Jury Analysis: 2012 Post-Mortem

Prior to the 2012 contest, we did an analysis of jury votes in 2009-2011, drew a few conclusions, and posed some hypotheses about what to expect in 2012. With the 2012 jury results released, we can revisit the post and test our hypotheses. The table below compares jury and public results from recent Eurovision finals.

In good news, there was agreement this year between jury and televote about the top placement, and once again the presence of the jury vote did not change the outcome of the 2012 competition. Even if the decision had been 100% televote, Loreen would have still beaten the Babushki (except it would have been much, much closer). Serbia also had a strong finish with both audiences. Not surprisingly, there were significant discrepancies on Russia as the Babushki were highly favored by the public. As we suspected prior to the contest, in 2012 we had fewer big discrepancies between public and jury than in 2011 or 2009.

Next let’s revisit our pre-2012 hypotheses and see how 2012 actually measured up.

 Hypothesis 1: the jury rewards “big vocalists.”

The 2012 test, what we said: If true, we should expect the jury to give more points than the public to Spain, Albania, and Macedonia, all of whom have played the “diva” card this year.  Estonia and Iceland have sent big male vocalists and may also do well with the jury.

Outcome: SUPPORTED.  Albania, Spain, and Estonia finished 4th, 5th, and 6th with the jury, respectively. Serbia, who also put in a big vocal, finished 2nd. Ukraine also overperformed with the jury. However, Macedonia underperformed compared with the televote (17th, vs. 11th in the televote), and Iceland did poorly with both (19th).

Hypothesis 2: the public punishes “musty ballads.”

The 2012 test, what we said: If true, we should expect the public to give low points to Spain and Portugal, which have submitted old-fashioned ballads this year.  The UK also meets this criteria, but Engelbert Humperdinck’s celebrity (see below) may offset the “musty ballad” penalty.

Outcome: SUPPORTED.  In the final, Spain finished 18th with the public (vs. 5th in the jury). Portugal garnered fewer televotes than jury in its semifinal and the song did not qualify, but there wasn’t a big difference between the public and jury reaction. Engelbert did better with the public than the jury, but once again, there were no large discrepancies.

Hypothesis 3: the jury will reward acts with “authenticity.”

The 2012 test, what we saidIf true, we should expect the jury to give some points to Montenegro, with the caveat that the song is too inaccessible to get really big points. Nil points, though, should be unlikely. Turkey and BiH may also do better with the juries than the public because of this factor. Watch for Denmark too.

OutcomeSOME SUPPORT. Italy, a country we didn’t tag earlier, could be argued as meeting the authenticity factor. Italy did significantly better with the jury than with the public. Montenegro received a handful of points from jury and public, but nothing noteworthy and no nil points. BiH and Denmark did marginally better with the jury than with the public. Turkey did worse with the jury than with the public, but one wonders if the difference was in how the public responded to the stage performance.

Hypothesis 4: the jury will punish acts that lack “authenticity.”

The 2012 test, what we said: If true, we should expect the jury to punish Lithuania and Georgia.

Outcome: NOT SUPPORTED.  In the Semi, Lithuania (who performed last) did much better with the public than the jury, but the Final (when he sang 4th), he did marginally better with the jury than the public. An alternative explanation for Lithuania could be the jury negated the effects of the draw. Georgia pulled in an 8th place finish with the jury in his semifinal.

Hypothesis 5: The jury will punish high camp.

The 2012 test, what we saidIf true, we should expect the jury to punish San Marino. Latvia and Austria are also vulnerable depending on how they are staged.

Outcome: NOT SUPPORTED. Some of the campiest entries, as it turned out, were Austria, San Marino, and Ukraine. Austria tanked with everyone, San Marino finished marginally better with juries than televote, and Ukraine finished much better with the juries (see Hypothesis 1). However, it is worth noting that Turkey’s highly theatrical entry was poorly received by juries (22nd place).

Hypothesis 6: the jury will award fewer points than the public to “celebrity” acts.

The 2012 test, what we said If true, we should expect the jury to award fewer points than the public to the UK, Serbia, Ireland, and possibly France.

Outcome: SUPPORTED. The jury severely punished Ireland (25th). The Irish times reported on a row between Jedward and producer Louis Walsh 1 hour prior to their final jury performance. On our original post Eric reminded us of Blue’s dismal jury performance in 2011, which may have been a reason for their poor jury result.  Similar to Blue, it’s possible that Jedward bungled their jury performance, but we observe Jedward performed poorly with juries both in the final and in their semifinal. Englebert Humperdinck finished last (26th) with the jury. The jury gave marginally less support than the public to Serbia. However, all the points France got came from the jury. Guess she’s not that famous after all.