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
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.