The internet is abuzz this morning with talk of a new Eurovision voting system that’s going to massively change the way the competition works.
Everyone’s feeling a bit confused, but it’s actually quite simple – and we’ve broken it down for you.
For the past few years, votes from a jury made up of industry professionals and votes from the public have been combined to decide which songs get what points.
That caused a bit of a problem when a jury vote went against popular songs with the public though – Poland’s washerwomen from 2014, for example. They were hugely popular with the viewer vote, but the juries weren’t buying it.
Eurovision’s trying something new this year, though – they’re going to split the votes, with the results from each nation’s jury read out by a spokesperson from that country (Nigella Lawson did it for the UK last year), and the public televote results announced by the Eurovision hosts.
Still confused? Don’t worry. So were we at first, but we’ve worked it out.
The juries from each country will give the usual votes the usual way, awarding 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs, and revealing those scores through their spokesperson in the usual time-consuming yet exciting way.
The public from each country will also vote as usual, with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points given to their favourite songs. Then, all the results from each country’s votes will be combined to give one overall viewer score per song.
So say, for example, 42 out of the 43 countries give the UK 12 points (we can’t vote for ourselves) on the televote? We’d get 504 points ON TOP OF whatever we’d been given by the juries.
The show’s presenters will read these combined public votes out in the style of a Top 40 countdown. The song with the least votes will be awarded their points first, and the song with the highest number will be awarded their points last.
Why are they doing this, you ask? In the interest of fairness? To try and stop political voting?
Nah. It’s all about making good TV. “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,” said the EBU’s Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
“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.”
The new voting system will come into effect for the Eurovision semi-finals on 10th and 12th May, but you won’t see it in all its glory until the big night on 14th May.
The UK’s Eurovision entry will be decided on Friday 26th February on BBC4, as Mel Giedroyc presents Eurovision: You Decide. Six acts will battle it out for the UK’s spot at the Stockholm song contest. If you want to be there in person, tickets for the show are still available here.
Eurovision: You Decide airs on BBC4 on Friday 26th February at 7.30pm.
The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals will air on BBC4 on Tuesday 10th May and Thursday 12th May.
The Eurovision Song Contest will air on BBC1 on Saturday 14th May.