Eurovision 2023: Voting changes announced for the upcoming contest!

Today started with a bit of surprise news, with the EBU suddenly announcing a change to the voting system for the upcoming 67th Eurovision Song Contest which will take place in May in Liverpool. This is the first change in the voting method since 13 years and in 2009, when 50/50 voting by the public and the judging panels was introduced.

According to the EBU announcement, the three big changes to the Eurovision 2023 voting system are as follows:

  • Viewer votes will decide countries qualifying from Semi-Finals 
  • Viewers in non-participating countries will be able to vote online
  • Jury votes will be combined with votes from the global audience to decide final result

This means that next year, the countries that qualify from the Semi-Finals will be decided solely based on the votes cast by the viewers, rather than a combination of a jury and public vote as has been the case since 2009.

The professional music industry juries will remain for the Grand Final, but complete control of who gets there from the Semi-Finals has been handed over to the viewing public.

And, for the first time ever, viewers from non-participating countries will be able to vote for their favourite songs too. Those watching in the rest of the world will be able to vote via a secure online platform using a credit card from their country, and their votes, once added together, will be converted into points that will have the same weight as one participating country in both of the Semi-Finals and the Grand Final.

Regarding the changes to the voting method, the Contest’s Executive Producer, Martin Österdahl, said:

Throughout its 67-year history the Eurovision Song Contest has constantly evolved to remain relevant and exciting. These changes acknowledge the immense popularity of the show by giving more power to the audience of the world’s largest live music event.

In 2023 only Eurovision Song Contest viewers will decide which countries make it to the Grand Final and, reflecting the global impact of the event, everyone watching the show, wherever they live in the world, can cast their votes for their favourite songs.

By also involving juries of music professionals in deciding the final result, all the songs in the Grand Final can be assessed on the broadest possible criteria. We can also maintain the tradition of travelling around Europe and Australia to collect points and ensure a thrilling voting sequence with the winner only revealed at the very end of the show.

It is worth mentioning that the introduction of the Rest of World vote means that the correlation of the 50/50 voting for the final changes, which leans more towards the public. The general public will have slightly more impact on the final result – approximately 50.6%. In the coming months, the EBU is expected to publish in detail the countries that will have the right to vote in the Rest of the World category.

These changes are happening in order to keep the event relevant and exciting. Additionally, following the unprecedented nature of the voting irregularities seen at the 2022 Contest a working group of EBU Members was established to look at ways to protect the integrity of the event. Their recommendations are being implemented after approval by the Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board and the Executive Board of the EBU.

Source: Eurovision.tv

Stay tuned to EurovisionFun for all developments regarding the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

Eurovision 2023: 37 countries will join the 67th contest in Liverpool!

Just moments ago, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced the countries that will take part in the 67th Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool37 countries will be present in the contest, with three countries withdrawing, in contrast with the 40 countries last year in Turin.

These countries  withdrawing are Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia, which after their participation in Eurovision 2022, all three of them withdraw for financial reasons.

Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, shared his thoughts on the line-up:

“We’re looking forward to welcoming artists from all 37 countries to Liverpool, the city of pop, next May. Next year’s competition promises to be an extra special one and we’re working hard with the BBC right now to ensure that hundreds of millions of viewers will enjoy the best Eurovision Song Contest yet, with Ukraine at the heart of the event.”

In detail, the countries that are going to take part are:

