Editorials & Opinion

Analysing ten years of OGAE voting: “Underneath the fan favourite bias is a worthwhile indicator”

Every year, many Eurovision fans eagerly await the results of the annual OGAE poll. OGAE is made up of over 40 fan clubs from around the world. For the poll, they cast votes in Eurovision’s classic 12 to 1 points system. With the OGAE voting historically taking place across April, it is the first time for fans to discover how a significant number of real people are reacting to this year’s entries. For example, last year 3,336 people cast their votes across 43 national fan clubs.

OGAE voting hand-in-hand with betting odds?

Therefore, this can also have a knock on affect of shaping the rankings at various betting agencies. Last month, we analysed how accurate betting odds from a month before the last ten contests were in predicting the eventual finishing positions. There will be various references to this throughout the article below so it may be worth giving that a read first!

As in the betting odds analysis article, we have taken statistics from all 10 OGAE polls that have taken place. The poll was introduced in 2007 and has taken place every year since. Let’s have a look exactly how good an indicator the OGAE poll is for predicting the eventual results!

HELSINKI 2007

Between 2007 and 2010, the only figures we have been able to find are top 5 placings via Wikipedia which we presume to be reliable as they cite OGAE International as their source. Therefore, you can see this below.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 184 🇷🇸 Serbia Marija Šerifović – Molitva 1st
2 159 🇧🇾 Belarus Koldun – Work Your Magic 6th
3 155 🇨🇭 Switzerland DJ Bobo – Vampires Are Alive SF (20th)
4 142 🇨🇾 Cyprus Evridiki – Comme ci, Comme ça SF (15th)
5 107 🇬🇷 Greece Sarbel – Yassou Maria 7th
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the top 5 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 5 of the OGAE poll.

2007 was a strong start for the OGAE poll! OGAE members agreed with Eurovision televoters that Marija Šerifović from Serbia strongest entry in the contest. Notably the eventual runner-up, Verka Serduchka from Ukraine, did not appear in the top 5 of the OGAE poll. This is just the first example of a couple where novelty acts are often underscored by OGAE members in comparison to Eurovision voters.

It is also worth noting that BelarusSerbia and Switzerland were all in the top 5 of the betting odds prior to the contest. Similarly to the underscoring of novelty acts, this is just the first example of several where OGAE rankings and betting odds rankings are strikingly similar.

 

BELGRADE 2008

Next, here are the top five finishers from the 2008 OGAE poll.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 308 🇸🇪 Sweden Charlotte Perrelli – Hero 18th
2 216 🇨🇭 Switzerland Paolo Meneguzzi – Era Stupendo SF (13th)
3 178 🇷🇸 Serbia Jelena Tomašević feat. Bora Dugić – Oro 6th
4 145 🇮🇸 Iceland Euroband – This Is My Life 14th
5 145 🇳🇴 Norway Maria – Hold On Be Strong 5th

 

Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed outside the top 5 in the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the top 5 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 5 of the OGAE poll.

In complete contrast to the previous year, the OGAE results and betting odds showed little resemblance in 2008. While Serbia was the only country to appear in the top 5 of the OGAE poll and the betting odds, only Norway appeared in the top 5 of the OGAE poll and the Eurovision final results.

Russia‘s Dima Bilan was nowhere to be seen amongst the top of the OGAE poll. More surprisingly in hindsight was the absence of Ukraine‘s Ani Lorak, Greece‘s Kalomira and Armenia‘s Sirusho. These three female ethno dance-pop entries are often looked back on fondly by Eurovision fans of today.

 

MOSCOW 2009

Up next is the 2009 OGAE poll! The top five finishers were as follows.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 304 🇳🇴 Norway Alexander Rybak – Fairytale 1st
2 176 🇫🇷 France Patricia Kaas – Et S’il Fallait Le Faire 8th
3 159 🇸🇪 Sweden Malena Ernman – La Voix 21st
4 142 🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina Regina – Bistra Voda 9th
5 123 🇪🇸 Spain Soraya – La Noche Es Para Mí (The Night Is For Me) 24th

 

Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the top 5 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 5 of the OGAE poll.

