#Eurovision 2021 Grand Final Surprises

A plethora of other (awesome) websites have been crunching much of the data from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Rather than cover the same terrain, we have decided to “make the road by walking”: endeavouring to focus on other aspects of the 2021 Grand Final data.

Let’s dig in.

Greedy

In total there were 4,524 points available in this year’s Grand Final: 2,262 from the public and 2,262 from juries. Their allocation reveals some interesting aspects of this year’s results.

Although there were over 4000 points on offer, the highest potential score for any entry was 912 points: 12 televote points (subtotal 456) and 12 jury points (also subtotal 456) from the 38 other delegations.

Måneskin’s 524 points represents 57 per cent of the maximum potential score. Their 318 televote points is even more impressive: 70 per cent of the potential points on offer. In comparison, Gjon’s Tears 267 jury points are “only” 59 per cent of the maximum. But both entries fairly cannibalised the scoring component each topped.

Parsed another way: our three medallists from 2021 (Italy, France and Switzerland) earned a total of 1,455 points. That is a whopping 32 per cent of all the points! The top five entries netted 2,197 points—just under half the total points. The remaining top 10 entries netted an additional 1,150 points: another 25 per cent of the total points. That only left 1,177 points for the entries ranked 11th to 26th: only 26 per cent of the total points available.

Yes, they were fifth. Don’t care. EPIC (Source: YouTube.com/Eurovision)

Douze-y

Each year the distribution of the douze points for both the televote and jury scores seems to become more diffuse. 2021 certainly reflects this trend.

Fully 16 of this year’s 26 Grand Final entries earned at least one top jury ranking. France (8 juries), Switzerland (8), Italy (4), Malta (4), Bulgaria (2), Greece, (2) and Moldova (2) all received multiple 12s. Albania, Cyprus, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Serbia and Ukraine also received top marks from one delegation’s jury.

Five entries received at least one douze points from televoters: Italy (5), Lithuania (5), Serbia (5), Ukraine (5), France (4), Finland (3), Iceland (3), Cyprus (2), Greece (2), Moldova (2), Israel (1), Russia (1), Switzerland (1).

In other words, 18 delegations received one or more douze points: France, Switzerland, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Ukraine, Finland and Israel. That is 69 per cent of the Grand Final entries!

Alas, only the jury top marks are declared live during the broadcast: an entry could get 38/38 douze points from the public, but all that will be read out is their (ridiculously large) total televote score. It would be great if the producers found a way to highlight how many douze points a delegation received with their televote points. Perhaps something like:

France has received the maximum twelve points from four countries and has received a total public score of….251 points!

Including five douze points (Source: YouTube.com/Eurovision)

Selection

Fifteen of our 26 Grand Final acts were previously selected for the cancelled 2020 Contest. Of these, six ended up in the top 10: Switzerland, Iceland, Ukraine, Malta, Lithuania, and Greece. Of these, Lithuania’s the Roop were the only of these who had to earn their spot through a competitive national selection. Conversely, four of the bottom five (San Marino, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK) were also internally selected 2020 artists. That’s fairly equally distributed, in terms of rankings for these 15 entries: six in the top 10, four in the bottom five, and five somewhere in-between.

There were eight Grand Finalists that were selected through a competitive selection with transparent scoring from the public, juries or both:

DelegationArtistsEntryRankSelection
 ItalyMåneskin“Zitti e buoni”1Competitive
 FranceBarbara Pravi“Voilà”2Competitive
 FinlandBlind Channel“Dark Side”6Competitive
 LithuaniaThe Roop“Discoteque”8Competitive
 RussiaManizha“Russian Woman”9Competitive
 PortugalThe Black Mamba“Love Is on My Side”12Competitive
 SwedenTusse“Voices”14Competitive
 NorwayTix“Fallen Angel”18Competitive
 AlbaniaAnxhela Peristeri“Karma”21Competitive
Grand Final Entries Who Won National Selections 2021 (Source: Wikipedia)
We stan. (Source: YouTube.com/Eurovision)

Exactly half the top 10 won their slots (and half did not).  

Using a top 10 Grand Final result as our metric, we cannot definitively say which selection method produces more well performing entries but there is a commonality that the poorest performing Grand Finalists were internally selected. However, we should also bear in mind the Dutch have used this method to a relatively consistent run of success in recent years—as had Russia until 2021—some aspect of the success of internal selections seems to be related to the link between broadcasters and the local music industry.

Both Russia and the Netherlands have attracted established, popular artists in recent years, most of whom have achieved good (qualification for the Grand Final) or great (Grand Final top 10) results. Duncan Laurence’s 2019 winning Arcade entry is very much an outlier: this was his first commercial single release.  

Artist

Our winner this year was a group (Måneskin); this year’s groups placed first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, 12th, 15th, 19th and 22nd (we count Senhit featuring Flo Rida as a duo rather than a solo female artist). Our runner up was a solo female: the rest of the solo female artists placed seventh, ninth, tenth, 11th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 20th and 21st. Male soloists finished third, 14th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th. We need also acknowledge that most of these “solo” artists were supported with additional vocalists and often other performers.

Artist CategoryWinnerTop 5Top 10
Groups135
Male Solo011
Female Solo014
Grand Finalists by Artist Category (Source: Wikipedia)

Over the last 10 Contests, duos or groups have won twice (2011; 2021), solo males four times (2014; 2016; 2017; 2019), and solo females four times (2012; 2013; 2015;2018).

Right song. Right artist. Right staging. Winner.

Coming up

Aside from the gluttony of the highest ranked entries this year, there’s a lot of interesting movement across the semi-finals and Grand Final. Our next article will focus on the destiny of one such entry.

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