Eurovision song contest 2010 tonight with prediction

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So tonight we have the Eurovision Song Contest. If inexperienced Lena Meyer-Landrut manages to avoid slipping in her dress and intonate reasonably well without dropping the microphone she should win by a fair margin comparable to old Ein bi??chen Frieden Nicole‘s victory. Lena has not an exceptionel voice, but her approach to the song is quite special — with a voice something in the area of Lisa Ekdahl, Björk and je ne sais quoi (Who is Kate Nash?). This approach singles the song out among the rest of the Eurovision entries, though the problem may be that the song sounds better in the radio than when performed live.

From a machine learning point of view the competition is so interesting, that it has reached all the way to statitician Andrew Gelman. Gelman and Co. have previously blogged about the bloc voting study on the song contest, but now he writes about the new machine learning competition platform Kaggle, their first competition being Forecast Eurovision Voting with a cash prize of USD1000. For this forecast competition machine learning researcher could use previous voting patterns, and I imagined using data from Twitter (but dang, yet one of those deadline I missed :-( ).

I wonder if Kaggle competitors can do anything against Google. Google has put up a web page with a forecast about the winner. They can use all the search data on the names of the Eurovision participants to do the prediction. It appears as quite a strong strategy, nevertheless it has failed in some cases for the semifinal: Popnation Sweden’s Anna Bergendahl missed the final even though Google had her in the top ten rank, while Denmark is in the final with the duo Chan??e og N’evergreen, while Google has them in the bottom fourth. So what is wrong with Google? Perhaps Google does not correctly handle the names. One would think that there is room for a lot of variations for the Danish entry: Chane och N’evergreen, Channe et Nevergreen, etc. which might not be captured in Google’s filter. Also they might not handle the correlation between the voting: Lets say that Alice and Bob like Germany and Sweden with a slight preference for Germany, while Andrew likes Denmark. Andrew vote Danish, while Alice and Bob vote German, and subsequently no votes for the Swedes. Furthermore it is possible that the Google searching is biased compared to the Eurovision voting: For example, are people are more likely to search on blondes but not as likely to vote on them?

By the way should Danmark win, Swedes actually win since the “Danish” song is actually written by Swedes, and should the “German” song win a Dane wins since Dane John Gordon and American Julie Frost is behind that song.


6 thoughts on “Eurovision song contest 2010 tonight with prediction

    Anonymous said:
    May 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

    "…it is possible that the Google searching is biased compared to the Eurovision voting: For example, are people are more likely to search on blondes but not as likely to vote on them?"lol – I have a feeling that more people grab their mobile to vote than bother to google stuff on the internet. It may be that there are entirely different population groups (age ?), one that googles and one that votes. I googled the stuff because of your blog, but I would never watch pop, let alone vote.

    Anonymous said:
    May 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Can I ask anyone who supports the cultural identies of individual nations in the Eurovision Song Contest to vote here rules should also be changed to enable the introduction of the international language Esperanto.

    Anonymous said:
    May 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Esperanto? That’s really idealism! I recall a Norwegian winner that didn’t have much lyric at all. Perhaps it will be a good idea to impose some amout of national identity. A handicap on ten or twenty minus points to start with if the entry is not in a national language is a suggestion. But perhaps we will get English-language singing Johnny Logan winning a few more Eurovisions. I also think it is somewhat "cheating" to have people from other countries wrting "your" songs.

    Anonymous said:
    May 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    "different population groups (age ?)" Yes, but I am not sure in which direction it should go. Would googlers be younger?

    Anonymous said:
    May 29, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    So Germany came ok through, so there we probably have the winner. I wonder if outsiderness would help the voting for Turkey.

    Eurovision 2011 prediction « Finn Årup Nielsen's blog said:
    September 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    […] last year’s Eurovision song contest I predicted that Lena Meyer-Landrut would win, – and indeed she did. For this year I am not so […]

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