Eurovision!

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is on right now. Above (click to zoom) is a combined word cloud for the songs (or English translations of the songs).

From the point of view of getting into the final, it seems to be bad to sing about Heaven (Montenegro, Portugal), war (Croatia, Finland), cell phones (Belgium, Portugal), or cold (Latvia, Poland, Romania). On the other hand, it’s good to sing about lights (Germany, Norway, Sweden).

Good luck to everyone for the final!


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Eurovision Song Contest 2018

The Eurovision Song Contest has been on again (strangely, Australia has now become part of Europe). On the whole, I didn’t think much of the songs this year, although Ieva Zasimauskaite from Lithuania did sing an interesting song about love and marriage:

As usual, the voting is the really interesting aspect. This year, I’ve done an analysis where:

  • I looked at combined country votes in the final (jury plus televoting)
  • I assumed that countries would have given themselves the maximum score of 24

The diagram below shows a “cultural map” of Europe produced by multi-dimensional scaling of the votes by each country. That is, countries with similar tastes are located close to each other.

For example, Germany and the Netherlands have similar tastes. They both gave 6 or more points to Germany, Israel, Cyprus, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. They both gave at most 2 points to Moldova, Albania, France, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Portugal, and the UK. They differed on the remaining seven countries.

Colouring in the diagram is by the second principal component of the voting, which defines a cultural north-south axis.


Eurovision 2015: Australia votes

It was Eurovision again on the weekend. This time, Australia competed. And voted – twice. Officially, during the contest; and in the Australian evening, unofficially, at sbs.com.au.

I have no time for the kind of analyses I did last year but, as the graph below shows, the unofficial Australian percentage ratings tracked the official Eurovision scores reasonably well (with substantial random variation), except for the huge vote for home:

Eurovision 2014 voting patterns

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 voting network

The network diagram above (click to zoom) shows the voting patterns in the recent Eurovision Song Contest. Colours indicate the final score for each country. I have used a simple linear model to predict votes based on the final scores, and the resulting predicted votes for the top countries are Austria: 7.8, Netherlands: 6.4, Sweden: 5.9, Armenia: 4.7, Hungary: 3.9, Ukraine: 3.1, Russia: 2.4, Norway: 2.4, etc.

Arrows in the diagram show votes which are higher than predicted by 5.5 or more (for example, votes of 10 or 12 for Hungary). No strong voting blocs are visible (thanks to the addition of juries to the televoting), but the cluster at the top left shows those countries which (like me) felt that the Dutch entry should have won. At the top right is a faint trace of a former-Yugoslav bloc. In the centre we note the usual strongish vote of Spain for Romania (due to Romanian immigrants), and at the lower right we see strong votes for Russia from some nearby countries – possibly due to Russian expatriates. As in past years, the contest is still an interesting window on European identity.

The diagram below superimposes the network on our previous map (click to zoom). Stronger votes are shown darker, with votes higher than predicted by 7.5 or more shown as black arrows:

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 voting map

Incidentally, there was no evidence of even a slight statistical relationship between final scores and the order of songs played in the final. And for more on past Eurovision voting patterns, see also this recent analysis.

Update: The ESCritic has some interesting comments on the political aspects of the voting this year.

Eurovision 2014 results

Well, I thought the Dutch entry (above) should have won the contest, rather than merely coming second – but unpredictability has always been a part of Eurovision. The map below shows the final results (click to zoom).

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Results map

Update: follow-up analysis here and complete table of results at the ESC website.

Eurovision 2014

I have long been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest, and have even written a paper about the inter-country dynamics which the scoring reveals (expatriates play a large role). This year, finalists (green below) seem well-distributed across Europe, except for the curious fact that all three Baltic countries were eliminated (red). Given the current geopolitical situation, I wonder who will win?