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Nul points in Eurovision Song Contest final Odds

Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Nul points?

Since each of the participating countries casts a series of preference votes, under the current scoring system it is rare that a song fails to receive any votes at all (for example, if the points in the final of the 2010 Contest had been randomly allocated, with 39 countries voting on the 25 entries, the probability of scoring no points would be approximately 1 in 530 million). Under the modern rules this means that the song failed to make the top ten most popular songs in any country.

Under the second-most-used scoring system, however (see below), jurors gave points individually and only to their single favourite song, a system which might be expected to result in songs regularly not being awarded any points. Even so, it was not until 1967 that that occurred under that scoring system — the seventh year of its operation.

When it does happen, it is known as nul points (pronounced as if French, as [nyl pwɛ̃]). It should be noted, however, that the phrase nul points (nor, for that matter, any reference to a country having not received points from another country's voters) is never actually read out during the presentation of the Contest. Besides nul points would be incorrectly spelled in French, and the correct spelling (nul point) is never used as an equivalent of "no points" or "zero points" (which would be pas de point or zéro point).

Entries which received nul points, since the introduction of the current scoring system in 1975 are as follows:

  • In 1978, Norway's "Mil etter mil" by Jahn Teigen.
  • In 1981, Norway's "Aldri i livet" by Finn Kalvik.
  • In 1982, Finland's "Nuku pommiin" by Kojo.
  • In 1983, two entries: Turkey's "Opera" by Çetin Alp and Short Wave and Spain's "¿Quién maneja mi barca?" by Remedios Amaya.
  • In 1987, Turkey's "Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne" by Seyyal Taner and Grup Locomotif.
  • In 1988, Austria's "Lisa Mona Lisa" by Wilfried.
  • In 1989, Iceland's "Það sem enginn sér" by Daníel Ágúst.
  • In 1991, Austria's "Venedig im Regen" by Thomas Forstner.
  • In 1994, Lithuania's "Lopšinė mylimai" by Ovidijus Vyšniauskas.
  • In 1997, two entries: Norway's "San Francisco" by Tor Endresen and Portugal's "Antes do adeus" by Célia Lawson.
  • In 1998, Switzerland's "Lass' ihn" by Gunvor.
  • In 2003, United Kingdom's "Cry Baby" by Jemini.
  • In the 2004 semi-final, Switzerland's "Celebrate" by Piero & The MusicStars
  • In the first 2009 semi-final, Czech Republic's "Aven Romale" by
  • In 2015, two entries: Germany's "Black Smoke" by Ann Sophie and Austria's "I Am Yours" by The Makemakes.

In his book Nul Points, comic writer Tim Moore interviews each of these performers to find out if their Eurovision score was the end of their music career or just the beginning.

Since the creation of a semi-final in 2004 and two semi-finals in 2008, more than thirty countries vote each night - even the countries eliminated or already qualified. Thus occurrences of nul points become rarer; it would require a song to place less than tenth in every country. In the 2004 semi-final, Switzerland's "Celebrate" by Piero Esteriore & The MusicStars received nul points, but only 32 countries out of 36 voted, and in the first 2009 semifinal, where only 20 countries voted, Czech Republic's "Aven Romale" by received nul points.

Will any country get 0 points in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016?

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