Eurovision jury and televote - the songs they disagreed on
The voting at Eurovision often has fans asking themselves rhetorical questions, such as ‘I wonder if the 40 video calls will be awkward?’, or ‘Who will Greece and Cyprus give their 12 points to?’, but recently with the new scoring system, the differences between the jury vote and the televote has become quite a talking point.
The 50/50 jury-televote split has been around since 2009 and we're going to explore a few examples of when there's been conflicting results.
High Jury Points, Low Televote Points
‘Madness of Love’ by Raphael Gualazzi (Italy2011)
1st in Jury (251 points), 11th in Televote (99 points), 2nd place overall
Italy’s return to Eurovision in in the 2011 contest was marked with instant success, managing a 2nd place finish in Dusseldorf after a 14-year absence at the contest. Gualazzi’s song won the jury vote with 251 points, blending soft piano with brass and jazz, however could only manage 11th place in the televote, some 152 point difference. The professional juries saw merit in the entry while the public seemingly did not value the style of music. Though saying this, when each country’s points were collated, Italy were able to achieve an outstanding result.
‘Don’t Come Easy’ by Isaiah Firebrace (Australia 2017)
4th in Jury (171 points), 25th in Televote (2 points), 9th place overall
Next, we turn to Australia’s own Isaiah, who flew the flag in Kyiv in 2017. He managed to finish 4th in the jury vote, with the well produced track and smooth vocals proving a hit. Though the public did not see eye-to-eye, giving him only 2 points in the televote. Perhaps the public was were swayed by his off note in the semi-final, or perhaps the song just did not stand out compared to some other entries with more flare. However, with the two sets of points being presented separately, despite finishing second last in the televote, Isaiah was able to hold his head high with a 9th place finish overall.
‘Nobody But You’ by Cesár Sampson (Austria 2018)
1st in Jury (271 points), 13th in Televote (71 points), 3rd place overall
Travelling back to the contest in 2018, after providing backing vocals for Bulgaria for the previous two years, it was Austrian soul singer Cesár Sampson's time to shine when he won the jury vote. His catchy track, smooth vocal performance, and impressive staging, received either 10 or 12 points from 14 different juries. This love was not reciprocated by the public though, only receiving 71 points for a 13th placed finish, a 200 point difference. Perhaps the case of ‘good but not great’ was the reason for this score, or potentially a somewhat unfavourable running order in the grand final, performing 5th. However, Sampson was able to finish in an impressive 3rd place, Austria’s highest finish since its 2014 victory.
‘Dance You Off’ by Benjamin Ingrosso (Sweden 2018)
2nd in Jury (253 points), 23rd in Televote (21 points), 7th place overall
We return again to Lisbon for the 2018 contest, which saw Eurovision powerhouse Sweden produce yet another slick, pop performance. Benjamin Ingrosso flexed his singing muscles with his BYO LED light show, taking TV viewers into another world, placing 2nd with the juries. However, in an astonishing turn, Sweden could only manage 21 points from the televote, a whopping 232 point discrepancy, signalling perhaps a shift away from the public’s love of Swedish pop tracks. Ingrosso still managed to place 7th overall, which begs the question of how well he could have done if he received a bit more love by the public.
High Televote Points, Low Jury Points
‘My Slowianie – We Are Slavic’ by Donatan and Cleo (Poland 2014)
5th in Televote (162 points), 23rd in Jury (23 points), 14th place overall
Who could forget this iconic performance? Poland returned to Eurovision in Copenhagen in 2014 after a two-year absence and they made it count with an eye-catching stage show. It is no surprise this did well in the televote, with the sultry staging and ethnic sound standing out in viewers’ minds and translating into votes. The jury however was not as pleased, awarding the entry only 23 points, a 139 point difference. With only one set of points being awarded per country, this resulted in a 14th placed finish for the Polish, but this has proven to be a performance for the ages. On the plus side, they got some clean laundry and freshly-churned butter…
‘Color Of Your Life’ by Michal Szpak (Poland 2016)
4th in Televote (222 points), 25th in Jury (7 points), 8th place overall
It’s Poland again, this time we take a look at the 2016 contest in Stockholm where the new voting system was first used which separated the jury and televote results. No one expected a high result of Poland’s Michal Szpak after finishing second last in the jury vote with only 7 points. This could be due to its placing in the running order – Poland performed 12th, sandwiched between France and Australia who came third and first in the jury vote respectively. Though no one could have predicted what happened next – an amazing 222 points from the televote, who obviously resonated with the song’s powerful vocals and memorable message, and thus Poland was able to place 8th overall.
‘Non Mi Aveto Fatto Niente’ (translation: ‘You Haven’t Done Anything To Me’) by Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro (Italy 2018)
3rd in Televote (249 points), 17th in Jury (59 points), 5th place overall
Italy continued their strong Eurovision run in 2018 with a top 5 finish once again, driven by a strong televote result. Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro delivered a powerful song which resonated around Europe, accompanied by snippets of the lyrics displayed on screen in several languages. This approach saw them convey the meaning of the song despite the lanugage barrier and were able to place 3rd with the televote (closing the show would have also helped their cause). However, the jury did not seem to value this entry as much, giving it only 59 points for a 17th place finish, some 190 point difference. With the combined scores, it was another fantastic result for Italy.
‘Spirit In The Sky’ by KEiiNO (Norway 2019)
1st in Televote (291 points), 18th in Jury (40 points), 6th place overall
For our final look, we turn to the most recent edition of the contest held in Tel Aviv. It was Norway’s KEiiNO who wowed the public with a 1st place finish in the televote with 291 points, with the group blending a catchy pop sound with the now iconic ‘joiking’ taken from the Sami culture, the Indigenous people from northern Norway. However, they could only manage 18th in the jury vote with just 40 points, a remarkable 251 point difference. Due to the change in the presentation of the votes, there was no official recognition on the night of Norway’s win of the televote, which is a shame, but producers opted for a method which delivered high television drama in the last minutes of the show, but it was a sensational effort from KEiiNO. It was also the only time a televote winner hadn't finished in the Top 10 of the jury vote (the previous lowest was 'Grande Amore' who finished 6th in the jury in 2015).
So, as we can see, there have been some major discrepancies in jury and televote results throughout the years. Some argue that the juries have too much sway on the results, as so few people make up 50% of the results, but the design of the juries is to give songs the merit they deserve and potentially would not receive by the average viewer. No one ever expects the jury and televotes to agree fully, and that’s why we love Eurovision so much – people are able to express their opinions and celebrate their love of music, whichever song that may be!