May 23

Finals – Azerbaijan buys Youtube views (again), Belgium crowd favourite, Sweden leading the odds

Today is the Eurovision 2015 Final! Are you ready to see who is going to get the honour of hosting next year’s Eurovision? Just like last year I went through and tracked the Youtube counts of each contestant. The results are below:

Country Youtube Counts
 1 Russia 6,929,010
 2 Azerbaijan 5,811,387
 3 Albania 4,266,511
 4 Belgium 2,691,651
 5 Estonia 2,524,705
 6 United Kingdom 2,455,474
 7 Australia 2,438,395
 8 Sweden 2,206,390
 9 Armenia 2,007,327
 10 Spain 1,994,461
 11 Italy 1,924,283
 12 Georgia 1,894,720
 13 Israel 1,671,093
 14 Montenegro 1,336,488
 15 Slovenia 1,270,409
 16 Norway 1,193,938
 17 Germany 1,152,795
 18 Lithuania 1,015,680
 19 Austria 985,326
 20 Serbia 965,594
 21 Greece 902,582
 22 Romania 896,831
 23 France 770,344
 24 Latvia 719,360
 25 Hungary 686,445
 26 Poland 494,099
 27 Cyprus 446,262

As we see we have Russia in first, Azerbaijan in second and Albania in third, but just looking at the final Youtube counts doesn’t paint the whole picture. Below you’ll see the trend in Youtube counts of the final contestants since the end of March. Some interesting trends happen.

Just like last year, it looks like Azerbaijan has paid some company to boost their youtube counts. They are the only country to get a random spike halfway through the Eurovision season and maintain a ‘strong’ growth. Last year we saw the exact same thing with Azerbaijan where a month or two before the competition there was a sudden spike and strong growth in their Youtube counts. If the numbers were accurate we would see a much more smooth trend as occurs in almost every other country.

But in order to get a more accurate reading on who is viewing what more often, we look at which contestant people started watching more of in the last week. The reason this method is more accurate is because it is not until the last week of the competition that most people get excited. Most people are busy with their lives and have other things to do and so they don’t follow Eurovision that closely. It’s not until the last week that everyone actually gathers around and starts looking at the competition. So let’s see what the countries look like according to the rate of change since the 17th.

 

 Country 17 May 2015 23 May 2015 Change
1 Belgium 1,306,575 2,691,651 206.01%
2 Lithuania 545,156 1,015,680 186.31%
3 Latvia 386,295 719,360 186.22%
4 Hungary 373,410 686,445 183.83%
5 Sweden 1,209,743 2,206,390 182.39%
6 Romania 497,152 896,831 180.39%
7 Estonia 1,413,036 2,524,705 178.67%
8 Greece 508,080 902,582 177.65%
9 Slovenia 730,242 1,270,409 173.97%
10 Australia 1,416,110 2,438,395 172.19%
11 Poland 297,897 494,099 165.86%
12 France 465,404 770,344 165.52%
13 Cyprus 274,139 446,262 162.79%
14 Serbia 597,877 965,594 161.50%
15 Italy 1,200,160 1,924,283 160.34%
16 Germany 728,918 1,152,795 158.15%
17 Spain 1,266,673 1,994,461 157.46%
18 Russia 4,486,574 6,929,010 154.44%
19 Israel 1,083,109 1,671,093 154.29%
20 Montenegro 871,313 1,336,488 153.39%
21 Norway 786,934 1,193,938 151.72%
22 Georgia 1,263,248 1,894,720 149.99%
23 Austria 671,062 985,326 146.83%
24 Albania 3,133,118 4,266,511 136.17%
25 Azerbaijan 4,283,162 5,811,387 135.68%
26 Armenia 1,553,169 2,007,327 129.24%
27 United Kingdom 1,916,707 2,455,474 128.11%

As we see looking at the change rate we get Azerbaijan near the bottom with Belgium leading the group. According to current betting odds, Sweden is expected to win with Russia and Italy close behind. But, the most curious thing about the odds is that Belgium has suddenly shot up to to be a serious contender in the competition. Maybe it’s no coincidence that they had the most overall increase in the number of views to their Youtube video.

Correlations with 2014

If we look at 2014, Sweden was expected to win the competition just as it is today. But there was one, and only one, country that doubled their youtube counts in the last week before the competition, Austria. Against all odds Austria ended up winning the competition. Although the juries had voted politically, enough people stood up against politics and voted with their hearts and led Austria to victory. This year we have a very similar situation. Sweden is again expected to win, but Belgium is the only country to have doubled their Youtube counts. So my guess is that Belgium has a very strong chance of winning. The key difference this year from last is that last year Austria not only had the greatest growth, but they also had the most number of overall views. This year Belgium comes in at 4th in overall views and has only 1/3 the number of views that Austria did.

