The dust has settled. The crew have packed up and left. And 41 delegations have gone home; some elated, others deflated. The bulk of the competitors in this year’s Grand Final had to earn their slot through a semi-final. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting outcomes.
There were 18 songs competing in each semi-final and half of the prequalified countries’ juries and public also voted on who should qualify. Therefore, when crunching numbers from the semi-finals, the maximum component score for each delegation is 240 points: 20 delegations (you cannot vote for yourself) times 12 points. Or a maximum of 480 points when combining both score components.
Portugal clearly won the first semi-final and topped both score components. Their televote total was 197 points, receiving points from every country and 82 per cent of the televote points on offer. Average televote score of 9.85 points. Nine countries awarded their televote douze points to Portugal. Salvador’s Sobral jury support was not quite as strong as his televote support: 173 points, 72 per cent of the maximum jury score available. Seven juries awarded Amar Pelos Dois the maximum douze points. Every jury gave points to Portugal.
Aside from Portugal, however, there was little agreement between the public and juries: while six other entries (Moldova, Sweden, Cyprus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Greece) were in both top 10 lists, the ordinal rankings were mostly rather different:
Moldova was 2nd with the public and 4th with the juries and 2nd overall. Sweden was 4th with the public and 3rd with the juries and 3rd overall). Cyprus was 5th with televoters and 10th with juries for 5th overall. Armenia was 7th with the public and 6th with juries and 7th overall. After that it gets a bit messy. Azerbaijan was 8th with the public and 5th with juries and 8th overall: Greece was 9th with both the public and juries and finished 10th overall. And there was the heartbreak of Finland: 10th with televoters and 12th with juries, but their combined scores were only 12th highest. Remember: it is the scores that matters, not the rankings of each score component.
We also required two tie-breaks for this semi-final. (Un)Friendly neighbours Azerbaijan and Armenia had the same juries score, 87 points. Both also received a single douze points; however, Azerbaijan is ranked ahead of Armenia because Skeletons earned points from 15 countries. Fly With Me earned points from 14 countries. Cyprus and Sweden both earned 103 televote points, but Sweden’s two douze points trumped Cyprus’s one.
Bulgaria’s victory was wholly unambiguous. Beautiful Mess rocked the televote for 208 points, receiving points from every country and 87 per cent of the televote points on offer, for an average televote score of 10.4 points! Kristian Kostov received douze points from nine countries. Bulgaria’s jury support was nearly identical: 199 points with no jury awarding Beautiful Mess less than 6 points. Nine juries gave Bulgaria their douze points. It’s a remarkably high and consistent result.
Aside from Bulgaria, however, there was little agreement between the public and juries: only five other entries (Belarus, Hungary, Israel, Norway and the Netherlands) were in both top 10 lists:
|18||Malta||San Marino||San Marino|
Hungary was second with the public and 7th with juries for second overall. Israel was fourth with the public and 6th with juries for third overall. The Netherlands with only 9th with the public but second with juries for fourth overall. Norway were 8th with the public and third with the juries for fifth overall. Finally, Belarus was seventh with the public and ninth with juries for 9th overall.
Then it gets a lot messier. Denmark only scored 5 televote points (16th place) but their 96 jury points (fifth place) snuck them in at 10th overall. Estonia were sixth in the televote (69 points) but 17th with juries (16 points): they ended up 14th overall.
And we had double ouches too. Malta got zero in the televote: even 8th place with juries could not save ‘Breathlessly’. San Marino got nul in jury support and a sole televote point from Germany (the Ralph Siegel effect?).
Nine of the top 10 Grand Finalists were qualifiers: Italy (6th overall) was the only pre-qualified entry in the top 10. Four came from the first semi-final, five from the second. Australia was only 6th in the first semi-final, but managed 9th in the Grand Final—in both instances thanks to massive jury support. In the second semi-final Norway was 6th and Romania 7th: in the Grand Final Romania were 7th and Norway 10th—mostly because Romania racked up massive televote scores in both the semi-final (148 points compared to Norway’s 52) and Grand Final (224 for ‘Yodel It’ versus 29 for ‘Grab the Moment’).
(Source: YouTube/Orange Fresh)
Cyprus’s semi-final support level collapsed: from 168 points (103 public and 65 juries) to 68 points (32 public and 36 juries). It shows how much more competitive Grand Finals are compared to semi-finals. Similarly the Netherlands 200 semi-final points (51 public and 149 juries) dropped to 150 points (15 public and 135 juries). In other words, O’G3NE held on to more of their jury support: Hovig saw larger drops in both components.
When the jury and televote scored were synthesized to create a top 10 from each delegation, songs with skewed support either from juries or the public tended to get flattened scores—sometimes ending up with no points despite winning a televote. This current system treats both the public and jury score components equally. Some argue this rewards safe or unremarkable entries: I would argue that this precludes juror sniffiness to trump public appreciation.