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Testing Eurovision’s Rules Of Momentum With The Lisbon 2018 Results Written by on May 16, 2018 | 3 Comments

Last week, ESC Insight’s John Egan discussed the momentum required to win the Eurovision Song Contest from the Semi Finals, through the Jury vote, and into the Televote. Did Lisbon 2018 follow the theory?

Netta Barzilai’s ‘Toy’ has delivered Israel’s fourth Eurovision victory–congratulations Netta! Now the show is over the communty has been given access to a fair amount of voting data. And we can use that to test our two rules of Eurovision momentum. Let’s jump right in!

The First Rule: From Semi Final To Grand Final

Rule one notes that whichever top qualifier comes closes to doubling its score from the semi-final will win.

Our top two entries were in the same order in the first Semi Final. Netta’s Tuesday night score of  283 points was 21 ahead of Eleni Foureira’s 262 points. Eleni won that semi-final’s televote (Netta was only fourth), but Netta handily won the jury vote (Eleni was only 6th). It was the 78 point gap between Netta and Eleni in the jury vote that could not be overcome–even with a 57 point televote lead for Eleni in that Semi Final.

As for the second Semi Final, the results were almost entirely irrelevant to the Grand Final results. Norway won the second semi-final after performing first in the running order. Sweden were second. Sweden won the jury vote, but were 6th with the public. Norway were only second in the televote (behind Denmark), but were also second with juries. In the Grand Final Sweden managed 7th overall, thanks to being second favourite of the juries (253 points): the paltry televote score for ‘Dance You Off’ (21 points) prevented a higher placing overall. Norway fared worse: 11th with the televoters (84 points) and 16th with juries (60 points).

Our other Semi Final momentum metric was whomever comes closest to doubling their semi-final score will win seemed to hold up as well. ‘Toy’ earned a total of  283 points in semi-final one. ‘Fuego’ earned 262 points.

In the Grand Final ‘Toy’ earned 529 points – just short of the doubling figure of 566 points. ‘Fuego’ in comparison earned 436 Grand Final points – only a two-thirds increase, points-wise.

The Second Rule: From Jury To Televote Points in the Grand Final

Rule 2 asks how much momentum do you need from the jury scores to be confident of overall victory.

Suffice to say the voting sequence this year was gripping, confusing and intense! In fact, the hosts did not manage this section of the show at all well. They burned quickly through the televote reporting – stripping away tension and excitment and failing to allow commentators time to discuss the results as they came in (for example, Sweden’w low televote score and why it was game over). In fact it was too quick for me to input data into a spreadsheet as they went!

The Friday Night Results – Jury Leaders

After the jury votes were reported, this was our top five:

Rank Nation Jury Points
1  Austria 271
2  Sweden 253
3  Israel 212
4  Germany 204
5  Cyprus 183

There’s an 88 point gap from Austria to Cyprus and only a 29 point between the eventual top two, Israel and Cyprus. There was scope for Cyprus still to overcome that lead, were Eleni to beat Netta in the televote. And if Austria could hold on to a similar score from televoters as the rest of the Top 5, ORF would be hosting us once more.

The Saturday Night Results – Televote Crowns The Winner

Here’s the top five of the televote scores:

Place Nation Televote Points
1  Israel 317
2  Cyprus 253
3  Italy 249
4  Czech Republic 215
5  Denmark 188

Israel increased their lead over Cyprus by an additional 64 points. In fact, Israel and Cyprus were the only two entries to feature in the top five of both scoring components.  Based on the scenarios in our second article, this is a flat year–though not as flat as 2011, when the Azeri winning entry was the only entry in the top five of both scoring components.

Israel did break the 300 televote point barrier, but that was the last figure reported on Saturday night. So it had no predictive value.

A Note About The Path To Victory

It’s also worth noting Ewan Spence’s postulations as he discussed a song’s choice of path to victory. The theory postulated there was that you would need to pass 505 points to achieve victory at this year’s Song Contest. With a final score of 529, Netta snuck over the winning line with roughly 60 percent of the final score from televoters and forty percent from the juries – but a win is a win.

Although recent years have seen the second placed country also break the ‘fifty percent plus one’ winning line, Cyprus managed to (just) get over halfway to the line on the televote (253 points) but fell short in the jury vote (183 points) and failed to reach the 505 points mark.

Overall, our postulations held up well!


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3 responses to “Testing Eurovision’s Rules Of Momentum With The Lisbon 2018 Results”

  1. Jake says:

    how does Netta’s win compare to other winners? did she do as well as she could because the field was so strong? or is she one of the weaker winners in some time?

  2. markovs says:

    Unquestionably the weakest winner since 2011. A solid year with a decent field, very varied, with good staging. Made for a very entertaining final and an exciting result section.

    But any comparison of actual songs with recent years and I don’t think it compares too well. Lots of decent songs but, imo, not a single classic or real top quality song.

    Did a rough comparison with 2015 and could only scrape up 8 countries who sent a better song this year than in 2015. I struggle to see any of this year’s songs would have made the top 8 in 2015 and personally I prefer Golden Boy to Toy in 9th.

    A crazy, enjoyable year with amazing ups and downs but nothing to write home about from actual song quality wise.

  3. frabloble says:

    markovs: I like “Toy” quite a bit and think it is a worthy winner. However, 2015 (and 2016) were much better years than the last two 🙂
    I also love “Golden Boy” a heck of a lot. Best Israeli performance since 2005.

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