  • 🇦🇱 Albania – RTSH
  • 🇦🇺 Australia– SBS
  • 🇦🇲 Armenia– AMPTV
  • 🇦🇹 Austria – ORF
  • 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan – Ictimai TV
  • 🇧🇪 Belgium – RTBF
  • 🇭🇷 Croatia – HRT
  • 🇨🇾 Cyprus – CyBC
  • 🇨🇿 Czech Republic – CT
  • 🇩🇰 Denmark – DR
  • 🇪🇪 Estonia – ERR
  • 🇫🇮 Finland  – YLE
  • 🇫🇷 France – FT
  • 🇬🇪 Georgia – GPB
  • 🇩🇪 Germany – ARD/NDR
  • 🇬🇷 Greece – ΕΡΤ
  • 🇮🇸 Iceland – RUV
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland– RTE
  • 🇮🇱 Israel – IPBC/Kan
  • 🇮🇹 Italy– RAI
  • 🇱🇻 Latvia – LTV
  • 🇱🇹 Lithuania – LRT
  • 🇲🇹 Malta – PBS
  • 🇲🇩 Moldova – TRM
  • 🇳🇱 Netherlands – AVROTROS
  • 🇳🇴 Norway – NRK
  • 🇵🇱 Poland – TVP
  • 🇵🇹 Portugal – RTP
  • 🇷🇴 Romania – TVR
  • 🇸🇲 San Marino – RTV
  • 🇷🇸 Serbia – RTS
  • 🇸🇮 Slovenia ​​- RTVSLO
  • 🇪🇸 Spain  – TVE
  • 🇸🇪 Sweden – SVT
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland – SRG / SSR
  • 🇺🇦 Ukraine – UA: PBC
  • 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – BBC

Martin Green, BBC’s Managing Director of the Eurovision Song Contest added:

“We are incredibly proud to be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine and welcoming delegations from 37 countries to Liverpool next year. The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture and showcasing British creativity to a global audience.”

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the news regarding the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, in Liverpool!

Eurovision 2023: Glasgow or Liverpool? Tomorrow the announcement!

Finally, the time of announcement of the hosting city for Eurovision 2023 has come! Graham Norton earlier in the day through The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, confirms the recent rumours, about which we have already informed you through our article, that wanted the reveal of the hosting city to be made tomorrow at Friday, October 7th. The announcement will be made by Graham Norton through BBC One Show, which airs from 21:00 to 21:30 EEST. A talk with Sam Ryder about the matter will follow.

Which city do you prefer to host Eurovision 2023? Write in the comments below!

Source: wiwibloggs

Kazakhstan: Possibilities for a Kazakh participation in Eurovision 2023 still exist!

Kazakh “Khabar Agency” reports that there are still hopes for a possible participation of Kazakhstan in the European Eurovision Song Contest in the near future.

Speaking at a press conference organized by the Khabar Agency and ORTCOM regarding the participation of Kazakhstan in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, producer Zhan Mukanov spoke about the hopes of “Khabar Agency” and Eurovision 2023. In particular, he stated that:

Since Khabar Agency is an official accredited member of the European Union of Radio and Television Stations, there is every possibility of officializing the participation in Eurovision. I really hope, we hope everything goes well.

Khabar Agency has been an associate member of the Broadcasting Union since 2016, which means that in order to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest they will have to be invited to compete by the EBU.

The only broadcaster that has never been invited to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest without being a full member is Australian broadcaster SBS. SBS was invited as part of the 60th edition of the competition, with the EBU highlighting more than 30 years of broadcasting the competition and Australia’s links to the competition.

Kazakhstan has been participating in Junior Eurovision since the 2018 contest where it has been invited by the contest’s Reference Group to participate. Khabar Agency broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest live in Kazakhstan annually between 2010 and 2021, but did not broadcast the 2022 contest due to low viewership and the high cost of broadcasting.

 

In 2021, Kazakhstan was represented at Junior Eurovision by Alinur Khamzin & Beknur Zhanibekuly, with “Ertegі әlemі” (Fairy World)

The Kazakh broadcaster is currently seeking full EBU membership, which would allow the country to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest.

 

Source: eurovoix.com

Eurovision 2023: The bookmakers declare Glasgow as the favourite!

We are at the final homestretch of the selection process for the city that is going to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023. Despite announcing yesterday that only Glasgow and Liverpool remain at the course of claiming, it seems that for the bookmakers there is an absolute favourite!

According to the bookmakers, Glasgow has 64% chance to host the contest, while Liverpool concentrates the remaining 36%.

It should also be pointed out that the variability of the odds was recorded mostly the last days, before BBC’s announcement regarding the predominant cities.

Specifically, as shown at the panel above (screenshot that was taken yesterday), while Glasgow remained for long as the absolute favourite for the bookmakers, Liverpool managed to make an outstading leap in odds. However, this dynamic was not preserved after the BBC announcement, with Glasgow retaking it’s edge overnight.

Will the bookmakers be proven right or Liverpool is going to make a surprise? Stay tuned at Eurovisionfun for all the details!

