Sunday, 25 May 2008

Armenia in Eurovision 2008: No. 2 - semifinal, No. 4 - final. Pretty good results!

I was watching Eurovision final at a Eurovision party hold in a popular gay venue in central London, Soho. I was with a group of my friends, straight and gay. Atmosphere was very nice there. The venue was packed. And Sirusho's performance was greeted with a big applause, while during her song many were dancing under Qele, Qele.

Well done, Sirusho!

I must say that Sirusho's performance has been improved a lot since semifinal, both vocally and... yeah, hair-wise. I am glad that Armenian team and Sirusho took a criticism the way it should be taken which resulted in a very good outcome. It was not perfect vocally but, overall, an excellent entry for Armenia. She looked stunning on the stage. And dancers were hit among TV viewers, party goers and TV commentators, who were impressed with their fitness, dance routines and... it was kind of hot too. One well-known English TV presenter (I am not referring here to Terry Wogan), after complimenting their fitness, says that they seem like can't get enough each other ;)

Well done, Sirusho! Congrats!!!

Btw, I heard that Sirusho's song is becoming a big club hit in Greece.

Poor Amenian Eurovision future entrants, Sirusho made your life more difficult. Now you have a target of 4th place to achieve and exceed.

South Caucasus

South Caucasus did quite well, overall. During semifinals, Armenia finished 2nd, Georgia - 5th, and Azerbaijan - 6th. And in a final, along with Armenia's 4th place, Azerbaijan finished at No.8 (exactly the way Armenia did at its first entry to Eurovision contest three years ago). Georgia just missed top ten, finishing 11th this year.

And yes, Armenia awarded 2 points to Azerbaijan during the first semifinal ("2 points from Armenia goes to Azerbaijan"). Good for Armenia. Azerbaijan, in the meantime, awarded Armenia "nil points"... May be in time, may be next year, may be in 5 years things would be different...

I loved so much when Georgian TV representative who presented 12 points to Armenia did it singing Qele Qele. It was super!

Winning song

I think Dima Bilan's winning song is definitely worse than his previous entry Never Let You Go two years ago which secured him 2nd place. Anyway, I started thinking whether I should make plans for Moscow in a year time for Eurovision 2009. Have not been in Moscow for ages. Well, may be, just for fun, really, and to blog from Moscow next year :)

BBC 'prediction'

BBC has to change the methodology of its Eurovision surveys. BBC poll failed spectacularly in its main predictions. Their predicted winner - Sweden, did not make it even into top 10 (Ukraine overshadowed her). In fact, Sweden passed through to the final only because of the jury vote (according to the new rules, 10th position in semi-finals is selected by a jury). Betting agencies, on the other hand, were proved to be much more reliable in predicting results.


Onnik Krikorian said...

BTW: Armenia got the most full points awarded than any other country (eight 12 points, in fact).

artmika said...

Really? I love that statistics :) I would have thought that most 12 points went to Russia.

artmika said...

Azeri press agency headlines today the fact that "Armenia awarded 2 points to Azerbaijan in first semi-final".

Onnik Krikorian said...

Russia got full marks seven times. Armenia got it eight times.

Armenia, which only finished 4th, is the country that scored 12 points the most times: eight times. Russia scored 12 only seven times, Greece six times and Ukraine even only once.

8 Armenia (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Russia)

7 Russia (Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine)

Glad to hear about the Azeri headline. I wonder if it will make people think for a little?

artmika said...

Very interesting analysis by Esctoday:

"Western Vote" versus "Eastern Vote"

"Indeed, western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in because their prospects are poor." said Sir Terry Wogan last night during his commentary for the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade.

Sir Terry, who has commentated on the competition since the 1970s for the United Kingdom, said: "Russia were going to be the political winners from the beginning." decided to take a closer look at this viewpoint. We decided to separate all of the "western european" countries' votes as labelled by the list of western european countries by the United Nations found here. We also decided to separate all of the "eastern european" countries' votes as labelled by the list of eastern european countries by the United Nations found here. We applied this situation to the Grand Final.

NOTE: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are not featured or "labelled" on either of these lists, therefore these countries' casting votes were removed for the sake of argument and fairness. Also, by coincidence, there are exactly 20 "western european countries" and 20 "eastern european countries" featured on each list which participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Please note: as does, we DO take into account the tie-break rule for positions other than the winning. The use of this rule is disputed but generally does not affect the results too much.

The "Western Vote" Result Table:

Greece - 96 points
Armenia - 93 points
Norway - 92 points
Ukraine - 84 points
Russia - 83 points
Turkey - 68 points
Iceland - 62 points
Portugal - 62 points
Serbia - 60 points
Latvia - 54 points
Bosnia & Herzegovina - 51 points
Spain - 50 points
Denmark - 44 points
Israel - 42 points
Sweden - 38 points
Romania - 33 points
France - 25 points
Azerbaijan - 23 points
Finland - 22 points
Albania - 21 points
Georgia - 19 points
Poland - 14 points
United Kingdom - 14 points
Croatia - 8 points
Germany - 2 points

Notice on the "western vote" that eventual winners Russia, would have finished 5th, Greece would have come 1st as opposed to 3rd, Armenia would have came 2nd from 4th, Norway would have came 3rd but finished 5th overall, Ukraine would have came 4th but came 2nd overall. But the points differnce between the top 5 countries is close. Germany would have finished last as opposed to the United Kingdom overall.

Now the "Eastern Vote" Result Table:

1. Russia - 161 points

2. Ukraine - 121 points

3. Greece - 104 points

4. Azerbaijan - 102 points

5. Serbia - 95 points

6. Armenia - 94 points

7. Norway - 73 points

8. Israel - 66 points

9. Bosnia & Herzegovina - 56 points

10. Turkey - 52 points

11. Georgia - 50 points

12. Albania - 33 points

13. Croatia - 33 points

14. Latvia - 27 points

15. France - 18 points

16. Denmark - 16 points

17. Finland - 13 points

18. Romania - 12 points

18. Germany - 12 points

20. Sweden - 9 points

21. Portugal - 7 points

22. Spain - 4 points

23. Iceland - 2 points

24. Poland - 0 points

24. United Kingdom - 0 points

Russia finished 1st as in the overall final result. 2nd Ukraine as in the overall final result also. 3rd Greece as in the overall final result, 4th is Azerbaijan who finished 8th overall, 5th is Serbia who finished 6th overall. Poland and United Kingdom shared joint bottom according to the "Eastern vote" which Poland finished 2nd last and United Kingdom came bottom in the overall final result.


We decided to find which country polled the most 12 points scores (ie. countries who scored 12 points on more than one occasion.)

From the "western vote alone", the top 12 points scorers were:

1. Armenia (4), coming from France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Greece.

1. Greece (4), coming from United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus and San Marino.

2. Denmark (2), coming from Iceland and Norway.

2. Norway (2), coming from Sweden and Finland.

From the "eastern vote alone", the top 12 points scorers were:

1. Russia (5), coming from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus.

2. Serbia (3), coming from Montenegro, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

2. Armenia (3), coming from Poland, Russia and Czech Republic.

3. Bosnia & Herzegovina (2), coming from Croatia and Serbia.

3. Azerbaijan (2), coming from Turkey and FYR Macedonia.

3. Greece (2), coming from Romania and Albania.

artmika said...

I just heard an interview with Terry Wogan on BBC. He suggested limiting voting rights in the final only to those countries who passed through to the final. I must disappoint Sir Wogan, that even in that case the prospects for the UK entry did not look promising. While I understand the frastrations with neighbourly/political/diaspora voting, in the end no one can win relying only on that. There should be more general appeal. And while Terry Wogan and UK public in its majority does not seem to take Eurovision seriously, which is perfectly fine, but then every time after the final they start very seriously discussing why UK with its non-serious attitude is doing bad in the contest.

And here is another analysis from Esctoday which proves that limiting voting to finalists only would not have any better effect on the UK placing.

