Huge news have been dropped this November morning, as the EBU has out of nowhere announced that there will be a great change to the voting when 2023 comes by. For decades, the winner was decided by the participating countries, but for the first time in 2023, anyone can have a say on that.
3 major points will be present in 2023, when the contest takes place in Liverpool, and to put it short, the EBU has put the 3 following points into effect:
- Only viewer votes will decide countries qualifying from Semi-Finals.
- Viewers in non-participating countries will be able to vote online.
- Jury votes will, as before, be combined with viewer votes to decide final result.
If we go through these 3 points one by one, then let’s start with the semi-final results first. This will be purely decided by the public, which will be along the lines, as it was during the semi-final period between 2004 and 2009. The difference is, that in 2008 and 2009, the jury did effect the last qualifier. Semi-finals were first introduced back in 2004, with the high number of participants, in order to give every country a chance to participate. Between 2004 and 2007, the public had 100% control of all qualifiers, but back then there was only one semi-final. 2023 will mark the first time ever, that the public will be in complete charge of all qualifiers, since two semi-finals were introduced.
Secondly, we have a global voting that will be added. It’s no surprise that the contest has gone global and every year gets viewers from all around the world. As mentioned before, the winner has always only been decided by participating countries, whether it’s been by their juries, their public or in a combination. The worldwide votes will count as one set of points, so the effect is very minimal. It’s still important to notice, that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, has made use of this way of voting, for the past few years. The global voting will be used in both semi-finals as well as the final.
Then there is the final point, which is the juries only vote in the final. As most know, the full results are revealed at the end of the contest, that goes for both final and semi-final results, in full details. The voting procedure will remain identical as it has been since 2016, which spokespeople announcing the jury results of the final, and the public vote being added at the end.
Flashback to 2022?
The EBU has acknowledged the global impact of the contest, but could there be more to it than just that? Earlier this year, the voting results for the contest in Turin, was plagued by various problems. The major one was when six countries had their jury results fully removed and replaced, fans were also very displeased with how some countries managed to sneak into the final, despite a huge lack of public support. The big one being Azerbaijan qualifying in 2022, with 0 televote points. Azerbaijan have also been involved with possible voting fraud for years now.
Is this the EBU’s way of combating rigged results, or is this actually the contests popularity that gets verified. Despite having some suspected results from the juries removed for both the final and the second semi-final, in the end it didn’t have any effect on the 10 qualifiers from the second semi-final nor the Ukrainian victory.
We sure want to hear what #YOU think about this now, is this a welcome change or is the EBU losing touch with the values of the contest?
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