Monday, 19 May 2014

Eurovision Voting: Boring World Test Cases

Now we have decided what contributes to suspense, we can test them by comparing them to what are hypothetically the least suspenseful votes possible in Eurovision.

Since currently I have two factors, I am coming up with a scenario that minimises each of them.

Boring World Scenario A:
The juries involved in voting are all identical sets of clones, each country thus votes exactly the same way. 12 countries get away with cheating by voting for themselves making the reveal order irrelevant. Presumably they get away with it because of mind control satellites or something.

Boring World Scenario B:
One country puts in a performance which is breathtakingly phenomenally better than all of the others, who kind of all forgot about Eurovision and ended up sending a man and his old arthritic dog who get up on stage and awkwardly warble for 30 second. As a result one country gets the maximum (432 points) possible, and every other entrant ends up with the other 25 getting the average. Given that the average is 69.56, the .56 means there should be 14 countries in 2nd place, each with 70 points.

Both of these situations would be pretty boring purely from the context of voting results. In A there is no shifting of positions, once the first results are announced there is no movement, but theoretically the result could change until right near the end. There is only a difference of 74 points between 1st and 2nd. The positions are technically only certain when the 31st set of results are out.

In Scenario B the winner is made clear as early as I think is possible within the voting rules for Eurovision, which appears to be round 21. But it should be pretty clear what the result is well before this point in both cases.

Honestly I think that scenario B is the less suspenseful of the two, but I am not sure. What do you think?

EDIT: As Krellen pointed out, I had messed up the numbers. I had been thinking in terms of a system where each country gives out 12 scores, worth 1-12 points each. In Eurovision each country gives out 10 scores,1 through 8, 10 and 12. This shifts the positions of the tipping point to be a little bit earlier.


  1. For Scenario A, as the top two votes are 12 and 10 points, wouldn't that make the final score different by 74 points, and the result thus clearly decided by round 31?

    As for Scenario B, perhaps that *shouldn't* be suspenseful. I mean, was it really that big a shocker when Lordi won in 2006?

    1. Doh, really should have double checked how voting works, I had forgotten that it isn't a straight 1-12 thing. That actually changes all of the numbers slightly.

      The aim here is to try to work out the two least suspenseful scenarios by the two metrics I had works out. Trying to a) see if they are sensible metrics and b) see if I can figure out which is more important.