What Will It Take?

Just 4 days are separating the Totallympics community from yet another, and this time jubilant, International Song Contest. As we rapidly approach the celebrations, we’ll take a look at the curiosities that the previous nine editions have brought to the table, stats-wise.

Points Curiosities

2013 Open, the very first edition of TISC, delivered a nail-biting finish with Sweden overtaking Italy thanks to the very last 12-point score awarded by Bulgaria. Interestingly enough, both entries scored over 200 points (211 and 206, respectively), however there was no reason to classify that as ‘odd’ at the time. On the contrary, breaking 200 points threshold was in fact seemingly the main requirement for a victory in the early days, as all winners from the early period (2013 Open – 2015 Annual) have gone over the threshold… And even two non-winners (Italy – 2013 Open, Colombia – 2014 Open).

Little did we know that 5 contests and 1091 days forward we would still have the same six entries that have managed to end the contest with 200+ points! Ireland came desperately close to the elusive threshold at 2016 Open, but couldn’t quite muster it as they finished on 198 points. The other champions of newer editions (2015 Open onwards) completed their contests 14-42 points below the threshold.

           Number of nations scoring over 200 points per contest

We meet our very first mystery of the early editions. Around 4% of early editions entries scored over 200 points, while exactly nobody did it in the newer period (which incidentally includes all of the editions held at the new Totallympics forum). This explains the name of the article, as we are trying to find out what will it take to break some of the seemingly unbreakable early editions records…

Looking at the number of nations scoring over 100 points per contest, we get a bit more balanced picture. 7 out of 9 editions have interestingly had either 9 or 11 nations getting into triple digits area.

           Number of nations scoring over 100 points per contest

Points-per-jury average analysis brings back the early editions mystery. 2014 Open champion Zombie scored 8,33 on average from each jury, what was enough to finish on an incredible 333 points score. This makes Zombie virtually incomparable to any other TISC entrant to date, as in fact nobody has ever come within 100 points of that score. Ireland also holds the second highest PPJ, with Superheroes which achieved 7,20 at 2015 Annual.

Top 4 highest PPJs have all been achieved at the early editions (Ireland – 2014 Open, Ireland – 2015 Annual, Sweden – 2013 Open, Italy – 2013 Open). In fact, 7 out of top 10 are all from that period. The only newish entries that scored high enough PPJs to enter the all-time top 10 are Ireland – 2016 Open (5th), Mexico – 2016 Open (9th) and Great Britain – 2017 Annual (10th).

Looking at the progression of winner’s PPJs we can see a big drop at 2015 Open, from which TISC has seemingly not recovered yet.

                            Progression of winner’s points-per-jury average

Lithuania’s 2015 Open winning PPJ of 3,95 puts them in 34th place on the all-time list. This means that as much as 25 non-winning entries have actually scored better than Lithuania’s Song About Love, but unfortunately for them at different editions. To put it into perspective, 2014 Open and 2015 Open had exactly the same number of juries and yet Zombie scored 175 points more than Song About Love. 175 points gap covers 14 maximum twelve-point scores, and then some. Zombie incidentally received 12 maximum scores.

Streaks Curiosities

Analysis of historic medal/point streaks brings more of the same: early editions have set the standards that are seemingly unmatchable.

Longest medal winning streak has been achieved at 2014 Open, when Ireland won 8 medals in a row. Zombie is once again incomparable to others, as the second longest medal winning streak is 5, achieved by Great Britain (2013 Open), Italy (2013 Open), Colombia (2014 Open). Once again they all come from early editions, but notice how none of them was a winner. Top 7 longest medal winning streaks in TISC history come from the early editions.

Meanwhile, during the new editions (2015 Open – 2017 Annual) nobody has managed to collect more than 3 straight medals… In fact, during the entire 2015 Open and 2017 Annual nobody found more than two straight medals.

                      Longest medal winning streaks per contest

Longest point scoring streak in TISC history lasted for massive 20 turns, and was achieved by Ireland (duh!) at 2015 Annual. Once again, it’s all about the early editions during which 8/10 longest point scoring streaks have been achieved, and that even excludes 2014 Annual for which the data has been sadly lost. 4 out of top 10 longest streaks come from the very first edition, 2013 Open.

Top 10 longest point scoring streaks are as follows: 20 (Ireland – 2015 Annual), 15 (Ireland – 2014 Open), 12 (Sweden – 2013 Open), 10 (Ireland – 2016 Open), 9 (Great Britain – 2013 Open), 9 (Guyana – 2013 Open), 9 (Italy – 2016 Annual), 8 (Italy – 2013 Open), 8 (France – 2015 Annual) and 7 (Switzerland – 2014 Open).

                        Longest point scoring streaks per contest

There are number of theories as to why TISC winning scores have become considerably lower in the latest editions. Maybe TISC has managed to divide our music opinions over the years? Maybe the general quality of songs has risen so much that users have multiple favorites? Maybe more diverse songs are being entered nowadays? Or maybe first four editions were some crazy outliers which shouldn’t be considered? We may never know, but we will know soon whether the Jubilee scores will continue the current low-scoring trend.


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