Eurovision: BBC didn’t want UK to win in 1977 reveals expert
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The Eurovision Song Contest returns today (May 14) and countries from around Europe will be tuning in to see who will be crowned the winner. In the run-up to every Eurovision predictions are rife, but a team of experts at University College London (UCL) have highlighted which countries could have the best chance according to science.
Daniel Richardson and his colleagues at University College London asked 75 people with an average age of 30 to watch the entries of eight countries for the Eurovision finals in 2022.
The team measured heart rate and skin conductance levels of those who took part in order to make predictions about how well countries would do in the competition.
Mr Richardson told the New Scientist: “Broadly speaking, these measures are measures of arousal.
“But if you’re just looking at whether it goes up and down, you can’t really tell if that’s good or bad.”
The UCL team built on their work in previous studies, where they found that people’s heart rates synchronised over time when they are emotionally engaged in a performance.
The eight nations tested in the study included France, Sweden, Australia, Italy, Poland, Norway, Germany and Spain based on guaranteed entry for some of the nations due to rules, bookmakers’ odds and the popularity of Sweden and Australia in previous competitions.
Based on this measure alone, the ever-popular contender Sweden topped the rankings.
But based on electrodermal activity synchrony, which researchers said they had previously found is a good measure of how much people are engaged by the story of a video, Australia came in first place.
Based on a range of different measures, the team came up with its overall predictions, and firm Eurovision favourite Sweden comes out as the winner.
The rankings were as follows:
Ukraine was not included in what has been dubbed the ‘Neurovision’ study at UCL, as the nation is currently the favourite to win.
Ukraine has been the favourite to win since Russia invaded the country earlier this year and their entry, the Kalush Orchestra, proved a huge hit in the semi-final of the competition earlier this week.
Formed in 2019, the folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra consists of founder and rapper Oleh Psiuk, multi-instrumentalist Ihor Didenchuk and dancer Vlad Kurochka.
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Their song, Stefania, is an ode to mothers and the trials they face raising families, and the band’s live performance will feature synchronised dance moves, breakdance and flutes.
The UK’s entry this year is Sam Ryder, a TikTok star who will be hoping to improve on the UK’s losses at the recent contests.
For the past two years, the UK has ranked at the bottom of the leaderboard, coming last in 2019 with Michael Rice’s Bigger Than Us, and James Newman’s Embers scoring “nul points” in 2021.
The Eurovision Song Contest final airs at 8pm on Saturday on BBC One, BBC Radio 2 and BBC iPlayer.
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