Eurovision 2016

Alex Mitchell
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Hello Europe! Yes It’s that time of year again when the wind machines are out, the outfits sparkle, the lyrics are questionable and we all complain about the politics. It’s Eurovision. This year’s contest is being held in Stockholm, Sweden after Måns Zelmerlöw won last year with his song ‘Heroes’. This year’s contest is set to be a big one with a new voting system designed to build the ultimate suspense in the quest to find a winner and more importantly break the power of the block voting.

Previously a country’s points were made up of a 50/50 split between the national jury and televoting. This year, rather than splitting the vote, countries will award two sets of points. One set which will be announced in the normal live satellite feeds which come from the Jury. The televotes will be counted and then points allocated based on the ranking of the songs. These will then be added to all the points from the other countries votes and the total announced in reverse order. For Example if  the UK were to get 12 points from the Swedish Jury, 2 points from the Polish jury, they come first in the Irish televote, 10th in the French vote and third in the Polish vote. The UK would go away with 14 points plus 23 to get a score of 37 points. This is a method the Swedes use in their national selection and it makes for a great finish.

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This year we see the return of big hitter Ukraine after a year’s absence. Also returning and in the final are Croatia and Bulgaria. We have 7 returning artists including Finalists; Ira Losco who came second for Malta in 2002 with her song ‘7th Wonder’, Bulgaria’s Poli Genova who failed to make the final in 2011 with her song ‘Na Inat’ and from Lithuania Donny Montell who came 14th with his song ‘Love Is blind’ in 2012.

Romania became the first country in the contest’s 61 years to be expelled from the contest, due to outstanding debts to the European Broadcasting Union totaling £11m.

So what about the UK, this year we are represented by Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft with their song ‘You’re Not Alone’. Last year’s Electro velvet only managed 5 points. The good news is, out of the so-called ‘Big 5′ and Sweden, Joe and Jake are second behind France in the number of likes on youtube’ overall they came 9th out of the full list of 42. Add to this that after the live rehearsals the bookies improved the odds of the UK from 50/1 to 25/1. Furthermore the UK has avoided the cursed number 2 spot in the running order by drawing the second half of the final. so with this new voting system we may have a good night even if it is by UK standards.

So who are the favorites? Russia’s Sergey Lazarev and his song ‘You Are The Only One’ has long been the odds on favorite. Russia have thrown everything at this year’s contest after coming a close second to Sweden. Russia’s main rivals are France’s Amir and his song ‘J’ai Cherché’, Ukraine’s Jamala and ‘1944’, Sweden’s Frans and his song ‘If I Were Sorry’ and Australia’s Dami IM and her song ‘Sound Of Silence’. Australia this year had to qualify through a semi final and they won their place in the final on their own merits.

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Anyway we at Vada have carried out our own voting and our results are found in the video below.

The Eurovision Final will be shown live on BBC One at 8pm Saturday 14th May

About Alex Mitchell

Political observer and current affairs addict. I observe - I analyse - I debate