Examining collusion and voting biases between countries during the Eurovision song contest since 1957
Published 2017-05-18Version 1
The Eurovision song contest is an annual event which attracts millions of viewers. It is an interesting activity to examine since the participants represent a particular country to present a musical performance that will be awarded a set of scores from other participating countries based upon their quality assessment of what they have seen. There is a question of whether the countries will vote according to the artistic merit of the song or if the vote will be a signal of national support. Since the competition aims to bring people together, any consistent biases in the awarding of scores would defeat the purpose of the celebration of expression and this has attracted researchers to investigate the supporting evidence. This paper builds upon an approach which produces a set of random samples from an unbiased distribution of score allocation and extends the methodology to use the full set of years of the competition's life span. By building up networks from statistically significant edge sets of vote allocations during a set of years, it is possible to map the origins of the culture anchors for these preferences in the awarded votes. With 60 years of data the results support the hypothesis of regional collusion and biases arising from proximity, culture and other irrelevant factors in regards to music which affect the judgment of the contest.