"Nul points" to date from Australia for ...
Words by Wade Stephens
Since Guy Sebastian debuted for Australia in 2015 with ‘Tonight Again’, a unique kind of "democracy sausage" has been available for Australians (explanation: we Aussies love a sausage when we go to the polls!).
For one week each year, the Australian public and a hand-picked national jury have wielded influence over the outcome of the Eurovision Song Contest with their votes. Over time, we’ve handed out a staggering 1,102 points using the famous 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 voting format.
42 different countries have fought for our affection over the years. Sweden has carved out a position as Australia’s favourite and banked a whopping 104 points to date, whilst Australia has thus far reaped 115 points from our biggest fans: Poland (well when it comes to both Semi Final and Grand Final total points).
Over the last five contests, Australia has awarded points to every country with which it has been in direct competition (in a semi-final or the Grand Final) apart from one, and the country we’ve rejected entirely is … Albania.
Incredibly, the nation whose national final (Festivali i Këngës) kicks off the Eurovision season has received nothing from the Australian public or jury, despite being eligible for points on six separate occasions. And sadly, this is an unrequited love story, as Albania has awarded Australia 56 points to date, averaging to around eight points every time the two countries have competed together. Only Poland, Germany and Finland have shown Australia more love for less return.
To its credit, Albania has qualified for the Grand Final three times since 2015, all without Australia’s help. The country’s success from that year onward has also been achieved without receiving a single vote from Denmark, Latvia, The Netherlands or Ukraine.
Interestingly, on two of the aforementioned six occasions, not voting for Albania has put Australia into a voting minority, as is shown in the statistical analysis below.
Elhaida Dani - 'I'm Alive' (2015)
Semi Final 1:
Finished: 10th – 62 points
Albania received votes from 10 out of a possible 19 countries (52.6%)
This meant that Australia was in the minority of nations not voting for the song.
Finished 17th – 34 points
Albania received votes from 4 out of a possible 39 countries (10.2%)
To rub salt into the wound Australia's combined televote and jury score put Albania last place in both the semi finals and the final.
Eneda Tarifa - ‘Fairytale’ (2016)
Semi Final 2:
Finished: 16th – 45 points
Albania received votes from 7 out of a possible 20 countries (35.0%)
The Australian televote put Albania in last place, but in some good news the Australian jury put the song in 14th position out of the 17 songs.
Lindita - ‘World’ (2017)
Semi Final 1:
Finished: 14th – 76 points
Albania received votes from 6 out of a possible 20 countries (30.0%)
The Australian jury put the song in last place, while the televote did slightly better putting 'World' 16th out of the 17 songs.
Eugent Bushpepa - ‘Mall’ (2018)
Semi Final 1:
Australia and Albania qualify in separate semi finals; Albania received votes from 21 out of a possible 21 countries (100.0%)
Finished: 11th – 184 points
Albania received votes from 22 out of a possible 42 countries (52.3%)*
*Australia in the minority
The Australian jury were close to giving Albania a point, placing the song 14th.
The Australian public however ranked the song 23rd out of 25 songs, only ahead of Portugal and Spain on the night.
Jonida Maliqi - ‘Ktheju tokës’ (2019)
Semi Final 1:
Australia and Albania qualify in separate semi finals; Albania received votes from 12 out of a possible 20 countries (60.0%)
Finished: 17th – 90 points
Albania received votes from 12 out of a possible 40 countries (30.0%)
The Australian jury ranked the song 21st and the Australian public 23rd out of the 25 songs.
The votes cast for SBS’s 'Eurovision 2020: Big Night In!' paint a similar story. Whilst Albania's entry did win some fans, Arilena Ara’s ‘Fall from the Sky’ didn’t come close to the public-voted Australian Top 10, reaching only number 32.
In more positive news, this year the OGAE Australia fan club members ranked 'Mall' by Eugent Bushpepa, at no.83 on the Top 100 Eurovision Song Poll.
Additionally, just last week the Aussievision team revealed its votes for the OGAE Second Chance Contest, an annual event showcasing songs that failed to progress beyond the national final stage. Of the 21 eligible songs, Elvana Gatja’s ‘Me Tana’ came fourth, and 12 of our 16 contributors (75.0%) had it in their Top 10.
Finally, Albania gets a high vote tally from Australian Eurovision fans!