Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Melodifestivalen 2012 Starts Thursday!

Like many of our Eurovision Friends we are just uber-excited to say that on Thursday. But  is so much to look forward to? Well we think yes there is and before I hear the songs and become very biased (as our readers will see).

The Return of The Moniker:
Last year The Moniker came to the fore despite coming to the final via Andra Chansen (Sorry if my Swedish spelling is wrong!) He wowed us with his song Oh My God! and we are very much looking forward to his entry.

We also should mention we look forward to Loreen and Afro-Dite but mostly to see what their song are like. Loreen could have something good given that Thomas G:sson is involved.

What else? Well we in the other semi-finals we like Molly Sandén and Andreas Johnson and (to a lesser extent Danny). Love Generation will be a high on the list but most importantly:
But what we cannot fail to mention is all the other artists. There will be some great songs and artists that I have never heard of before because that is what Eurovision is all about!

Another Eurosong Finalist Announced!

According to the Irish Times the 4th act in Eurosong is Maria McCool, with the 5th to be announced shortly (my sources tell me tomorrow). Less than 10 days from the official playing of the songs we know that the other 3 finalists are Jedward, Donna McCaul and Una Gibney and David Shannon.

What is most interesting about all the declarations is that the last two came through the Irish Times rather than RTÉ. This is just a little strange. Anyway we look forward to the Mooney show on Thursday week.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eurovision Sabermetrics: Critical Reaction

I'm fully aware that some may find this article a bit heavy. If there is anything you are unclear on please feel free to get in touch.

Over on EscInsight they have lanuched a considerable debate on their Eurovision Sabermetrics. The application of sabermetrics (normally seen in baseball) to Eurovision. This debate got going today with Elaine Dove's excellent article on ESCInsight. I aim to strengthen her argument by looking not at the emotion of Eurovision and its songs but by looking at how difficult to get Eurovision predictions right and discussing the limitations of how they went about figuring out Sabermetrics. We are not here to undermine their work but to give the health warning that comes with looking at these things. I would also state that I am discussing this under the principals that are learned in management, management science and technology and largely focus on arguments from a decision analytics. Different people may use different concepts and ideas to demonstrate similar things.

The first point is the limitations of computers. While it may seem all very well that we can input data into a programmable machine and come out with answers we cannot be completely sure that those answers are completely correct, particularly when we have to balance many factors as we do in Eurovision. In a documentary by the BBC All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace (Episode 2), it discussed the way computers were perceived in the 1950's when it was thought that the whole world could be broken down into logical systems that could be analysed by computers, there by eliminating all of the randomness in the world. However they discovered that human behaviour itself was totally random and decided that computers could not do what they thought they could. Similarly in Eurovision we really don't know for sure how people will vote. As this is something that is a part of human behaviour we believe that it is ultimately random.

Smart people will point out that Sabermetrics work in baseball so why not Eurovision? Well, in my view Eurovision is to rare an event and too changeable/random (in terms of competing countries, song styles, combinations of countries and people musical tastes) that we can properly analyse it to the level that we can predict 10/10 songs. (I actually think that it might be possible but not without knowing all the songs.) Also Sabermetrics of a baseball team would be more constant over a shorter period of time as players stay the same. Countries in ESC don't actually send the same singer 3/4 times in a row and thereby comparisons are harder.

The second point is about how we make decisions. In something as complex as picking who will qualify for the Eurovision song contest we must weight up different aspects. As ESCInsight have not explained the weights used for their selections we assume that they are largely the same. The two areas the stated they focused on was voting history and relationships.

What are weights in decision making? Well imagine if you had just two pieces of data about a country qualifying. The running order position gave the song a 0.2 chance of qualification and the countries history gave it 0.4 chance. Put together it would give the country a 0.3 chance. However if you thought that running order was twice as important as history you would give them weights of 2 and 1 respectively which would actually only give the country a   0.26 chance. This is a VERY simiplistic model purely to demonstrate how this works. I believe that these weights are ever changing and cannot be fully determined. (I do accept we can get close to determining them).

There also is the problem about how we go about using historical voting patterns in preparing these statistics, some would say all historical data from, say, 2004 is useful. Others would say only after 2010 is useful because of the jury/public mix. Others could argue that data from more recent contests could be weighted more heavily than other contests, while still taking them into account.

Overall I think what is critically missing from ESCInsight's Sabermetrics is a description of how it was calculated and/or the resulting figures that came out of the program. I respect what they are trying to do but the primary aim of this piece is to raise the point that there are a HUGE number of factors (some of which I have pointed out) which determine how a song will do. There are a variety of ways with which these can be interrupted and how we come up with statistics for Eurovision is debateable. Most importantly: EUROVISION PREDICTIONS ARE AN ART NOT A SCIENCE!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Surprisingly Entertaining Song. Denmark: The Review

I think it was a little surprising for fans to see that Soluna Samay is to go to Eurovision for Denmark. In my opinion this was a little more surprising given that she was 6/1 before DMGP but odds are not everything. When I first heard this song my reaction was to skip onto the next one. It was very anonymous and didn’t really stand out. However I did note in my initial review that it would all come down to the live performance and it worked. The song came to life on stage, from the various backing singers and that girl playing the drums the whole song just seems to come together as a whole and be the best it can be. The staging of the song is an integral part of its wonderfulness. The staging must be continued to Baku but I don’t know if they will be allowed to keep the falling leaves.

Overall the song is high quality, and has huge potential for Eurovision. Every year since about 2008 the Danes have sent a song which is very radio friendly. This has led to very strong placing in the last two years. In my view this is probably going to continue.

Fan reaction to this song is that it is good but there have been many comparisons to Anna Bergendahl. This reaction is justified. The songs style is similar. However in response I would argue that it is more mainstream than Anna’s song and the staging is will make it more memorable. I think Soluna is less likely to be nervous on the night and her passion for the song which she discussed with escXtra will carry her into the final. Anna’s song was different from what we normally would expect from Sweden while this is normal for Denmark.

Verdict: On a personal level I loved this song after about a week of listening to it. It is not a good thing that it is a grower rather than instant but I tend to be slow to recognise songs that I really like. While I don’t like saying this at this early stage I reckon that this could come as high as second place.

