Antarctica, Swaziland, South Georgia Island Take the Spoils at WINTERFEST

Happy Feet impressed the WINTERFEST juries

6th and very final edition of WINTERFEST (2018 Annual) has been completed, following the TISC-esque presentation of votes from 31 participating national juries. Antarctica ran away to the top of the leaderboard yet again, scoring incredible 347 points from 31 juries (remember, WINTERFEST rules allow nations to vote for themselves!). Tiny landlocked African nation of Swaziland finished 2nd (172 pts), while South Georgia Island from the Southern Atlantic claimed a highly respectable 3rd position (150 pts). Remember however that things are not over yet, as the top 3 will advance to a special final round during which the TISC community will pick a winner.

Despite winning each and every WINTERFEST edition so far, Antarctica still remained as victory-hungry as ever going into this edition, especially since this is supposed to be the very final rendition of the contest. That’s why they decided to pull every stop for this occasion and organize an exhausting selection period to find that perfect song. Selection period lasted over two months and consisted of several periods, such as preliminary round, quarterfinals, semifinals and big final. Finally, the Antarctic dignitaries decided to enter “Boogie Wonderland”, performed by Happy Feet. This filmic tune offers a lot of variety to WINTERFEST fans and has very much stood as out-and-out favorite from the get-go. The song has also been very much praised for its choreography. It didn’t disappoint.

Antarctica opened the Grand Final with a bang, scoring the prestigious 12 points score from the first jury to go – Sandwich Islands. Amazingly enough however, they did not receive any points from the second jury of Donegal (county), what dropped them to provisional 4th place at a time, behind Swaziland, South Georgia Island and Suriname. Some analysts were already on their feet, suggesting that Donegal awarding zero points to Antarctica was a game changer… But it didn’t turn out to be, as quite incredibly Antarctica went on to win medals from 28 out of 29 remaining juries. Canada’s Northwest Territories did not fancy a medal for the Antarctic hosts, but they still awarded them a respectable 8-point score. Antarctica’s medal haul featured a 5-votes-long and a 6-votes-long gold medal winning streaks, the likes of which have never been seen on the TISC stage. Overall, they received 22 twelve-point scores, which arrived from Sandwich Islands, Belgium, Lapland, Jan Mayen, Nicaragua, Iceland, Alaska, Tasmania, Wrangel Island, Sakhalin, Novaya Zemlya, Tristan da Cunha, Swaziland, Ceuta, Mount St. Helens, Falkland Islands, DR Congo, Monaco, Nunavut, Antarctica, Belarus and Gibraltar. Antarctica finished the competition on a total of 347 points, which in the field of 31 juries equals a point-per-jury score of 11,19! 347 points moreover represent 93,25% of the maximum possible score (372).

Swaziland (eSwatini), who have been WINTERFEST regulars since its introduction, earned their best ever finish by placing second. They were represented by “Now and Forever”, performed by The Pebble & The Penguin, a song that was very much praised for its sentiments and emotional vibe. Swaziland completed the contest with 172 points, which is in fact massive 175 points less than the score of Antarctic hosts. Overall, they scored a single 12-point score (Scott Island), and five other medals which came from Iceland, Swaziland, Falkland Islands, Monaco and Nunavut.

South Georgia Island earned 150 points to finish 3rd, and has just like Swaziland also achieved their best ever WINTERFEST result. They elected to choose “Po Pow Pay”, by Badanamu for this contest. This tune is completely different from the other two podium finishers, as it offers modern and party vibe more than anything else. Although scoring only three medals throughout the entire contest (gold from South Georgia Island, silver from Northwest Territories, bronze from Wrangel Island), it was still good enough to earn a podium finish thanks to the very consistent scoring from 21 out of 31 juries.

Irish county of Donegal placed 4th on 147, and finished desperately close to the top 3 qualification. Going into the final votes, they needed 10-point score for themselves and 0-point score for South Georgia Island to propel them into the big final. Although half of their wish came true (South Georgia Island indeed received 0 points), Donegal couldn’t quite muster 10-point score themselves, as they were awarded only 6 points instead.

Belgium earned 116 points to finish 5th. They did not score as consistently as the top 4, but have received many high scores including four bronze medals. Aleutian Islands were the last team to break the 100 points score to finish 6th. Wrangel Island placed 7th with 95 points, while Canada’s Northwest Territories scored one point less to finish 8th. Late entrant Mount St. Helens earned a respectable 9th place finish, while Finnish region of Lapland rounded off the top 10 with 81 points.

Final results are as follows:

  1. Antarctica – 347 points
  2. Swaziland / eSwatini – 172 points
  3. South Georgia Island – 150 points
  4. Donegal (county) – 147 points
  5. Belgium – 116 points
  6. Aleutian Islands – 100 points
  7. Wrangel Island – 95 points
  8. Northwest Territories (Canada) – 94 points
  9. Mount St. Helens – 86 points
  10. Lapland – 81 points
  11. Falkland Islands – 73 points
  12. Sakhalin – 69 points
  13. Košice – 67 points
  14. Iceland – 63 points
  15. Tasmania – 62 points
  16. Nicaragua – 59 points
  17. Peter I Island – 58 points
  18. Jan Mayen – 56 points
  19. Suriname – 52 points
  20. Nunavut – 50 points
  21. Ceuta – 48 points
  22. Alaska – 46 points
  23. Scott Island – 46 points
  24. Tristan da Cunha – 45 points
  25. DR Congo – 40 points
  26. Belarus – 39 points
  27. Monaco – 36 points
  28. Greenland – 35 points
  29. Gibraltar – 34 points
  30. Sandwich Islands – 30 points
  31. Novaya Zemlya – 22 points

Every jury has decided to take up the controversial option of giving points to themselves. In fact, aside from Alaska who gave only 1 point to their own entry, every other participant gave a high score of 8-12 points to themselves.


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