When participating in a contest like the Eurovision Song Contest, victory isn’t the only crucial thing as some non-winning entries ended up being better remembered than the actual winner. This is usually related to the country’s popularity in the fandom. Some countries such as Sweden and Italy get a great amount of love from the fandom and the results prove this on an almost yearly basis. On the other hand, countries such as Slovakia and Andorra weren’t that popular. That’s why when Sweden hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016 the anticipation level was as high as it could be as Sweden is known for its high-level productions every year in their own national final “Melodifestivalen” as well as in all her previous hostings of the contest with the most recent one being in 2013.
While only three countries expressed their will to host the contest back in 2013, this time the number of cities doubled with six cities willing to host and the number of venues almost tripled with eleven venues proposed for the 2016’s edition. The three cities who offered to host in 2013, Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg showed an interest once again. Linkoping,Sandviken and Gävle, and Ornskoldsvik joined the race. Every city suggested one venue except for Stockholm which offered not less than five different venues. The venue offered by Malmo was once again the “Malmo Arena” which served as the venue of the contest in 2013. After discussion and reviews of all the candidate cities and venues Stockholm was chosen as the host city with the Ericcson Globe as the contest’s venue. This wasn’t the first time this venue is used to host the contest as it was the venue of the 2000’s contest as well.
While the contest in Stockholm had four female hosts, the Swedish broadcaster chose only two hosts for this edition: Swedish TV personality Petra Mede who previously hosted the 2013’s edition of the contest was chosen to host this edition as well. Joining her was the winner of the 2015’s edition Mans Zelmerlow. This is the first time since 2012 where the winner from the previous year gets to host the contest itself.
Forty two countries participated in this edition. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Ukraine and Bulgaria would all come back to the contest. Last year’s guest participant Australia was given the right to participate once again and was no longer considered as guest. Although confirming its participation and choosing its entry, Romania was disqualified from the contest as Romanian broadcaster TVR failed to pay its debt of sixteen million Euros to the EBU. In addition to Romania, Portugal didn’t participate either in this edition. This will be the last edition to date in which Bosnia and Herzegovina participated.
With eighteen countries competing in each of the Semi-Finals the chances of qualification were very high for some countries and almost non-existent for others. Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina both failed to qualify to the Grand Final for the first time in the countries’ history. On the other hand, Croatia managed to qualify after six years of failure. The Czech Republic qualified for the first time since its debut. Bulgaria qualified for the second time in its participation history with the first time bring back in 2007.
Like every previous edition, this edition saw the return of many former contestants: Malta was represented by no other than Ira Losco who got to the 2nd position in 2002. Fuad Backovic (Deen) co-represented Bosnia and Herzegovina yet failed to qualify to the Grand Final. Backovic previously represented the ex-Yugoslav country in Istanbul in 2004 with its song “In The Disco” which became a fan favourite ever since. Kaliopi came back to represent the Former Yugolsav Republic Of Macedonia after her first participation in 2012. Sadly Kaliopi failed to restore her success and failed to qualify from the Semi-Final. Icelandic entrant Greta Salome co-represented her country in 2012 along with Jonsi. Greta’s destiny was similar to the one of Kaliopi and Deen as she failed to qualify as well. After finishing 12th in her Semi-Final in 2011, Poli Genova came back to the contest to represent Bulgaria once again. This time she got to the fourth position in the Grand-Final. This result was the best record for Bulgaria at the time. Lithuania sent its 2012’s representative Donny Montell. Estonian representative of 2002, Sahlene, came back as a backing vocalist for Australia. After representing Slovenia in 2009, Martina Majerle came back as a backing vocalist for Croatia. Majerle has a lot of experience in this position as she previously was the backing vocalist for Montenegro, Slovenia and Croatia on multiple occasions. Bojan Jovovic came back as a part of “Highway”, the Montenegrin entrant after being a part of “No Name” who represented Serbia and Montenegro in 2005. Armenian backing vocalist Monica represented her country in the junior edition of the contest in 2008.
The voting session is known to be the most exciting part of the whole contest. In this edition of the contest a new voting system was introduced. In the new system every country gives two different sets of votes. The first set consisted of jury voting only while the second consisted of the national televoting results. This new system gave an equal power to both juries and viewers. In the old system every country gave its points to the top 10 countries which were decided through a combination of the jury and televote. The system was criticised as it was said to be discriminating micro-states in which no televote system is used.
After the first part of the voting was over and all juries gave away their votes Australia was in the lead with a 109 points of margin between it and runner up Ukraine. After the announcement of the televoting results Russia was announced as winner of the televoting. Yet, as none of the two countries gained enough points in the round they didn’t win the victory was Ukrainian. Ukraine came second in both televoting and jury voting while Australia came fourth in the televote and Russia came fifth in the jury voting. The final top three was Ukraine as the winner with 534 points, Australia as the runner up with 511 points and Russia as second runner up with 491 points. Neither the Ukrainian nor the Russian juries gave points to the other country yet both voted for Australia. Yet, the two exchanged points in the televoting with Russia getting the Ukrainian 12 points.
Watch the jury and televoting voting sessions here :
Watch the Grand Final here: