It has only been two months, yet the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is slowly becoming a distant memory. A lot of fans are using the ESC down time to go on a well-deserved vacation, focus on other hobbies or even better – start planning the 2014 contest to be held somewhere in Denmark.
Over the past couple of months, the members of our community have been sharing their thoughts on what should change from this year’s contest HERE. It is no secret that the Swedish broadcaster SVT introduced a bunch of new rules and approaches, some of them were welcomed by the fans but others – not so much.
Here are the Top 10 wishes of our readers and what they think would improve the contest and its reputation. Please let us know which of these proposals you agree with by voting in the poll at the bottom of this report.
1. Running order to be determined by a draw
This was by far the most suggested change by our members. As you may recall, SVT requested to be in charge of the running order for the Semis and Finals. The EBU approved their request and all songs were drawn into first or second half with the producers determining what song goes first, last and everything in between. That change did not prove to be very popular with the vast majority of fans. Regardless of the intentions, a random draw is the best way to avoid any conspiracy theories about favoritism.
2. Reduce the number of votes allowed per phone line
50% of the results are determined by the televoters. Each phone line allows 20 votes and for many fans this seems a bit too high and also allegedly contributes to the infamous diaspora votes. By reducing the number of votes per line to one (it was also suggested to five) would minimize that effect. Member Lucian-Crusher suggested allowing one vote per country meaning you could vote for each country once in case you like more than one song.
3. Reveal the Jury/Televote split results
The EBU does not reveal a full breakdown by country between jury and televote results. Their reason was to protect the smaller countries that do not qualify for televoting (due to low number of votes) from any external influence. However, most of the fans do not believe this is a valid reason and demand a proper breakdown by country for transparency.
4. Increase the number of jury members
A group of music experts from each country are responsible for 50% of the votes. The current rules stipulate that each jury should consist of 5 members. However, our readers believe that’s not good enough. In order to get a more diverse outcome, the amount of jury members should be at least doubled. On top of that, Member ParadiseES suggested that the juries need to be either closely related to the contest or at least have a good amount of Eurovision knowledge.
5. Switch back from the Song Ranking to the ESC point system
The 2013 contest saw a change in the way the points are being calculated. Until this year, both the televoters and juries would give points to their Top 10 – Eurovision Style. But for the first time, both groups actually ranked all songs from first to last and once both scores were combined, the Top 10 would receive points the old fashioned way. The new system proved to be fatal to several entries (e.g. Ryan Dolan from Ireland) and seemed unfair to many fans. Theoratically a song could score first with one group, yet receive little to no points when combining both results. So switching back to the previous system would prevent one side from “overruling” the other.
6. Jury should know their stuff
One suggestion that was quite popular came from member Mickey who pitched the idea that all jury members should familiarize themselves with the ESC songs prior to the contest. “As far as I’m aware, the jurors are currently just required to turn up at their meeting place on the day of the jury performance and watch the show for the first time. That’s not good enough. They’re supposed to be offering special insight, but their exposure to the music is pretty much the same as any other member of the public.” So what is the solution? “The jurors should be given a copy of the songs on CD/MP3 and a DVD of the preview videos two or three weeks before the contest and encouraged to get to know the entries. This way, they can properly analyse the song structure, lyrics and melodic composition in a way that is impossible in one listen. In doing so, they would offer something that the televote cannot.”
7. Local artists/songwriters/lyricists only
It is quite common to use foreign songwriters to increase the odds of success at Eurovision. One example would be Thomas G:Son who wrote the Swedish winning entry “Euphoria”, also composed the Georgian entry “Waterfall” in 2013. To many fans, this is not in line with the contest’s original purpose so a rule only allowing song writers and/or artists to live or originate from the country they’re representing, would put a Stop to that.
8. Show the full winning performance
Emmelie de Forest’s victory this year was cut short when the broadcast ended in the middle of her reprise. That angered a lot of fans so there is a cry for a rule change that would require each broadcaster to show the full performance.
9. Bring back the Language rule
Until 1999 all countries had to sing in their native language but since the drop of that rule, more than half of the songs are performed in English. Some feel there is a need to reintroduce that rule to keep the contest more diverse and unique. Anjeza suggested instead of making it a rule, there should be a way to encourage nations to sing in their native language by adding some sort of incentive (Suggestions are welcome).
10. Slow down the results
The Swedes seem to be in a hurry this year as both the Semi Final & Final results felt more rushed than ever. While we all understand that time is precious, there seemed to be more time in the past and the results are an essential part of the show; for many it’s actually the highlight of the evening. Adding an additional five to ten minutes to the results may be more exciting and less stressful.
Please vote in the poll below, you can vote for more than one option.