Voting Bias & Sweden’s Fail at Eurovision 2010

I love Eurovision. After months of torture on national television to vet the “best” singer/group to represent their country, it culminates into a three night debacle of entire Europe fighting for the top song rights.

This year, Sweden had a massive train wreck. It was so bad that voters killed the Swedish singer, Anna Bergendahl, with the song, This is My Life. Definitely her life but not the life European voters wanted. Maybe she was not that bad, but in a contest where text message voters determine the best of the train wreck to the worst, we’re looking at a low barrier.

Listen to Sweden’s Eurovision 2010 song entry

And Sweden’s failure to enter the Eurovision 2010 finals means for the first time (in the new voting system that is five years old), Sweden does not have a finalist. At least Anna will be forever remember as the singer who could not get Sweden to the finals. Poor girl, there’s always another Melodiefestivalen next year.

Still, I watched Eurovision this past Saturday, forgoing parties and purple beer bags for silly clown outfits and out of tune depressing songs at the European finale. Think American Idol marries Survivor and ends up with a show broadcasting to one billion people.

The best part of Eurovision is not the songs but the voting. Eurovision is the platform for peaceful voting to gain political extra credit points with other countries. Research done by Dr. Derek Gatherer collects the voting results from 1975 to 2006. Here are the major voting blocks:
derek gatherer eurovision voting pattern
No real surprises there. Iceland gave its douze points to Denmark, though Denmark snubbed Iceland and Norway by giving its douze points to Germany. Bosnia Herzagovina gave 12 points to Serbia and vice versa. Cyprus and Greece are always accused of favoring each other. Russia gave its douze points to Armenia and 10 points to Georgia. Georgia, with its ongoing ethnic cleansing wars with Russia, gave zero points and awarded 12 points to Belarus and 10 points to Armenia. I guess Russia is trying earn some brownie points.

For the full voting results you can visit wikipedia or see this voting results chart.

Oh, who did Sweden give its 12 points to? Germany! Denmark really got the kick out of them.

9 thoughts on “Voting Bias & Sweden’s Fail at Eurovision 2010”

  1. I loved the shocked look on Lena’s face when she had to sing again. Priceless. But great talent nevertheless.

  2. Oh wow…thanks for posting this video. I’ve been reading about this performance (trying to inculcate myself in all things swedish prior to my moving to Gothenburg in August), but..yeah…this is really bad. Really.

    The song is bad, but maybe that’s not her fault. Whoever picked that song should reconsider their career choice. But worse than that (for me) is the whole fake guitar thing. She is clearly not playing that guitar, and I’m guessing doesn’t know how to, but then it magically disappears in the middle of the song. We never see what happens to the guitar…it’s not on the stage, we don’t see it get handed off. There’s just a camera dissolve and voila! It’s gone.

    She comes across as a bit inexperienced performance wise as well. Probably in a few years, when she’s had some experience playing smaller places and really working…maybe some coaching…she’ll be better. Poor girl though. That really sucks to bomb so publicly!

  3. Where did she magic the guitar away to? I think it’s pants that they don’t sing in their own language – adds to comedy er sorry authenticity. Don’t think she was that bad but what do I know I’m a Brit we came last and we don’t take the thing seriously – it’s just Eurotrash to us…

  4. I don’t think ABBA would have won if sung in Swedish,and look what we would have missed then! (This isn’t sarcasm..i love ABBA lol).

    Eurovision is huge to the Swedes Princess.All the “heats” are televised for months before,and trust me..there are some truly Godawful entrants that fail before the eventual Godawful winner is announced! lol.

    That’s the UK’s THIRD last place in 10 years! We’re getting good at coming last.

  5. Hi @al – Eurovision and Melodiefestivalen is something you must learn about when living in Sweden. Because it represents such awesomely…pop/rock/ballad/disco’ish music.

    I would like it if more countries’ singers would perform in their native language. Sounds cool listening to random languages from around Europe. Though, it won’t make much of a difference when it comes to those terribly depressing and ballady songs. Really, your country wants to represent some super soppy, sad song?

    @Dano – At least it is only the three god awful winter months of Sweden that we also suffer Melodiefestivalen. But maybe watching the broadcasts takes our minds off the depressing weather outside and makes us insane instead.

  6. @Sapphire – That’s what bothers me hun.It’s 3 months of bitter cold where i can’t escape out of the house and have to listen to that..and my girlfriends “singalongasweden” renditions!! lol.

  7. Hey guys!!!:))) Long time no see – my laptop died:(

    I watched all 3 parts of eurovision this year – and I didnt understand how or why did germany win – well, ok, its a german lily allen or smth, but the song is just pointless imho… I would’ve really loved it if ukraine won though – the only song from the whole lot that had some sort of meaning, a message and the vocals were mint, that girl is awesome:) the rest was just boring boring boring …. well, as usual:) Israel really sucked….
    As for the swedidh girl – who on earth in their right mind would be wearing leggings and trainers with that dress???? And the song maybe a bit too sweet, but still i’d say the leggings ruined it for her :)))

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