How Olly Alexander ended up with 'nil points' at Eurovision and career impact (2024)

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UK’s Eurovision Song Contest 2024 entry Olly Alexander received zero points in the public vote after his performance of Dizzy.

The disappointing score left the 33-year-old in 18th place out of 25 finalists despite a respectable 48 points from the Jury, after a tense night in Malmo.

Still, the Years & Years singer took it on the chin, smiling as the venue in Sweden booed at the outcome.

Olly gave an admirable performance with some brilliant staging – including the singer turning upside-down in a box surrounded by dancers – and the crowd was well and truly behind him, but it wasn’t without challenges.

There were struggles in the days leading up to the Grand Final, with Olly’s semi-final marred by a wardrobe malfunction – his mic pack fell off his outfit and was dangling by its wire.

In a clip from the performance, Olly could be seen quickly grabbing the mic pack in his left hand as he continued singing, as soon as he realised that it had fallen off. Despite putting it behind him and describing it as just what happens on live TV, this could have knocked his confidence.

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When it came to the big night, viewers complained of sound issues during the ambitious routine.

Some fans felt that Olly’s voice was quieter than it should have been, with some even remarking it was ‘muffled’.

Amongst those complaining was Kate Hull, who wrote: ‘What’s wrong with the sound on #ollyalexander performance? Or is it just my telly? Sounded quiet.’

‘Why does Olly Alexander sound so muffled? Vocals don’t seem balanced to backing,’ asked Julia Tobias.

‘Go on Ollie Alexander #Eurovision2024 Don’t why the sound guys buried the vocal though,’ remarked Living In A Box.

Howard Griffiths responded: ‘We too thought UK entry Olly Alexander had sound issues, not sounding like radio play, raw, not his fault but output transmission. Other countries sound mass produced & so good as if not live. Did Olly have sound technical problem?’

Why does Olly Alexander sound so muffled? Vocals don’t seem balanced to backing.

Goes to show how exceptional Sam Ryder was – the only UK entry in decades with the voice to pull off a live performance in a huge venue.#Eurovision2024

— Julia Tobias #FBPA 🇺🇦 #SaveTheArts (@JuliaTobiasUK) May 11, 2024

What’s wrong with the sound on #ollyalexander performance? Or is it just my telly? Sounded quiet #Eurovision2024 #EurovisionRTVE

— @KateHull (@katiespitfire) May 11, 2024

Go on Ollie Alexander #Eurovision2024 Don’t why the sound guys buried the vocal though 🤬

— Living In A Box (@livinginabox) May 11, 2024

We too thought UK entry Olly Alexander had sound issues,not sounding like radio play,raw,not his fault but output transmission.Other countries sound mass produced & so good as if not live.Did Olly have sound technical problem? #Eurovision2024 #EUROVISION #Eurovisiesongfestival🤩

— Howard Griffiths ☀️ (@HowardGriffiths) May 11, 2024

However, others were critical of Olly’s ability to sing live, rather than the technical aspects, and questioned where he can go next from here.

‘Olly Alexander really can’t sing live. Weakest vocals of all entries tonight……by far,’ said Darren Lacey.

‘Ouch. Wonder if Olly Alexander has considered a different career that doesn’t involve singing in a key,’ said The Rain King.

Ouch. Wonder if Olly Alexander has considered a different career that doesn’t involve singing in a key.

— 👤 (@therainking_) May 11, 2024

Olly Alexander really can’t sing live.

Weakest vocals of all entries tonight……by far. #Eurovision2024 #Eurovision

— Darren Lacey (He/Him/hom*o AF) (@dazlarrr) May 11, 2024

olly did absolutely amazing last night!
everything about this performance was outstanding, he won this years eurovision in my eyes 💗@alexander_olly #eurovision

— sian *₊ (@elvunity) May 12, 2024

No cause why tf did Olly Alexander get 0? 😑 y’all deserved better

— tess 🫶🏼🇸🇪 (@fearlesslytess) May 11, 2024

Olly also had plenty of supporters who praised the star for representing the UK with a bold performance and called him their winner. They added he deserved better than the dreaded nil points. If only the people voting around Europe had the same opinion!