2009 was all about Norway. Alexander topped the OGAE poll, the betting odds and the Eurovision final scoreboard. Nothing else quite matched up though. The pre-contest betting odds were much more on the ball, predicting 60% of the top 5 correctly. Nevertheless, neither the betting odds or OGAE saw Iceland coming. Yohanna was nowhere to be seen in the OGAE poll and barely scraped into the top 15 of the betting odds.

Once again we see OGAE resist voting for popular ethno-pop tracks. Neither AySel and Arash from Azerbaijan or Hadise from Turkey were as popular with OGAE as they were with Eurovision voters.

 

OSLO 2010

Now it’s time for the last of our top 5s! The top 5 from the 2010 OGAE poll were as follows.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 220 🇩🇰 Denmark Chanée & N’evergreen – In A Moment Like This 4th
2 177 🇮🇱 Israel Harel Skaat – Milim 14th
3 172 🇩🇪 Germany Lena – Satellite 1st
4 146 🇳🇴 Norway Didrik Solli-Tangen – My Heart Is Yours 20th
5 130 🇮🇸 Iceland Hera Björk – Je Ne Sais Quoi 19th

 

Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 3rd in the OGAE poll.
  • 40% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the top 5 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 5 of the OGAE poll.

After two anomalous years, OGAE were back in sync with the betting odds to a significant degree here. GermanyDenmark and Israel were found in the top 5 of both rankings and Norway weren’t a million miles away in the odds either. Interestingly, Denmark took the OGAE victory here whereas the more modern and contemporary Lena was cast aside.

As was the case in the betting odds, the OGAE found limited appeal in Romania and Turkey who completed the top 3 in Oslo. Nevertheless, OGAE did go against the grain by not voting in droves for Azerbaijan. Indeed, Safura was joint favourite to win the contest as the OGAE poll was being carried out.

 

DÜSSELDORF 2011

In 2011, 33 fan clubs voted for their favourite entries of that year. The top 15 finishers were as follows.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 277 🇭🇺 Hungary Kati Wolf – What About My Dreams? 22nd
2 270 🇫🇷 France Amaury Vassili – Sognu 15th
3 253 🇬🇧 United Kingdom Blue – I Can 11th
4 238 🇸🇪 Sweden Eric Saade – Popular 3rd
5 183 🇪🇪 Estonia Getter Jaani – Rockefeller Street 24th
6 119 🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina Dino Merlin – Love In Rewind 6th
7 117 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Ell & Nikki – Running Scared 1st
8 56 🇩🇰 Denmark A Friend In London – New Tomorrow 5th
9 50 🇩🇪 Germany Lena – Taken By A Stranger 10th
10 43 🇳🇴 Norway Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba SF (17th)
11 34 🇵🇱 Poland Magdalena Tul – Jestem SF (19th)
12 28 🇮🇹 Italy Raphael Gualazzi – Madness Of Love 2nd
13 27 🇷🇴 Romania Hotel FM – Change 17th
14 27 🇮🇱 Israel Dana International – Ding Dong SF (15th)
15 26 🇦🇹 Austria Nadine Beiler – The Secret Is Love 18th
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 7th in the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 87% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

2011 is considered one of the most unpredictable contests in recent years with only Sweden managing to live up to expectations amongst the front-runners. Eventual winners Azerbaijan placed 7th in the OGAE poll proving that this seemingly unpopular winner did have a number of fans amongst the Eurovision community. Interestingly enough, Azerbaijan were also placed 7th in the betting odds prior to the contest which is just the start of a more striking similarity than ever before.

Remarkably, 13 of the top 15 countries in the betting odds were also in the top 15 in the OGAE poll. The only disagreements were that OGAE placed Austria and Israel inside their top 15 while the odds favoured Ireland and Russia. Indeed, the top 7 countries in the OGAE poll were the exact same 7 found at the top of the betting odds, in a slightly shuffled order. For such an unpredictable contest it is strange to find such harmony between two different variables.

