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