Grade: A

Girly, Pink and Folk Rock

This was another busy weekend in National Final season. So lets start the bulletpoints:

  • Norway held their second semi-final and surprised us by sending Malin through to the final with Tommy Fredvang and Plumbo. Her song is very girly and camp; it was not very good vocally but I think that this is just fabulous. This was badly predicted by us. Plumbo we saw coming and still think that we are expecting to see them in Baku. Tommy we didn't expect but the staging was simply wonderful even if he looks like he comes from Take That. Though Rikke Nordmann didn't make it through we suspect she could be in the running for the jury wildcard.
  • Iceland held the last semi-final which saw Greta Sálome & Co. go through to the final with Magni Ásgeirsson. While I am not  a fan of Magni's song, I really liked Greta & Co. In addition the jury wildcard annnounced was as Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld who I was never overly impressed by. I had hoped they would give the wildcard to Íris Hólm.
  • I'm not paying any attenion to what is happening in Hungary so I will let The EscInsider fill you in. (She's the most objective of Eurovision Bloggers out there.) Our review of the songs is here.
  • France revealed their song today and you can watch by looking at the post below this one. 

France's reveals song!

So today we heard the 5th Song of ESC 2012. This one comes from France and is sung by the noteworthy Auggun.

All we will say for the moment is that it is very French. (That is not always a good thing)

Saturday, January 28, 2012


We have just heard that Una Gibney and John Shannon will be the third act in Eurosong 2012 in Ireland. We are an Irish blog and have never heard of them. This really is leading me to believe the idea that RTÉ are going to ensure Jedward go to Eurovision.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Exciting Weekend Ahead - And I'm Not Around

So from the top this weekend:

Finland hold their first show of UMK - can't pronounce what it stands for. I never was big into talent shows of this nature when it comes to Eurovision, so I'm not put out that I'm missing it.

Norway - Semi Final 2 tomorrow evening. While I may not be watching I will be supporting PLUMBO who I think are simply excellent. Minne-Oh and Malin are also favourites of mine. I think there is a good chance that they will all get through but I would be prepared to bet that Rikke Nordmann may get in over Malin. You can read our review of Semi 2 here.

Iceland - Iceland's third and final semi-final is on Saturday, we are hoping to see GRETA SALOME go through to the final with a second song. I can't call the second finalist but we are sure the later will make it  through. Our review of the show is here.

Hungary holds Semi 1 tomorrow also. We are unimpressed with their songs so far and don't particularly look forward to it. Our review of their songs is here.

Finally France will present their song on Sunday (16:00) from the bit that we heard of the song we are largely unimpressed with it.

While I may not be at home I hope to be on Twitter a little bit over the weekend and will try my best to see the results and have a full piece of reaction by Sunday evening.

The Funnies

You know the way many newspapers (maybe not the FT) publish a couple of funny stories each week just because they are funny. But this is arguably the funniest and strangest story about the Croatian Eurovision Participant Nina Badric. You can read the article here.

All I shall say is that I'd love to see the luck on the husbands face!

Anyone know has any done this before?

Traditional Folk, Racism and Controversy...and that's just one song. Norway: Semi-Final 2 Reviews

Norway holds semi number 2 on Saturday night. So as usual we are here to the review songs.

Cocktail Slippers - If this was a normal country I would be writing about how strong this song is, and yet in MGP it seems a low quality song. There is a lack of orginality with this pop song. There is better in the compeitition and I think that this has a very slim chance. Grade: C-

Isabel Ødegård - Sadly this is another ballad that will not stand out at MGP. And that's before I realised that it was singing second in the semi-final. It still is pleasant but that is just not enough at this stage. Grade: C-

Tommy Fredvang: This is not a rock song it is more Disney Pop/Rock and is clearly on the pop song of this argument. The Lyrics are a little poor but that can't really be helped. It seems a little repetitive which is hardly a good thing either. Presentation will be everything, but I still think it is ok. Grade: C

Rikke Lie - So what does the other Rikke have to offer, well her song is more what I would expect from MGP. It builds all of a sudden and does not ever try to be overly balladish. I think it is nice but that's all. If it should not make the final, well, I'm not going to sit up all night cross about it. Grade: C

Malin - And the award for closest song to the Hello song goes to……. This song is contempemory that is for sure. However I think that it is good, but is not for multiple listenings. It may be a little over technihcal and manufactured. This is a shame because I think it actually has a lot of orginality to it. Grade: A-

Plumbo - Plumbo is quite a controversial band and nearly got thrown out of MGP for not watching their mouths. The song Ola Nordman is a very strong folk rock song. I am a huge fan of the folk rock that does appear in the Nordic selections and this is simiply excellent. It really sits there and just performs itself. In my view it is the second best song in MGP this year. Love the tin whisle by the way. Grade: A+

Minne-Oh - A highly innovative song. I'm not sure why there is the level of disco in it. Is she trying to cover up poor vocals? I still like it and while I think it could be a  little more dramatic it is still going to be easy to swallow on the night. Grade: B

Rikke Normann - In my view there is such a thing as to much mixing and beat in a song. This is a prime example of it. The song lacks a real character. Given Rikke's great performance with Aste last year I'm expecting good things from her this year and suspect she will deliver. Grade: C+

So we hope to see Plumbo going through to the final. We would also like to see Malin and Minne-Oh in the final.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Part of French Song Online

Part of Anggun's entry for France in this years Eurovision Song Contest is online now on Amazon.fr. You can listen to it here. Full review will be after we hear the full song on Sunday.

News Flash (Again)

Our usual news flash which involves bullet points, condensing the news into bite-sized chunks. Here we go....

  • Rambo Amadeus will sing "Euro Neuro" at ESC for Montenegro.....that should give something to laugh about.
  • If your looking to laugh at something now, Georiga only recieved 13 songs for their selection. Last year they had 50 and sent Elderine....imagine what crap they will send this year.
  • Ireland will announce their candidates for Eurosong shortly (I expect by Monday) and the songs will be revealed on the Mooney Show on RTÉ Radio 1 on Thursday 9th February - More information as it comes.
  • According to nicerodds.co.uk Denmark are the early favourites to win ESC 2012. 

A Pretty Good Draw For Ireland

Today the semi-final draw took place in Baku. In my view this draw is not overly important in the grand scheme of things. Therefore I won't go on and on. You can see the results here.

Overall this has been a relatively good draw for Ireland. We are in the second half of the smaller semi. However we are missing some of our key supporters such as UK, Sweden, Norway, Malta. On the other hand we do have countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Latvia and The Netherlands on our side.

