The monster rockers from Finland won the Eurovision song contest 2006 in Athens. As always, I couldn't help but think that the tele-voting has a tendency to favour neighbouring countries. To figure out just how real this tendency is I set out to adjust the scores according to the distance between the countries.
The graph above shows the official score for the top five participating countries and two alternative scores. The first alternative uses normalisation based on the distance between the capitals of the country voting and the country receiving the vote. The second alternative is more extreme in that it gives a weight of zero to countries that share land borders. Please note that it is only the relations between the countries within each alternative that are valid – the fact that Russia received different amount of points for the different alternatives is thus not relevant.
In other words, the normalisation means that an icelandic vote for Greece is more valuable than if Albania would vote for Greece.
As can be seen Lordi won even more impressively taken distances into account.
In my eyes tele-voting by country takes away too much of the musical aspect of the competition. The purist in me would like to get the proper jurys back but since we seem to be stuck with tele-voting I think it should be done with just one big “jury” and the song that gets the most votes wins.
I attach the spreadsheet if you want to check how I have done the calculations or modify it further.