The official rules of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest have just been published on eurovision.tv. Looking over them, it’s fair to say that the EBU have decided “no change necessary” – although there are some things to raise an eyebrow at.
We won’t bore y’all by going through each rule and clause individually, so here are some of the key things that we’ve picked out. If you do want to join us (sorry – that’s so 2014) and read the whole document, then simply click on this link!
First of all: it’s mostly a copy and paste job from the 2014 rules, which means there are no major changes. That means that voting, running orders and presentation will all remain the same, so anyone hoping for a return to a random draw will have to wait another year at least.
In fact, the only change that we’ve been able to find is regarding one of the “hot topics” of the last ESC – the national juries. In the section under “National Juries’ voting procedure” lies a new paragraph stating:
“Each Participating Broadcaster shall ensure that its National Jury is fully independent and votes in total impartiality. It shall cooperate with the EBU and the independent auditor in connection with all matters regarding National Jury voting.”
This seems to be putting the onus on jury impartiality back on the broadcasters. No doubt this has been put in after the controversy regarding the Georgian jury’s invalid voting, but there’s more to the jury members section that we’d like to take a look at…
As they did in 2014, the rules clearly state that:
“Members of the National Juries must pursue one of the following professions within the music industry: radio DJ, artist, composer, author of lyrics or music producer.”
…except, of course, many of the jurors did *not* fit in to those categories. When the jurors were announced, for example, one of the Armenian jurors was revealed to be a “designer/sculptor” whose only link seemed to be that he had designed the trophy for the 2011 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This was, of course, the same Armenian jury whose votes certainly caught our eye (though they were quick to answer).
What’s more interesting though is one rather large profession it does not list: journalists. There were plenty of those in the 2014 jury lists, yet according to the rules then and now, they should not have been allowed to take part – even though they might have a wealth of experience in music journalism. Surely this is a rather huge oversight by the EBU, or perhaps this is why they are now trying to pin the onus on the broadcasters in terms of jury selection.
Finally, the rule remains that songs can break the 1st September deadline if they were not commercial released before that point (and the Executive Supervisor agrees they would receive no extra advantage). This was certainly true in the case of “Birds” and “Solayoh” in 2013 – so keep your eye out for any songs that go missing online!
That’s all that we’ve been able to find, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled if there’s anything else. Are you happy with the “lack” of change, or do you feel that the EBU should be doing something a little differently? Tell us all about it in the comments!