In semi-final 1 Romania, Russia, Denmark, Greece and to a lesser extent Israel, would all have very good prospects of reaching the Final. However it is notable that while many countries have some of their closest neighbours in with them as you look at the draw for longer you see that there will be quite a lot of points floating around without any real place to go.

In semi-final 2 There are quite a lot of countries with a history of qualifying and I think this could like last year's intense first semi-final. The high number of Balkan countries could lead to some very interesting results and I think that despite what people think by the time jury votes are taken into account we will see very surprising results from semi 2. Ukraine, Sweden, Turkey and Georgia should comfortably make it over the line.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Race To Eurovision Continues

As we look across the Atlantic and see the GOP race slowly getting into the swing of things I think in a similar way Europe has started to select its songs for Eurovision.

Tonight saw Cyprus pick A Song For Ivi. To no ones surprise they picked La La Love.

I think that the decision to not perform the songs live will impact on how Ivi is perceived by fans. When her songs first appeared online they were a breath of fresh air in a slow starting National Final season. Now they seemed just a little average.

In other news the EBU have unveiled their updated website for 2012, we quite like it, you can visit it here.
We are aware that the draw also was today and I will publish my reaction to that later this evening.

So where are we now?

Selections Completed: 4/43
Selections in progress: 5/38 (remaining)
Next Song due to be selected/revealed: France -29th January.

We really now are in the thick of national finals season. We expect that every week we will now see another song picked.

EBU selects venue (finally)

The EBU selected The newly built Crystal Hall in Baku as there venue. It will be able to seat 16000 people for each show. Jon Ola Sand confirmed the venue saying the EBU was "excited" by the prospect of bringing Eurovision to a brand new stadium.

And Now For Something Completely Different

We are trying to get together a page of fans hopes and reviews of songs in the Cypriot national final. (We will publish anything that is sensible). Please send us your thoughts


OR just leave a comment
OR follow us on Twitter: @besteuroblog

The Odd Mix: Hungarian Reviews

This year Hungary opted for a national final format of competition, which surprised me just a little not because the held a national final but the rather strange bunch of songs they put together for it. But this post is already to long so I shall begin.....{I don't know the which songs are in which semi-final by the way}......

Caramel - Maybe it's just me but I don't go for the Hungargian lyrics here. This is so boring in comprision to the song I just heard from MGP. However I will respect professionalism here. Grade: E+

Kállay Saunders András - In spite of the strange opening this builds into a pleasant song. The I Love you is a bit repetitive and unorginal but the music to the song is good. I don't like the rap but overall this is pleasant. Grade: D+

Anti Fitness Club - A bit average but anyhow. Grade: D-

Nika - A slow builder but I think this sounds like it is the most likely to go to ESC. I like this one. Grade: B+

Compact Disco - This song is very modern sounding. The verse is good. This could look well on a stage for the national selection. Grade: D+

Dancs Annamari - This is not schlager but it does it's best. The beat in the background is pretty distracting but could look good if there was on stage. Grade: D-

Gina Kiss - This is a gentle ballad with a female singer (this appears to be a motif of the national final season so far). However there is just something extra that works and makes this song stand out from the others. Her confident vocals are impressive. Grade: C-

Linda Király ft. RH3 & Pras - I am not entirely sure that the song I am listening is the right song but no matter. This is a very modern song and is completely different to many of  the songs that went before it. The rap works well in the the song. Grade: C-

Tibor Gyurcsík - This sounds just a little out of place here. The sound is a little old fashioned. We have heard it a lot in this national final season. I still like it but I don't think that will pull it through to Eurovision. Grade: C-

Juli Fabian & Zoohacker - Very modern song once again, the song develops into a more fast paced song but does this so gently you hardly notice. The vocals are intergral to the song and would need to be excellent on the night for this to carry. Grade: C-

Attila Kokény & Tamara Bencsik - While this sounds like an attempt at Running Scared part 2, it is weaker, a lot weaker. The Hungarian lyrics are not fully doing for me here. Grade: D

Monsoon - This is modern sounding and could do well at ESC but there is something that I just cannot figure out, but I don't love it as I should. Grade: D-

Sophistic - Not that we are big fans of critising females, espeically three rather good looking ones. I think that this song is just a little generic. It doesn't have the power that we need for a pop song to stand out. Grade: D+

Renáta Tolvai - At the start of the song I thought we had a Jungle Book  remake on our hands. (Not that that would be a bad thing). I like this one. It straddles the line between overly pop song and dull pop song well. There definitely is going to be some strange theme with this song. I wish I could understand the lyrics. Grade: B-

Tóth Gabi - The problem with this song is it is very good but there will be a huge tempeation to oversing it. The overstrong choruses might not play well to the ESC audience. Grade: B+

Krisz Rudi - A very orginal jazz  song. I like this it is a bit strange but nevertheless it is still good. Not sure how it might stand out in the final. Grade:C-

Gallusz Niki & Vivy Márton - This is a pleasant song that should stand out in it's semi-final but I can't help but think that this would have struggled in ESC in 1995. Grade:C-

Heinz Gabi - A very pleasant summer song. This might struggle in the semi-finals because it sounds a little out of place for a winter competition but at the same time I think that this may be the most apporperate song for ESC in the summer. Personally I really like this. Grade: B+

Pély Barna, Pál Eszter & Pál István  - A more traditional approach to the Eurovision Song. I don't to know if this actually will stand out to the Hungarian people. Grade: C

Puskás Péti - Not a big fan of this. It doesn't appear to go anywhere. Grade: E

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quick News Reaction

A lot of news has reached our desk over the last two days so I am going to quickly run through it.
  • France will present their song on Sunday January 29th i.e. this Sunday. The song is understood to be called Echo. It will be presented on a show at 16:00 CET (15:00 GMT). I hope to be around for it and look forward to it. 
  • Portugal have announced their composers and singers for Festival Da Cancao (sorry for English keyboard settings). You can see these here.
  • Croatia will present their song on 18th February. Due to the busy nature of that day (Italy is expected to present their Eurovision and Latvia hold the Eirodziesma final). We sincerely hope she gets it done early in the day.
  • Ukraine have changed their national final date to 18th February. If that's all they change this year it will be a shock. 
  • On behalf of The Best Eurovision Blog, I would like to say I am sorry for the mistakes in our reviews of the Hungarian national final the post has been removed and I will post a new one containing all of the songs tonight/tomorrow morning.
  • The Semi-Final Allocation Draw will be held tomorrow (afternoon) I will keep you posted about it. Make sure you are following on Twitter @besteuroblog and on the blog. 
  • Cyprus will hold their national final tomorrow (Wednesday) at 20:00 CET [I think]. Read our review of the Cypriot national final here.

