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Eurovision voting changes aim to make competition more exciting

By | Published on Friday 19 February 2016

Eurovision 2016

The Eurovision Song Contest has announced some changes aimed at “creating TV magic”. The big idea is to make everybody’s favourite part of the show, the long and tedious vote-counting stage, even longer. Woo!

Actually, the aim is to change things so that we don’t have to sit through 30 minutes of vote-counting when it’s already blatantly apparent who has won. This will be done by splitting the announcement of the jury and the public votes. Previously they were combined on a country by country basis before any votes were added to the score board, which also meant a song that rated highly amongst viewers in any one country could still get a modest score from that nation because of how the local judging panel scored each song.

The jury votes will now be announced country by country in the usual way. Then the total combined public votes for each song will be announced in reverse order at the end. In theory this means that the overall winner won’t be clear until the closing moments. The change also means it’s less likely for anyone to score “nul points”.

“This new way of presenting the votes is a big step forward, both to make a better television show as well as a more exciting competition”, says Eurovision’s Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand. “There is more reason than ever to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest. The new voting format guarantees that the song which is most popular among the public will receive twelve points regardless of how the juries voted. It is fitting that this change to the Contest’s iconic scoring sequence will be debuted in Stockholm, where the famous douze points system was introduced in 1975”.

What a system. Eurovision Producer Christer Björkman adds: “All competitions are enhanced by creating a dramatic finish. This was a unanimous decision taken by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group. It’s about creating TV magic”.

Here’s a quick explanatory video in case you didn’t understand any of that: