So there was quite a lot (some) of talk last night on the Eurovision algorithm. This was introduced a few years ago to inject some excitement into voting by making it look as if it was wide open for as long as possible.
How does it work? The Friday before the Grand Final they do a dress rehearsal for the main show on Saturday, and it’s this dress rehearsal the forty national juries watch and mark. This mark accounts for 50% of each country’s points allocation – it works a bit like Strictly Come Dancing, the countries are ranked by jury and ranked by the televote, the rankings combined and the top ten are given the points.
The computer whirrs away overnight to come up with the most exciting deliverance of votes possible based solely on the jury vote. This is released on Saturday morning (this means they can finalise a running order/cue-cards and so on).
If the votes from this year’s jury finals were the only ones used, this is how the final voting would go:
As you can see it’s nip and tuck until the 27th set of votes are released which is where Sweden have more than a 12 point lead and then continue to pull away. If the results were given in a completely random order you would expect the gradients to be a bit more fixed, and it would look like Sweden are the winners from much earlier.
However the interest for me is how does the televote affect the result of the algorithm? This is how the results would have played out on the night if the comms didn’t break down:
The pull-away point here is around result 32, the televote added literally 6-7 minutes more excitement and interest. Particularly interesting is that again, if the results were given in a random order you’d expect Sweden to look like clear winners earlier, but because the viewers disagree with the juries Russia pulls well ahead until the jury advantage kicks back in to the Swede’s favour. There will have to be a point where the losers fade away.
Where the public agree with the juries you’d expect it to feel all over a lot earlier, but clearly when there’s a bit of disagreement you get a rather exciting night like last night.
You can check the working on the Excel spreadsheet I made. Euroalgorithm