From D’oh to Bupkis: the near misses and heartbreaks from the 2022 Grand Final

Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and contact tracing. Such is life—and such is how scores are calculated in the Eurovision Song Contest. We know that televoters and a national jury can only award points to the top 10 ranked entries (and not their own entry, obviously).

On the one hand, everyone outside those top 10s gets the same score: zero. But that does not mean that the other 15 entries in the 2022 Grand Final are equally regarded. Thanks to the transparency of the EBU we can largely—somewhat—get a clearer sense of:

  • Which entries just missed a televote or jury point (d’oh!)
  • Which entries were most often at the bottom of a televote or jury ranking (bupkis)

In the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final.

Let’s crack on.

Source: YouTube/codyave

Method

For these sorts of analyses, Excel is our go-to technology. We created a spread sheet that lists every delegation voting in the Grand Final. We then used the official Eurovision.tv site to grab the following data:

  • 11th ranked jury entry
  • 11th ranked televote entry
  • Last ranked jury entry
  • Last ranked televote entry

In some instances the last ranked is 24th or 25th, depending on whether the delegation itself performed in the Grand Final. As examples: Albania did not qualify, so its lowest ranking was 25th; Lithuania did perform, so its lowest ranking was 24th. We then used COUNTIF to see which delegations were the most frequently named as above.

(Marius) Bear in mind that the detailed rankings for the six delegations whose jury results were excluded have not provided any data beyond the top 10 for the televote and jury.

Juries in

Each delegation has five members in its national jury. Each juror ranks the 25 (in 2022) Grand Finallists from favourite to least favourite. They do not submit scores, nor do they articulate the intensity difference between consecutively ranked entries. They are to apply specific qualitative criteria, but ultimately it is their rankings that are submitted and scrutinised.

This means, each juror could have 10 entries that they equally adore (with relatively minor differences between all 10), and they could despise the remaining 15. Or perhaps they love three, like 10 (but have to pick 7 of those 10 to generate an ordinal top 10 list), and are indifferent to 12. Or only like 3 entries, are indifferent to 20 and really dislike 1.

Etcetera…

Source: YouTube/Jannu

We can’t know any juror’s nuanced appreciation of any entry—and in fact it doesn’t matter. Each juror ranks all the entries, all five jurors’ rankings are added up, and this creates a final jury ranking, with the 10 most favoured entries earning between 1 and 12 points.

There was no entry that was disproportionately was ranked just outside the jury top 10s. The entries who just missed jury points most often were Greece and Norway, who each were ranked 11th by four juries. Italy, Poland and Sweden were next, having been ranked 11th by three juries each.

In terms of last place, that was a bit clearer. The entry that was ranked last by the most juries was France (8 juries), followed by Romania (7 juries).  Finland and Iceland were a bit further back from that (5 juries each).

Popular

Unlike jurors, the public vote is open slather. Punters can vote for whatever reasons they like: they can use all 20 of their votes for one entry, vote equally for up to 20 entries, or something in-between.

Within each delegation the total televotes are added up and an ordinal ranking is created. Theoretically, an entry can be ranked 11th in every televote and get null points despite being just outside everyone’s top 10. It could happen.

It’s not likely, however, and ot didn’t happen this year either. Our sole Grand Final null points was Switzerland’s Marius Bear. Boys Do Cry was not ranked 11th by any delegations, so it did not “just” miss out on any points.  But they also weren’t the entry most often ranked last—they were the third most often ranked last, by seven televotes.

Azerbaijan, who managed 3 televote points thanks to Georgia, were ranked last by 12 delegations’ televoters. After the Azeris, Iceland was ranked last in nine televote rankings: their 10 televote points came from Ukraine (8 points) and Denmark (2 points). Aside from Ukraine, both the Azeris and Danes are within a voting bloc, which insures against null points. Switzerland operates within the Yugosphere bloc, but the traffic is unidirectional: many Swiss points travel to the former Yugoslavian delegations, but these delegations do not tend to vote consistently for Swiss entries.

Source: YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest

In terms of just missing out on public points, Portugal’s Maro was ranked 11th by six delegations’ televoters. Estonia and Finland were each 11th with four. Sweden, Moldova, and Armenia were each ranked 11th by three other delegations’ televoters. Saudade, saudade, Trenultul, and Hold Me Closer were all in the Grand Final top 10 (with Hope 13th overall). Jezebel and Snap finished in the bottom six.

Mysteries

With their jury votes disputed, it makes sense the EBU has not released detailed jurors’ rankings from Georgia, Romania, San Marino, Montenegro, Poland, or Azerbaijan. In official terms, there are no such rankings—they were tossed out. But it would be interesting to see them regardless. Perhaps the delegations themselves will be able to release them if the EBU will not.

Not releasing the full televote rankings, however, does not make much sense.