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Which Eurovision year is the fans' favourite?

For those who missed it, Aussievision recently completed our fifth annual survey of Eurovision fans across the world, to take the pulse of those who love the Contest.

This week, we’re diving into our readers’ views on the best ever Eurovision contests.

Voters were asked to pick their favourite Eurovision year since the very first contest back in 1956.

Will perennial favourite 2016 top the list once again, or will one of the more recent contests pip 2016 Stockholm to the post?

It’s time to find out!

The Top 10

10. Baku 2012

=8. Copenhagen 2014

=8. Malmö 2013

7. Turin 2022

6. Lisbon 2018

=4. Vienna 2015

=4. Tel Aviv 2019

Recent contests were the overwhelming winners in our survey, with all of the top 10 coming from the 2010s and 2020s. This likely reflects a growth in interest in Eurovision during recent years and general recency bias.

Indeed, with only a few exceptions, we see a broadly upward trend in the number of votes allocated to recent years – so the contests from Tel Aviv 2019 and Lisbon 2018 rank higher than older contests in Baku, Malmö and Copenhagen.

One exception to this trend was 2015, which came in higher than its surrounding years. This possibly reflects a number of fan-favourite entries from that year, including Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlow, Italy’s Il Volo and Belgium’s Loïc Nottet as well as the debut of Australia at Eurovision.

On the other side of the scale, last year’s Contest in Turin only came in seventh place, possibly reflecting some memorable technical difficulties surrounding the staging of several entries at that year’s contest.

Sadly, Eurovision 2017 hosted in Kyiv, Ukraine was the only contest since 2012 to miss out on the Top 10 (with the exception of the cancelled 2020 contest), coming in eleventh.

So which three Contests stood out to fans?

The Top 3

3. Liverpool 2023

This year’s joint hosting between Ukraine and the United Kingdom came in a very respectable third place.

It’s not difficult to see why, with the BBC putting on a professional and high quality production that allowed all of the acts to shine. This year also came with a particularly likeable hosting lineup featuring actress Hannah Waddingham, Ukrainian rockstar Julia Sanina, X-Factor legend Alesha Dixon and the evergreen Graham Norton.

A common feature of the top three is also exciting voting sequences. While 2023 did not have the same wide field of contenders as the two ahead of it, the head-to-head battle between Sweden’s Loreen and Finland’s Käärijä will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

2. Rotterdam 2021

The first contest after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of Eurovision 2020 boasted an exceptionally high-quality lineup of songs, which is reflected in this high placement.

With most of the artists returning for another bite at the cherry, after originally being selected for the 2020 contest, there were a number of impressive glow-ups and some memorable new faces.

Scoring at the top was extremely tight, with Italy’s Måneskin finishing just 25 points ahead of France’s Barbara Pravi. Måneskin have since rocketed to global stardom, becoming one of the most successful Eurovision winners of all time.

Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the high-quality productions from the Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS, with a technically advanced stage and a slick hosting lineup. This was particularly impressive given that this Contest was run under strict COVID-19 protocols, leading to both the Australian and Icelandic acts unable to perform on the stage during the Contest.

1. Stockholm 2016

A clear winner, coming in a massive 30 fan votes ahead of the next-best year, the shadow of Stockholm 2016 Contest still looms large among Eurovision fans.

With a next-generation production that really showed how technologically sophisticated Eurovision could be alongside possibly the most beloved hosting lineup ever in Swedish comedian Petra Mede and Eurovision 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlow, it’s no surprise that this one still conjures up fond memories for fans.

This was also the year in which the current voting sequence, with separate jury and televote announcements, made its debut – and the sheer suspense of the resulting announcement has perhaps still never been topped. Australia’s own Dami Im comfortably won the jury vote while Russia won the televote, leading to a surprise win for Ukraine’s Jamala who came second with both.

How did Australia vote?

Australia’s votes for the top Eurovision year largely reflected the ranking above, with an identical top five. However, there were a few key differences in the results.

Australian fans proved slightly fonder of some of the earlier contests from the 2010s. In particular, the 2013 contest hosted in Malmö, Sweden and the 2012 contest in Baku, Azerbaijan came in sixth and seventh places respectively (versus eighth and tenth in the whole survey sample).

Fans of Eurovision 2017 will be pleased to hear that the Kyiv-hosted contest made Australia’s Top 10, coming in equal eighth place alongside last year’s competition in Turin. Instead, it was the Portuguese-hosted 2018 contest which dropped out of Australia’s Top 10.

What about older Contests?

For those who love older Eurovision Song Contests, we can reveal the years before 2010 that ranked highest.

=1. Moscow 2009

=1. Dublin 1997

=3. Athens 2006

=3. Riga 2003

=5. Birmingham 1998

=5. Millstreet 1993

=5. Belgrade 2008

Views on scoring, rules and countries taking part

You can catch up on how Australia differs from the international counterparts on countries taking part, scoring and other EBU rules via our earlier articles:

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