 

BAKU 2012

The OGAE poll continued to increase in popularity as 35 fan clubs voted for their favourite entries ahead of the 2012 contest. Here are the top 15!

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 375 🇸🇪 Sweden Loreen – Euphoria 1st
2 212 🇮🇹 Italy Nina Zilli – L’amore è femmina (Out Of Love) 9th
3 211 🇮🇸 Iceland Greta Salóme and Jónsi – Never Forget 20th
4 199 🇷🇸 Serbia Željko Joksimović – Nije Ljubav Stvar 3rd
5 164 🇳🇴 Norway Tooji – Stay 26th
6 150 🇪🇸 Spain Pastora Soler – Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me) 10th
7 104 🇨🇾 Cyprus Ivi Adamou – La La Love 16th
8 81 🇪🇪 Estonia Ott Lepland – Kuula 6th
9 78 🇩🇪 Germany Roman Lob – Standing Still 8th
10 62 🇫🇷 France Anggun – Echo (You And I) 22nd
11 52 🇷🇴 Romania Mandinga – Zaleilah 12th
12 43 🇳🇱 The Netherlands Joan Franka – You And Me SF (15th)
13 42 🇷🇺 Russia Buranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody 2nd
14 41 🇬🇧 United Kingdom Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Will Set You Free 25th
15 33 🇬🇷 Greece Eleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac 17th
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 40% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 80% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

In a repeat of 2009, Sweden‘s Loreen was the dominant force in the Eurovision results, OGAE poll and betting odds alike. Serbia was also found in the top 5 of each variable. Nevertheless, as we saw with Verka Serduchka in 2007, OGAE voters tend to underscore high profile novelty acts in comparison to their ultimate Eurovision success. While 3rd in the betting odds and 2nd in the contest, Buranovskiye Babushki only just scraped into the OGAE top 15.

The OGAE poll once again showed remarkable similarity to the betting odds, with 12 countries appearing in the top 15 of both sets of rankings. However, both of them completely overlooked Azerbaijan and Albania who sailed into the top 5. Nevertheless, OGAE members can pat themselves on the back for recognising the quality of Estonia‘s entry which betting agencies hadn’t seen coming at all.

 

MALMÖ 2013

39 fan clubs cast their votes for their favourite entries of 2013. In this instance, the top 15 finishers were as follows.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 374 🇩🇰 Denmark Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops 1st
2 282 🇸🇲 San Marino Valentina Monetta – Crisalide (Vola) SF (11th)
3 269 🇳🇴 Norway Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love 4th
4 195 🇩🇪 Germany Cascada – Glorious 21st
5 177 🇮🇹 Italy Marco Mengoni – L’Essenziale 7th
6 147 🇳🇱 The Netherlands Anouk – Birds 9th
7 119 🇺🇦 Ukraine Zlata Ognevich – Gravity 3rd
8 119 🇬🇧 United Kingdom Bonnie Tyler – Believe In Me 19th
9 103 🇸🇪 Sweden Robin Stjernberg – You 14th
10 83 🇷🇺 Russia Dina Garipova – What If 5th
11 61 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Farid Mammadov – Hold Me 2nd
12 41 🇮🇸 Iceland Eythor Ingi – Ég Á Líf 17th
13 37 🇬🇪 Georgia Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani – Waterfall 15th
14 32 🇮🇱 Israel Moran Mazor – Rak Bishvilo SF (14th)
15 30 🇨🇭 Switzerland Takasa – You And Me SF (13th)
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 40% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 80% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

It was a repeat of 2012 in 2013 with Denmark easily winning the OGAE poll, the betting odds and the Eurovision final. Once again the OGAE poll and betting odds proved similar with 12 of their top 15s consisting of the same countries. OGAE voters didn’t find the same appeal in Azerbaijan‘s entry as Eurovision voters did, perhaps proving the success of Hold Me was as much down to the fantastic staging as it was the song.

