What happens when you win a contest which is meant to reward skill and talent, but people say you didn’t deserve to win?
Over the weekend, like millions of other people, I watched the Eurovision song contest 2022.
The clear winner was the Ukraine, with 631 points, ahead of the UK on 466 points. Both were entertaining, with the UK having a more talented vocalist, and the Ukraine putting on more of a show.
In this case though, what was strange was the difference between how the judges voted and how the public voted.
The winners are determined by a mix of 50% points given by professional music judges from 40 European countries, and 50% points awarded by viewers picking their favourite performance. Only the top ranked performers get points though, with the maximum points a country can get are 12 from each other countries’ judges and audiences.
After just the judges from all 40 countries had shared their scores, the UK was in the lead with 283 points. Ukraine was 4th, on 192, almost a hundred points behind.
However, while the UK got a very respectable 183 points from the public, the public have the Ukraine 439 points.
That means that out of a maximum of 12 points for 40 countries, with a total mathematical maximum of 480 votes from the public, the Ukraine got over 91% of the possible score from the public.
That is unheard of.
And it must have also led to some very strange feelings for the performers from both the UK and the Ukraine.
Because with a result as clear as that, it is obvious that millions of people in the public voted with their heart, to support the country of Ukraine in solidarity while they are going through a terrible war.
But it was not necessarily for the quality of the Ukraine performers. Whereas the UK got their position based primarily on the performance.
So put yourself in the shoes of both performers.
One lost because of politics in a different country which had nothing to do with him.
One group won, but not thanks to their own ability but instead of of sympathy.
For an artist, both feel unfair and frustrating
And yet, the circumstances mean both cannot possibly complain about where they ended up.
Who really won?
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