In the final part of our interview with Eurovision Event Superviser Sietse Bakker, we discuss whether the running order draw and voting system operate as intended. Apparently they do. The interesting question for all of you is whether you agree with the EBU’s goal.

You can listen to the complete audio of the interview by clicking here. We’ve summarized the highlights below.

The Impact of Running Order

Sietse agrees that there is a slight advantage to performing at the end of the show (I tend to think it’s more substantial).

He believes that the present system, where acts draw to perform in the first or second half of the show, and where producers actually order them, works well. It allows for fair positioning of the acts while also allowing producers to create a more compelling show.

I then asked about playing the recap of the acts in reverse order to mitigate the impact. Sietse says this is not under consideration. First, it’s a lot harder for the people creating the clips to put them together in reverse order (which strikes me as a minor problem). Second, they are worried that people might get confused as many watching the show are already struggling to remember the number of each act.

He brought up the fair point that the number of competing acts is small, which creates a large degree of uncertainty if you tried to run stats on the numbers. But that doesn’t make it impossible. I think the bottom line is that the EBU is comfortable with the impact of draw order as everything presently works. Sietse does not think this is that big of an issue, and that it does not matter to a country that much if they perform tenth instead of eighth. And that the act that wins will win regardless of its start position. He thinks it can matter if it is very close for first place, but that has not happened for some time.

It’s the Jury plus the Televote

There are many ways to structure the voting, and many ways to structure how you combine the jury and televote. I asked Sietse about the present system and if it might change. He replied that the present implementation is purposely designed so an act must get high votes from both the televote and jury vote. The present system definitely works that way. If you look at Cezar’s votes in Italy where that emphasis on scoring high with both votes took his first place televote and turned it into 1 point. Fundamentally this gives both the jury and the televote in each country a veto over any act doing well. I can see arguments both for and against this, but this result is by design and one the EBU wants to see.

What Would You Change

Ok, here’s your chance to tell EBU what you would do differently. Sietse ended the interview by asking “if you could propose one thing you could change one thing in the song contest to make it better, what would it be?” Here’s your chance – sound off in the comments below.

Yesterday: Sietse discusses the Eurovision voting scandal

David T contributed this report from Colorado. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

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leofi77
leofi77
6 years ago

I think 50/50 system is the best. However instead of giving points, the should first give precentage value both televoting and jury. Let’s say song 1 gets 40% (and is the best) from the televote and 5% (10th in placings). They would then get 12+1 points in total. A song 2 would get 25% (second) from televote and 10% (5th) from the jury. Their points would be 10+6. So with the current system song 2 would get more points. If you combine first the precentages from both votes, song 1 would get more points than song 2. I think that… Read more »

MoOn-FLoWeR
MoOn-FLoWeR
6 years ago

SAFURA)))

Liam Davis
Liam Davis
6 years ago

Well.. i’ve a general idea for the voting system too.. Instead of a Jury with music industry specialists we should have a group of 10 people who have no connection with musicians or the music industry. Each person is aged between 16-25, 26-35,36-45, 46-55 and 56-65. Each they would have to watch along live and can only place their choices down with a scoring of 1-7 then 8 10 and 12 when the voting starts. The points are then combined together then the top songs are given the overall jury score from 1-7 then 8,10 and 12 for that country.… Read more »

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

I definetly don’t agree that you can vote for tha same country with the same mobile/telephone number more than once !

Axie
Axie
6 years ago

Also, another (short) comment: someone mentioned the Melfest system and I do think that’s the perfect solution for any jury/televote split, but sadly it would be utterly impossible to implement. The jury hands out common 12/10/8/etc points and the televote hands out percentages of the same 58 points given by the jury? And that would happen for all 35+ countries? It would be impossibly long, I reckon. It could be amazing, though.

Axie
Axie
6 years ago

I don’t know which group annoys me more, the “juries are awful because they sink MY country in the points table” group or the “televote is awful because people don’t have MY taste” group. Either way: you are both misguided and rude. People complain that the new 50/50 split means only boring middle of the road entries can win, but a) any voting done by humans, televote or juries, is bound to be subjective and only because you don’t agree with the results it doesn’t mean there’s a flaw in the system and to think that is immature – I… Read more »

Ioana
Ioana
6 years ago

The Jury may be corrupt. Eliminate the jury! Let the people’s vote to decide the ranking of songs.

Michaël
6 years ago

@Thiago : Actually, this would be an advantage for bigger countries, as they will be able to give more points to a song than another country. For exemple, Germany could give 10 000 points to its nr1 song, but Belgium could only give 4 000, because there are less people there.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

“He replied that the present implementation is purposely designed so an act must get high votes from both the televote and jury vote.” That’s not how the EBU initially justified the system, if I recall correctly. They said it was so that entries that were, for instance, 11th with jury and 11th with televote, could have some chance of making the top 10. This seems more like finding a justification for the system after the fact. I don’t really agree with this new system because last year it seemed to allow either jury or televoters to totally brutalize an entry’s… Read more »

Nitzan
Nitzan
6 years ago

You know what? Rethinking what I said re. the voting broadcast that’s long, boring and predictable – the answer can be simple. Only the participating countries in the final give their votes live (maybe even the entire 1-12) and the rest of the countries are added up and given together by one person, 12 countries all at once. This means that the 12 non-participants become the ones calling the shots and their votes will be the decisive ones, keeping the tension high all the way to the very last vote.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

I think the semi’s need 100% juryvotes so the quality songs will qualify (what they deserve) and then in the final they should give the televote 100% of the voting cause it’s still the contest of the fans and they are the ones who vote!

Thiago
Thiago
6 years ago

I would change the voting. Instead of each country awarding 12, 10, 8… just count the actual votes for each song.. So Germany gives 9,521 points to whoever, 6,547 to whoever, etc… and make every single vote count as a point for the song 🙂

D
D
6 years ago

I can’t stand how the producer’s choose the running order, it seems unfair to me. I’d much rather it go back to a random draw that the artist’s choose, as that was fair and way more exciting to watch.

Tom
Tom
6 years ago

I actually think the current system is the best tried so far. I’m looking forward to seeing the juries individual rankings revealed this year. The one thing I think that needs to happen is for the EBU to be more vigilant to minimise corruption. If you ask me, each jury member should take their job very seriously, and ensuring this is of utmost importance. Perhaps making it so that each member of every jury is required to listen to each entry before the dress rehearsal would be beneficial, so that we can reduce the risk of their rankings being arbitrary.… Read more »

carl of U.S.A
carl of U.S.A
6 years ago

Safura looks nice!

Robyn
Robyn
6 years ago

What about an update of the jury wildcard vote of ’08/’09? Something like this – nine acts in each semi are chosen by the usual jury/televote, then the 10th finalist is the next highest ranked act by jury vote alone. Too complicated? Unfair?

Branko
Branko
6 years ago

Running Order does not matter? When did a song the last time win which was performed running order 1-10? Maybe in 2003? But wasn’t the voting sequence shown in reversed order then? Why was it ok then and now it is not ok (e. g. in 2002/2003) to show all songs again when all the songs were performed in reversed order?

Danny
Danny
6 years ago

Nothing good will happen UNTIL and UNLESS the EBU finds an effective way to eliminate the absolutely inane local patriotism among many of the countries. So long as there’s a system in place that anables someone like me to predict (almost flawlessly!!) the top vote-getters from most countries…..we are headed absolutely nowhere. We may as well allocate points from one Scandinavian country to anothe ,from one former-Soviet country to another, from Greece to Cyprus, etc. If we are accepting this kind of inanity, why spend SO MUCH money on communications technologies?? why go through an hour of tedious voting?? Unless… Read more »

Liam Anslow
Liam Anslow
6 years ago

Once the semi final winners have been chosen, there has been known to be quite a few shocks in the results like last year San Marino’s song was strong and people thought it would’ve qualified but didn’t. I think what Eurovision should do is a 2nd chance slot for the final, which would make 27 countries in the final. Basically after the 2nd semi final results the public can have a last chance to vote for their favourite out of the semi finals who didn’t get through, using the Eurovision app or online through facebook and twitter for 1 day.… Read more »

Charles
Charles
6 years ago

Oh hell no! Leave it as it be! 50% of jury whether good or bad at least offers me some relief to the atrocious, bizarre embarrassing 100% televoting cheesy tacky taste in music …and taking in consideration people never vote on the music but on everything else that makes the show so disappointing (geopolitical and cultural affinities and other crap). The worst and more painful years I’ve ever witnessed in Eurovision where the 2000s and it still is a mistery how such a mess became so huge and massive … how much had people drunk back then I wonder? It… Read more »

Chris
6 years ago

Firstly, a lot of the people commenting are being too subjective. Many are making nice points but backing it up with their own opinion on what should have qualified or done better in the final. I know that sounds ridiculous, how else are we supposed to exemplify our ideas, but stating that “this country should have qualified”, “the juries ruined this song’s chances of winning” just nullifies your argument because it comes across opinionated and subjective. I argue that the running order and voting needs a bit of tweaking, but overall they have developed quite a good way of finding… Read more »

Radu
Radu
6 years ago

The juries should vote in the classic way: 12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 they shouldn’t rank all the songs -__-

Shaun Micallef
Shaun Micallef
6 years ago

I think that the system should be like that of X Factor. There will be a panel of four judges. 37 songs narrowed down to 24. By which process? The judges will listen to the songs on a live broadcast. Why live? To keep the vibe of the Eurovision! Then, judges have a 60% say in the outcome, while 40% determined by Televoting. The judges must not have any prior link to each participant and delegation. Through this system, 24 finalists are chosen. Then, each judge will have 6 countries to mentor. The judges decide between themselves on who they… Read more »

