Thursday, 8 November 2012

Has it really been a month since i posted

Blimey doesn't time fly when frick all happens - however, this new "draw" procedure has caused a bit of a stir.

If you haven't seen it - basically there won't be a draw but the producers of the show will decide where the singers will, well... sing.

Cue queeny fans proclaiming the end of the world.

Is it though??


  1. Hmm. Well, there are two ways this would be OK - either 1) It doesn't adversely affect the fairness of the competition or b) It doesn't actually matter whether the competition is fair.

    Let's discount b) for the moment. There are some broadcasters who really, really like the idea that it's a fair competition. So 1) then - it doesn't make a difference. Let's play Numberwang!

    There have been 29 Eurovision Song Contest events since 1998 when televoting became predominant. I'll use that as my starting point, and I'll split songs into 1st half/2nd half. If they were the middle one of an odd number of songs, I'll call that 1st half.

    Hypothesis 1 - draw makes no difference to the winner. In 29 events, 6 winners have performed in the first half, 23 in the second.

    Hypothesis 2 - OK, that's an oddity but when you look at the top 3 it'll balance out. In 29 events, 13 runners-up and 9 third-placers have performed in the first half - 16 and 20 respectively in the second.

    Seems really likely that being in the first or second half significantly affects the chance of a podium result.

    Hypothesis 3 - Well, yeah, OK, *maybe* that's a problem but it won't stop anyone qualifying for the final. 123 top ten finishers have performed in the first half; 167 in the second. On 6 occasions the majority of top 10 songs were in the first half, on 17 the majority were in the second.

    Hypothesis 4 - Well, at least no-one's going to come last because of it! 21 last-place songs have performed in the first half, 8 in the second.

    To my mind, the evidence is solid that whatever your ambition for high position in competition may be, it helps if you're performing in the second half of the contest.

    Even if it's done honestly and without bias, it shouldn't be in anybody's gift but lady luck to decide who gets that advantage and who doesn't.

  2. Couldn't agree more Nick. This may be introduced fairly but the perception will be that there is some sort of fixing. Thinking back to 2008, there were enough people claiming that the contest was being fixed in Bilans favour. If some 'producer' had been responsible for the draw the accusations would have been even worse - and even more problemmatic, the EBU would not be able to provide evidence it wasnt being fixed in Russias favour.

    In addition there would be ways to build something into the draw process to have a mixed of ballads and pop (perhaps something around tempo?) but the draw should not be decided behind closed doors.

    My own preference for a long time has been that countries names should be drawn and the head of delegation should pick a draw slot - which would also go some way to distribute different types of songs throughout the draw.

  3. Agree with Nick and Stan. One thing getting the dreaded 2nd or 3 rd performing position in the final as a result of a draw, quite another being given that position by the shows production team.

  4. So is this a cunning plot to stop certain countries winning? Just off the top of my head, to prevent another 11pm or midnight (local time) contest? Or, for example, for most of the slightly wealthier Western European nations needing visas? Or, perchance, to make the sure the host is a bona-fide democratic nation, fully at ease with peoples of many lifestyle choices?

    Just a thought.


  5. A bit late to the party but why not!

    The point is that by having a fixed draw there will inevitably be allegations of fixing and bias even if there isn't. And it does open up the process to underhanded possibilites.

    OK, we know that what this is probably intended to do is to avoid a run of similar style songs all following each other but there are ways around this without making the process less transparent. That is what is disaapointing about this decision.

    I would have a modified version of Stan's suggestion about the HOD drawing a slot.

    In addition to them drawing a slot we would also envelopes with sections in them (e.g 1-8, 9-16, 17-25). The HOD would draw a section first and then get to pick a place within that section.

    This would avoid the early countries all potentially picking later draws but would still give a way of distributin different types of songs as countries with similar songs will want to avoid each other if possible.


  6. A bit late with my reaction, but nevertheless...

    From any point you look at it, it's a bad decision that make way open for a lot of speculation and may put in question the fairness of the competition and its outcome.
    From HOD reaction that came out, they seem to be cautious about it, but don't let this fool you.The knives are been sharpen and they will be stuck in back of anyone who made the decision,when the time is right.

    Just think about some of the following scenario's:A fan's favourite at the first half of the draw.A song everyone hate at the second half of the draw. It will be even worse if it will be the other way around, as the producer will not be perceived as fair as they want too.