Iceland Semi Final 3: Review

Today we bring our reviews of the Icelandic Semi-Finals to a close with a review of the third semi final.

Greta Salome, Heida & Gudron Árny - Greta Salome II, Return of Greta; Heida II, etc.: Who saw it coming? This is one of my favourites from Iceland and should qualify for the final unless the powers that be try to stop it to prevent one artist from reaching the final with two songs. We have seen from earlier that all the artists are able to deliver vocally and I think this may be even slightly better than their other songs. Grade: A-

Herbert Gudmundsson - A nice pop song with a great chorus. Difficult to say how this is going to do. Really like this. Grade: B

Íris Lind Verudóttir - While there is no shortage of female sung ballads this year I think that this has a very distinctive sound that sets it apart. I don't know if this will make the final. Grade: C

Magni Ásgeirsson - A strange starting song that builds into something that you weren't quite expecting (not sure if that is a good thing). Parts of the song are really good but there are bits of music when he is not singing is not exactly keeping in line with the song and is a little surprising. Grade: D-

Svenni Thor - A mysterious song that’s draws you in and then builds well. Not every part is perfect but it has a nice chorus. Very listenable. Grade: D+

Monday, January 23, 2012

What the Danes Don't Want You To Know?

While the people behind the Eurovision Media and DR might like accept the results of MGP and march on towards Eurovision no one has provided detailed notes on the results. So I'm going to put an end to that, so as that they are on record.

The results of the jury vote: Venter came last with all 5 juries from Azerbaijan, Denmark, Norway, Germany and  Russia and scored 40 points (8 X 5). Should've Known Better scored 54 points (3 ten's and 2 twelve's) and Take Our Hearts came first with juries scoring 56 points (3 twelve's and 2 ten's).

The public vote was combined with jury votes to quickly to allow people to notice that the results were:

1.Should've Known Better - 56 points
2. Venter - 48 points
3. Take Our Hearts - 46 points

In a three way battle this actually rather close. Assuming that they received these points on the basis of the percentage of votes in the televote, then roughly speaking, that means the televote results were:

1.Should've Known Better - 37.3%
2. Venter - 32%
3. Take Our Hearts - 30.7%

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Super Songs, Sexy Women And Your Left With Mixed Feelings

After one of the biggest nights of Nordic Semi-Finals and Finals here is my reaction:

Iceland: It is quite clear that the semi-final in Iceland did not generate the same enthusiasm as the semi-final last month. My favourite Simbi og Hrútspungarnir made it through as did Regína Ósk (from Euroband). While we would have preferred Guðrún Árný Karlsdóttir 1/2 is not bad given that we did not see the live performance. Ws still think that the two qualifiers last week were a lot better.

Norway: Norway had the first semi-final of Melodi Grad Prix 2012. There was the usual mix of songs that we would expect of MGP. Nora Foss Al-Jabri came first with The Carburetorsin second and Reidun Saether came in third. I predicted two out of three, but I underestimated Nora’s ability to get votes. Instead I had thought that Lisa Stokke’s song was the most likely to go through. I thought her song was stronger. With the benefit of hindsight Nora had better staging and styling. The only one that surprised me was the super sexy performance from Irresisrible. It was a shame they didn’t cut the rap from the song.

Denmark: Last night saw the 3rd song of this ESC 2012 being picked. Soluna Samay will sing for Denmark in Baku. I haven’t seen any performances other than the winning one. I was surprised by the winner (but not shocked). I was just briefly switching in and out of Twitter during the evening, and was very surprised by the winner. However after seeing the performance it is very clear why this won. The performance was a little different and the dress worn by Soluna was very original. Full review of the song will be up by next weekend. We predicted Chirstian Brons and Patrik Issakson. However based on the Twitter coverage I saw their song was vocally poor. Soluna won with both the support of the juries and public. Congratulations to her.

Denmark have decided to (somewhat sadly) send Soluna Samay to Baku. I was not mad about the song but I will objectively review it sometime over the coming week/fortnight. A national final change and a song presentation change have altered the dynamic of January. So I will talk to you tomorrow evening.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

UPD: Iceland, Norway and Denmark what could go wrong?

Today we have no less than 2 nordic songs and 1 national final which means that Denmark will be choosing their Eurovision Song tonight. Sadly due to the fact I am away I won't have coverage tonight (might have some but won't be watching live). So were doing a large item for today looking at what exactly we are expecting and what we are hoping for.

Iceland: Really this week is not up to much we hope that Gudrún Árny Karlsdóttir will make it through to the final with Simbi Og Hrútspungarnir. But really the fact is that you have to see the Icelandic final to actually know which songs lift off the studio version and have a great live performance. I really can't call who might get through.

Update: We now know, thanks to our friends over on ESCNorge that there are 3 not 2 acts going through to the final of MGP in Norway. Another act will also be picked as a wildcard by an internal jury. The Norway section of this article has been updated to reflect that.

Norway: Well I hope I have made it quite clear that my favorite song is by REIDUN SAETHER but that does not garentee that she will get through. An interesting video appeared comparing to Sweden's (2008) Hero which you can see here. Of course we would also like to see Kim Andre Ryystad and Lisa Stokke  going to the final however we are not exactly sure how many are due to go through based on the new national final system. My guess is that 2 will get through as in previous years but I could be surprised. My guess is that The Carburentors and Reidun will get through but I could be proven wrong. Lisa Stokke and Nora Foss al-Jabri are also among the favorites. I going to call this one for Nora.

Denmark: OK so this is the most important country this weekend as it will pick its song. I think that the international juries will be an interesting new element in how the song is picked. AYA is my favorite and I think that she is the dark horse of the contest. I can see the international juries really rowing in behind it if Aya can prove that that she has a huge amount of Charisma. I think that if it was left up to the Danes they would pick Christian and Patrik. Why? Well there is just some strange room for a little on stage magic - an Olsen brothers moment. I also really like the song. It is such an obvious choice for the Danes that I think it has a very good chance. Jesper is also polling well but I just think it doesn't have the "X-Factor" that I was looking for. Nevertheless it could win tonight. Update: After sleeping on it I am far more impressed with Christian Brons & Patrik Issaksson. I am going to call it for them, but am sure I will be proved wrong.

