Did Europe really detest our Eurovision entry that much?

Just 1 of 42 countries gave Australia points in the Eurovision Song Contest Final in the public televoting.

That was Denmark with a mere 2 points.

Every other country in Eurovision shunned Isaiah’s Don’t Come Easy in the televoting.

But we amassed 173 points (171 jury + 2 televoting) and finished #9th, sparing us complete humiliation.

We fared slightly better in the Semi Final in televoting:

6 Iceland
3 Armenia, Slovenia
2 Cyprus, Sweden, Azerbaijan
1 Belgium, Albania, Montenegro

Thankfully the Juries, who comprise 50% of the vote, connected with the song, because the public sure didn’t. Compare 2 points for Isaiah with Dami Im’s 191 points last year.

So why the discrepancy between the experts and the masses? Is it just a matter of taste?

Juries vote at the Dress Rehearsals, meaning the Semi Final jury vote did not account for a vocal stumble Isaiah made in the Live Semi Final. But to his credit he made no error in the Final and yet still the gap was wide.

Or did Europe react negatively to a prankster draped in an Australian flag? His interruption took place towards the end of the Live voting period. Who knows how much it affected our votes, even though he turned out to be Ukrainian?

Or has Europe lost enthusiasm for us participating in the entire event? Aussie Anja Nissen only pulled 5 votes for Denmark in the televoting at her Semi Final. Graeme Norton once suggested, “I know some countries aren’t technically in Europe but, come on — Australia is on the other side of world.

“I just do not understand why they are in the Eurovision Song Contest. Get rid of Australia.”

Aside from the fact that SBS is an Associate Member of the European Broadcasting Union (Israel is also a member), executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand has said: “We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step in that direction.”

But the views of organisers may not be shared by ordinary viewers across the continent. The novelty of us competing with Guy Sebastian and Dami Im has worn off quickly and our place in the Final meant 16 other nations missed out -you’d really hope they weren’t bearing a grudge.

Or was the 2 points just a reflection that Don’t Come Easy was a pretty ordinary ballad amongst a sea of others?

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “Isaiah has been such a fantastic ambassador for Australia at Eurovision, and we are incredibly proud of his performance in the Grand Final. Making the Grand Final every year that Australia has been in the contest is no small feat, and is a fantastic acknowledgement of our creative talents and passion and enthusiasm for the contest.”

Australian Head of Delegation Paul Clarke said: “Isaiah won a lot of hearts at Eurovision with his huge talent and his gracious spirit. It is a wonderful thing to be able to offer such a huge opportunity on the world stage to an artist so deserving, one who we know will go on to great things.”

Whatever the reason, at least we didn’t come dead last. Austria was lumbered with 0 in the televoting. Spain had 0 in the Jury votes and just 5 in the televoting.

So #9th place is a very good effort by Isaiah!

20 Comments:

  1. I really get bored when countries claim they can never win Eurovision and that other countries don’t like them (not saying you are doing this David).
    If a song is good, the voting works itself out. Our song this year wasn’t good – I’m dumbfounded as to how we came fourth in the jury vote – for the third year in a row the juries have favoured our entry more than the televote. That said the gap in 2015 (4th vs 6th) and 2016 (1st vs 4th) was nowhere near as big as this year. Isaiah represented us admirably but he was never going to set Europe on fire. We’ll bounce back (not that 9th place is considered bad in the Eurovision community – the Australia media are just used to top-5 finishes)

  2. Maev....Sydney

    Australia may not be in Europe …but it is full of Europeans and European descendants…Having said that…we will never win….no one wants to move the whole event to the bottom end of the earth…logistical nightmare…….tyranny of distance……..

  3. I think all that you said David had some bearing in one way or the other

    But even so – nice voice – ok song – Not the stuff of Eurovision winners

    Moldova was my favourite – a nifty little Eurovision package all tied up with a bow!

  4. I don’t know why we’re in it either. I didn’t think any of the entries were worth voting for; can’t think of a single song that had a decent tune to it. Anyway; it’s never been the same since Terry Wogan and his acerbic wit made it all worthwhile for us grumps!

  5. When the starting point for most European voters is “What the hell is Australia doing in Eurovision?”, there is little to no chance of an Australian entry winning. And that’s what makes the whole venture pretty nonsensical.

  6. I think it’s due to confusion and perhaps anger as to why we are included in the event. And I agree, we shouldn’t be included. As a guest, and as a one-off performance, sure we can be included, but not continued each year.

    • As long as Australia (i.e. SBS and/or Sony) is prepared to pay the costs of entry, and knowing the contest’s popularity in Australia, then I reckon the EBU will gladly keep having Australia in the contest. Especially as other countries can be prone to dropping out, voluntarily or otherwise. The closure of IBA in Israel could potentially see that country drop out of the Contest unless another broadcaster can pick it up.

    • We are in it because SBS is an associate member of the EBU and the fact that Eurovision has been popular in Australia for over 30 years.

  7. daveinprogress

    Isiah is a great singer and a beautiful looking young man, but the song was very ordinary. Not a patch on the previous two Aussie entries.

  8. I don’t think the song was interesting enough to connect with audiences. I was listening to Dami’s song over the weekend and her vocals soar and she had the charisma to back it up. Isiah was just a little too subdued and quiet in comparison. Great singer – but mistake in the semi, also the prankster wearing the Australian flag could have influenced the voting…

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