Poland reinstates jury vote for Eurovision 2017 selection Krajowe Eliminacje — and adds potential wildcard

Last year Poland’s Michal Szpak climbed all the way to third place with televoters at Eurovision…but finished next-to-last with the international jury.

And on Tuesday it became clear that broadcaster TVP wants to address that imbalance in results as it revealed the official rules for Krajowe Eliminacje — Poland’s national selection for Eurovision 2017.

The 12-page document outlines the basics of this year’s competition, and includes one very important change: The national final will be determined by a 50-50 split between televoters and a professional jury.

The last time Poland involved a jury at its national final was in 2009, when Piosenka dla Europy 2009 used a 50-50 jury-televote split. The televote favourite won, but Lidia Kopania and her song “I Don’t Wanna Leave” failed to qualify for the grand final in Moscow.

Since then, TVP has either used a national final determined by 100% televote, or the broadcaster has internally selected the entry.

TVP could have reintroduced a jury vote as a way of selecting acts that will appeal to both viewers and the expert panel. Since Poland’s comeback in 2014, their entries have scored very well with the televote but very poorly with juries. In 2015, the jury vote gave Poland just two points.

Krajowe Eliminacje 2017 Rules

Among the other notable rules:

  • Five to ten participants will be selected to compete and all of them must be Polish citizens
  • The participants are not allowed to take part in any other national selection contest for Eurovision
  • Songs can be in whatever language the artists choose
  • Artists must submit their songs by January 20
  • TVP will reveal the artists to the public no later than January 27
  • The song that receives the most votes in the televoting will earn 10 points, the second most popular song 9 points and so on
  • Each jury member will also rank the songs from 1 to 10 (and the act with the highest jury score will receive 10 points, the second highest jury score will receive 9 points and so on)
  • The results will then be combined with the maximum score being 20
  • In the case of a tie, the televote decides the winner
  • The winner must send a music video to TVP by February 26

There’s also one very interesting rule.

The document states that the commission can choose one participant for the show without following the rules. They describe this act as a “wildcard”. Could the artist be a member of the Polish diaspora who doesn’t hold citizenship? Are they holding out for a major artist from another country and want to make room for her just in case she agrees? Or are they hoping to invite a foreign act from another pre-selection after watching talented acts abroad fail to make it to ESC? Very interesting…

The grand final show will be held on 11 February 2017 and will be broadcast live on TVP1.

What do you think? Is Poland making a good choice by reintroducing the jury vote? Share your thoughts below!