Study shows Israel has few Eurovision loyalties

While Cyprus and Greece stick together and the Nordic countries vote in a bloc, Israel stands largely alone at the song contest.

April 21, 2019 18:47
1 minute read.
Gali Atari and Milk and Honey, Israel's second-ever Eurovision winner, perform in Jerusalem in 1979

Gali Atari and Milk and Honey, Israel's second-ever Eurovision winner, perform in Jerusalem in 1979. (photo credit: SCREENSHOT/KAN)


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Eurovision voting is about picking the best song, right? Maybe not.

Fans of the 63-year-old singing competition are well aware that many participating countries have a tendency to award points to the same contestants each year. Many refer to these voting patterns as “Eurovision blocs.”

Casumo, a European-based online casino company, recently released a study showing how the so-called voting blocs operate, and how Israel has essentially no true-blue Eurovision friends at all.

Both the juries and the televoters of Cyprus and Greece have a strong tendency to award each other points, Spain and Portugal regularly favor each other, and Romania and Moldova award the “maximum points” possible in the Eurovision to each other more than 80% of the time.

Those patterns don’t necessarily lead to wins for the countries. Neither Cyprus nor Moldova or Romania has ever won the Eurovision Song Contest, and Portugal and Greece have each only won once.

The real strength, the Casumo research study shows, is in the voting blocs. The Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Finland – regularly vote for each other. Casumo found that these countries have awarded “maximum points” to each other 92 times throughout Eurovision history. Sweden has won six times, and Denmark and Norway have won three times. Ex-Soviet countries also have a loyal voting bloc, and ex-Yugoslav nations often follow similar patterns.

“Israel, in turn, doesn’t seem to benefit from any voting patterns,” the researchers stated. “The country has won Eurovision four times, but no country has voted it best as often [as they do other nations].”

Israel’s strongest base of Eurovision support comes from Finland, France, Portugal, and the UK, which have each voted Israel best three times each. Voters in Israel, meanwhile, have given maximum points to the UK five times, and Sweden four times

So how does Casumo predict things will go this year? Turn to the UK, it says. Voters and jury members in the United Kingdom have predicted the winner – i.e. awarded its top points to the winning country – 25 times, the most of any country. Who will the UK pick this year? All signs point to the Netherlands, but with three weeks to go until the competition, it’s still anyone’s game.

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