Poland’s entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest won the popular vote in Norway, according to official statistics from Eurovision released on Sunday. Poland ended up getting only two points from Norway, however, after the popular vote was outweighed by Norway’s professional jury.
The jury clearly didn’t like Poland’s entry, nor did Norway’s so-called Eurovision expert Inge Solmo, who claimed Poland used “cheap tricks” to grab attention and votes. Poland’s bouncy pop song called “My Stowianie – We Are Slavic” was performed by dancing women in folk costumes augmented by a silent, voluptuous and scantily clad woman who acted as though she was churning cheese. Solmo equated her highly suggestive movements throughout the song to “pornography and masturbation.”
Solmo, who has written a book on Eurovision and taken part in TV shows about the annual song contest, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he thought the Polish performance was “embarrassing to watch.”
The viewing public in Norway seemed to disagree, because Poland won the popular Eurovision vote from Norway, followed by Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Romania, Switzerland and the UK.
Asked to explain the public popularity of Poland’s entry, Solmo said it was “first and foremost because there are so many people from Poland living and working in Norway.” He’s convinced Polish fans in Norway phoned in lots of votes for the sexually charged Polish entry, “and that’s a bit fascinating when they come from one of Europe’s most Catholic countries.”
Jury can override the people
Because of the Eurovision voting system, though, the popular vote is calculated in conjunction with the votes of five members of a professional jury in each country that also evaluates the songs. NRK reported that the jury in Norway was made up of journalists Jonas Brenna, Jon Thomas Holmlund and Ahmed Fawad Ashraf, along with musicians Monica “Minnie-Oh” Johansen and Rannveig Sundelin.
They ranked Poland in 19th place, favouring such countries as the Netherlands, Austria, Malta and Finland instead. Poland didn’t get into the top five choices of any of the five jury members, so their Number One ranking from the public combined with the 19th ranking from the jury left then with a combined rank of nine, and just two points.
Norway’s top score of 12 points thus went to The Netherlands, 10 points went to Austria and eight went to Sweden. Seven points went to Finland, six to Iceland, five to Spain, four to Romania, three to the UK, two to Poland and one to Denmark.
See all the Eurovision voting results from Norway here (external link).
Solmo claimed the jury system was put in place to “make up for incorrect points allocation.” When it was briefly removed from the song contest in 1999, “you could very clearly see how neighboring countries voted for each other,” Solmo added. “We still have that, like when Romania gets 12 points from Moldova, but to a lesser degree.”
It’s unlikely that Polish voters living in Norway view their votes as “incorrect,” like Solmo claimed. Poland ended up in 14th place at Eurovision 2014 with a total of 62 points. Norway placed eighth with 88 points and Austria won the contest, with 290.