How’s this to get over the hump day blues: the EBU gave everyone a wake-up call today by announcing that “change is coming” to the Eurovision Song Contest. Naturally, fans on social media have been collectively losing their minds trying to work out just what this change is. The only clue we’ve been given is that, whatever the change is, it will make the contest “a lot more exciting”. The EBU will announce the change tomorrow, February 18th at 10:00 CET. Whilst we wait, we’ve rounded up the best of the rumours being discussed below:

The EBU is allowing China to enter Eurovision

It was just over a year ago that the EBU confirmed that Australia would take part in Eurovision 2015 as a “special guest”. Now that Australia are back as a regular competing country, could it be that the EBU are bringing in another guest participant to add more flavour? China is the obvious choice if this is what the EBU is looking for.

We spoke to the Chinese HoD, Ying Lei, back in Vienna. She told us that the broadcaster Hunan TV was definitely interested in participating at Eurovision. Not only that, but in both 2014 and 2015, the hosts have repeatedly referenced China during certain points of the show. Has the EBU been trying to drop hints for quite some time?

The results section will be changed

This is another one that has some real credence. SVT talked about changing the points section late last year, but then nothing more was heard of it. With the current system causing the votes to run for nearly an hour, shortening this would certainly make the show more dynamic.

One dramatic suggestion has been to remove the spokespeople entirely, leaving the show hosts to deliver the points. Or the spokespeople could deliver their points in person, right there in the arena. This works fairly well in Junior Eurovision, so the EBU has already been able to practice this method to some degree. Another suggestion has been to show the first seven points for each country before going to the spokesperson, which could cut out some awkward pauses we’ve seen in the past.

Changing the voting system

The EBU is definitely fond of tinkering with the voting system, with frequent and substantial changes being made over the contest’s 60-year history. Whether that be a jury and televote or a top 26/27 ranking system over a top ten, they just can’t seem to leave it alone. Could they have come up with another way of changing the voting for 2016?

There was outrage in 2015 when it turned out that the juries had, in the eyes of some fans, robbed Il Volo of victory. Their influence could be changed or removed altogether – or the points themselves could be changed completely. Formula 1’s points system was overhauled in 2010 to great success, helping reward consistency but also giving each race winner a bigger advantage. Alternatively, the EBU might look to SVT again and use the Melodifestivalen points system, meaning only the very best songs get rewarded.

Allowing more people on stage

https://youtu.be/q_HWQulld4E

Currently the rules only allow a maximum six performers on stage. Melodifestivalen has an upper limit of eight, which allows them to stage more sophisticated and thrilling dance routines, like Dinah Nah’s infamous “wall of sex” from 2015. In the past, the argument against this is that it would be a disadvantage to countries with smaller budgets. But as we’ve seen in recent years, sometimes staging as simple as an elegant lady standing on a box can win the whole show.

There are plenty of other theories being suggested on social media, but we’ll only know for sure when the EBU makes their announcement tomorrow.

What do you think the change will be? Let us know in the comments section below and via our Twitter page.

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fikri
Guest
fikri

i’m wary of any change because i love the contest as it is. i hope it’s nothing dramatic. 🙁

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

I think the voting should stay the same as it is now but there should be 100% televote and the big 5 should go through semi finals but the top 6 from the year before should automatically qualify.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@mawnck: We are talking about the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the U.S., yes? They have quite a few music shows on Friday and Saturday nights, like ‘Live from the Artists’ Den’, ‘Front and Center’ and ‘Austin City Limits’. I think they can accommodate a once-a-year show like the ESC, even if limited to the Grand Final. As far as getting clearance for the music is concerned, shouldn’t it be simpler, given that all the music is relatively new (less than a year old), and most of the artists are not that well known in the U.S. (except maybe for… Read more »

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“licensing for the broadcast rights shouldn’t be a problem for PBS”

I’m not so sure. I suspect getting all the music cleared would be a nightmare and a half.

“Don’t forget PBS is a EBU affiliate like SBS in Australia.”

