The Eurovision Song Contest has been around since 1956 and has been going strong ever since this first-ever show. While the event may attract its fair share of criticism, it is affectionately regarded by most people in the UK. But did you know that in 2016 the voting was radically changed? Find out how this affected the event and how successful the change turned out to be.
What Has Changed About the Voting?
Before 2016, the voting from the juries and the viewers was presented in one, as a combined figure. While the votes from the jury and the votes from the public made up 50 each of the final score, but they were all in one. In 2016 the juries and the public each awarded a different set of points to the artists, which were displayed separately and which meant that the top 10 countries from both the “professional” and the public votes got points.
Combination of Jury and Public Votes
Viewers have the chance to vote for Eurovision acts by using telephone, SMS, or apps. Once all voting has been concluded, the juries reveal their points. Then the points from all the public votes are combined, making one score. The host then announces these results.
Is It Better?
The way this voting is carried out means that the public has a greater say in how well an act does. The song that is most popular in the public vote will automatically get the full 12 points, regardless of whether the jury agrees. The producers say that this will make the contest more exciting, and will give the public more of a vested interest in voting, which will in turn make more people vote. The main reason to change it is to give the voting a more dramatic finish.
In the past, the winner of the contest was effectively known even before the end of the full voting, as it would be an impossibility for any other act to catch up. In the new system, the winning act is only revealed right at the end of the show. It means that a country receiving votes from the jury that placed them in place three or four will still have a chance of being the winner. This new format won’t increase the running time of the show.
Is It Fair?
You can see which votes were given by which countries after the end of the contest, on the official website. There are also measures in place to ensure that the public voting is fair and transparent.
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