Eurovision 2023: National broadcaster participation window closing today!

The national broadcasters from the countries having an active EBU membership, have a deadline until today (15/9), in order to confirm their participation in the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

We might not know the city at United Kingdom that we are going to travel to for Eurovision 2023 yet, but today is the deadline for the national broadcasters-EBU members to confirm their participation in the contest.

Until October 11th, according to the rules, the possibility of withdrawal is provided without the imposition of a fine. From this date on, the broadcasters that applied for participating and are willing to withdraw, are going to face the imposition of a fine, which is varying, depending on the time of withdrawal (before or after the semi-finals draw etc.).

31 countries, with one way or another, have announced their will to participate in Eurovision 2023. Among them there’s Greece, and Cyprus too. Those countries are:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

The number from the countries above is expected to grow, because nine countries that participated in this year’s contest, haven’t clarified their intentions yet. Those are:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Slovenia

There’s always a chance, although slight, for a country to return or for another one to debut. The participating countries and their exact number will be confirmed through EBU’s official announcement. The respective announcement for Eurovision 2022 was made on October 20th.

 

Eurovision 2023: The new season has just started!

For many, including us on Eurovisionfun, Eurovision never ends! However, September 1st is a special date. Any song that is released after that date is eligible to be chosen to take part in the next years contest. Therefore, any song from now on can be a potential Eurovision 2o23 entry!

What we know so far

After the landslide victory of Ukraine and Kalush Orchestra in Turin, EBU has already announced that due to the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the contest will be held in the United Kingdom instead, to ensure safety of everyone involved in the production.

During August, BBC announced a shortlist of seven cities that will compete to host the contest next year, while the deadline to submit the finalized bids is set for September 8th. BBC and EBU representatives will visit these cities to inspect the facilities and discuss with local authorities on the proposed bids.

Around late September/early October and after there is potentially a dialogue with the British government, BBC and EBU will announce the Eurovision 2023 hosting city.

The shortlisted cities are:

  • Birmingham
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield

Betting odds are every year a topic of discussion within and outside the Eurovision fandom. As of the time of writing, the odds about which city will host Eurovision 2023 predict Glasgow as the hosting city, with 65% chances, indicating a one-horse race for the hosting of the contest next year.

Participating countries

As of now, 27 countries have officially or unofficially confirmed that they will take part in Eurovision 2023. These are:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

Within the next months more countries are expected to confirm their participation, with the goal to have 40 countries as in 2022. Russia and Belarus are not eligible to take part in the contest, since their broadcasters are not EBU members anymore.

Certain countries have already announced that they will not take part in Eurovision 2023, with some of them extending their long-lasting absence from the contest. Andorra, Monaco, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Maroco and Hungary will not be present in the 67th Eurovision Song Contest, while Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina are yet to announce their plans but the chances to see them returning are low for various reasons.

Until March 14th the announcement of all the entries

It won’t be before March 14th until we know all competing artists and entries for 2023, since on that day is the meeting of the Head of Delegations where all entries will be officially submitted. However, Israel has already selected its artist and its Noa Kirel, a local superstar with many of her songs conquering the charts.

Albania and Ukraine will be the next to select their entries before the end of 2022, unless there is a surprise as with Czech Republic last year.

Join us on the road to Eurovision 2023!

Eurovisionfun will bring you Eurofun-tastic news throughout the season, while you should be ready for exclusives and surprises! Our 24/7 coverage in Greek and English includes articles, reactions, discussions and many more!

Don’t forget to follow us on our social media, we are always online and we love interacting with you! You can check us out on:

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Let the Eurovision 2023 season begin! Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun!

 

 

 

The rules of Eurovision 2023 are released: Pre-recorded backing vocals permitted again

EBU has released through the official Eurovision website the rules of the 2023 contest.

They are established by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and are approved by the contest’s governing body, the Reference Group.

While the majority of the rules remain the same over the years, in 2021 EBU decided to allow the use of pre-recorded backing vocals in order to be able to bring less people in the contest given the Covid restrictions at the time, as well as allow compositions to be presented “as close as possible to their original composition”.

This change of rules remained for the 2022 contest and it will remain again for the 2023, according to the published set of rules. Excerpt 2.2.3 mentions:

“The lead singer(s) of the selected song (the “Lead Vocal(s)”) shall perform live on stage only.