With the political voting of the juries, it’s still anyone’s game. Although Belgium is now the expected winner in my books, Sweden, Russia, and Italy are very strong contenders, mainly due to political voting. It’s going to be a tight race this year, but it’ll be a fun one. Let’s see which country dominates the singing arena and brings home the competition.

Good luck to all participants, and remember to continue building bridges and spreading love wherever you go =)

-The Cali Garmo

May 17

Austria

Up next is our hosts: Austria! After winning last year and winning in 1966, Austria has a varied record at Eurovision. Although they have won twice, they have gotten last place a grand total of eight times. In fact, between 2004 and 2014 Austria only qualified for the final twice and in those two years didn’t even make top 15. So it was a nice suprise to Austria that they won last year.

This year they are sending The Makemakes singing I am yours in hopes to keep the competition in Austria and to add another win to their record. The Makemakes were formed in June of 2012 when they released their first single. Although they have not released any albums they have received good ratings with their singles. Although, it should be noted their song they are singing has peaked at number 2 in the Austrian charts which doesn’t bode to well for the song. Let’s hear the song out.

As we see the song doesn’t necessarily deserve to be in the top position in the Austrian charts. Although it’s a good song, it doesn’t speak out to you in the way that Conchita’s song did last year. The music video itself was a live performance so I don’t expect much of a change during the competition itself, but we will see if the enthusiasm of the crowd might jolt them higher in the polls. I think that they might do decently well this year (top 15 probably) but won’t get to far otherwise.

Click here to view The Makemakes’ participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 17

Australia

Our next country is Australia! Yup, you read that correctly. In order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision and to emphasize the slogan of “building bridges” the EBU has decided to invite Australia to participate in the grand finale of Eurovision this year! From the way the announcement was made, it seems as though this is a one off event. This would seem to be the case as the EBU invited Australia to participate directly in the grand finale although it is not one of the Big 5. Additionally, many people might find it weird that a non-European country would be allowed to participate, but alas, some might argue that some of the current entries barely qualify as Europe themselves.

Although, if it is a one-off event it might be interesting to see what happens if Australia does end up winning. It would drastically increase the costs of the show as now every single participant would need to fly all the way to Australia. Additionally, it would be the first time that the show would take place outside of the European continent. It would then bring up the question of whether Australia would be allowed to remain in the competition, or if they would still not be allowed to compete again. That in itself might anger quite a few Australians and I’m sure the EBU wouldn’t want a mini-riot on their hands. And considering the song they are bringing to Eurovision, this is a very real possibility.

Without further ado, we announce Guy Sebastian as the representative for Australia! He’ll be singing Tonight again at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and although it was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in just two days, it’s a genius work of art that fits in perfectly with Eurovision and also seems to be a message to Europe from Australia. They could not have submitted a more perfect song. Here is the song in all its glory.

As you can see, it’s an amazing song. It has a fun beat to it that sings directly to the audience and Guy’s voice reminds me of Bruno Mars which has had a prolific career with his unique voice. He was the winner of Australian Idol in 2003 and after having a successful music career he became a judge on Australia’s version of the X Factor. With 7 albums under his belt, 71 award nominations and 45 wins including Bet Pop Release and Best Live Act from ARIA in 2013 he will definitely bring an amazing performance to the stage of Eurovision. With six chart toppers, I’m excited.

Good luck to Australia in this year’s Eurovision and I’m hoping we’ll see more of them in coming years.

Click here to view Guy’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 16

France

Finally it’s France! In the early years France had done really well winning five times between 1956 and 1977. Since then France hasn’t done so well culminating in their first last place finish last year.

This year they are sending Lisa Angell to sing N”oubliez pas (Don’t forget). Lisa has been singing for quite a few years and has three albums under her belt. She normally sings in a euro pop fashion so it’ll be fun to see what her song sounds like.

This song is unfortunately forgettable. nothing about it makes you want to vote for it. Although it’s not as bad as some songs, I don’t expect this song to do very well. I think it will do better than its last place finish from last year, but I don’t know if it will do better than bottom 10 this year. We’ll have to wait and find out.
Click here to view Lisa’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 16

Germany

Next up is Germany! Germany hasn’t had the best history in Eurovision. Although they have participated in every single Eurovision competition, they have only won once and they have been last place five times.

This year they are sending Ann Sophie to sing Black Smoke. Ann herself is a pretty song singer. She has one album out and has been singing since 2011. She normally sings pop, R&B, and soul which comes out as a nice mix in her songs. Let’s here how the combination works in her song.

