Support ESC Insight on Patreon

From 1944 to 534: Ukraine Wins The Eurovision Song Contest Written by on May 15, 2016 | 3 Comments

Taking one of the closest victories in history, Ukraine’s Jamala won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest by a tiny margin of 23 points from Australia’s haul of 511 points. Russia took third place with 491 points.

THe new voting system promised excitement no matter the result, and the tension around Europe (and in the press centre) was electric. In the end it wasn’t needed – translating the victory gap to the old points gave Ukraine a lead of 12 old points over Australia, with Russia 10 old points behind.

Australia improved on last year’s fifth place with Dami Im winning the jury vote but failing to capture enough public votes to maintain the lead.

Russia’s dream team topped the televote, but the low scores from the jury left Sergey Lazarev too much of a wall to climb to find victory.

And there, sitting in fourth place, fan favourite Poli Genova on Bulgaria’s return to the Song Contest ahead of Sweden in fifth.

ESC Insight will be bringing you more news and analysis over the coming days. For now, we’re going to lie down in a quiet room, get our breath, and work out how we’re getting to Ukraine…

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (

Read more from this author...

You Can Support ESC Insight on Patreon

ESC Insight's Patreon page is now live; click here to see what it's all about, and how you can get involved and directly support our coverage of your Eurovision Song Contest.

Share This Post

Have Your Say

3 responses to “From 1944 to 534: Ukraine Wins The Eurovision Song Contest”

  1. Seán T says:

    Ok, so my favourite didn’t win BUT in a super competitive and tight race, this is probably the best result the contest has produced in many years. Not only has massive vocals over CGI and throwing money at the problem failed to win, but some of the most brilliant songs of the contest have come in the top 10.

    Though I was a cynic of the new voting system it worked so well and I was really impressed.

    I think the contest does need to go East but I didn’t want it to go to Russia. Ukraine as a past winner makes an excellent choice of location.

    As ever, Ewan, Sam, Ben and the whole team, I know I probably don’t react to ESC news as much as I used, but I’m always here. Best of luck preparing for the 2017 contest and Ukraine.

  2. Mark Butler says:

    It’s a lot to ask, but I wonder if it can be worked out what the final scores would have been under the old system. But I am glad you recognised how close it was. I sensed that myself, but much more mental arithmetic is required to work out if a winning margin is sufficient (It is possible though, if you subtract the televotes scores one by one from the total possible of 2436)

  3. Eurojock says:

    The win went to the best performance of the night and I am glad that a serious piece of art won over a song that would have set the contest back 10 years. (I mean Russia). In the end Russia could not get enough public votes to pull back their jury deficit.

    What also became apparent was the impact of the new voting system in (as you put it Ewan) cutting the elastic between the jury and televote scores. A year ago I can’t imagine the Lithuanian and Polish songs making the left hand side of the board. This is a concern because under the new system these countries could send any old rubbish (as Poland did) and still end up with a strong result – to the detriment of the credibility of the contest.

    ESC Insight Team, enjoy your night partying at the Euroclub. I’m off to bed.

Leave a Reply