  • Eventual vocal support(s) for the Lead Vocal(s) (the “Lead Dub(s)”) shall perform live, on stage or off stage, only.
  • All other backing vocal(s) performing vocal harmonies (the “Backing Vocals”) may perform either live on stage or off stage and/or on a Backing track compliant to the requirements under par (iii) hereafter.

No on-stage Contestant (whether Lead Vocals, Lead Dubs or Backing Vocals or dancers) shall be allowed to lip-sync (playback) in such a way as to make it appear that they are singing all or most of the song when they actually are not.”

 

What do you think about pre-recorded backing vocals being allowed for 2023 contest? Tell us in the comments!

Eurovision 2023: Newcastle is “in” and Derry is “out” of Host City bid race!

We have already reported the flurry of excitement across UK, and among cities willing to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest. And while we await the announcement of the shortlist on August 12, the developments on this front are still coming through, with Newcastle confirming the submission of an official bid, and Derry clarifying that it is no longer interested in hosting the event.

Withdrawal of interest by Derry (N. Ireland)

According to a recent article, Derry, the second most populous city in N. Ireland, appears to have changed its mind and will not proceed with an official bid to host the Competition in the city, despite its initial interest. A spokesperson for Derry City Council said:

Following the resolution at June’s Council meeting “that Council Officers investigate the feasibility of submitting a bid to host the 2023 Eurovision Final”, Council has advised its elected members that the hosting criteria has been reviewed.

The Council area is unable to fulfill a number of the essential minimum criteria in relation to the provision of a suitable venue and supporting accommodation infrastructure. On that basis, it was recommended that a Stage 1 bid is not submitted.

Official bid by Newcastle (NE England)

The formal bid was submitted by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Confirming the Council’s plans, NGI Director, Ian Thomas, said:

This is a once in a generation opportunity to welcome a huge number of international visitors, performers and media to the North East of England and to showcase our world- class culture, rich heritage and vibrant region to the world.

Our bid is a region-wide effort with support from our local authorities, and public and private sector partners from across the North East as we recognise the enormity of this opportunity.

The potential impact of Newcastle hosting Eurovision 2023 is phenomenal. Eurovision will play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents.

Addressing the city’s success at hosting other large scale events, he added:

We’ve seen other large events such as the European Professional Rugby Club finals attract 95,000 fans to the region which contributed £24m to our visitor economy in 2019, and World Transplant Games also in 2019 brought in attendees from over 50 countries which pushed hotel occupancy rates up by 13%, supporting the hospitality supply chain and helping to sustain jobs within the industry.

Eurovision will be on an even bigger scale, and we welcome this fantastic opportunity to bring this to the region.

Councillor Alex Hay of the Newcastle City Council, said:

“We are delighted to be bidding to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with its people. We are collaborating with partners across the region to help make this a reality for Newcastle, to do Ukraine proud and to embody everything that Eurovision stands for.

We’re committed to making Newcastle a better place for our residents and visitors, and hosting Eurovision will be a crucial tool in achieving that.

It will not only showcase the city and its incredible people on a global stage, but it will have a tangible social and economic impact in bringing financial investment into the city, helping change perceptions of the North East, and build a lasting legacy for our city.

We are a certified City of Sanctuary, which strengthens our message that everyone is welcome here. Music is a big part of our heritage and it’s time for us to write a new verse in that history.

We are Newcastle, we are a safe city, famous for our Geordie welcome, we stand united with Ukraine – and we are the perfect host for Eurovision 2023.

Would Newcastle be a good host for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest? Stay tuned for any updates!

Eurovision 2023: Irish Eurovision winners support Belfast as Host City

Amidst the increasing interest by cities within UK to host the ESC, Northern Ireland’s local press reports that seven past winners from across the island of Ireland, together with three Belfast City Councillors, are putting forward a strong case for Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast.

As we have previously reported, the Eurovision 2023 host city will be decided upon by the BBC and the EBU, with the final decision expected in early Fall ahead of the May 2023 contest.

A number of UK cities have already submitted bids, but to date Belfast City Council has not yet had a formal meeting about a potential proposal.

