With the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 tantalisingly close, it was time for the court to resume session and for the (un)official Aotearoa New Zealand jury to give its Douze Points.
Once again, our jury brings a distinctly-Kiwi voice and opinion to the biggest music competition in the world. The Eurovision community in New Zealand continues to grow in size and vigour every year with every edition of the contest. This vote from New Zealand-based Eurofans not only represents the next step in the evolution of this expanding community but also, we hope, a welcome addition to a vibrant, increasingly international fanbase that the Eurovision Song Contest attracts.
This year, the New Zealand jury follows the process of the real Eurovision juries quite closely. The lower a juror ranks a song, the smaller the impact of that ranking on the overall result, while the higher a juror ranks a song, the more impact that ranking will have. The value of the group of jurors gets priority over the opinion of a single individual juror. You can read more about this below, after the results.
Meet the jury
We’re excited to have three incomparable Eurofans on the jury this year, sharing their immense expertise and Eurovision knowledge:
John from 58points.com
John is the creator of 58points.com – a simultaneously “data-driven” and “nerdtastic” view of Eurovision – while also writing for ESC Insight. John is a long-time Eurovision obsessive and is interested in viewing the Contest from an analytical perspective: a perfect match to our jury! Though, originally hailing from Canada, he laments the call time for the NZ-based Eurovision viewer: 7AM here instead of an easy noon start!
Logan, from the outskirts of Auckland, writes here for Eurovision NZ. Logan’s hopes of fame were crushed by his choir teacher who kicked him out for his inability to harmonise. Nevertheless, he has channelled his passion for music and singing into the Eurovision Song Contest. Logan is currently pursuing a PhD in psychology, “since no one will employ me for my Eurovision passion (yet)”.
Rounding off the jury is Josh, the editor here at Eurovision.nz. Josh secretly has very particular tastes when it comes to Eurovision, and will try his hardest not to exclusively give out 1’s and 10’s.
Enough with the introductions! It’s time to see who we’ve picked as our winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022! Starting in reverse order…
Malik Harris creates a nostalgic space of emotion for Germany, while demonstrating his incomparable musical ability by playing a vast array of live instruments on-stage. His beautiful vocals and deft rapping abilities combine to deliver a powerful message that will resonate with every viewer. We know that this will be a stellar three-minutes at the Grand Final, and we hope that Europe will pick up their phones and send Germany the votes that they deserve. Malik is, and always will be, our Rockstar.
Spain has come to Turin to light up the arena: literally. Deploying such staging items as a whole pyrotechnic curtain, Chanel gives us a performance of a caliber that is reminiscent of some of the world’s leading pop artists today. The combination of staging, costume, choreography, and solid vocals have already won over many Eurofans and we would not be surprised if Spain did very well on the Grand Final scoreboard.
Rosa Linn is at home on the Eurovision stage, and not just because she appears to have brought her bedroom. Performing, with confidence, a song that is likely to appeal to many Eurovision viewers, Armenia stands out for being the most successful at hiding the “emo rainbow”. The simplicity of the song is echoed by its inventive staging and we can definitely see this as being a jury favourite.
Serbia delivers one of the most compelling performances this year. There is no massive, singular moment in Konstrakta’s performance, rather, she captures your attention and holds it for three minutes while you try to figure out exactly what is happening. It is mysterious, it has religious undertones and it challenges you to decipher what Konstrakta is telling you. Not only that, the song is rhythmic and atypical and is given massive gravitas when the arena claps along with Konstrakta. If we see you in Belgrade in 2023, we will be very happy.
One of the strongest songs of the year is matched by one of the strongest stages. S10 delivers studio-like vocals and looks totally confident. The Netherlands makes the best use of the emo rainbow with close shots and a tighter aspect ratio that minimizes its stark curvature, making the whole performance look cohesive and unique. S10’s voice and transcendent presence carried her decisively through to the Grand Final and we are ready for a high finish for last year’s hosts.
