Eurovision 2006: Front Loaded in the Final

by John Egan 90 views

2006 was one for the record books in a number of ways. Finland won for the first time Armenia made a strong début.. Serbia & Montenegro got to vote, though they didn�t send a song. Only Greece has avoided relegation to the semi-final since 2004. And Europe overwhelmingly preferred a handful of songs over all the others. Here�s our analysis.

Thanks to the success of Lordi, our friends in Finland have already begun work on the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Helsinki on 10 and 12 May next year. So have we here at! No doubt Armenia are pleased to have done so well (8th in the final) with their début. After a tumultuous selection process got derailed, Serbia & Montenegro ended up not sending a song—though they were permitted to vote during both the semi-final and final. And with the poor result for Malta (last, with only 1 point), only Greece has avoided relegation to the semi-final since 2004.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the 2006 results from the final is how skewed—unbalanced—the final tally was. We’ve crunched the numbers, which show how a handful of songs were wildly popular, another few very popular, and the rest left well back.

Crunching the numbers: the basics

Each voting country awards 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10 and 12 points. That adds up to 58 total points award by 38 voting countries: <I>2,204 total points</I> awarded overall. If you add up all the points awarded this year they should—and do—add up to 2,204.However, the most a song can earn from any one country is 12, and no country can vote for itself. So the maximum points any one entry can receive is 12, from 37 (38 minus 1, itself) countries: 444 maximum possible total points for one song.

The top 6: Wildly popular

If we look at the top six songs from this year (Finland 292, Russia 248, Bosnia & Herzegovina 229, Romania 172 ,Sweden 170, Lithuania 162), they account for 1,263 points—well over half the total points available. Six of 24 songs therefore grabbed half the points! In fact, Finland, Russia and Romania each received points from 35 (of 37 possible) countries. Sweden was awarded points from 34, Bosnia & Herzegovina from 33, and Lithuania from 32.

The next 4: solid support

If we look at the rest of the top 10, support drops considerably, yet remains strong compared to most other entries Ukraine’s 145 (from 30 countries), Armenia’s 129 (from only 13!), Greece’s 128 (from 23), and Ireland’s 93 (from 29) round out the top 10 with an additional 495 points. Combined with the first 6, this year’s top 10 commanded 1,758 points—80 percent of the points available to roughly 40 percent of the songs!

Turkey and the rest

Sitting just outside the top 10 is Turkey. With 91 points (garnered from just 8 countries), they just missed the top 10. After Turkey, scores plummet: number 12 FYR Macedonia and Croatia both scored 56 points from 6 countries each. Germany and Norway are next, all the way back at 36 points each. Spots 12 through 24 shared 20 percent of the points available.

What’s another year?

Comparisons to the previous two large-scale Contests (with both a semi-final and final) show this year’s results are unusual. In fact, Greece won in 2005 with a score of 230—both Finland and Russia would have beaten them, and Bosnia & Herzegovina would have finished just behind. Malta was second with 192 points, Romania 3rd with 158—38 and 72 points behind the winner. In 2004 we had 3 songs that were wildly popular: Ukraine (280 points), Serbia & Montenegro (263) and Greece (252). Turkey was in 4th place (195), over 50 points behind Greece.

Finland’s win was massive; in a year when a handful of songs ruled the Contest. Will 2007 be similar? Or will Europe spread the points around more evenly? We will see…only 10 months until the semi-final!

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