It’s hard to think that barring any major revamps the next national final won’t be until Festivali i Këgnës at some point in December this year. This season we’ve been treated to Tayanna’s manager putting Andriy Danylko firmly in his place, Greece disqualify so many entrants from their final they only had one act left standing and whatever the hell happened in San Marino. As with all things Eurovision the national finals always throw up some interesting stats so now they’re all done and dusted it’s time to delve a little deeper into the numbers.
It’s no understatement to say that this year’s season has seen a bumper crop of national finals. 30 of this year’s competing nations haven chosen their act in some kind of competitive public forum. This number was boosted courtesy of countries such as France and Montenegro who both returned to national final formats. When taking into account long lists and early internet rounds there were a total of 696 known entries competing for the 30 slots. This number would have gone over 700 had the Greek selection not fallen apart.
Whilst some selections were far too close to call there were those that were a foregone conclusion before anyone sang a note. With the backing of Philipp Kirkorov it seemed highly unlikely that DoReDos couldn’t conquer Moldova. In the process of claiming their spot in Lisbon they received 96.3% of the total jury points. Only one juror opted to give them an 8 rather than the full douze points, safe to say he won’t be invited back next year. Only Christabelle in Malta could go one step further with a full 100% from MESC’s five person international jury.
There were two noticeable landslides within the public voting from both Eesti Laul and Melodi Grand Prix. Although both took the lead with international juries Estonia’s Elina Nechayeva and Norway’s Alexander Rybak could’ve reasonably been pegged back if public opinion had gone the other way. It was not to be the case as in both finals these acts utterly decimated their competition with emphatic wins in the televote. Both actually scored very similarly. Elina secured 70.5% of her superfinal votes with Rybak scoring 71.3%. Both impressive but when you consider Elina had two acts including Stig Rästa up against her I reckon hers is the ever so slightly greater achievement. However, that may be my anti ‘That’s How You Verb a Noun’ bias showing through.
Alexander and Elina may not have needed their massive public votes after some jury love but there were some acts that definitely did. In Hungary AWS managed to scrape through to the A Dal superfinal scoring only 8 points from the jury. When you consider the three above them scored 36, 30 and 28 respectively it shows they weren’t necessarily the favourites to go to Lisbon. Mercifully for those of us looking for something a little grittier the Hungarian public had the final say and we’ll be treated to Vizslát nyár in May. All the way back in January Madame Monsieur needed much the same to win in France. After international juries left Mercy a seemingly distant 3rd (including a particularly stingy 2 points from a certain Mr. Bjorkman) they needed 28% of the public vote to secure their place.
Spare a thought for poor Angel from Depi Evratesil who in failing to reach the final receiving only 54 votes in the first semi. Italian Head of Delegation Nicola Caligiore has sure had a busy month. As well as organising the beast that is San Remo he’s been on 6 of 10 fully named international juries. Even his French counterpart Eduardo Grassi could only muster 4. There was a definite theme to the UK’s You Decide with Abba songs being used 8 times throughout the show, 2 more than there were actual entries. The word ‘Abba’ or any Abba song title was mentioned 22 times, an average of once every four minutes.
And finally the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 are very important to Greece. After all, they LOST their national final…I’ll get my coat.