Eurovision is an annual song competition of European countries starting way back since 1956. Each country submits original song performed on live TV. At the end of all the performances, each country votes for their favorite performance with score rating from 1 to 12 through the televoters and their respective juries. Whoever gets the most votes becomes the Eurovision winner of that year.

I made a visualization of Eurovision voting from 2012 to 2017 that maps each country’s votes by points 1 to 12 represented by the thickness of the lines. Gradient lines from a darker to lighter shades depict a voting country giving points to its preferred country. Geographically and culturally neighboring countries were aligned together to check voting behaviors among them.

I believe that great artists from any European country deserve to win regardless of their origin country, but there are still some factors that gives advantage to the winning country. One of my goals in creating this visualization is to see the tendency of a bloc voting among countries and to identify which group of countries perform consistently better.

 

Eurovision 2012 Baku, Azerbaijan

  • Winner: Sweden – Loreen, “Euphoria”
  • 2nd: Russia – Buranovskiye Babushki, “Party for Everybody”
  • 3rd: Serbia – Željko Joksimović, “Nije ljubav stvar”

It is obvious that Sweden has collected most of the chunk of points from any country in Europe followed by Russia and Serbia. As you may also noticed, most of the countries who got higher votes came from Eastern and Southern Europe.

 

Eurovision 2013 Mälmo, Sweden

  • Winner: Denmark – Emmelie de Forest, “Only Teardrops”
  • 2nd: Azerbaijan – Farid Mammadov, “Hold Me”
  • 3rd: Ukraine – Zlata Ognevich, “Gravity”

A neighboring country of Sweden, Denmark has won Eurovision 2013. Northern and eastern Europe have obtained most of the votes. Notice that most of the votes from the Eastern and Northern countries were given to their neighbors and only the smaller points were given outside of their bloc.

 

Eurovision 2014 Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Winner: Austria – Conchita Wurst, “Rise Like a Phoenix”
  • 2nd: Netherlands – The Common Linnets, “Calm After the Storm”
  • 3rd: Sweden – Sanna Nielsen, “Undo”

At first glance, you can hardly differentiate who might have won between Austria and Netherlands without looking at the scores. If you check the scores, the two countries point difference were close. The eastern and northern countries outer edge lines still looks heavy, signifying voting among neighbors.

 

Eurovision 2015 Vienna, Austria

  • Winner: Sweden – Måns Zelmerlöw, “Heroes”
  • 2nd: Russia – Polina Gagarina, “A Million Voices”
  • 3rd: Italy – Il Volo, “Grande Amore”

It looks like the top favorites came from every corner of Europe and votes were all distributed well to different countries. Even Australia was a top favorite! Nordic countries have performed better compared to other blocs.

 

Eurovision 2016 Stockholm, Sweden

  • Winner: Ukraine – Jamala, “1944”
  • 2nd: Australia – Dami Im,  “Sound of Silence”
  • 3rd: Russia – Sergey Lazarev, “You Are The Only One”

It looks like Australia was the victor but it is actually Ukraine who got the most votes. The eastern side still has this thicker shell as well as northwest side.

 

Eurovision 2017 Kiev, Ukraine

  • Winner: Portugal – Salvador Sobral, “Amar pelos dois”
  • 2nd: Bulgaria – Kristian Kostov, “Beautiful Mess”
  • 3rd: Moldova – Sunstroke Project, “Hey, Mamma!”

Is there an duopoly here? Looks like a Europe has only voted for two entries, an east versus west scenario.

 

What’s Next: Eurovision 2018 Lisbon, Portugal

The 63rd edition of the Eurovision song contest will be held in Portugal for the very first time after Salvador Sobral’s captivated the whole Europe with the song “Amar pelos dois”. The song was written by his sister Luis Sobral.

  • Venue: Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Date: 1st Semi-final 1 – 8 May, 2018
  • 2nd Semi-final May 10, 2018
  • Finals May 12, 2018
  • Hosts: Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Daniela Ruah and Catarina Furtado.

It would be very interesting to know who could be the next country to host Eurovision 2019. We will find out soon!

 

Summary

The eastern and Nordic bloc has a greater tendency to vote for their neighbors based from the 6 year of Eurovision voting visualization. Also, these country blocs performed consistently well in the past 6 years. This may signify a stronger ties between neighboring countries or a specific cultural preference and taste when it comes to music.

In any way, Europeans have set aside all of their differences and come together for their common favorite past time, and it is enjoying music. One thing is for sure though, these visualizations cannot predict who is going to win next but it can help you perceive voting behaviors among the great countries of Europe.

 

Tools used: Processing, Adobe Illustrator