Oh no they’re not. Several American networks are Associate Members, but PBS isn’t one of them. (And “American Public Media’ is radio only.) http://www3.ebu.ch/about/members?type=associate

Malta’s network is also PBS – perhaps therein lies the confusion?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

random.sage2.5: It’s been known since July that those four venues will be used. The Globe is quite a small venue on its own, so the others are being used to accomodate the full ESC contingent. Globen will host the contest itself, Hovet will house the press centre, and the delegations will be set up in the Annex. All those venues are located literally right next to each other in Stockholm. No official word on how Tele2 will be used, but it’s thought that once the Globe sells out, there’ll be some sort of overflow seating there, perhaps cheap tickets to… Read more »

random.sage2.5
Guest

Sorry but Twitter is getting to me. I’m on there LIKE A HAWK!

random.sage2.5
Guest

I’m guessing 9 semi finals…

So others get a chance? IDK Sounds like they’re turning Eurovision into the Olympics.

But this could be lies and conjecture.

I don’t know but I’m too excited. Three excited. 4 Arenas excited!

random.sage2.5
Guest

I think I have a confirmation from Twitter!

EUROVISION WILL BE HOSTED IN 4 ARENAS ACROSS SWEDEN!!!

https://t.co/JOLOjgEH6V

I think it’s still a rumor but it’s splitting the acts up in 4 different areans

random.sage2.5
Guest

I think I have a confirmation from Twitter!

EUROVISION WILL BE HOSTED IN 9 ARENAS ACROSS SWEDEN!!!

random.sage2.5
Guest

Has anyone concidered a Turkish return?

I’m sorry, I’m just so excited!

random.sage2.5
Guest

Plus, I think/know China’s gonna get booed too. China has been sending rockets into the East China Sea and plan on sending 9,000 ppl to be a radio telescope over there too. Japan, USA, and the EU warned China not to build weapons facilities there.

They’ll be either the UK (go against Europr’s political wishes and fight in the middle east and get hated for it) or the Russia (War with Georgia and win Eurovision, war with Ukraine and get 2nd place but still be hated).

Either way, this’ll be interesting… For better or otherwise.

random.sage2.5
Guest

Don’t forget PBS is a EBU affiliate like SBS in Australia.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@mawnck: That is why the regular networks would never touch a program like the ESC. No break for at least an hour and 45 minutes while contenders from 26 countries sing. Not to mention the people are not watching the regular networks like they used to; not even close. So, a donation- and/or grant-driven network like PBS seems the logical option, one for which they can televise the green-room activity straight through. Once more, licensing for the broadcast rights shouldn’t be a problem for PBS… …Would it? This is Jon Ola Sand we’re talking about here.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@bogtrotter: Of the 40 countries voting in last year’s Grand Final, 37 of them were a 50-50 split; Macedonia and Montenegro submitted a 100% televote, and San Marino submitted a 100% jury vote (12 for LAT, 10 for ITA, 8 for BEL). How many jurors for each country? Five? Would it help if they applied a generational rule for juries; for example, one from the 16-29 age group, one aged 30-39, one 40-49, one 50-59 and one 60+? Or maybe two aged 16-34, two aged 35-49, and one 50+? What if they increased the jury pool for each country from… Read more »

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“it is entirely COMMERCIAL-FREE”

Just FYI, no it isn’t. There are commercial breaks in it, but it’s up to the stations whether they run commercials there, or stay with the network and get filler material. Last year it was Conchita’s green room interviews.

There are NOT enough commercial breaks to pay for a broadcast on American TV. Not even close. So PBS, or else a subscription service like HBO, are really the only viable options if the thing is going to be televised in America. And fat chance of HBO blowing 4 hours of airtime on it.

Denis
Guest
Denis

I still keep thinking the voting is the most likely. After the criticism it got last year for being to drawn out and stretching it, it could be a new quick method while managing to keep the suspense up. Maybe just read out the 12 points and the rest shown on screen? Also after the technical mishap of failing to get contact with countries maybe the spokespersons are to appear live? or not at all? Or why not still the MF method of “percent” vote, but maybe only the top 3 for every country? 30% of the vote equal 30%… Read more »

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

OK, Wiwiblogs comments section. Don’t go messing with me now …

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

@random.sage2.5

Who are your sources? Seriously, I’m asking. Because I’ve always said that PBS is the ONE American network that could plausibly spring for it.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“SOURCES SAY (probably a lie) that the EBU has been having talks with PBS in the USA.”