Notably, OGAE ranked Valentina Monetta’s second attempt for San Marino as the second best song in the contest. While Crisalide (Vola) became the country’s best result at the contest, it still failed to make the grand final. Germany and the United Kingdom were two entries that appealed to OGAE much more than Eurovision voters. Perhaps the well-known names of Cascada and Bonnie Tyler created extra attention for those songs. The betting odds similarly overrated them.

 

COPENHAGEN 2014

The OGAE poll continues to get bigger as 40 fan clubs decided who would win the 2014 edition of the vote. The top 15 were as follows.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 354 🇸🇪 Sweden Sanna Nielsen – Undo 3rd
2 262 🇭🇺 Hungary András Kállay-Saunders – Running 5th
3 233 🇮🇱 Israel Mei Finegold – Same Heart SF (14th)
4 221 🇦🇹 Austria Conchita Wurst – Rise Like A Phoenix 1st
5 162 🇬🇧 United Kingdom Molly – Children Of The Universe 17th
6 157 🇦🇲 Armenia Aram MP3 – Not Alone 4th
7 132 🇳🇴 Norway Carl Espen – Silent Storm 8th
8 111 🇪🇸 Spain Ruth Lorenzo – Dancing In The Rain 10th
9 104 🇬🇷 Greece Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd – Rise Up 20th
10 79 🇲🇪 Montenegro Sergej Ćetković – Moj Svijet 19th
11 76 🇮🇹 Italy Emma Marrone – La Mia Città 21st
12 73 🇩🇰 Denmark Basim – Cliché Love Song 9th
13 35 🇫🇷 France TWIN TWIN – Moustache 26th
14 33 🇮🇪 Ireland Can-Linn feat. Kasey Smith – Heartbeat SF (12th)
15 31 🇳🇱 The Netherlands The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm 2nd
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 4th in the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 67% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

Oh 2014, the year no-one could’ve predicted. Or could they? Well not quite, but the OGAE poll placed both of the year’s big surprise packages in its top 15. In contrast, neither Austria‘s Conchita Wurst or The Common Linnets from The Netherlands were considered amongst the top 15 favourite to win at the betting agencies. Both entries were praised for lifting the bar of staging at Eurovision. However, OGAE members wouldn’t have known what was to appear on the Copenhagen stage so all credit to them for spotting the quality ahead of time!

However, the OGAE favourite to fall at the first hurdle in Copenhagen was Israel. Mei Finegold’s uptempo dance-pop entry with a key change satisfied all the traditional Eurovision tick boxes and its appeal to long-term fans of the contest was obvious. Nevertheless, the appeal wasn’t there for the casual Eurovision voters as it finished next to last in its semi-final.

 

VIENNA 2015

Ahead of the 2015 contest in Vienna, 41 fan clubs chose their favourite entries. The results were as follows.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 367 🇮🇹 Italy Il Volo – Grande Amore 3rd
2 338 🇸🇪 Sweden Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes 1st
3 274 🇪🇪 Estonia Elina Born & Stig Rästa – Goodbye To Yesterday 7th
4 243 🇳🇴 Norway Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me 8th
5 228 🇸🇮 Slovenia Maraaya – Here For You 14th
6 174 🇦🇺 Australia Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again 5th
7 150 🇮🇱 Israel Nadav Guedj – Golden Boy 9th
8 136 🇪🇸 Spain Edurne – Amanecer 21st
9 97 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Elnur Huseynov – Hour Of The Wolf 12th
10 77 🇧🇪 Belgium Loïc Nottet – Rhythm Inside 4th
11 74 🇷🇺 Russia Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices 2nd
12 37 🇦🇱 Albania Elhaida Dani – I’m Alive 17th
13 27 🇫🇷 France Lisa Angell – N’oubliez Pas 25th
14 26 🇲🇪 Montenegro Knez – Adio 13th
15 20 🇬🇧 United Kingdom Electro Velvet – Still In Love With You 24th
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 2nd in the OGAE poll.
  • 40% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 73% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 80% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