So it is a fun night to look forward to. I hope you enjoy it. I will have reaction tonight/tomorrow on the Blog.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Danish National Final: Review

Denmark was earmarked by me and a number of fans to be a potential winner of ESC 2012. Having seen the singers and heard the songs I think that the world of Eurovision fandom is a little less certain of that now. However once again they have produced a national final that really stands out. So once again here we go:

Jesper Nohrstedt - This is a uniquely Danish song and a style that we tend to hear quite a bit in their national final. It is a song that builds very well. However the slow part in the song is just a bit tedious. However overall I really like this one. It could be a potential top 3. Grade: B+

Aya - Best Thing I Got starts rather in the style of Satellite. However it builds into something which is as orginal as Satellite was when it first appeared. I am a big fan of this song and I think that this song would deliver the best result to Denmark, which other entries here just wouldn't. The other major factor will be how charismatic Aya is on stage. The song has great potential to be sung by a charismatic singer. The Dark Horse of the competition. Grade: A

Kenneth Potempa - Reach for the sky does not start as well as it could but it builds into a song that actually is rather good, but does sound a little unusual and that is a good thing. I admire Kenneth for his great vocals but I think this is a song that may do ok and make the top 3 at the expense of Jesper's song but more than likely it will just not make it through. Grade: B-

Ditte Marie - I am more than aware that this is the lead singer from Le Freak last year (who I just loved). However I think that this sounds just a tad low and dull for Schlager. That's not to say that the song won't go on the MP3 player (that's right I don't have an i-Pod) the song is good but it does not have the edge that is required to win in Denmark. Grade: B+

Philip Halloun Og Emilia - This song takes so long to get going I had to write this sentence to try to delay myself a little. This is a standard (and a little predictable ballad) from Denmark that we have heard before. It really doesn't develop into a song that I think might capture the attenion of the audience. However when there are so many pop songs this could stand out, however in reality it is a rather average song. Grade: C-

Suriya - This is the favourite to come last and I couldn't agree more. It is a disjointed song that has few redeeming qualities and I really am not mad about it. There is too much going on in this song and it seems to stop and start in a new genre every 30 seconds. Grade: F

Karen Viuff - While I have nothing against the song I just think that this is below the quality that we are seeing in this year’s DMGP. I think the build in the song is just not building at the pace that it needs to for me to like it. Grade: C

Soluna Samay - One of the favourites this song is going to come down to how well it comes across to the audience. It is very difficult to say Hit from the studio version that this is going to work on the night. I like the studio version but it is a difficult call. Grade: B

Christian Brons Og Patrik Isakasson - This is a song that as appeared in DMGP many times however I think that the way this song progresses into the chorus will give it the edge. It should come across well on the night. The "Ay yeah Venter" in the chorus really adds to the song. A proper song for a national final and potential ESC song. Grade: A-

We will publish our predictions for National Finals tomorrow, Saturday.

Our 1000th visitor

Today we expect to celebrate the 1000th hit on our site. Now I know we celebrated our 100th post only a short time ago but we would like to thank all our readers for taking the time to read the blog.

Now I know that 1000 hits seems small. But since we launched ourselves on Twiiter, we have upped the number of visitors hugely. We have had 700 in the last 30 days.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Just a note to point out viewing figures for Ireland last year made Eurovision the second most watched show over here after The Late Late Toy Show.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

UPD: Returning to the odds!

Since my last post there have been some changes to the odds. Ireland has gone from 33/1 to 25/1 which is odd given that we have the same amount of information as before.

Now that we have heard all the songs from Norway (stats based on four bookmakers):
Nora Foss Al-Jabri is the favorite to win the first semi with 3 bookies putting her on favorite. However there is huge differences in what is to come second. The Carburtores and Lise Stokke are favorites to take the second slot with Kim and Reidun coming in after as dark horses.

There is huge spread in the final. Plumbo are the hot favorites to win with Reidun, Rikke Normann and The Canoes lagging behind.

Today we got the odds from Lativa, they confirm what I expected from the start: Mad Show Boys are the favorites (the hot favorites at that) and PeR are just behind, followed by Paula Dukure (all are under 3/1). After that there is a gap starting with Anmary (5/1) to Ruta Dudama (19/1).

Over in Denmark the song Venter (Christian and Patrik) is leading the odds with Jesper Nohrstedt is in second. Sonuna and Aya are in joint third (roughly). Forever I B Young is in last place.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Norway: Part 1

In the run up to MGP 2012 we publish the reviews of Semi-Final 1

Irresistible - While I do like this song, I think that this kind of generic type of song that does not pack a real punch will not actually manage to qualify for the final. The song might look good on stage but will struggle at this level of competition. Grade: C-

Kim Andre Rysstad - I really like the vocals behind this song. It builds wonderfully but once again his voice makes the song. If this was not perfect on the night this would seriously hinder the song. The final verses of the song are pitched really well. Grade: B

Reidun Saether - I never have nor ever will critise this song. As I have previously noted I think that if any song that I have heard so far deserves to go to Eurovision it is this song. Think about it Norway! I just love the slow start and strong vocals and the chorus always brings a smile to my face - and I have listened to it to many times. This could do well sandwiched between two ballads. Grade: A+

Rudi Myntevik - This does seem just a little plain and dated given the standard that is in this semi-final. Depending on the performance this will either be well received or forgotten after the very different song from Reidun.  I would like this in a poor quality national final. Grade: D

Lisa Stokke - It was quiet surprising to see that this was one of the favourites given the style of song (a little old fashioned) however I do like it and if Lisa is a charismatic singer than this will not be an easy song beat. Grade: B-

United - Boring and crap. This just doesn't work on so many levels. Grade: G

Nora Foss al-Jabri - This is the favourite to win according to Betsson. It is a very good ballad but a little Disney. Really with female ballads this will all come down to the voice of the singer on the night. This has everything that I would hope for in a ballad but I still don't understand why it is the favourite. Grade: B-

The Carburetors - Before I start to complain about this song I would like to point out to that I respect this song for its quality and genre. Every year we see this style of song in MGP and it never wins. This is just too accessible to be good rock. And it is not pop/rock - well it is but the first 30 seconds try not to be. Would you keep your hand out of the fire after hearing this? Grade: C-

Will Armenia actually be in Baku?

Today word came through that we can expect to see 43 countries in Baku for ESC 2012. While the participation list was almost a month late (we would normally expect it between 25th Decemeber and the first week of January), the big question answered today was Will Armenia be in Baku? And the answer is yes.