Despite the blow, Olly kept his head held high and still celebrated the marking after giving it his all on the stage.

Prior to the competition, he had made peace with whichever position he finished in.

‘It doesn’t matter where you place. If you come last it’s kind of iconic, nil points,’ he laughed.

Despite this positive outlook, Olly said he was on the brink of a ‘breakdown’ over calls to withdraw, which could have overshadowed the event for him.

Leading up to the competition there has been intensepressure to quit over Israel’s involvementduring the ongoing attacks on Gaza.

‘I was holed up in a room trying not to have a breakdown,’ he toldThe Times, through tears, earlier this month.

‘Normally, you get on stage and turn it on, but I felt really unable to do that.

‘It was tough… I just could not get it together and then I felt ashamed of myself and embarrassed.’

Alongside, the other big five – which also includes Italy, Germany, France and Spain – Olly decided not to speak to the press on the day before the contest.

An email sent from the organisers of the show on Friday read: ‘Please note that the big five and Sweden media conference originally scheduled for 18.30 (5.30pm BST) has been cancelled because all artists want to focus on rehearsals.’

During the BBC One special titled Eurovision 2024: Graham [Norton] meets Olly in March, he admitted that signing himself up for the contest was always going to be a ‘risky’ move.

‘I think it’s risky but that’s also why it’s exciting. It’s literally a competition where everybody is there to pull every little detail apart and judge you against all the other performances,’ stated Olly.

‘It’s not something you would necessarily face as an artist. I think that’s really fun. I quite like that element of risk.’

Olly previously revealed that taking part in the competition was an opportunity to promote upcoming new music. Dizzy is the first song off a new album which he plans to release soon.

‘People love the songs they see at Eurovision. They do really well. They’ve been embraced by a younger audience,’ he told the Daily Star.

Whether the risk has paid off for his future is yet to be seen, but hopefully, Olly still has the same attitude to the contest following the disappointing public score.

Switzerland’s Nemo won Eurovision 2024 with their song The Code, pipping Croatia’s Baby Lasagna to the post.

They received 12 points from the likes of Austria, Norway, Denmark, and Spain, to name just a few.

This comes after a truly eventful Eurovision final, withjurors pulling out and refusing to announce points, entrants making powerful statements during rehearsals, and performers missing flag parades.

Meanwhile, thousands of protestors gathered outside the arena, demanding the removal of Israel from the contest in light of the state’s bombardment of Gaza.

Millions boycotted Eurovision in solidarity with Palestine and expressed disdain for its organisers – this was especially obvious when Martin Österdahl was introduced and an almighty boo bellowed from the crowds.

Österdahl, a Swedish TV producer and author, is the contest’s Executive Supervisor, and therefore the face of the European Broadcasting Union(EBU).

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Elsewhere, of the jurors Austria’s made the boldest statement of the evening when announcing the country’s points.

Radio presenter and actor Philipp Hansa began: ‘To be honest, I thought, for this, it’s gonna be difficult to find only positive words, but the reality is that it is just great to see a lot of beautiful souls in here.

‘Especially in times where heartlessness seems to have prevailed, but it won’t.

‘Thank you for reminding us that, together, behind the idea of music it’s that we are meant to all be treated equally.’

His speech was met with cheers from the packed arena.

Meanwhile, UK commentator Graham noted hearing boos when Israel’s entry Eden Golan took to the stage to perform Hurricane – a song which was forcibly reworked from its original title October Rain, seemingly referring to the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

This comes as the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 35,000 people – most of whom are civilians – since Israel launched military operations in response to Hamas’s October 7 attack, which killed more than 1,000 in Israel.

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How Olly Alexander ended up with 'nil points' at Eurovision and career impact (1)

How Olly Alexander ended up with 'nil points' at Eurovision and career impact (2024)


Which country has the most nil points in Eurovision? ›

In 2024, Norway finished last in the final for the twelfth time. Norway has the dubious distinction of finishing last in the Eurovision final more than any other country, and along with Austria, has received "nul points" (zero points) in the contest on four occasions; in 1963, 1978, 1981 and 1997.

