EUROVISION RULES: The annual Eurovision Song Contest rules receive a major overhaul to its voting system
The first test results will be closely scrutinized in the Stockholm Grand Final on Saturday 14 May 2016.
Biggest Rules Change Since 1975
The two-tiered rule system will change how the votes get recorded in the Eurovision Song Contest. That is the biggest change in its regulations since 1975.
Before, the jury and public votes in each country got combined – and then announced simultaneously.
This voting format meant that the winner got known prematurely. Often, twenty minutes before the voting had completely finished. The votes will now get split. Each country’s jury vote gets recorded first, followed slightly later by votes from television viewers.
The final winner is then announced at the very end of the show. This should help to create a ‘dramatic finish’ – according to Eurovision organizers.
The show’s executive producers said:
“The new Eurovision voting system is a big step forward. It makes for a better television show that is a more exciting competition. This format change will inject a new level of excitement into the finish of the Eurovision Song Contest rules”.
In a strange quirk of fate, it is fitting that the new Eurovision scoring sequence and voting rules make its debut in Stockholm. The country is famous for the ‘douze points’ system introduced in 1975.
Sweden won the previous year’s competition with Mans Zelmerlow. Thus, the country will host the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
The televoting and jury scores from each participating country will be available after the show on the official Eurovision website. So, you can find out how your particular country voted. The semi-finals also share the same Eurovision voting system.
New Eurovision Rules and Voting System
All participating countries will be able to score the maximum 12 points from each the five-member juries and the voting public. That is instead of combining the jury and public televote. The rule which applies to the top 10 countries in each vote receiving points (1-8, 10, 12) remains unchanged.
This means that public votes are not affected even if a song gets marked down by the jury. Also, the jury cannot sway the public vote – and vice versa.
After jury votes get counted, televoting points from all the participating countries combine. This provides one amalgamated score for each country. These televoting results then get announced.
They will start with the country receiving the fewest points from the public. It will end with the country that received the highest number of points.
End of ‘Nil Points’ in Eurovision Scores?
Eurovision event organisers hope the new system will create additional suspense. They want a more exciting show. The winner got identified before voting had finished, in previous years. From 2016 onwards, the final Eurovision scores and contest winner will be unknown until the final moments of the voting.
At that moment, the audience learns what the public think. For example, a song could rank 5th with the judges and some 200 points lagging behind the leader. But, it may suddenly race to the top of the pile if it ranks higher with the voting public.
A country may never score ‘nil points’ from these new Eurovision rules and voting system. That’s because double points are on offer. But, technically the jury or the public may not rate a country. So in fact ‘nil points‘ may still exist in the Eurovision Song Contest.
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