Saturday 14 December 2019

Can Jedward win the Eurovision?

Dr Adrian Kavanagh: In the final on May 26 Jedward would now be able to win votes from a number of north-western European countries that gave big votes to them in the 2011 final, but not drawn to vote in their semi-final this year, including Sweden, Germany and Ireland's most loyal Eurovision friend, the UK

Song, performance-level

and impact on the Eurovision audience determine how well different acts will do. But neighbourly/diaspora voting can significantly improve a country's chances and countries such as Greece, Serbia and Russia can generally expect to do well in most finals (Greece, for instance, has finished in the Top 10 in all the Eurovision finals held since 2004).

Draw position too has a significant impact. As with the semi-finals, a later draw position will generally be expected to help a country's chances (and it also helps to be drawn before, but not after, the ad break). Performing in last position does not carry the same advantages as in the semi-finals.

Last year, Jedward were drawn in sixth position, statistically one of the least successful positions, and close to a number of similar acts; their strong result was attained despite this.

Statistically, the best positions in terms of average points won over the past decade would be the 22nd and 18th draw positions. The most wins since 1975 have come from the 17th and 20th draw positions, with these positions accounting for four Irish Eurovision victories (1980, 1987, 1992 and 1996). The 17th draw position has been especially kind to Ireland, accounting for three wins, two second places and one fourth place.

So, a late-ish draw position (17th?), close to a number of ballad-style entries would help their chances.

But, they cannot afford to be mainly relying on north-western Europe for support and need to win points from most of the eastern European countries.

Irish Independent Supplement

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