Aftermath 2016 (4): The televote success of Poland

We take a look back at Eurovision 2016 one more time, with the aftermath of the great result for Michal Szpak from Poland. One of the biggest shockers of the 2016 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was the moment when the televoters lifted Poland from nearly the last place, to a top 10 finish.

The jury only gave 7 points to Poland, making them almost dead last until the televotes came in. What then happened is a moment in Eurovision history we will most certainly not forget quite soon. With the full right side of the scoreboard already knowing their result, Poland still did not get their televoting points. That was because they got a landslide amount, of no less than 222 points and a third place finish for the viewers at home.

We have seen discrepancy at the contest in the past before, but this was the most extreme one to date. The jury and the people at home had never been more divided than about making their minds up on ‘What color is your life’.

Originally, Michal Szpak was not the big favourite to go to Stockholm in the first place. The Polish national final seemed to be a two-horse race between Margaret and her song ‘Cool me down’ and 1994 runner-up Edyta Gorniak. Mixed emotions followed after Michal won the preselection, but that is no longer the case…

The Aftermath

The Eurovision Song Contest has attracted a record number in front of television viewers in Poland. The new system of presenting the points raised mixed emotions, especially with Poland doing extremely well once again with televoters, but not with the jury. Unfortunately, the theory was often uttered that Polish immigrants living abroad dominantly influenced this result.

However, some easy calculations prove that it is nearly impossible for these small amounts of the inhabitants to influence the outcome of the televote throughout the entire continent. Much more likely is the explanation that eccentric performers with stunning vocals, such as Michal Szpak, are the prototype of big televoting hitters nowadays; also in talent shows such as X Factor and The Voice.

Despite the great result – Poland got their last top 10 finish in 2003 – there remain some mixed emotions for Polish broadcaster TVP as well. Poland could have done even better without their lousy jury score. It is the way you look at it. Tell me black or white, which color is this result?


  1. I have heard some comments elsewhere that his vocals weren’t that great in the Jury Final and that might have contributed to the poor Jury score – anyone confirm his singing on the Friday night?

    • That’s true for the last minue of the song he did not do as well as before. Still, 7 points seems a bit low when you look at the level of difficulty of the song

Comments are closed.