Is Eurovision now over-produced? or is it a change for the better?
In 1956 the Eurovision Song Contest was first broadcast when seven countries took part in Switzerland when Swiss singer Lys Assia won the contest. Since that day in Lugano the Eurovision Song Contest has gone through some major changes over the years, with the new changed being introduced for the 2016 contest I wanted to take a look at the contest and see whether it’s the same contest that we all grew to know and love.
The good old days of the Eurovision Song Contest, the glory years if you will, were back in the days when there was just one contest, it was a huge event, huge ratings in each country. My golden era for the contest was in the 1990s, yes, less countries took part that today but the contest was a much closer event and much more respected in some respects. Each country would select their song and travel to the host country, have a week of rehearsals and then the grand event on the Saturday night where all countries would have a spokesperson announcing their 1-8, 10 & 12 points. There would be around 24 countries participating which meant the end result was much closer and the voting procedure that we all knew and loved was much better and wasn’t as rushed!
In 2004 the semi-final was introduced which allowed more countries to take part in the event, 36 took part in Istanbul, 12 songs failed to make the final, which was very disappointing for those countries who paid their participation fee and didn’t even participate in the final. Since then, in 2008, a second semi-final was introduced and more countries could participate and even more countries get left in the semi.
Countries such as Andorra and Monaco who failed to qualify became disheartened and felt that the contest was no longer worth the financial contributions and therefore withdrew from the contest.
In recent years the amount of participants has grown to a maximum 43 countries and therefore the full voting procedure had to be changed, this meant that the 1-7 points were automatically uploaded to the scoreboard and the spokesperson would only announce the 8, 10 and 12, meaning that most countries would not have their nation name mentioned at all.
Do the producers have too much power? Should the producers be allowed to decide who sings where? There is no longer a draw to decide who performs in which position in the running order, it is now decided by a panel, but is this fair? Or is it becoming more of a dictorship?
2016 will see even more of a revamp to the voting and the spokesperson will only announce the 12 points from the jury, (in a possible attempt to remove the spokespersons all together, because let’s face it is it really worth:
Hello Sandrine from Monaco, can we have your 12 points please
Yes, France 12 points, goodbye)
Then after the jury votes have been announced they have decided to Melodifestivalenify the voting and announce the combined televotes, and if recent rumours are to be believed only the 10 highest scores from the televotes will be announced.. Making the whole show a far cry from the contest that we all fell in love with.
Is the Eurovision Song Contest the same show that we all loved? Or has it changed too much and became a show we will do not even recognise?
It would be impossible for the contest to scale itself down and return to the glory days of the one contest, but should the EBU continually adhere to SVTs new rules? Or should they attempt to bring the contest back to the close united even it used to?
What do you think? Is the contest going in the right direction? Or have they gone too far and it is now just an over produced festival as opposed to a close united contest?