Many countries will be disappointed with the results they achieved at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 but none more than Germany and the hosts, Austria. Both countries ended the grand final at the bottom of the scoreboard with the dreaded nul points.

During the sixty year history of the Eurovision Song Contest, 38 songs have ended up without a single point – 20 during the period before the introduction of the current score system in 1975 and a further 18 since then – including songs from Switzerland and the Czech Republic which failed to score a point in their semi-finals in 2004 and 2009 respectively.

The failure by Germany and Austria score a single point in 2015 – and for them not to even award each other a single point – shocked fans with many taking to social media to express their disbelief that in a contest with 40 countries voting, with votes from the voting public and national juries, that it is still possible for a country to go home from the contest without a single point.

The songs from Germany and Austria were not deserving of the nul point tag which will now be attached to them.

Germany’s Ann Sophie and her song Black Smoke was by no means one of the favourites ahead of the contest but was well regarded by many. Ann Sophie’s election to Eurovision was by no means straightforward and she did not actually win the national final – her ‘victory’ only being awarded to her after actual winner Andreas Kümmert declined the ticket to Vienna.

Following the debacle, Ann Sophie received support from the German media and the public – the song, co-written by sought-after British singer Ella Eyre, became a minor hit in Germany prior to the contest – peaking at #29 on the official German singles chart. This chart position was lower than previous entrants Elaiza, who reached #4 on the German charts in 2014 and Cascada who peaked at #6 in 2013. The lack of a music video possibly harmed the chart success of Black Smoke resulting in it not becoming as commercially successful as its recent predecessors.

Ann Sophie performing Black Smoke in Vienna

Had the pre-2009 televoting system been used, Germany would still have only finished twenty-fifth of twenty-seven but would have scored 5 points, avoiding the nul points tag. The juries also ranked Germany at twentieth place, nowhere near the bottom of the field with seven countries below Germany.

Moving on to Austria’s result, The Makemakes went in to the 2015 contest representing the host country, actually having convincingly winning their nation’s song selection and with a hit single under their belts. The song with which they represented Austria, I Am Yours, had already peaked at #2 on the official Austrian singles chart following its release in March. Despite finishing at the very bottom of the scoreboard, The Makemakes have already shown their great sense of humour by referring to themselves on social media as “Zeroes of Our Time” – a play on the lyrics of Heroes, the winning song from Sweden.


Thomas Hanses (EBU)

The Austrian song was equally undeserving of being disregarded but unlike Germany, did actually score a zero. The voting public placed Austria dead last and had the pre-2009 system still been in place, without the juries, Austria would still have finished last. However, Austria placed significantly higher with the juries. Austria managed to score a thirteenth place with the juries – putting them just inside the top half of that scoreboard. Was this this not enough for them to score even one single point when both sets of scores were combined?

Even though both Germany and Austria are no strangers to having a zero next to their names on the scoreboard, how is it possible that two countries – both of whom have actually won the Eurovision Song Contest in the last five years – can finish with no points despite sending accomplished pop songs to a contest of pop songs? Could the fact that Germany are part of the “so-called Big Five” (as it was referred to by our hosts in Vienna) and Austria had direct qualification as the host have harmed their chances due to them not receiving the extra exposure that songs competing in the semi final enjoy? Or is the voting system where the songs are ranked by both the jurors and televoters be in need of reform to make it fairer and more transparent?

Performing on home soil - The Makemakes

Black Smoke and I Am Yours may not have been the best songs at Eurovision 2015 but were by no means the worst, by any stretch of the imagination. Two countries sent songs to Eurovision that would sit comfortably on any radio station playlist in Europe. There were other countries – they shall remain nameless – which were far more deserving of nul points. Hopefully, the careers of Ann Sophie and The Makemakes will not be damaged by the scores they received, or did not receive, at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Follow Daniel on Twitter - @tewyUK