Eurovision 2017: Which factors influenced the outcome of Jury voting? Did Neighboring votes affect the final ranking?

Eurovision 2017: Which factors influenced the outcome of Jury voting? Did Neighboring votes affect the final ranking?

It was in 2009 when EBU decided to change the voting pattern in the Eurovision Contest from 100% televoting to a system combining a 50% public voting with another 50% from the five member national juries. EBU’s main argument was that in this way Eurovision could avoid  the friendly-neighboring voting between countries and discourage diaspora voting blogs. This concerned a number of countries with large national communities in other European countries (Turkey, Armenia, Greece, Poland, Romania) that gave me them an advantage in the televoting field. However latest years results raise the question : Is jury voting being progressively influenced by same factors and elements, as those of  televoting?

Lets take a look on how this year’s national juries of the contest voted, according to the pot they were put in by EBU before the semi final draw. At this point we remind you that the countries participating in the semi finals, are divided in 6 groups, according to their ranking history and which countries they traditionally vote for. The outcome of the allocation aims to separate the countries in different semi finals in order all countries to participate in equal term.

These were the six groups formed by EBU for the semi final allocation:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6
  •  Albania
  •  Croatia
  •  F.Y.R.O.M.
  •  Montenegro
  •  Serbia
  •  Slovenia
  •   Switzerland
  •  Denmark
  •  Estonia
  •  Finland
  •  Iceland
  •  Norway
  •  Sweden
  •  Armenia
  •  Azerbaijan
  •  Belarus
  •  Georgia
  •  Israel
  •  Russia
  •  Bulgaria
  •  Cyprus
  •  Greece
  •  Hungary
  •  Moldova
  •  Romania
  •  Australia
  •  Austria
  •  Czech Republic
  •  Malta
  •  Portugal
  •  San Marino
  •  Belgium
  •  Ireland
  •  Latvia
  •  Lithuania
  •  Netherlands
  •  Poland

Lets see now one by one the groups and how the national juries voted in each one of them:


In the first pot, we had most of the former Yugoslavian countries and Albania. Here the jury voting gave generously a 3rd placing to Australia and 6th placing for the UK but interesting seems Armenia’s 9th place. In the first two places we see Portugal and Bulgaria exactly as the general scoreboard of the Grand Final.


Pot 2

In this pot we have mainly the Scandinavian countries and Estonia. Here you can’t miss out noticing Sweden 2nd placing while Denmark climbs to 5th place ( a contradictory spot judging from the country’s final placing). The UK is in the top 10 here two and Cyprus in 15th place ( perhaps duo to Swedish Thomas G:Son involvement in the Cypriot entry)



Pot 3

In the 3rd group we have the countries form Caucasus region , Israel , Belarus and Russia. Russia of course withdrew from the contest so we added Ukraine’s jury votes, as a neighbor country that would have been in the same pot if it wasn’t the host country. A remarkable drop to 7th place for Bulgaria and a expected 3rd placing for Belarus. Portugal again in the lead in front of 2nd Sweden.


Pot 4

In this 4th group we have the rest of the Balkan countries (Greece, Bulagria, Romania) and friendly voting to them countries ( Cyprus, Moldova and Hungary). This is the only pot where Bulgaria come first leaving behind Portugal at 2nd place and Sweden at 3rd place. Another noticeable element is Italy placing (17) that contrasts the support these juries gave to Italy in 2015 with a first place ranking.


Pot 5

In this 5th pack of countries we meet the rest Southern countries (Malta, San Marino, Portugal), central Europe (Czech Republic, Austria) and Australia. Here we have a surprising 2nd placing for The Netherlands and a 4th place for Austria (which in the televoting scored 0 points) followed by the UK in 5th place.


Pot 6

In the last 6th group we have the older in the contest’s history participants, The Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland, the irrelevant geographically Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia. The ranking for the top two place reflects the general outcome of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (Portugal-1st, Bulgaria-2nd) followed as expected with Belgium 3rd place. Draws attention the top 10 placing for all of the Scandinavian contestants (Sweden,Norway, Denmark).


After all this ranking and up and downs in countries placing one can sure conclude that Jury voting is influenced decisively from common criteria and factors with televoting. Facts and votes gainsay the illusion that Neighbors, traditional and historical bonds between countries and common cultural elements do not  affect the outcome of  the jury voting. This conclusion raises questions  whether the existence of the five member national juries in the voting process serves EBU’s initial objective to prevent diaspora and neighboring voting. What are your thoughts about it, in a year of course where the country of Portugal was crowned with victory by both jury and public voting?



Angelo D.

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