What if...?

Soon after the results of the Eurovision Song Contest were in, many people started to ask how the results would have been if only the countries that took part in the final had voted. The top two would still have been the same but we can seem some significant changes in the lower positions.
This would have been the result with only the countries in the final voting:

Russia - 142
Ukraine - 137
Norway - 127
Armenia - 116
Greece - 108
Turkey - 88
Serbia - 81
Israel - 70
Azerbaijan - 59
Iceland - 58
Bosnia & Herzegovina - 56
Georgia - 48
Denmark - 44
Latvia - 39
Portugal - 32
Spain - 31
France - 30
Sweden - 28
Romania - 26
Croatia - 26
Albania - 21
Finland - 21
Poland - 4
Germany - 0
United Kingdom - 0

Norway would have finished in third position only 15 points behind Russia and Iceland would have reached the top ten. This is obviously based on the fact that all Nordic countries made it to the final. On the other hand, Sweden would have even finished in a lower position as Charlotte Perrelli got her only 12 points from Malta, one of the countries that were eliminated in the semi final. Greece would have dropped to fifth place while Armenia would have stayed at #4. The bottom three would be the same although without the countries from the semi finals, the UK and Germany would have shared the last place with no points at all and Poland would have been third last with four points.

artmika said...

...And to prove above points even further, here is another alternative approach to vote counts, presented by Jon Worth blog, which resulted in Armenia winning the contest, and the UK finishing again at the bottom 25th:

Qele victoire! Why Armenia should have won Eurovision

OK, there are 142.2 million people in Russia, Europe’s largest country voting in Eurovision. San Marino, the smallest, has a mere 20000. But when it comes to the votes allocated in Eurovision each county’s votes count equally. If you think the EU's EU’s Qualified Majority Voting system for legislation is bad, try Eurovision’s system - it’s a terrible distortion in favour of the smaller countries. Plus as most of the (small) Balkan countries vote for each other, and Russian minorities in the small Baltic and Caucusus countries vote for Russia you get a skewed result.

So here’s the alternative: weight each country’s votes according to that country’s population. OK, this assumes that voting turnout in all countries is the same, but it’s inherently a fairer system. Taking the populations of European countries from Wikipedia, and the official Eurovision results table I have come up with this adjusted Excel table . The result: Armenia (Qele, Qele) wins with a population-adjusted 5935.1 points, ahead of Greece (4251.6 points) and Azerbaijan (3796.1 points). Russia, the actual winner, manages only 5th place in the population adjusted results. Sadly even with the adjusted results the UK is still rooted to the bottom in 25th place.

Anonymous said...

Not only did we get the most 12 points in the finals but we also got the most 12points in the semi finals.

And we`re also the best in public`s choice:

During the official afterparty following the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 the four winners of Marcel Bezençon Award 2008 was announced and the prices was given out. A newly introduced award was presented this year, the Fan Award by Swedish website Readers of the site had the opportunity to vote online for their favorite 2008 artist under the age of 25. Thousands of votes were casted and the winner become Sirusho representing Armenia with the song Qele Qele.

Anonymous said...

Glad that Armenia did so well. It was definitely better than some of the others! I didn't want Greece to win for example (my Finnish pal referred to her as the 'Britney copy'!).
My former flatmate Zhenya wants me to go to Moscow for 2009, so maybe we will be there together, who knows! :D

artmika said...

There are talks that it may be Saint Petersburg, which I would prefer more, to be honest. So yeah, Moscow or Saint Petersburg 2009 is very possible. Would be great to see you there too ;)

Anonymous said...

hmmm, well St petersburg isn't quite as good for me because i'd have to pay for accommodation there!! we'll see. :)

artmika said...

It was decided today that Moscow will host Eurovision 2009. (Good news for you, Rhiannon!) St Petersburg’s chances did get materialised amid initial protests-"fears" by local parliamentarians that hosting the event there would result in "invasion of drug addicts" as Eurovision's Western music has "decaying moral influences on the youth" and "provoke drug use"!!!