Ben Gray
Ben Gray
6 years ago

I can think of two potential adjustments to the system. The main problem with the current system is that, while it works to undo any automatic diaspora support, it also could theoretically nullify any support between notorious countries no matter what the song is – assuming jurors have a preconceived scepticism towards say, Italian televotes for Romania or San Marino. It has good intentions, but comes with anti-democratic side effects. So what if we used the current system on a 75-25 spilt? You could do this by doubling the point values associated with each rank in the televote, and leave… Read more »

Joe
Joe
6 years ago

i think first of all in the final only those countries taking part in the final should vote and also voting should be half jury and half televoting

Dhani
6 years ago

i don’t get it at all, that Ireland came last, last year when spain was last both with the juries and tele voting

Pablo
Pablo
6 years ago

HELLO, I THINK IT HAS TO CHANGE , CAUSE SOME COUNTRIES LIKE SPAIN OR PORTUGAL HAVEN´T GOT NEIGHBORS, AND IT AFFECTS A LOT IN THE VOTES, FOR EXAMPLE, PASTORA SOLER IN 2012 COULD WIN BUT SHE STAYED AT THE 10º POSITION, THIS YEAR WITH RUTH LORENZO HER SONG IS GREAT AND IT COULD WIN, BUT AS ALWAYS SPAIN WILL BE IN TOP 10, TOP 20, WHO KNOWS? HERE IN SPAIN, ALMOST ALL SPANISH PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT EUROVISION IS POLICY. I HOPE IT WILL CHANGE

Jamki
Jamki
6 years ago

I think voting is most boring part of the Eurovision nowadays. So I think it would be nicer if only those countries who have place in Final could vote in the final. This would change the points and the neighboring countries couldn’t necessarily vote for each others. And of course that brings back the time when spokes persons said all points and countries.

SJ
SJ
6 years ago

No 100 % televoting. I m for 50 % televoting and 50 % juries (but not 5 members , 16 members like in 80 ties) or voting like 71,72,73 that every countrie gets votes , vote from 1 to 25 in final if we have 26 countries

Nitzan
Nitzan
6 years ago

I think that the voting system is not optimal but it is the best one used so far, considering neighbor/immigrant voting. I think the main problem today is the live voting process in the final. What used to be the show’s most exciting part became too long and too boring. I think the way the votes are presented should be changed. Maybe the Televote/jury vote should be separated, Melodifestivalen style. Keeping the tension high all the way to the end (look at this year’s MF as an example). I would also consider combining groups of around 5 countries under one… Read more »

Pixy
Pixy
6 years ago

If only jury could judge entries without knowing the country of a singer, his/her name etc. it would be fairer. They are very subjective and pretty biased. But i know its impossible.

mkl_int
mkl_int
6 years ago

I think the problem lies in the semi finals. There are just too many countries that do favourable voting – there are about 10 countries that qualify every year. Of course Greece and Ukraine for example deserved every one of their spots on the final night but there are others which get through too easily. I can’t really come up with a solution to this problem, but i think think there should be some changes. And you can see that if countries like Belgium and Netherlands qualify – they vote different! And that can only be favourable for the contest… Read more »

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

The current system is a poor system for ESC because it helps fundamentally mediocre, inoffensive, middle-of-the-road songs to prosper. Why? Simple, because any song that is highly original, quirky, with a lot of artistic merit, true to its national identity, hard to ‘get’, sung in its native tongue etc polarises opinion & will end up suffering on the jury ranking – just look at Norway last year being ranked 21st by the UK jury. By having to rank all songs, it is those songs that consistently rank no worse than the middle that achieve the best overall result. Having only… Read more »

Julian
Julian
6 years ago

Juries are much easier to manipulate than televoting. Direct influence or guidelines from EBU or national broadcasters, from foreign ones that have a budget for softening juries, from betting companies (they have a huge interest to manipulate outcome), from record companies that want to promote certain songs. With juries in one’s pocket is much easier to manipulate televoting. You need first place in juries and then in televoting from place 5 or 6 down to the last place the difference in votes is small enough to be manipulated by favouring a song that is the choice of the entity that… Read more »

Andi
Andi
6 years ago

I know, that this is maybe stupid, but in my opinion the best way would be:
Semi Final 1 – Jury
Semi Final 2 – Jury
Grand Final – Jury/Televoting
Definetley the Televoters should not vote alone in the Semis. That would mean that for example last year Bulgaria would have been in the finals, but Moldova not ?!? Please, please, please. Stay with the Jury in the Semifinals.

Jordan
Jordan
6 years ago

How about we go back to the 2008/2009 design?

Semi Final 1 – Televoting
Semi Final 2 – Televoting
Grand Final – Jury/Televoting