We almost gave it to the Ruskies, but Australia’s voting public wasn’t having it. Good thing we have a jury, though.
There were some twists in the way Australia voted this year, aside from the technical glitches that you can bank on (mostly PICNIC errors). Behind the interminable live crosses, a lot of Aussies might not have been aware of the jury system that Eurovision presses into action in most countries; it’s 50% people, 50% jury. In Australia we had:
Amanda Pelman – the music industry exec who gave Kylie a job,
Richard Wilkins – the violin-playing kiwi who pops up on Channel Nine to talk about entertaining things,
Danielle Spencer – the singer/actor who has/had to put up with Russell Crowe,
Ash London – the TV presenter who used to interrupt the videos on The Loop, and
The jury actually wanted Russia to get our top vote, but the people ranked Russia at 7, most likely by engaging in that terrible ‘voting bloc‘ behaviour that Australia has bitched about from the sidelines all these years. We eventually agreed on placing Russia second as a nation.
Pelman was seriously out of step, wanting the UK in the top 5 (it finished 18th in our vote) and awarding Belgium ‘nil points’ when a few other judges, and the public, placed them second (it finished 8th in our vote).
The judges disagreed with the people about Azerbaijan (they wanted them 6th, we placed them last, probably just as well, too) and Norway (they wanted Norway 3rd, we voted them 10th)
So, let’s get some math going; each of our judges gets an ‘agreement score’ with the Australian public based on how well their ranking matches the popular vote.
Amanda scores a lowly 55%, Dickie gets 60%, Jake gets 61%, Danielle gets 67%, and Ash gets 76%.
I hereby declare Ash London as our most representative jury member – at 76% she was most in agreement with what the Australian public wanted.
But how did the judges – and the Australian public – fare compared to the result?
The judges’ agreement with the final ranking was about the same; Amanda the worst at 58%, Ash the best at 73%. Ash was actually better than the public vote, who got it 72% right – but the judges as a whole let us down with a score of 66%. The good news is that our submission to the Eurovision count had a 78% agreement with the final ranking, meaning the joint efforts of The Jury and The People were better than either of us alone.
Moral of the story; the jury might be worse than the public at predicting the result, but we do better by combining our results. And Ash seems to know Eurovision pretty well (better than Amanda, anyway).
Australia’s 5th placing in Eurovision 2015 was an outstanding result for a first (and only) time contender. ‘Our’ performance in last night’s final proved that Guy was the right Guy for the job.
It was heartening to see Sweden (the winners) and Austria (the hosts) putting Australia first in their voting; but there are 4 nations who registered ‘nil points’ for the Aussies, and, in that light, their friendships should be reviewed:
PORTUGAL: I have some good friends in Portugal, what gives, guys? Boycott Nandos Chicken.
AZERBAIJAN and GEORGIA: come on, Turkey would have been totally cool with giving us some points they’d been here this year:
Glad we only gave you guys a point to share. We can’t really go after any of your multinationals, so let’s just be spiteful and rethink buying baklava.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Might be time to reconsider that Škoda.
UPDATE: It’s worth noting that the hosts, Austria, had the wurst score from the final, receiving not a sausage from their guests. That’s kinda rude, right? They can cry in their beer with their German friends, who also left voteless.
Brought to you by the same faulty logic that brings you ‘Baby On Board’ signs: if you were planning a fatal traffic accident, please don’t schedule it for May 29.
Update: Regarding the bonkers social media campaign: Worth noting that both the Twitter and Facebook #takethepledge hashtag is used for a pretty broad church of causes around the world, with the @TakeThePledge twitter account used for an anti-corruption pledge. What, #FatalityFreeFriday was too specific?