Eurovision 2006: stats, tidbits and fast facts

by John Egan 196 views

Lordi�s win with Hard Rock Hallelujah is noteworthy in several respects. So too are some of the other results from the 2006 final. It�s been a long wait for the land of Nokia: savour it Finland! But how did they do it? And how did the rest of the top five achieve their success? Who supported whom? Here�s our analysis�

For the record books
Finland is patient, if not persistent. Having first entered the Contest in 1961 they waited 45 year for their first win. That easily eclipsed the 30 year wait for Belgium’s first win (1956-1986) with Sandra Kim’s J’aime la vie. Portugal would have to win their first in 2010 or thereafter to break Finland’s record. Interestingly 2006 is the first time Finland’s made the top 5: Marion Rung’s 6th place with Tom, tom, tom (1973) was their previous best result. Onnitella Suomi!

Mr. Lordi is the first male vocalist-led act to win since Tanel Padar Dave Benton & 2XL won with Everybody in 2001. In fact, Lordi is only the fifth band to win. ABBA (1974), Teach-In (1975), Riva (1989)and Katrina and the Waves(1997) were the previous bands that won the contest. Neither Lordi nor Katrina and the Waves played their instruments live during the broadcast, however.

Lordi’s score of 292 represents 66% of the possible points available from 38 countries, a new record for total score. Ruslana’s 2004 reaped 280 points from 37 countries; it’s arguable these two wins are similar, if not identical. Finland received douze pointsfrom 8 countries (Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK), and lots of 10s (6, from Albania, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania & Spain) and 8s (also 6, from Belgium, France, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia & Switzerland). Only Albania, Monaco and Armenia gave Finland null points. It’s clear Hard rock hallelujah received strong support from throughout Europe.

Regional voting patterns: Yes and No
There are often allegations of regionalism skewing results in the Contest. This year Finland has shown how countries without any “voting friends” can win—and win handily. But the next three songs in the final tally all have something of a reputation for benefiting from voting blocs..

Russia scored 248 points, which would have been enough to beat Greece last year! Never let you go's score included 7 douze points (Belarus, Finland, Isräel, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine & Armenia), four 10s (Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria & Moldova) and four 8s (Cyprus, FYR Macedonia, Greece, & Romania). If you look on a map you’ll see that Russia had most of its high-end support from former Soviet republics. Among the seven former Soviet Union members, none gave Russia less than 10 points. But Russia did well across Europe, having received points from all but two countries: Monaco and Switzerland.

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s 229 points included more douze points than Russia (8, from Albania, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Monaco, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland & Turkey), three 10s (Finland, Sweden & Ukraine), and three 8s (Denmark, the Netherlands & Norway). In fact all of the former Yugoslav republics gave their top marks to Lejla. In terms of scoring in general, Bosnia & Herzegovina garnered support from all but five countries: Andorra, Estonia, Latvia, Malta and the UK.

Romania’s 172 points included douze points from Moldova and Spain. Additionally Tornero received four 10s (from Cyprus, Isräel, Malta & Portugal), but no 8s. But Romania did receive points from every country except Monaco and the Netherlands. Among its immediate neighbours, Ukraine gave them 1 point, Bulgaria 2, and Serbia & Montenegro 4 (in addition to Moldova’s 12). Romania clearly achieved their strong result without the aid of any voting bloc.

Sweden received 170 points for 4th place, but no douze points! However Invincible received three 10s (Albania, Denmark & Norway) and only two 8s (Andorra & Portugal). Looking at how its Scandinavian neighbours treated them,Sweden has good friends: 7 each from Finland and Iceland, in addition to 10 each from Denmark and Norway. But Sweden received nine 5s or 6s—and many lower values from across Europe. Six countries gave Sweden null points: Cyprus, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Ironically, Finland has often supported its fellow Scandinavian countries, only to be ignored by them when comes receiving votes. This year Finland scored very well across Scandinavian, receiving douze points from Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Denmark—a clean sweep! But this is so unprecedented no one could reasonably attribute Finland’s triumph to any sort of voting bloc.

Of the other top five finishers, all but Romania benefited from having strong support from friends and allies. All of them, however, also received votes from every corner of Europe. No country can win the Eurovision Song Contest without garnering support beyond its neighbours and friends.

Finland’s win is one for the record books. It shows that smaller countries can win the Contest—win handily—with a great song and performance. And as our first true rock-and-roll Eurovision Song Contest champions, Lordi have demonstrated that all great music is welcome.

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