But what does this actually tell us? Well all that this means is that Armenia have stated they are going to Baku and they have paid the participation fee. Now this is fairly important. As we all know there is considerable tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan this was made clear in the 2009 contest when issues over the postcards arose. However by getting this far Armenia have shown that they are prepared to come to Baku. The biggest concern is safety. Armenians don't come into Azerbaijan and (up until recently) even if you have an Armenian stamp on your passport you could not enter Azerbaijan. These rules will have to be relaxed given that some fans traveled to JESC in Armenia last year. This shows the level of intolerance that exists.

So in spite of the EBU's announcement, the HoD for Armenia stated today that even though they are on the list, they are not 100% sure that they will go, citing safety concerns as an issue. While Slovakia may have decided to come to Eurovision last year as withdrawing would be to expensive, Armenia may opt to stay at home and as I say "be live chickens".

While I am not against Azerbaijan hosting the contest, I do believe that the EBU will have to work harder to ensure that Azerbaijan plays ball. They may even have to be prepared to change the venue at short notice. But whether Armenia are in Baku or not may show us just how far the EBU are prepared to go to keep politics out of Eurovision

Monday, January 16, 2012

Iceland Semi Final 2: Review

As I said previously Super Monday appears to be today. Because it is hard to get our hands on the Norwegian and Danish songs in full we are publishing a review of the songs in Iceland's semi-final. 

Ellert Jóhannsson - This is a very bouncy song. However it does have an old fashioned sound to it. I don't think that this is going to get out of the semi-final but I still like it. Grade: C

Simbi og Hrútspungarnir - This reminds me of Father'n'sons in the first semi-final. But this has a much stronger Icelandic feel to it. It builds well and is pleasant to listen to. Grade: C+

Rósa Birgitta Ísfeld - Given the standard this just doesn't do it for me at all. It lacks a really tune, the singer does not covey anything that is required to make this stand out. Grade: E+

Regína Ósk - An Icelandic R'n'b which may or may not do well depending on how it is performed. Grade: D+

Guðrún Árný Karlsdóttir - While I know that I give out about the number of boring female ballads, I think this one is done very well. The delicate nature of the song is dealt with well by the singer. I really think this is the kind of female ballad that we were looking for. Grade: B

Super Monday!

Keen watchers of the contest national final calender will notice that really there is no "Super" day. Traditionally this would be a day that 4 or 5 songs would be picked for ESC. This year that is less visible. This year we are seeing a huge spread of the days that countries are picking on. However while I am sure that we will see more dates come through and we will have a Super Saturday (or Friday) today is what matters.

Today is Super Monday as during the night many countries (Scandinavian) released their songs.
Iceland, Denmark and Norway have all released some songs and we have started reviewing already!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Morning After

After a rather hectic schedule yesterday things do look very quiet. But rest assured that we are in the process of reviewing the Hungarian songs, we're waiting for the songs to be released from Iceland later tonight or in the early morning AND we are getting ready to review the songs as they come in from Norway.

So if you think that it's quiet just wait and see.

The week ahead

I don't have any reviews in ready to go yet (working on Hungary) but now that another National Final season week is over it's time to look to the week ahead.

Next will be a week of information more than just a week of selections. Unser Star fur Baku will be on on Thursday and semi-finals will be on in Norway, Iceland and Hungary on Saturday. Also on Saturday Denmark will select their entrant.

This week I am starting back in college but I also am expecting a deluge of information about various aspects of many countries plans including RTÉ's and BBC's.

On Monday Iceland will release their songs. I also expect Norway and Denmark to release clips with full songs arriving later in the week. I'm sure we will hear much more than we expect anyway.

Reaction to tonight's semi finals.

Latvia: We have had reasonable success in dumping a lot of the crap songs in the semi finals. We are happy to see Mad Show Boys made it to the final as did Robert Petersons (our second favorite).

Bulgaria: Our three favorites made it through the marathon show. Ceco Elvisa & Daniela, Desislava and New 5 (in that order). As with Latvia many boring ballads were dumped - Thankfully.

Iceland: Sadly Íris Hólm didn't make it but we were very impressed with Greta Salome & Jonsi.

Iceland will hold their next semi-final on 21 January with a Final on February 11th

Latvia will hold their final on February 18th. Bulgaria will hold theirs on the 29th February

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stop The Press!!!!!

We were just sitting here in the office reviewing some of the Hungarian songs when suddenly this sample was brought to our attention.

If you have not heard it yet you need to listen to it. If you have you need to listen to it again.

What is it? Well, this is the song to be sung by Reidun (We never heard of her either) in MGP 2012. It is written by the great Thomas G:son, Tommy Berre and Ovidou Jacobsen. It is in the first semi-final of MGP.

UPD: Where is the UK?

At this stage we've heard from almost every western country with the exception of the UK. As far as we can see there is no evidence to suggest that they will not use internal selection this year. So while I expect this it still does not make sense why the UK are not saying anything. This leads to more questions than answers:

  • Have they got some big name artist that they are trying to  keep secret until the last minute
  • Can they not get anyone well known and are embarrassed.  
  • We know the BBC are not overly happy with ESC being in Baku but are trying to figure out how to deal with it.
  • Is there a risk that BBC might not be at ESC this year?
Which brings me nicely to my next question Where is the full list of participates? It really is strange.

Update (and correction): We have had quite a bit of reaction to this piece and would firstly like to thank people for getting in touch. It is the opinion of The Best Eurovision Blog that the UK is highly unlikely to not go to Eurovision. I was actually trying to highlight the fact that I think that they have a good singer up their sleeves. However the idea that the UK may not come to Eurovision is one that comes from a memo to the BBC from the EBU. The EBU claims that the BBC are against Azerbaijan hosting the contest and are trying to hurt their bid by claiming they are violating human rights. The idea BBC may withdraw is utter speculation but part of the aims of this blog is to do so.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bulgaria Reviews Part 2

We conclude reviews of the Bulgarian National Final now with the second half of the songs in their national final.

