A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

ESC 2013: will there be nul points?

When I started following Eurovision back in the day, one thing was almost as big a question as what country would win: who will be the no-pointer of the year? It was a thrilling little prospect that had stayed with the viewers ever since the phenomenon first appeared at the contest in Paris 1978.

Of course songs had failed to score before as well, but one of the main objectives of the current voting system - inaugurated in Stockholm 1975 - was that it would make it impossible for countries to end up without a single point.

It worked for a couple of years, then came Jahn Teigen in his red pants and Garbo sunglasses and managed to cling on to his zero throughout the entire voting. The unthinkable had happened and since then a total of fourteen songs have failed to score in a eurovision final.

Jahn Teigen - Mil etter mil (Norway 1978)

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the last song to get nul points in a final. The reason is of course the semifinals - most songs running the risk of not enthusing anyone get lost already at an early stage and are spared their Saturday night humiliation.

But maybe this year could be different.

There are fewer songs in the semi-finals, which makes it relatively more easy to qualify. The chance is higher that a song will make it to tenth place in its semi thanks to low but consistent points - and then this song will be far too weak to stand a chance in a grand final with tougher competition.

Norway almost became a victim of that last year in Baku - they barely made it to the final where they only got low, random points from three countries.

I also wonder how Europe will recieve the Spanish entry in Malmö. It is nice, pleasant and well sung, but will it manage to make it into the top ten of any country's voting? Especially now that neither one of their friendly neighbours - Andorra and Portugal - are in the competition.

Would I want to see a new nul-pointer, then? 

Not particularly. I have always preferred to see everyone get at least one or a handful of points for consolation. 

If it has to happen, what I'd like to see is a multiple nul-pointer. Twice there have been two countries tying for last place with nul points, but we never had three or more countries performing that very stunt with the current points system.

Unless that happens, I'd prefer points for everybody so that this one remains the last non-scorer ever in a eurovision final.

Jemini - Cry Baby (United Kingdom 2003)

1 comment:

  1. I still shake my head at that 2003 entry. We were ashamed of that one. Still, I agree there could be a nul-pointer this year, but I'll wait until after the semis to see. I personally think the French entry is more likely not to score than the Spanish.