The aspirant bid

Belfast City Council’s idleness regarding a possible proposal propelled past Eurovision winners to join forces in order to trigger interest about the event’s multiple benefits for the local economy.

In the same context, three Belfast City Councillors are exerting their efforts in preparing for a bid as a matter of urgency.

One of the Councillors, Mr. Seamas de Faoite, commented that Belfast “is the best city to host the Ukrainian victors”, because people in Belfast “understand the promise and importance of peace more than any other host”.

According to the local press, Belfast ticks all of the EBU’s boxes and more:

  • The SSE Arena can seat 11,000 with the iconic Titanic Exhibition Centre next door
  • Belfast has a minimum of 9,600 hotel rooms, twice the number the EBU believes would be needed
  • Belfast International Airport, Belfast City Airport, along with the proximity of Dublin Airport and even City of Derry Airport

The winners

Dana Brown 

Rosemary Dana Brown won Eurovision back in 1970 when she was only 18 years old. She said about the prospect of Belfast hosting the Contest:

People in Northern Ireland have experienced the devastation of years of unrest and have successfully come through it. We understand and empathise with so much of the pain suffered by Ukraine’s people.

And like them, the people of Northern Ireland are steeped in music, culture, the arts, creativity and in particular, Eurovision success. An all-inclusive Northern Ireland bid for Eurovision 2023 should be held in the capital city Belfast, I believe it’s the very best place to represent the people of Ukraine.

Linda Martin is from Belfast, Niamh Cavanagh is now living near Belfast, myself and Johnny Logan’s father are from Derry Londonderry so that adds up to five Eurovision wins. Add Phil Coulter, the composer of UK’s first ever Eurovision win, Puppet on a String.

Belfast also has the full support of Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan who won Eurovision with “Rock and Roll Kids” so that takes us to seven winners.

Is it not fitting that Belfast could be the Eurovision host for Ukraine? We have the huge capacity SSE venue right next door to the globally recognised Titanic centre. We have very talented people at BBC NI and TV production companies as well as excellent logistics to facilitate.

Northern Ireland and Belfast can do justice to the people of Ukraine in hosting Eurovision 2023, not only because of our logistical abilities but because of our big-hearted and community-driven people.

Johnny Logan

Johnny Logan is the only performer to win the Eurovision Song Contest twice, first in 1980 with ‘What’s Another Year’, written by Shay Healy and then in 1987 with ‘Hold Me Now’ which he composed and performed himself. Johnny said:

Belfast should host Ukraine for Eurovision 2023 – and why not Belfast? Northern Ireland has produced so many great musicians and singers, my father Patrick O’Hagan among them, and hosting Eurovision 2023 would be a wonderful opportunity to highlight the positive side of the north of Ireland and its people.

So yes, I fully support the Belfast bid, it’s a great musical city with great people and I believe it can deliver.

Linda Martin 

Linda performed at the Eurovision Song Contest contest twice and won in 1992 with “Why Me?”. She said:

Belfast is perfect for Eurovision 2023. It’s a beautiful city with an 11,000 seater arena, thousands of hotel rooms and two airports, one of them right beside the world renowned Titanic experience.

Niamh Kavanagh 

Niamh won the competition in 1993 with the song “In your Eyes”. Niamh said:

Belfast would be an amazing choice to host the Eurovision on behalf of the Ukraine, it’s a thriving city with a great heart that understands surviving conflict.

Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan

They won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”. Paul said:

I think it’s a brilliant idea. I lived and worked in Belfast for some years and it’s a sparkling place and the people are creative and talented. Music can unite and triumph. So yes, I fully support Belfast for Eurovision 2023.

Brendan Graham

Brendan is the writer of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids” in 1994, and Eimear Quinn’s winning song, “The Voice”, in 1996. Brendan said:

Belfast would be a super city to host Eurovision 2023, in partnership with Ukraine. The amenities are all there, not to mention the history and the surrounding beauty of Northern Ireland.

In some elemental and visceral way Belfast and its people might have a more natural empatico with the cities and people of Ukraine than perhaps other cities might have. Belfast is a city of hope and belief in the future…and would be a city of huge welcome and embrace for Ukraine.

What do you think? Is Belfast a suitable host city for Eurovision 2023?