full size)

And finally, the final:

Austria won this year’s Contest with a total of 290 points, and got points from all but four countries (Belarus, Armenia, Poland, and San Marino). If we used the old system, Conchita would have won with 302 points, scoring points in each and every country! Poland, which normally finished 14th, but with the old system would have been 7th! This is due to the high televoting results for Poland in many participating countries, but the overall jury ranking was low enough to cancel the televote out (even in the countries where Poland has actually won the televoting – see for example the United Kingdom and Ireland). Azerbaijan‘s Dilara finished 22nd with 33 points, but with the old system she would have been 13th! Even though she was rather low in all televoting results, she had quite a lot of support from the juries. It was the same cancelling out of the rankings that cost Dilara many points (same as for Cleo and her Slavic Girls). Romania and Finland would be in the top 10 in the old system, while Norway who finished 8th would have been 11th, Denmark who finished 9th would have been 12th, and Spain who finished 10th would only have been 17th! Check out the full scoreboard of the final with the old system results:

Final

(click on the image to see in full size)

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