Following Russia’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest our prediction proved surprisingly correct and was picked up by various media outlets as further evidence of neighbourly voting ruining the contest and the chances of nations like the UK from ever winning again.
The Eurovisionomics analysis had looked at those countries who’d received unusually high scores from the same country on at least four occasions in the past 6 years. Such occurrences were less likely to be attributed to chance and indicate that other factors may motivate voting. Based on this it was concluded that if Russia’s entry was half-decent then their strong showing in this Eurovisionomics analysis should see them through to victory. Further details here.
However the Eurovision Song Contest Voting website has always taken the view that neighbourly voting does not determine the song contest winner. We therefore excluded all votes cast in the 2008 contest that were above the country’s average (+ the standard deviation). This removed former Soviet states votes for Russia and other nations who’d apparently scored a song well above its true value as determined by the majority of the other competitors. The outcome made little difference to the ranked results with Russia still being the clear winner. The exercise was repeated for every contest since 1957 and revealed that without voting bias Russia may well have won in 2007 (they actually finished second).
As for the UK, removing “friendly” votes from the 2008 contest left us with “nil points” – probably well deserved considering we entered a talent show runner-up with a song that managed number 67 on the singles chart.