Eurovision 2022 is over, and in the days following the Grand Final, like any other year, we take time to dissect through the results of the contest. Since 2016, part of that work is also to try to imagine the results we would have gotten if we hadn’t changed the voting system. This year, it is slightly more difficult than usual.
If you are curious about the methodology we used, we explain everything at the end of the article.
The first semi-final : Croatia overtakes Switzerland
In the first semi-final, we see little movement, but an important change in qualifiers.
Croatia would have qualified with the old system, taking the place of Switzerland. This is mainly because “Boys Do Cry” relied mainly on a strong jury support to reach the final, and was second to last in the televote. Being ouf of many national televotes’ top 10, it isn’t surprising that the song would lose support once the rankings are merged. Croatia, on the other hand, was 12th in the televote and 10th with the jury. With a more consistent and balanced support, Mia had this opportunity to squeeze in, which the new system “blocked”.
The same difference in jury and televote supports explains the fall of Greece from runner-up to the fifth position, with a weaker televote support.
The second semi-final : Cyprus is back, Azerbaijan is lost
While the second semi-final also has only one qualifier changing, with Cyprus taking Azerbaijan’s place, the old system would have been much more punishing than the current one.
Indeed, Azerbaijan would fall from 10th to 17th. That is from a last qualifier’s spot with a comfortable lead (20 points ahead of North Macedonia), to second-to-last.
This is actually because of how the old system would have handled the cancellation of six juries during the show. For five of these six juries, we have only used the televote to give points, in accordance with the rules used before 2016. The sixth country, San Marino, was fully discarded and did not give any points in our results. That is because it has no valid televote, and no valid jury results either.
Azerbaijan, just like Switzerland, only qualified because of a strong jury support. The aggregated results used to replace the cancelled juries reflected that jury support. With one country gone, and five replaced by their televote, Azerbaijan was bound to lose heavily, and so it did. For more details, we explain our methodology below in the article.
The rests of the results sees little change, with Australia’s drop also being explained by a disproportionnate jury support (2nd in the jury, 8th in the televote), like Greece in Semi 1. Finally, even in the old results, Sweden scored more points than Ukraine in its semi-final. This is mainly due to the higher number of voting countries in semi-final 2 : 21 againt 19.
A little reminder : what is the Old System?
The “old system” was the system used before 2016, when each country only gave one set of 1-to-8-10-12 points to the rest of Europe. The results from the juries and the televotes were merged into one common ranking for each nation.
The actual system we are using for these alternative results is the one used between 2013 and 2015, with the 2014 public rulebook used as an official source. Basically, the full rankings of a country’s jury and the full rankings of their televote were put together, and any tie between songs was broken by giving the song with the best televote the best position.
We recalculated the results of each semi-final and of the final this year, not forgetting to recalculate the jury rankings. Indeed, the way the individual rankings of each juror are turned into a common ranking changed in 2018. There was however one issue, or perhaps six.
The cancelled juries
During the Grand Final, we learnt that the votes of six national juries had been cancelled by the EBU, because of irregular voting patterns. With the current system, these votes have been replaced by the aggregated results from other juries. These “other juries” have never been publicly revealed but it is clear since 2019 (when the Belarussian results were similarly replaced) that the EBU uses juries from the countries sharing the same allocation draw pot. This explains, for example, why Azerbaijan and Georgia had the same jury results.
In the old system, aggregated results are unheard of, according to our research. When countries had a “jury failure” or irregularity, only their televote was used for scoring points. This is what happened in 2015 with Montenegro and North Macedonia. Thus, we have chosen to only use the televote of five of the six countries : Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Romania and Poland.
San Marino is an odd one : its televote is already an aggregation of other televotes, because San Marino does not have a national telephone network. As such, before 2016, only its jury was used, and in previous years we chose to only use the San Marinese jury to give points in alternative results. This year, with the jury being cancelled, and without any public rule considering the possibility, we have chosen to discard the San Marino votes altogether.
Note that in the second semi-final, this would not change the qualifiers. We have quickly estimated scores from possible aggregations around San Marino (aggregating only juries or aggregating the full rankings of the other countries from the pot), and North Macedonia would never get enough points to pass Cyprus.
We will be back tomorrow with the “old system results” for the Final, and a few surprises in it. In the meantime, what do you think of these results? Would you have prefered this qualifications over the actual ones? Which system do you think is better? Tell us in the comments below and on social media, at @escxtra !