INFE Tribute: Which participating countries finished with “nul points” in ESC televoting

INFE Tribute: Which participating countries finished with “nul points” in ESC televoting

The voting system in the 63 years of the Eurovision Song Contest has met a number of amendments until nowadays. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of televoting.

Televoting, or voting by telephone, was first introduced at the Eurovision Song Contest of 1997 as an alternative to the traditional jury system and was tested initially by five countries – the rest used the jury system.  By 2004, all participating countries used this system.  Since the 2009 finals, televoting now makes up 50% of a country’s total score with the remaining 50% coming from a jury of five music professionals from each participating country which are then combined.  The 50:50 system proved so successful that it was extended into the semi-finals for the 2010 contest and has remained in place ever since to not only determine the overall winner, but to also pick the ten qualifiers from each semi-final. San Marino is the only participating country that does not have its own independent televote system as it shares Italy’s phone network.

Here today however we will focus only on televoting and make a mini-flashback to countries that finished with “nul points” in the public’s voting.

1997–  Although this year is not indicative since only five countries used the televoting format (Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK), however even among this few countries Norway and Portugal didn’t manage to get at least one point. The first one was represented by Tor Endresen and his song “San Francisco”, while the second by Celia Lawson and her entry “Antes Do Adeus“.



1998– The rest of the participating countries adopt the televoting system.  This time Swiss act Gunvor with the entry Las Inn, failed to get a point from the audience despite the vocalists and biolist’s attempt to leave strong impressions.


2003It would take some years to see another country end up with zero points . Namely, Jemini and her song Cry Baby brought tears to the United Kingdom’s delegation as the Bristist representative finished with nul points. Despite the chroreographic features on stage in Riga the vocals were so bad that the audience turned its back to the specific entry.

From 2004 up to  2011 all countries manages to get at least one point from the televoting . Even countries that finished in the last place managed to get at least one point, like Malta in 2006 or even 15 points like Israel in 2009. Having however the introduction of the semi finals system from 2004 and onwards we meet two countries that received zero points in their semi finals . In 2004 Piero Esteriore & The MusicStars representing Switzerland with the song Celebrate got no points from the public in the semi final 

In 2009 the Czech Republic’s entry Aven Romale performed by finished with no points coming from the audience in his semi final .

2012 Reaching a more recent edition of the contest we will see French female act, Angunn perform Echo (You And I) but without reaching the audience’s preference . The result came as a shock since her popularity had risen expectations for a much more better result.  However the points coming from the juries saved Angunn from finshing last with a 22nd placing.

The even more recent years the “nul points” phenomenon seems to appear more often, as for three consecutive editions we met countries failing to get a single point from the audience.

2015–  Although from this year many maintain the memory of Germany and Austria not receiving no points in the combined jury and public voting overall, the fact is that only the host country Austria didn’t manage to get a single point from televoting. Despite the good vocals and the impressive piano on fire the  Makemakes  and their entry I Am Yours failed to move the public as much as to get even one point.

2016– Czech Republic is represented by beautiful Gabriela Guncikova and her dynamic ballad I Stand. Inspite of her achievement to reach the Grand final (one of the country’s best results), she ends up second last having 41 points only from the juries.  Gabriela’s vocals were not enough to move the audience and achieve a better televoting result.

2017– The truth is that Austria is one of the countries that has seen several times the audience turn its back to its entry. One fo these cases was Nathan Trent’s  participation with Running On Air. The entry was placed 16th receiving 93 points exclusively from the juries. The romantic and optimistic presentation of his song didn’t manage to leave the impressions Nathan expected in order to have a better acceptance by audience. The same year the Maltese participation with Claudia Faniello and her song Breathlessly fails to get any televotes in the 2nd semi final despite Claudia’s sentimental performance.


– 2018: In this year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest we might have not seen a country finishing with no points at the overall score but in the semi finals we saw Icelandic entry Our Choice performed by Ari Ólafsson getting no point from the public voting. 

Pretty much this is the picture when it comes to the televoting “nul point” phenomenon in the Eurovision Song Contest.  Stay tuned for the next INFE Tirbute on trivia and aspects of our favorite song contest.

Angelo D.

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