UNITED KINGDOM – Dance Direct has revealed the key factors that appear in winning Eurovision songs, to understand what makes the perfect song contest combination. Analysing data from 2012 onwards, the research includes factors such as; language, gender, act size, dance-ability and politics, to predict who will be this year’s Eurovision winner. Winning indicators include:
• Singing in an imaginary language – other than English and English-Native mix singing in a faux language holds the highest score
• Singing in Serbian – which has historically scored higher than Italian
• Being male – men place higher than women
• Going solo – solo acts get a better position, compared to groups
• Receiving points from Spain, The Netherlands, and Belgium – these countries are most likely to award their points to the eventual winner each year
Netherlands most likely to win Eurovision 2019
According to data from Dance Direct, which is based on the past winners and the factors that seem to shape the criteria indicated as the ‘perfect’ Eurovision, the Netherlands’ Duncan Lawrence is outlined as the favourite for Eurovision 2019 with his original song, “Arcade” which fits most of the criteria.
Dance Direct has used historic song and performance data to create an algorithm that reveals which countries are most likely to award their points to the eventual winner, along with the countries that show their allegiances towards each other. I have included the full press release below but key highlights include:
- Based on the algorithm, Netherlands are predicted to win the 2019 Eurovision Song Content, with the UK predicted in 17th place
- Singing in an imaginary language – other than English and English-Native mix singing in a faux language holds the highest score
- Singing in Serbian – which has historically scored higher than Italian
- Being male helps – men place higher than women
- Solo acts get a better position, compared to groups
- Winning Eurovision doesn’t mean future success – see below for the surprising ‘real’ winners of Eurovision past
- Spain, The Netherlands, and Belgium are the countries most likely to award their points to the eventual winner each year
The full report is available visualised on the Dance Direct website at https://www.dancedirect.com/uk/eurovision-2019
Dance Direct’s research also revealed that the chosen language of the song doesn’t necessarily need to be a real dialect. Belgian group Urban Trad came second in 2003 with their song “Sanomi,” which was written in an imaginary language and earned them 165 points. However, the majority of acts choose to sing in English, or English and a mix of their native tongue. In addition, there is often a surprising result of what viewers actually enjoy listening to – for example, singing in Serbian has historically scored higher than Italian.
When it comes to attire, Dance Direct research revealed that top-ranking female artists tend to select white, overstated gowns. Whereas men tend to opt for an understated look, with classic black suits as the most popular male outfit.
Men place higher than women
After analysing trends of past winners, the research reveals that men place slightly higher than women – but not by much. The highest points position of all time is held by a man – Portugal’s Salvador Sobral, who earned 758 points in the 2017 competition.
Solo acts position better
Going solo provides a better chance of winning, as solo acts tend to achieve a better position, compared to duos or groups. There have been more solo contestants over the years, compared to multi-acts, and therefore unsurprisingly more solo act winners.
Groups that have six members (the maximum number allowed) tend to do best, followed by duos and then groups of three. The research also revealed that it’s more common to enter as a mixed gender group (33 entries since 2012), followed by all male groups (29 entries since 2012), and all female (7 entries since 2012) groups. This said, all female groups score better, followed by mixed and all male groups.
Female groups tend to do better than female solo artists, whereas male solo artists have the edge over male groups.
UK’s closest allies are Ireland, followed by Australia and Malta
One of people’s biggest observations of the Eurovision Song Contest is whether or not the voting patterns are tactical, as certain countries do seem to show allegiances, regardless of the quality of the performance. The research shows that the UK has a close ally in Ireland, which has awarded the UK the most points since 2012, followed by Australia and Malta. However, the UK doesn’t reciprocate and instead gives most of its points jointly to Sweden and Bulgaria, followed by Lithuania and then Australia.
In terms of having an ear for a winner, Spain, The Netherlands, and Belgium are the best predictors date – they are the countries that are most likely to award their points to the eventual winner each year.
The surprising winners after Eurovision
It seems you don’t always need a winning song to become the most popular. Combining views and plays statistics from YouTube and Spotify, Dance Direct researched acts that ranked in the top three over the last five years. The 2015 winner, Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw, comes out on top with his winning song “Heroes”, but the next three most popular songs all placed either second or third in the actual competition.
The research also revealed quite a difference in terms of what people want to view, compared to what they want to listen to. Most notably, the Russian winner Sergey is second for most YouTube views but tenth for Spotify plays.
Where are the 2018 entries now?
When evaluating success at the actual live show to how popular certain songs are today, Dance Direct research shows that there’s a significant shift in position among last year’s entries. Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira placed second in Eurovision 2018, but holds the most views and plays across YouTube and Spotify.
However, the real post-Eurovision success stories are Spain (placed 23) and Finland (placed 25), which have climbed to the 7th and 12th most popular post-Eurovision tracks. Albania (placed 11), Estonia (placed 8), and Moldova (placed 10) haven’t been as successful with their longevity. Each country secured an above-average result, but subsequently dropped to the bottom of the popularity table over the course of the year.