The OGAE poll did a pretty good job of predicting the qualifiers in Vienna. All of the top 15 qualified, the first and only time they have done so. Perhaps the biggest surprise here was the absence of Latvia inside the OGAE top 15. Aminata wasn’t inside the top 15 of the odds either, although considering Latvia’s track record at the contest and the alternative vibe to the entry it was understandable. However, looking back Aminata is considered a fan favourite from the contest. Therefore it is remarkable that Latvia didn’t only fail to make the top 15 of the poll, but actually scored nil points!

Nevertheless, OGAE voters did match the tastes of Eurovision voters regarding Finland. While betting agencies ranked them inside the top 5 to win, perhaps due to the media attention Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät were receiving, the OGAE poll showed that the appeal to the public may not translate. While it is worth noting that Finland would’ve qualified in 10th place if televoting alone was in place, the Finnish band were never in contention for victory.

 

STOCKHOLM 2016

Last year, a record-breaking 43 fan clubs submitted their top 10s in order to find out the winner of the 2016 OGAE poll. The top 15 finishers are listed below.

Rank Points Country Entry Eurovision Placing
1 425 🇫🇷 France Amir – J’ai cherché 6th
2 392 🇷🇺 Russia Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One 3rd
3 280 🇦🇺 Australia Dami Im – Sound Of Silence 2nd
4 175 🇧🇬 Bulgaria Poli Genova – If Love Was A Crime 4th
5 170 🇮🇹 Italy Francesca Michielin – No Degree Of Separation 16th
6 155 🇪🇸 Spain Barei – Say Yay! 22nd
7 128 🇦🇹 Austria ZOË – Loin d’ici 13th
8 110 🇱🇻 Latvia Justs – Heartbeat 15th
9 88 🇺🇦 Ukraine Jamala – 1944 1st
10 80 🇭🇺 Hungary Freddie – Pioneer 19th
11 79 🇸🇪 Sweden Frans – If I Were Sorry 5th
12 63 🇭🇷 Croatia Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse 23rd
13 59 🇨🇾 Cyprus Minus One – Alter Ego 21st
14 44 🇮🇸 Iceland Greta Salóme – Hear Them Calling SF (14th)
15 42 🇷🇸 Serbia Sanja Vučić ZAA – Goodbye (Shelter) 18th
Analysis
  • The winning entry was placed 9th in the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 53% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE poll.
  • 73% of the top 15 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 15 of the OGAE poll.

2016 was perhaps the most impressive display from OGAE voters in matching their taste with the ultimate Eurovision voter favourites. 3 of the top 5 at Eurovision were in the top 5 of the OGAE poll and France were one place away from making it a record-breaking four. Amongst the highest finishers in Stockholm, Armenia is an entry completely overlooked by OGAE voters. LoveWave is a very alternative entry that many fans agree didn’t reach its potential until the live performance at the contest. Therefore, Iveta Mukuchyan’s poor showing in the OGAE poll perhaps isn’t unexpected.

However, one entry that OGAE voters did see the appeal of was Austria. ZOË was never fancied by the betting agencies to finish highly. Nevertheless, the OGAE poll signified that Loin d’ici did have an appeal and that appeal translated to the casual Eurovision viewer, perhaps unexpectedly for some (including me, although it was a very pleasing surprise!).

 

Key findings

The mathematical stuff

As with the previous article about betting odds, it is nice just to reminisce and look back at past statistics… at least it is for me! Although once again I have attempted to make a couple of conclusions about what we’ve discovered. I’m not going to pretend to be a mathematical genius. Yet, I have plotted the percentages that were written under each contest’s leaderboard throughout this article into a little graph.