Better Than Grey - What could be better than grey? Well this song. And what's better than this song? Everything else. Grade: E

Svetozar Hristov - The video of the song does not exactly inspire enjoyment. Neither does the song. Grade: G

Viktoriya Dimitrova - Shows potential, could do better. Grade: E

Todor Gadjalov - His voice reminds me a lot of Tom Dice's. As does the song. Needs a little something though. Good, but far from my favorite. Grade: D

Margarita Hranova - Doesn't seem to go anywhere but given the high pace of the semi-final could this stand out? To me it is just a little Disney. Grade: E+

Alex & 4give - Don’t like the start very much.Overall: Boring. Grade: F

Sofi Marinova - Bit generic given what I have heard so far. Still not bad but it just doesn't come up to the mark. Strange ending. Grade: C-

Ceco Elvisa & Daniela - Love this kind of song…. I'm enjoying this. Grade: A (I know an A - I feel faint)

Desi Slava - This starts the way that any Eurovision Song should. As you realise this is a step up from the songs that went before, you also realise that the song might be a little too big for DESS. Still like this. A lot. This has Bulgarian enty written all over it. Grade: B+

Ivaylo Kolev - Gentle and comfortable start. Confident Vocals. The verse leaves lots of room to build to a great anthemic song. It only bearly does this. So much room for improvement. Grade: C.

New 5 - If you can stomach the chessyness it is actually quite good. Needs something small to lift it. (If you think you’re a Eurovision Fan and you can't take the strongest of cheese you are not a fan). Grade: B.

So we will be cheering on Ceco Elvisa & Daniela tomorrow evening. But we also do like Desi Slava.

Bulgaria Reviews

Ahead of the Bulgarian semi-final tomorrow we preview the songs in it in two parts here is the first part:

Sunnie - Strangest title of a song I ever heard, particularly when it is a women singing it. I don't really think this song is by any means amazing but it ok. Grade: D.

Sonya Ivanova - Very Average sounding. Might be better live. Grade: D+

Steliyana Hristova's Rap song. It’s what I'd expect but at this stage but I really think as rap goes this is good. Grade: C

Rene Ranev - Nice to hear a rock style song in this contest. However this just doesn't go anywhere. Grade: D.

Simona Sivano - While this is nice, it feels like I've heard this song before just because with so many similar ballads it is very difficult to differencate it from all the other songs. Grade: C

Georgi Vurbanov's - No, just no. Grade: NG.

Ivaylo Kolev - Very nice start. Chorus is good enough. Great confidence and strength in the vocals. I like this. But it needs a bigger kick at the end. Grade: C+

Vyara Pantaleeva - Russia style ballad. Reviting. Not. Grade: B

Monika Kirovska - LOVING the almost Irish feel to this. Very gentle and nice song. Nice background music not ESC material. Grade: D

Go Week - Not bad. Don't like the lead singers voice. Shame. Grade: E+

Currently unable to find Bee In The Bonnet's song. If you have a link for this please post it in the comments.

The second half of this will be up this afternoon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our 100th Post

As Italy confirms it will be in Baku we mark our 100th post after about seven months online.

We'd like to use this opportunity to thank everyone for supporting us through these months and look forward to important months ahead.

I include a photo of the editors desk in the head office of The Best Eurovision Blog for your enjoyment.

I'd like to say that everything there is to do with the blog but only the computer in the right hand is. (Oh and there's a copy of The History of the Eurovision Song Contest in locker.)
Anyone else want to share the photo of where they write a blog from?

Anyway to celebrate we include links to our most popular posts:
Why Ireland needs Jedward for Eurovision!?
A book review of ESCInsights Junior Eurovision Book.
Review of the Cypriot National Final

.....and the post I am most proud of
The importance of the running order at Eurovision: A research paper.

Review of Eirodziesma: Semi Final 2

Latvia was one of the earliest to publish their songs. So in the run up to their National Final we have reviewed the songs in each of their National Finals.

Niks Dukrus & NBC- Sweet for me is an odd mixture of sounds. However the beat is nice and this could do well given how it is received on the night. I don't really like it. I think the rap is poor and the choruses are very average sounding. Grade: F

Valtars Gleske & Libe Ece  - A very nice and pleasant classical song. Classical music is not always suited to ESC though. The big separtation between the male and female verses is not something I like very much. Grade: E

The 4 - Typical band stuff, voices not strong enough. This needs a total rewrite to get it right. So much potenical. Grade: E+

Anmary - Despite the title this is not a very beautiful song. The songs lyrics do not make much sense. The song is full of cliques however it seems very average and just needs to shift to another gear. Grade: E-

Paul Swan - Is it just me or is the opening line very similar to All The Lovers by Kylie. The chrous feels just a little dated. It's nice but nice never won ESC. Grade: D

Roberts Peterson - This is a lot better than what I have just heard. Staging is everything with this song. This needs a hardrock staging or it just won't look right. Grade: C-

Samantha Tina - While this song is good it just appears to be lacking something. Maybe we will feel it when we see it live. Grade: E

Elizabete Zagorska - Sounds a little more Eurovision. It builds wonderfully well but then….The interlude between the verse and chorus feels just little a car crash that comes out of nowhere. The wind instrument in the background does not help at all. The verse is good though. Grade: D

Mad Show Boys - Oh yeah! Here is a real folk song. However while I enjoy it, all that goes through my head is the Slovenian entry in 2010. I still think this is ok with sentiments from the beatles. Grade: C

Trianas Park - All of the songs in this semi are just terrible and this really is no different. Grade: E+

In spite of having so many songs this is a poor Semi. However here at The Best Eurovision Blog we like the MAD SHOW BOYS song and hope they win the Semi.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Running Order Research Paper

Today we take a break from Eurovision song reviews and present a short research paper. This is the first research paper we have produced here at The Best Eurovision Blog. It is short – because I don’t have the time to research heavily on the contest. And I don’t think the average reader really wants to read a thesis. I know there are some who would just love if I did this but you can go and do your own research. This research is not meant to be especially academic; however it is from that place in the world of Fandom that is somewhere between over knowledgeable fan and academic.

The focus of this piece is to discuss the results of research carried out by me on the importance of the running order in The Eurovision Song Contest 2006-2011. This piece is split into two parts; the first part discusses the importance and trends in the running order in contests that have less than 20 songs, specifically the importance of the running order in relation to the Semi-Finals 2008-2011. 2008 saw the introduction of a new smaller style of semi-final which no longer takes from the main show itself.
The second part will discuss the recent running order trends in the finals 2006-2011 and the semi-finals 2006 and 2007. These are larger than the other shows and contain 22 songs and up. Given that the EBU reference group has rejected the idea that voting from the start of the show influences the vote that possibility has been disregarded here too.
Unfortunately there is not enough data in existence to actually look at how much the jury voting may affect the results.