Who are the sources, please? Because PBS is the one broadcast network that might actually be able to pull it off. In fact, that would make a lot of sense … it’s just that they’ve never shown any interest in the past.

bogtrotter
Guest
bogtrotter

@CookieMonzta: an outright televote winner WAS massacred by the juries last year with a 50/50 split. Something as stupid as a jury member ranking a song in fourth place instead of in third place can shift an entire country’s televoting results. That’s why the idea of removing or downsizing the impact of the juries is being considered to begin with. I accept that it happened last year and those were the rules, but it’s worth considering. The other way round (televoting crushing the jury vote) isn’t as much of a disaster. Televoters care more about their vote counting than 5… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I wouldn’t be surprised if they invite China to send someone to perform as an interim act. If that is the case (as it was with Australia), there’ll be no doubt that they’ll be invited to compete next year. @Ben Rafter: They may very well go the JESC route, and conduct the roll call with people INSIDE THE ARENA from their respective countries, rather than go to people via satellite feed. If I’m not mistaken, they had trouble getting in touch with 4 countries last year. @inspectorlama: They did mention that the Big 5 and Sweden will perform during the… Read more »

random.sage2.5
Guest

Probably a rumor but SOURCES SAY (probably a lie) that the EBU has been having talks with PBS in the USA.

Could be a lie.

beccaboo1212
Guest

China is an Asian country, so there is NO way that they’re gonna debut. Also, all the spokespeople would have to travel to Stockholm to deliver the points.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Maybe it’s something completely unexpected – reintroduction of the orchestra?

Esc Shane
Guest
Esc Shane

I honestly think this will be an absolute disaster!
Sweden are messing up the contest all Europeans and Australians love.

Say “Yes!”, if you Agree and “No!”, if you do not Agree.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

Random running order

(Wishful thinking I know…)

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I think it’s clearly going to be a change in the voting presentation – most likely to a more Melodifestivalen style, perhaps with the jury votes announced separately to the televotes.

Some horrible ideas in this thread – I wish some of you would stay quiet, because you’re giving the EBU ideas!

Hiccup
Guest
Hiccup

Also, I pray to God it’s not jury being gotten rid of. It’s needed to balance out the less deserving acts (Poland 2014 being a challenger for the win…). Il Volo’s result is just mimicing their Sanremo result, awful Jury reception, saved massively by the public vote.

Eurovision is far better for the jury than without.

Hiccup
Guest
Hiccup

All songs from here out must be Scandipop and written by G:Son and Bostrom. 😉

My bet is on vote read-outs. If they shorten it it’s going to make my drinking game killer…

Sal
Guest
Sal

I agree with Cratis..best case would be going back to the old system of just top 10 ranking. But I reallyyy don’t have a good feeling about this announcement…..

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Hmm, how does the EBU define “exciting”? Will it really be exciting,as in more interesting and engaging and less monotonous for the TV viewers? How does one do that, really? Will they do minor tweaks to voting, running order, staging and participation by the big 5 and allow some guest country to perform? Good questions! We’ll see just how “exciting” it really is by tomorrow morning!

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Mawnck and Denis are absolutely right about the USA. Eurovision is a complete blank to 99.8% of Americans. That’s not to dismiss the level of interest in those of us who know about it. I started watching in 2010, and most people I introduce to it end up loving it. Last year I rounded up a crowd of about 40 fans to watch the contest live at a local pub. This year will be even bigger – maybe 60 or 70. American tastes definitely diverge from the popular European vote – last year’s voting among our group put Loic Nottet… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

I would suspect that the change might include something with the Eurovision app! Just like in Melodifestivalen, I would guess that u will be able to vote in some way through the eurovision-app, and through that, Eurovision would be “up-to-date” and engage a lot more people to vote. If U check eurovision.tv and the ESC2016 event under “CONTEST”, u can se that they write under voting that: “We will shortly explain you everything you need to know about the voting. Stay tuned!” And remember, the Eurovision-app was first introduced in 2013.

silvester
Guest
silvester

The ESC is not SVT’s property. If the change is not for the better than be prepared for reactions. Many people already think that SVT is ruining the contest.

MGR
Guest
MGR

Maybe it will be points for starting position?

Denis
Guest
Denis

I don’t think it will be inviting or allowing non-European countries in the contest. Mostly I don’t believe there is enough interest in the countries and therefore not enough viewers. Especially for USA, most Americans still haven’t heard of ESC or knows what it is exactly. It would be a risk to do so. A super final? Only those who still feel raw about their precious Italy losing out think it’s a good idea. The contest is already long enough with almost 4 hours. Having a super-final would force the contest into another hour, and I don’t think anyone, not… Read more »

dragvision
Guest
dragvision

eurovision start to 20.00

MGR
Guest
MGR

FIFA World Cup is greatest tournament in the world, and here is needed global song contest organized in a similar way. Quarter-finals in maximally 50 groups are similar conception to groups in FIFA World Cup qualification.