The orange line shows what percentage of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE voting that year. The grey line shows what percentage of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the OGAE voting that year. The dashed orange line shows an overall trend over the past 10 years regarding how accurate the top 5 in the OGAE poll have been in predicting the top 5 finishers in any order. Finally, the yellow line shows the percentage of countries that were found in both the top 5 (2007-10) or top 15 (2011-16) of the OGAE poll and the betting odds.

OGAE polls are becoming increasingly accurate

Due to only have OGAE top 15s from 2011 onwards, we had to compare the top 5s from the past ten years to create a worthwhile trend. Of course, such a small sample is prone to random fluctuations. Nevertheless, you can see a significant trend on the graph. As the years have progress, the OGAE top 5 has become increasingly similar to the eventual Eurovision top 5.

In the first five years we’ve analysed, only once did the OGAE poll have more than one country that finished in the Eurovision top 5 in its own top 5. In contrast, in the most recent five years, the OGAE poll had more than one country that finished in the Eurovision top 5 in its own top 5 on every single occasion. Therefore, in recent years the OGAE has become increasingly accurate at predicting the make-up of the Eurovision top 5.

Betting odds and OGAE polls: strikingly similar

Perhaps an even more noticeable trend from the graph is just how similar the countries that make up the OGAE top 15s and the betting odds top 15s are. Let’s take the statistics from 2011 onwards where top 15s rather than top 5s were available. On every single occasion at least ten countries were found in both the top 15 of the OGAE poll and the betting odds. Furthermore, in the majority of cases (4 out of 6), at least twelve countries were found in both top 15s.

Is this a case of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Why are betting odds and the OGAE poll often so similar in regards to which countries rank the highest? Why are they more similar to each other than either of them are to the actual Eurovision results? Do the betting odds influence OGAE voters? Do OGAE voters influence betting odds? Perhaps it is a bit of both?

Who is copying who?

Betting odds don’t tend to change massively throughout the end of March and into April when the OGAE votes are taking place. Of course, OGAE members are hardcore Eurovision fans. They will have watched many national finals. They will have listened to entries many times. Also they will have been paying close attention to which entries are the favourites. These are all things the casual Eurovision viewer and voter would not do.

Therefore, it is possibly understandable that OGAE voters are subconsciously influenced by betting odds. “So many people should like this song judging by its betting popularity so why don’t I? Let me listen to it a few more times”. Or on the other hand: “if this song has a chance of winning I need to let it grow on me so I’m not upset if it does win!”. Okay, that second statement may just be what I do when I’m watching endless national selections. Yet, you never know!

Other observations

There are also other themes that can be found throughout the analysis of each OGAE poll. Hardcore Eurovision fans tend to undermark novelty entries. Perhaps it’s a subconscious (or conscious!) protest against a song cheapening the contest’s reputation? In addition, there are occasions where a song that appeals to OGAE voters goes on to appeal to Eurovision voters. This is despite betting odds completely overlooking the entry.  Key examples here include Ott Lepland from Estonia, Nadav Guedj from Israel, ZOË from Austria and, of course, Conchita Wurst!

In conclusion, the OGAE poll is often just as good an indicator as betting odds are. This is shown by the striking similarity between the two for the majority of years. However the OGAE poll is more susceptible to overrating certain fan favourites even more than betting odds do. For example, Mei Finegold’s Same Heart, Valentina Monetta’s Crisalide (Vola), Kati Wolf’s What About My Dreams? or Charlotte Perrelli’s Hero. Many people would agree that these were obvious overrated fan favouries. Nevertheless, lying underneath the fan favourite bias is another worthwhile, yet imperfect indicator of results.

Stay tuned to escXtra for the final outcome of the 2017 OGAE poll, scheduled to conclude on April 30th. If you have any theories regarding any of the points mentioned throughout this article then don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below or via our social media pages @escXtra – I’m sure they will be just as valid if not more valid than my very own!

After all that, let’s relax with my personal favourite entry from last year. It was an OGAE favourite too. Although not a song that was particularly fancied betting-wise… see, it’s all still related!

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