Recap of Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Congratulations to Måns Zelmerlöw, who won the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden with “Heroes”! And damn you, Jon Ola Sand! You nearly gave us (and Swedish head of delegation Christer Björkman) heart attacks by making it look early on like Russia was going to snag the victory.

Christer Björkman

Christer Björkman (left) has ground his teeth to dust.

We are pleased with the outcome for two reasons. One, it’s nice to see after nine years of writing this blog, we’ve actually learned something. We went out on a limb  early for Sweden and subsequently dug in our heels. Our credibility is preserved!

Two, we would like to see Sweden overtake Ireland as the winningest country in Eurovision history. This is no offense to Ireland. Their success was well-deserved during the era when they dominated. However, the era we live in now is dominated by Swedish pop music. Even when Sweden doesn’t win, they win: just look at the names of the songwriters in the competition.

Let’s look at the results of our predictions.

Jen:

  • Sweden
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • Estonia
  • Australia
  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Romania
  • Israel
  • Belgium

Last place: United Kingdom

Chris:

  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Estonia
  • Australia
  • Russia
  • Georgia
  • Romania
  • Belgium
  • Slovenia
  • Latvia

Last place: United Kingdom

Europe:

  • Sweden
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • Australia
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • Israel
  • Serbia

Last place: Germany and Austria

Pretty good! We both picked the winner, and Jen correctly called 6 of the top 10 placements. It’s nice to have a year that flatters us!

Our both picking Georgia in the top 10 was not far off since Nina Sublatti finished eleventh, and only two points out of tenth place. But our pick of Romania was off the mark. We usually have at least one pick that goes off the rails, but man, we did not expect it to be that one.

Let’s start playing with numbers:

  • Sweden and Russia both passed 300 points, and Italy fell just shy of the 300 mark. That’s three songs that got more points than Austria did when it won last year.
  • There was a lot of agreement this year on what everyone thought were the top songs. Six songs got points from almost every country. Sweden and Italy received points from everybody.
  • Italy won the televote and Sweden came third. But Sweden won the jury vote and Italy only came sixth. This is the first time since the juries were reintroduced in 2009 that the jury decided the winner. We’re sure this will not go down well with a lot of people.
  • Israel finished 9th with 97 points but Serbia finished 10th with only 53 points, the lowest point total by a 10th place finisher in the past 10 Song Contests. That’s also a pretty big drop-off between 9th and 10th place. Again, the lion’s share of points went to just a few countries.
  • Germany and Austria both finished with nul points. Technically, Germany finished ahead of Austria because Austria performed worse in the televote, but we’re sure that’s cold comfort for the German delegation.
  • It’s the first time the defending champion country has gotten nul points, but at least The Makemakes took their loss well. Ann Sophie did too.

The double nul points illustrate that the worst songs do not necessarily finish last, only songs that for whatever reason did not resonate with voters. By the way, people of Germany and Austria, you all really need to embrace bloc voting. Grit your teeth and loop in Switzerland while you’re at it. They finished last in the second Semi and did not garner a single point from Germany.

Taking a look at the results of the two Semifinals, we found that there were decisively top 10 songs in both. Moldova finished 21 points out of 10th place in the first Semi, while Malta finished 10 points out of 10th place in the second Semi. We mentioned that Switzerland finished last in the second Semi. Finland finished last in the first Semi because juries don’t vote on a backstory, they vote on a song.

Stray observations from our Eurovision party:

  • On France’s backdrop: “Something better explode.”
  • On Israel: “They get super points!”
  • On Armenia’s costumes: “It’s Star Trek done by Joan Collins.”
  • On Norway’s Debrah Scarlett: “She’s a very emo Ariel.”
  • On Cyprus’s backdrop: “Roomful of stars, everybody drink.”
  • On Azerbaijan’s interpretive dancers: “I love everything about these werewolves. I want to keep them in my home.”
  • On Martin Grubinger’s interval performance: “Can I just say there is a serious French horn situation here?”

4 thoughts on “Recap of Eurovision Song Contest 2015

  1. I’m very interested to see how people are going to respond to the different winners between televoting and jury votes; I was hoping for Italy to win once it became clear that the top 3 would be Italy, Russia and Sweden, so this upsets me a little bit. Then again, I’d rather Latvia be in 6th place than 8th. Looking forward to your superlatives!

  2. I really like this blog and your comments! I follow it very carefully when it is Eurovision time. And you should have really gone to Vienna this time! This was my first Eurovision live (I was there for the first-semi final shows) and it was a great and unforgettable experience!

    For me it was crystal clear that the winner would be between Sweden, Russia and Italy. I gave nothing to Serbia initially, but seeing her live and all what she did with the audience I thought she would do a bit better though.

    Yes, the first time the jury decided the winner and the net is already flooded with people complaining about it saying they were not heard. The jury is needed, otherwise we would have had Italy and Switzerland, for example, giving 12 points to Albania just because of the diaspora… and they would receive many more points just because of that which would be really unfair. I do hope the rules will not change.

    Keep up with the good work, guys!

    Funny that’s only the 2nd time that the televoting and the jury didn’t agree. The other one was when Azerbaijan won because of the televoting while the jury had preferred Italy. So Italy involved in both disagreements and the Italians seem to have forgotten the televoting is not always favorable to them.

    • Thanks, Luiz! Glad you had a good time there. In re the complaints about the jury, the wounds for anyone rooting for Italy are still a little raw, so we won’t begrudge anyone who is upset. Generally, we think Eric Graf said it best on Twitter: “The juries and televote are there to curb the excesses of each other. Of course they’re going to disagree. That’s the idea.” We would be surprised if the EBU drastically change anything next year.

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