Who scored nil points in Eurovision? ›

Grand Final
2003United KingdomJemini
2015AustriaThe Makemakes
GermanyAnn Sophie
2021United KingdomJames Newman
33 more rows

What is a nil poi in Eurovision? ›

Usage notes. As the Eurovision contest uses a Borda count voting system, "nul points" means that no voter (in this case, country) has ranked the entry at all.

What was the point of Eurovision? ›

The Eurovision Song Contest was developed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as an experiment in live television broadcasting and a way to produce cheaper programming for national broadcasting organisations.

How many points did Olly Alexander score? ›

Though, it was ultimately zero points he'd win from the public vote, which isn't exactly uncommon when it comes to British entries. Luckily his blushes were spared by the jury on the night, who awarded Alexander and his performance of 'Dizzy' with 46 points.

Who has gotten the most points in Eurovision history? ›

Top 5 highest scoring Eurovision songs of all time
  • Jamala – 2016 – '1944' (534 points) ...
  • Loreen – 2024 – 'Tattoo' (583 points) ...
  • Kristian Kostov – 2017 – 'Beautiful Mess' (615 points) ...
  • Kalush – 2022 – 'Stefania' (631 points) ...
  • Salvador Sobral – 2017 – 'Amar pelos dois' (758 points)

Where did Israel come in Eurovision 2024? ›

Overall, Israel's Eden Golan finished fifth out of the 25 competitors in the Eurovision grand final this year.

Who decides Eurovision points? ›

Each country awards two sets of points: one set is based on the votes of each country's professional jury, consisting of five music professionals from that country; and a second set is based on the views of the general public in the competing countries conducted through telephone and SMS voting or via voting conducted ...

What do nil points mean? ›

(humorous) No points (as a score); zero, nothing. Wiktionary.

Who pays for Eurovision? ›

How is the Eurovision Song Contest financed? The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-profit event, mostly financed by: contributions from the Participating Broadcasters (the so-called participation fee), adding up to 6.2 million euros combined.

What do you get if you win Eurovision? ›

Since 2008, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest takes home the iconic glass microphone. This trophy is a custom design, especially created for Eurovision. The unique hand-made piece of art in the shape of a classic microphone is made of solid transparent glass with sand-blasted and painted detailing.

Who doesn't have to qualify for Eurovision? ›

The UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy are known as The Big Five and automatically qualify for the final. These countries' broadcasters make the biggest financial contribution towards the contest, and so automatically get to compete.

Why is America not in Eurovision? ›

The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast in the America since 1971 and there are a lot of fans across the pond, but they have never participated in the yearly event. The obvious answer is that America isn't in Europe. But many nations outside of the continent take part.

Who are the big 5 in Eurovision? ›

The 'Big Five' are the Participating Broadcasters from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom - the group of countries who via their broadcasters make the biggest financial contribution towards the organisation of the Contest.

Can America vote in Eurovision? ›

Voting from non-Participating Countries

Viewers watching in eligible countries not participating in the Contest are able to vote in each Semi-Final and the Grand Final. All viewers in non-participating countries can vote using the official Eurovision app or go directly to www. esc.

Which country has come bottom on Eurovision the most? ›

Which country has come last in the Eurovision Song Contest the most amount of times? Norway has placed at the bottom of the scoreboard eleven times. 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and in the Grand Final of 2012.

What country has done the best in Eurovision? ›

There have been 68 contests, with one winner each year except for the tied 1969 contest, which had four. 27 countries have won the contest, with Switzerland winning the first contest in 1956. The countries with the highest number of wins are Ireland and Sweden with seven wins each.

Which country has lost Eurovision the most? ›

This may come as a shock, but Norway is the country which has come last the most throughout Eurovision's history. Norway has finished bottom of the table 11 times in total and has even scored nul points on four occasions.

Which countries pay the most for Eurovision? ›

Five countries automatically qualify for the grand final each year: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. This is because they pay the most towards the Eurovision Song Contest organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

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