Netherlandish
Guest
Netherlandish

So much China hate!
I would like to see another country participate, some chinese roots!
But for this year we’ve got Saara Aalto so goodbye China.

I’m 99% sure its about the voting system.

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“Would it be hard to change the order in which the votes are cast? (= based on the combined vote instead of the jury vote). ” If they stick with satellite feeds, then it would be absolutely impossible, which is why they do it the way they do it. The technical challenges of contacting countries “on the fly” would be insurmountable. They had several problems in 2015, and that was knowing the order well in advance. (It probably had something to do with missing the satellite transmission windows because the contest ran so long.) “I think USA, Brazil, South Africa,… Read more »

LATVIA
Guest
LATVIA

Maybe something as simple as allowing playing instruments live?

But I think it will be another non-european country entering the competition, and new country each year?

Or, maybe something will change in semi finals, like 5 from each half will qualify, not from the whole semi. Or increase the number of qualifiers to 12, as there’s 19 countries which means almost half o the songs will go out.

Andy Lamp
Guest

It would be awesome if there was an online or 100% televote for the remaining 27th position in the final. It would be a great way of getting people more involved, and including even more countries in the final. Perhaps even open up the online vote to global followers? It could be a way the rest of the world could participate in the contest, without really altering the final (since ideally the best countries would have already made it into the final) I’d love to see a global voting component! Be it either a jury or an online vote from… Read more »

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

I would hope for change in the voting system.

Juries only for the semifinals so that not always the 100% qualifiers qualify with sh*tty songs and underdog quality can prevail. But 100% televoting for the Grand Final, because it is disconnecting the fans from the results and there was no need to hand the victory to Sweden, when the fans wanted Italy.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Im reading the comments and i am like wtf people? obviously it is a change in the voting, something that has been uses in melodifestivalen because well,sweden is hosting and they have to change something…. A change that MUST take place, is to bring back the top10 marks on juries,beacuse ranking 26 songs give them power that they shouldnt have…

Darren
Guest
Darren

I really hope that they don’t change the points reveal too much, it’s a Eurovision icon.
Also if China or any other ineligible, non European country enter I will scream however, I would like to see an intercontinental vote. I think USA, Brazil, South Africa, and China should be allowed to vote just not participate. I think if these countries were allowed to vote, it would eliminate predictability and bloc voting while Eurovision expands its viewership without having non-European nations participate.

Sander
Guest
Sander

Would it be hard to change the order in which the votes are cast? (= based on the combined vote instead of the jury vote). That would make the contest really exciting, especially if there is no runaway winner 🙂

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Changing the voting section, by having no spokesperson… I agree that the eurovision vote section of the show, can be made more dramatic and fun to watch. I think getting rid of all spokesperson’s is not the correct way of going about it. The spokesperson is a eurovision tradition. It is also very unique to eurovision and when you hear the words “This is Ireland calling….” you know what this is reference too. I love eurovision, I would feel sad, for such a eurovision tradition to be thrown out the window. I feel if it was to be taken out… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Off topic…..ish :- Sanremo results are out.

In the final with 16 songs Stadio won all 3 voting groups, the public, the expert jury and the Demoscopic poll. All 3 groups could not agree on the 2nd and 3rd best though, all 3 were different.

The point…………………Stadio won the Superfinal of course and in the Sanremo Superfinal of 3 songs, it is NOT a 100% televote and the other 2 juries ALSO vote.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

I hope it’s about the Big 5 + Sweden performing in the semis.

I love the voting segment, please keep it the way it is!
A superfinal, as by many suggested, would be pointless AND extremely unfair. If, say, a “smaller, unsuccessful” country and a country like Russia made it to the Top 2, the winner would definitely be Russia. Televoting only just isn’t fair. That’s also why I hope they’ll keep the juries (but maybe expand them to 10 people).

If China or whatever country is invited, I’ll probably scream.

MGR
Guest
MGR

Generally I think it will be some small trivial change as everyone here propose. It’s so sad.