Fan Theory
Four slots, above all others are studied strongly by fans. These are the first, second, second last and last slots. It is considered that a song in the second (or death slot) will not do as well as it might in other slots. Many fans point out that no song that sung from the second slot has ever won the competition. In a piece of analysis of the running order by ESCToday in 2009, they believed that the first slot was a poor position to be drawn in and suggested that this in some way was similar to the second slot.
The last slots have often been said to have the opposite effect. The second last slot is often seen as being the strongest slot to be in. Many countries have won the contest from the second last slot. Similarly the last slot is seen to have similar behaviour patterns to the second last slot.
Overall the general consensus is that the later in the running order you are drawn the greater chance you have of winning. This is a logical argument, given that a song performed later in the running order should be fresher in the voters mind. I also remember when I was not a fan per se but I was watching Eurovision, I’d start and decide say, that the fifth song was the best. But then would come song twelve, which would overtake song five and this would be repeated a few times more as the evening progressed. If this is the routine then the songs performing later should have a better chance.

Results I
In order to assess the success of songs in a particular slot the first and last ten songs in both semi-final one and two of each Eurovision Song Contest 2008-2011 were averaged out. This gave us a total of 8 contests to look at. Fans generally accept that the importance of running order does differ in the Semi-Finals; however no one has developed ideas about how this occurs.
We begin by looking at the average results of the first 10 slots

Fig 1 shows the average points awarded to songs performed in slots 1-10 (2008-2011)

As we can see from the graph there is no clear pattern emerging. While the average score is trending upwards there is no real explanation as to why there would be such a difference between songs singing in slots beside each other. The most notable aspect is that the second slot is above the first slot and is sixth out of ten in terms of average score. However when we look at the standard deviation an interesting trend emerges.

Fig 2 shows the standard deviation for the averages above.

For those who do not understand deviation: This shows the average amount the data is from the average. The lower the deviation, the more consistent the results from that slot are in the contest.
Interestingly the three highest scoring slots are 6, 9 and 10 however they also have the lowest deviation which means that they are strong slots. So when the awkward moment occurs at the draw in March that a country has to select a slot in the first part of the semi-final, these are the numbers to go for.
The other point that the results show is that the number two death slot does not exist. In fact it shows that while the slot is not a bad one its score is on average below the average number of points needed to qualify (62 points). However the high deviation would suggest that the results there are very volatile. Only slots 4, 6, 9 and 10 have an average greater than 62 points.

Results II
Part two looks at the average scores for the final 10 ten songs in a semi-final (Smart Maths types out there might point out that there is an overlap with results I here. I understand but this is the easiest way of presenting the results.) The results are shown here in fig 3.

Fig 3 shows the average scores of the last 10 slots
Please note: This graph has to be read right to left i.e. 2 refers to the second last song. 5 refers to the fifth last song.

The most important trend here is the last two slots. Here the graph rises steeply towards the end. This is a trend that emphasises the importance of being drawn in the last two slots. On average these score over 100 points each, with the last slot scoring 4 points more than second last. The number of songs that have won from singing last is also quite remarkable such as Greece in 2008 and 2011 and Turkey in 2010. Only one song has failed to qualify from this slot (Netherlands, 2009). Six slots score more than 62 points; they are the last two, the sixth, seventh and eighth last and the tenth last slot.
Though I have not published the Deviation of the scores, the results are notably more consistent than those in the first half.

Results III
We now turn our attention to the third section to looking at the opening of the longer show (Semi-Finals 2006 and 2007, Finals 2006-2011). This gives 8 longer shows to look at. 

Fig 4 shows the average scores of the first 10 slots in a long show (>20 songs)

This once again shows very little. However it show confirm the number 2 death slot theory, but notice that slot 4 is slightly lower than slot two; however slot 2 also has a much lower deviation to slot 4 (32.5/56.7) - meaning slot 2 has a more consistent low score. Slot 7 does appear to be the strongest however it has a very high deviation compared to the other high placed slots like the first slot. Despite being one of the hardest slots to get out of in the semi-final first does appear to be a strong place in the longer show.

Results IV
Finally we consider the importance of the last ten slots in the longer show or final. These results are summarised on the chart below. 

Fig 5 shows the average scores of the final 10 places in a longer show.
Please note: This graph has to be read right to left i.e. 2 refers to the second last song.

There is clear advantages in the running order can be seen in this graph. In the first ten songs the average did not go above 90 except in one slot. Here only two songs average below 90 points. While there may seem to be advantages to singing from the position of eighth last, when the standard deviation is considered slots 5th-8th last are strong enough to reach for a serious position from. Second last is also a very good slot. However this graph, overall, would not suggest that there is a perfect slot. Instead comparing fig 4 with fig 5 would point to an overall trend that the later you sing in the final the better.

Overall we have discussed the ideas around the running order and have highlighted the importance of the running order. However in reality the data would suggest that there is no perfect slot to sing in to win. It takes a good song with a great singer for Europe to fall in love with it. We have proven that where you generally appear in the running order in the final can impact on your scores. The “number two death slot” may exist in the final but in the semi-final this is not visible.
Personally speaking I think the running order ultimately did affected the outcome of last year’s contest, as most strong songs were placed in the first half of the final which we have proven is not as successful as the first. I also believe with the advent of the semi-finals people are more likely to follow a song they voted for in the semi-final in the final and this has diluted the real sting in the running order that existed before the semi-finals were introduced. But there is a clear problem when the winning song has not sung in the first half of the contest since 2004.
Unfortunately there is not enough data in existence to actually look at how much the jury voting may affect the impact of the running order on results. However in 2009 and 2011 three out of the top five placed songs came from the first half of the show. It is logical that, given that the juries should have listened to songs in advance of the contest then the running order should be irrelevant to them.

Future Trends
My guess is that in the future as the juries continue it should allow songs to score better in the first half. However given that public support will be needed to win overall then the winner will generally come from the latter half of the show. I think as time passes and we can assess jury impact on the semi-final in this regard then the running order will become less important in the semi-final but the last two slots will retain their strength.

We hope that you have enjoyed our short research paper. It does take quiet a lot of patience to get the  maths behind this right and then takes time to type up. If we have the time we hope to do another piece on neighbourly voting between Ireland and the UK. The speed at which that happens overall will depend on how it is received so if you liked it share it with other Eurovision fans. Rules on reproduction of pieces on website can be found in the Contact Us! section. Comments, as always, are welcomed.