France has brought everything that we love to see in a Eurovision entry: culture, language, intricate staging and a massive song. Alvan & Ahez create a mesmerizing show that evokes carnival-like feelings of mysticism and intrigue. They, like the Netherlands, deftly deploy the emo rainbow. They duplicate its arches onto the LED screens that flank the main structure. All three are lit in green flames, giving the impression of neon, pulsating hills in the distance. France really shines with the camera work: they have designed a tight sequence of shots that uses seemingly every available camera at every angle. In so doing, we are treated to a cacophony of erratic light and music that positions France as one of the strongest acts in this year’s Grand Final.
Someone on Twitter (sorry, we can’t remember who you are) described Mahmood & Blanco as the two students in your class who show up the day before the test and get an A+. We couldn’t agree more. They treat us to a performance that seems to transcend Eurovision itself, which is fitting for a host entry that seeks to remind Europe of their musical dominance. Brividi is an incredibly moving song and the pair belt out possibly the most beautiful vocal performances of the year. Their voices are so wonderfully complementary that it sends shivers down the spine. They sing to and with each other, but it’s clear their message is for us. If anyone is to secure a consecutive win for their country, we hope it’s Mahmood & Blanco.
We don’t need to rehash the United Kingdom’s difficult history with the Contest over the last few years, so we won’t. The UK’s Eurovision handlers have brushed that history off and blasted onto the Grand Final with their strongest song, strongest performer and strongest entry in recent memory. With a massive hook and other wordly guitar solo from Sam Ryder, this is one song that is sure to stick in the mind of the casual viewer. It will be up to Europe to decide if they want to vote for the United Kingdom. We hope that they do.
Ukraine has come to win, and win they may. While impossible to divest the Eurovision Song Contest from the contemporary political and economic environment in which it exists, a helpful thought exercise may exist in briefly pretending that Kalush Orchestra is from any other country. In so doing, we see that this is winning act by virtue of the act itself: everything else is a happy addition. It is cheerful, cultural song with a melody that sticks with you. This fact will surely serve to help Ukraine capture as many votes as possible during the performer recap segments as their chorus plays and throws the casual viewer right back into the heart of the performance. Their onstage presence is undeniable and every moment of their three minutes is attention capturing: you can’t help but vibe along, and vibe we do. Ukraine is one of our clear favourites and we hope that it will be one of Europe’s, too.
The masters of Eurovision have done it again.
Cornelia Jakobs brings the entire package to Turin. Raw, vulnerable vocals belt out heartful lyrics. Considered staging supports a world-class performer. An emotional story is told by Cornelia and it’s a story that resonates with everyone who hears it. A song with deep meaning requires a heartful handler: Cornelia is meeting that standard and exceeding it. Everything about this performance is considered and touching.
Like it or not, Sweden knows how to do Eurovision and consistently raises the quality bar. Our douze points couldn’t go to a more deserving competitor.
There we have it! Now, we will wait and see how our jury lines up with the results at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Let us know what you think about our picks over on Twitter.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will take place at the PalaOlimpico in Italy in May 2022. Eurofans in New Zealand can watch all three shows live on the official Eurovision YouTube channel, without commentary.
How we found the jury results
Our jurors were asked to rank the Grand Finalists from favourite to least favourite, focusing on the performer’s vocal capacity, the onstage performance, the composition and originality of the song, and their overall impression of the act.
The jury members ranked first their favourite song, second, their second favourite song, third, their third favourite song, and so on until their least favourite song, which was ranked last. Every juror ranked every song.
From there, we applied an exponential weight model to each juror’s rankings. This is the same process that the EBU follows with the real juries.
Rather than giving each rank given by a juror the same weight, the EBU allocates predefined ‘score values’ to each ranking position, intentionally increasing the value of the top-10 ranks: the top-3 in particular. These score values start with the value of 12 for the first rank and will decrease exponentially further down the ranking list. The sum of the scores for all 26 songs from the five jurors creates the national jury result where the resulting top 10 ranked countries will be awarded that jury’s 12, 10, 8 points and so on.
Nobody knows what the EBU’s ‘score values’ are, but others have guessed and have come very close, so we’re using our best guess, too.
We’ll publish the full ranking and scores of the New Zealand jury after the Grand Final.