Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) from Copenhagen was hilarious as usual with acts from all over Europe and some more or less sensible gimmicks: a circular piano, a giant hamster wheel, a sea-saw, or indeed a beard and fancy dress.
The results of the ESC were only a little different to what the bookmakers in the UK had predicted before the event started. Sweden was seen as the favourite, followed by Austria, Netherlands, Armenia and the UK.
In the end Conchita Wurst from Austria won with 290 points in front of the acts from the Netherlands with 238, Sweden with 218 and Armenia with 174 points. The UK ended on the 17th rank with only 40 points. Perhaps the reason the English bookies had put the UK in fifth place reflected the bias of their clients towards their home country.
The points were given as a combination of a public tele vote and a jury in each country. But how big was the resemblance between the votes of the juries and the public? Is there much variance between countries?
The detailed voting data are available from the Eurovision site. Out of the 37 countries that participated in the voting, two countries, San Marino and Albania, had no tele voting and one country, Georgia, had no jury. In the remaining 34 countries Austria and the Netherlands made into the top 2 of the jury and public voting results if they were treated independently. Sweden made it into the top 5 of both as well, but the other countries differed.
So, how consistent was the voting of the jury and public for the top 5 in each country?
Well, in only 11 countries out of 34, the jury agreed with the public on more than 2 of the top 5 songs. In 25 countries the jury and public agreed on at least two candidates.
In some cases the differences between public and jury were so wide, that although a candidate was voted into the top 5 of the tele rankings the act wouldn't get any points. The top public winner in Belgium (Armenia), Ireland (Poland), Montenegro (Russia) and the UK (Poland) didn't get any points at all.
Still, getting the top favourites right seems much easier then any of the followers. Or in other words, it is really difficult to produce a hit, a song/act on which many can agree. But when you hear one, it is much easier to identify it as such, something you really like and believe others would like as well.