oooo first post in this section ;D A while ago, 4 years actually, I started to think about how you could determine the most successful participant in Eurovision. The problem with this is that it is difficult to say what it requires to be successful. In terms of victories, Ireland, Sweden and Norway have been the most successful over the past 20 years; however all three have had their fair share of disappointment too. I considered a number of elements that would reflect the success of a country: final position, average points received and % of total available points received. Each of these will give different reflections of how well a country has performed. % of points available This is fairly straight-forward. The total number of points received over the past 20 years, is divided by the number of points that were available. Average points Again, this is relatively straight forward. Divide the total points by the number of participations. However, there are a number of issues with this method: Some countries have participated in every contest receiving both high points and low points, even 0 points (hlo UK). Other countries have competed in only a handful of contests and done very well (Caucasus republics for example). In 1991 there were 22 countries voting, whereas in 2008 43 countries participated. Later contests have seen record scores because of the increased number of participants. To combat this, a weighting factor based on the average number of participants needs to be applied to balance out this variation. The Semi-finals has added additional complexity. In 2007 Hungary were runners up in the semi with 224 points, but in the final the finished 9th with 128. Turkey, Bulgaria and Belarus all finished ahead of them in the final having been miles behind in the semi. Final Position To calculate this, points are awarded for finishing 1st (15pts), 2nd (14pts), 3rd (13pts), etc. The choice to start with 15 points was arbitrary, but based on a couple of observations. In the days of relegation a top 15 finish, would have avoided relegation, and from ’04-’07 the top 14 could potentially qualify for the final automatically. This method too has its difficulties: Again, the number of participations is important. Azerbaijan who have participated 3 times, using this method, would have 32 points, but Estonia, who have only reached the final once since the introduction of semis, have 83. Again a weighting factor needs to be applied. There is no penalty for bad placings. The UK, with 3 last places and 2 bottom 3 finishes is better placed than Turkey who have not finished below 16th since the early 90s. Once I start to analyse the raw data I have, I’ll start posting some facts and figures. Feel free to point out any deficiencies in my methodology, and I apologise for the length of this essay; hopefully you’ve not got bored reading, and if you have: TOUGH!!