Editorials & Opinion

Analysing 12 years of OGAE voting: Why are the polls so similar to betting odds?

Take a journey down memory lane with us as we look back at the OGAE polls from Helsinki 2007 all the way through to Lisbon 2018!

🇦🇿 Baku 2012

The OGAE poll continued to increase in popularity as 35 fan clubs voted for their favourite entries ahead of the 2012 contest. Here are the top 15!

RankPointsCountryEntryEurovision Placing
1375🇸🇪 SwedenLoreen – Euphoria1st
2212🇮🇹 ItalyNina Zilli – L’amore è femmina (Out Of Love)9th
3211🇮🇸 IcelandGreta Salóme and Jónsi – Never Forget20th
4199🇷🇸 SerbiaŽeljko Joksimović – Nije Ljubav Stvar3rd
5164🇳🇴 NorwayTooji – Stay26th
6150🇪🇸 SpainPastora Soler – Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me)10th
7104🇨🇾 CyprusIvi Adamou – La La Love16th
881🇪🇪 EstoniaOtt Lepland – Kuula6th
978🇩🇪 GermanyRoman Lob – Standing Still8th
1062🇫🇷 FranceAnggun – Echo (You And I)22nd
1152🇷🇴 RomaniaMandinga – Zaleilah12th
1243🇳🇱 The NetherlandsJoan Franka – You And MeSF (15th)
1342🇷🇺 RussiaBuranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody2nd
1441🇬🇧 United KingdomEngelbert Humperdinck – Love Will Set You Free25th
1533🇬🇷 GreeceEleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac17th

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 40% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 80% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

In a repeat of 2009, Sweden‘s Loreen was the dominant force in the Eurovision results, OGAE poll and betting odds alike. Serbia was also found in the top 5 of each variable. Nevertheless, as we saw with Verka Serduchka in 2007, OGAE voters tend to underscore high profile novelty acts in comparison to their ultimate Eurovision success. While 3rd in the betting odds and 2nd in the contest, Buranovskiye Babushki only just scraped into the OGAE top 15.

The OGAE poll once again showed a remarkable similarity to the betting odds, with 12 countries appearing in the top 15 of both sets of rankings. However, both of them completely overlooked Azerbaijan and Albania who sailed into the top 5. Nevertheless, OGAE members can pat themselves on the back for recognising the quality of Estonia‘s entry which betting agencies hadn’t seen coming at all.

🇸🇪 Malmö 2013

39 fan clubs cast their votes for their favourite entries of 2013. In this instance, the top 15 finishers were as follows.

RankPointsCountryEntryEurovision Placing
1374🇩🇰 DenmarkEmmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops1st
2282🇸🇲 San MarinoValentina Monetta – Crisalide (Vola)SF (11th)
3269🇳🇴 NorwayMargaret Berger – I Feed You My Love4th
4195🇩🇪 GermanyCascada – Glorious21st
5177🇮🇹 ItalyMarco Mengoni – L’Essenziale7th
6147🇳🇱 The NetherlandsAnouk – Birds9th
7119🇺🇦 UkraineZlata Ognevich – Gravity3rd
8119🇬🇧 United KingdomBonnie Tyler – Believe In Me19th
9103🇸🇪 SwedenRobin Stjernberg – You14th
1083🇷🇺 RussiaDina Garipova – What If5th
1161🇦🇿 AzerbaijanFarid Mammadov – Hold Me2nd
1241🇮🇸 IcelandEythor Ingi – Ég Á Líf17th
1337🇬🇪 GeorgiaNodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani – Waterfall15th
1432🇮🇱 IsraelMoran Mazor – Rak BishviloSF (14th)
1530🇨🇭 SwitzerlandTakasa – You And MeSF (13th)

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 40% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 80% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

It was a repeat of 2012 in 2013 with Denmark easily winning the OGAE poll, the betting odds and the Eurovision final. Once again the OGAE poll and betting odds proved similar with 12 of their top 15s consisting of the same countries. OGAE voters didn’t find the same appeal in Azerbaijan‘s entry as Eurovision voters did, perhaps proving the success of Hold Me was as much down to the fantastic staging as it was the song.

Notably, OGAE ranked Valentina Monetta’s second attempt for San Marino as the second best song in the contest. While Crisalide (Vola) became the country’s best result at the contest, it still failed to make the grand final. Germany and the United Kingdom were two entries that appealed to OGAE much more than Eurovision voters. Perhaps the well-known names of Cascada and Bonnie Tyler created extra attention for those songs. The betting odds similarly overrated them.

🇩🇰 Copenhagen 2014

The OGAE poll continues to get bigger as 40 fan clubs decided who would win the 2014 edition of the vote. The top 15 were as follows.

RankPointsCountryEntryEurovision Placing
1354🇸🇪 SwedenSanna Nielsen – Undo3rd
2262🇭🇺 HungaryAndrás Kállay-Saunders – Running5th
3233🇮🇱 IsraelMei Finegold – Same HeartSF (14th)
4221🇦🇹 AustriaConchita Wurst – Rise Like A Phoenix1st
5162🇬🇧 United KingdomMolly – Children Of The Universe17th
6157🇦🇲 ArmeniaAram MP3 – Not Alone4th
7132🇳🇴 NorwayCarl Espen – Silent Storm8th
8111🇪🇸 SpainRuth Lorenzo â€“ Dancing In The Rain10th
9104🇬🇷 GreeceFreaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd – Rise Up20th
1079🇲🇪 MontenegroSergej Ćetković – Moj Svijet19th
1176🇮🇹 ItalyEmma Marrone – La Mia Città21st
1273🇩🇰 DenmarkBasim – Cliché Love Song9th
1335🇫🇷 FranceTWIN TWIN â€“ Moustache26th
1433🇮🇪 IrelandCan-Linn feat. Kasey Smith – HeartbeatSF (12th)
1531🇳🇱 The NetherlandsThe Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm2nd

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 4th in the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 67% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

Oh 2014, the year no-one could’ve predicted. Or could they? Well not quite, but the OGAE poll placed both of the year’s big surprise packages in its top 15. In contrast, neither Austria‘s Conchita Wurst or The Common Linnets from The Netherlands were considered amongst the top 15 favourite to win at the betting agencies. Both entries were praised for lifting the bar of staging at Eurovision. However, OGAE members wouldn’t have known what was to appear on the Copenhagen stage so all credit to them for spotting the quality ahead of time!

However, the OGAE favourite to fall at the first hurdle in Copenhagen was Israel. Mei Finegold’s uptempo dance-pop entry with a key change satisfied all the traditional Eurovision tick boxes and its appeal to long-term fans of the contest was obvious. Nevertheless, the appeal wasn’t there for the casual Eurovision voters as it finished next to last in its semi-final.

Our journey down memory lane continues on the next page…

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Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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