Although usually this mix works, this song is not performed very well. I like the song, but the performance just kills it. If I hadn’t watched a live performance I would have thought this song would do fairly well, but this song live just doesn’t translate well. We’ll see if the audience agrees or disagrees, but I don’t think Germany will be doing very well this year.
Click here to view Ann’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 15

Italy

Next in the finals is Italy! Italy has a fairly average Eurovision history, only winning twice and losing once. Additionally, they didn’t participate between 1998 and 2010. Since their return in 2011 Italy has been doing really well, usually receiving top 10.

This year they are sending Il Volo to sing Grande Amore in hopes of another win for Italy. Il Volo has been around for quite a few years and even has four albums under their belt. They have a fairly strong following not only in Europe, but in Latin America as well oddly enough. Let’s hear what their song sounds like.

I love their song! Not only that, but their performers are cute which usually gives them a few votes as well. I think Italy’s song will do very well. The song itself is an operetic pop song which hasn’t been done very often, but seems to fit in nicely with Eurovision. In fact, Italy is in the top 5 according to booking agents, so we’ll see where they end up.
Click here to view Il Volo’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 15

Spain

Spain is our next country to look at. Spain has been middle of the line in recent years, although previously they had a very strong record having won a total of 2 times and only receiving last 4 times. Since their second place finish in 1995, Spain has yet to receive top 5, but hopefully this year they’ll be able to change that.

Edurne will be singing Amanecer for Spain. Edurne has a long history singing with five albums out on the market with her first one peaking at number three in Spain. Not only is she a singer, but she also acts in short films and TV as well. Let’s see what this singer/actress is bringing to the table.

Unfortunately I don’t really like this song much. Or at least, I don’t like the music video much as not much is happening. I think this song will be better sung on stage, but I think it will be lost on Eurovision audiences. We’ll have to see if she can bring the song to Eurovision audiences and blast them into voting for her. I don’t think she’ll be able to do it, but I’ve been shown wrong before.
Click here to view Edurne’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 14

United Kingdom

Up next is the United Kingdom, one of the most successful countries in Eurovision history. Since 1957 they have won 5 competitions and only started doing poorly in recent years receiving last place in 2003, 2008 and 2010; only once ever getting nul points in 2003. Not only that, but until 1998, the UK had only twice finished outside the top 10! Since then they have been usually been in the bottom 10.

This year they are sending Electro Velvet who will be singing Still in Love With You in hopes of reliving their glory days. Electro Velvet is a fairly new group and consists of the artists Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas. Bianca has been on both the X Factor and The Voice UK while Alex has a less of a history. Let’s hear their song!

This song… is epic. There is little I can find wrong with it. The beat takes me back, but has a nice euro pop twist to it. I can’t wait to see the performance for this song. Although I personally love it, it seems it gets mixed reviews in Europe. Some are saying the lyrics are borderline mysogonistic and others are raving about it. Until we see the live performance and gage the audience reaction, it’ll be hard to see what happens.
Click here to view Electro Velvet’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 14

Azerbaijan

Up next is Azerbaijan! Since joining in 2008 Azerbaijan has done really well. They have not only made every single finals show, but they had made top 10 almost every year (except last year) and have even won already.

This year they are sending Elnur Huseynov to sing Hour of the Wolf in hopes of keeping up their tradition of having a great record at Eurovision. Elnur is not new to Eurovision. He represented Azerbaijan in their first year in 2008 and did fairly well by getting 8th place. Since then he has won the fourth season of The Voice Turkey continuing his winning performances. Let’s see what song he is bringing to Eurovision.

This song is amazing! Although the music video doesn’t really do much, the song itself is powerful. It reminds me of Conchita’s entry last year. I feel like if Elnur stands on stage and brings an amazing performance he’ll have a good chance of winning the competition. Although, there is some stiff competition this year, so we’ll see how he does. Good luck Elnur!
Click here to view Elnur’ participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 13

Cyprus

Cyprus is the next country on our list! Since their 5th place finish in 2004, Cyprus has not done very well. Since then they have only qualified for the finals 3 times, and haven’t even made top 15 in those cases. In fact 5th place was the best that Cyprus has ever done in the competition.

This year they are sending John Karayiannis singing One Thing I Should Have Done in hopes of getting past their 5th place record.  John has unforunately not done much singing and has had two failed attempts to represent Cyprus in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest (2007 and 2008). He’s hoping this year is ht eyear he gets a win for Cyprus with the following song.

Although the song is enjoyable to listen to, I don’t think it will get very far. It doesn’t have the quality that we usually look for in a song for Eurovision. It will likely do decently well from it’s neighbouring countries so it might make the finals, but from there I doubt that it would do very well. We’ll have to wait and see.

Click here to view John’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

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