For many national finals international juries are used to help select a song that is appealing beyond the borders of that nation.
Melodifestivalen is probably best known for using them but this year we've already seen it in France, Switzerland, Malta, Armenia, Slovenia, Germany and Czech Republic.
So which nations make up a good jury member? Well we did some number crunching and came up with the ideal international jury.
METHOD: We looked at the last three years of voting and included the jury votes for 2017/2016 and the overall vote for 2015. We looked at how many votes were given to both the winner and the top three over those years. If the country itself was the winner or in the top 3 they received those points because well... they chose that song! And our 10 nations are in order:
Latvia knows what's going on . They have given 36 points out of 36 for the three winners (equal 1st of all nations) and have given on average 25 out of a possible 30 points to the top three each year (equal 2nd). All incredibly high scores with very diverse songs. Get Latvia on your jury now!
Israel often do appear in international juries and it's a good idea. They have given winners 34 points out of 36 (equal 4th) and 24.7 for the top three (equal 4th).
The beast from the east knows a winner. They've given the full 36 points on offer to the last three winners. They didn't do as well for the top 3 but who cares, if you're in it to win it you need to impress the Poles.
The small nation doesn't just vote for Romania.... they can certainly spot a song that can perform well. They were the top nation in giving votes to the top 3 - an average of 26.3 out of 30 points on offer every year. They weren't as great at the winner - picking 1st, 3rd and 4th but hey that's pretty damn good!
Like Poland it's all or nothing with Slovenia. Their top 3 record isn't great but they have given the winner 12 points each of the three years. They are a jury must.
Ok so they might not always know what to do with their own songs but they can pick a good track (although 12 points to LIthuania in 2015 is an odd one). They have given the winner 34 out of a possible 36 points (equal 4th) and the top 3, 23 points out of the possible 30 each year (equal 7th).
Other than loving Australian songs the Danes do have good taste. Another 34 out of 36 for the Eurovision winners from 2015 to 2017. And 22 points out of a possible 30 for the top 3 each year (equal 11th).
Well they have dominated this decade and they can not only choose good songs for themselves but others as well. They've given the top 3 23.7 out of a possible 30 each year. They fell down in the winners category, picking 12 points for their own song, and 12 points for Salvador but they gave Jamala nothing. (That went to Dami!)
They have a 100% record in qualifying so they know how to choose a good song for themselves. They have the second best record at picking a top 3 song (25 out of a possible 30 points each year) but do fall down a little on the winners with only 24 points out of a possible 36.
An international jury wouldn't be complete without a Balkan and Serbia is the best performer. They gave 32 points out of a possible 36 to the three winners (equal 7th) and 23 points out of a possible 30 each year to the top 3. (also equal 7th.
Ok we had to include ourselves and not just for sentimental reasons. We can pick a good song - we give 22.3 out of 30 for the top 3 on average (equal 8th) but our winner record is not as good, Heroes was 1st for us, 4th for Salvador but only 9th from the jury to Jamala. But perhaps that's good taste?
WHO TO AVOID
Ok so there are a couple of countries that have... well let's say... a 'unique' taste. If these people don't like your song it's not a biggy... and if they do... be worried!
Montenegro gave the last three winners a total of 5 points. Not 5 points each year, 5 points in TOTAL. This was the worst by far from any nation. Also they were worst for top 3 votes - only 10.7 out of a possible 30 each year. Avoid at all cost.
Bless Ireland they really are living in the past. Their taste is a little out of whack. They have given the three winners only 15 points in total (equal 4th worst) and the top 3 have only received 13 points out of the possible 30 from Ireland each year (equal second worst).
They Fins do have obscure taste and that's fine... but just don't get them on your jury. 20 points in total for the winners over three years (equal 8th worst) and only 15.7 for the top 3 out of a possible 30 each year (4th worst).
They do things their own way in France and it shows. Pretty much on par with Finland with 20 points for the winners and 16 for the top 3 (5th worst).
So that wraps up our ideal international jury and who to avoid. But hey it's only the last three years and tastes and juries change. Either way we think they are a great way to help choose your national song.