SVT — the Eurovision 2016 host broadcaster — hates that feeling when we already know the Eurovision winner before the voting segment is over. Just think back to Eurovision 2012 in Baku when Loreen had already stormed past the finish line and to Eurovision 2013 when it became clear Emmelie de Forest had won before the final countries presented their points. Well, that is set to change this year in Stockholm, as SVT will introduce a new voting presentation system whereby we won’t know who the winner is until the very last minute.
The decision was unanimously approved by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group. The EBU are dubbing the dramatic points update the “biggest change to Eurovision Song Contest voting since 1975”, when the douze points voting system was first introduced.
The actual voting remains the same — 50% jury and 50% televote. What’s different is the presentation of the points during the show that gets an overhaul. This year spokespeople from each country will first present the jury points. After all the countries have presented the jury scores, the hosts will present the overall televote score.
And for those wanting detailed information on the jury and televotes for each country, this will be made available on Eurovision.tv after the broadcast.
Here’s how Eurovision.tv explained it:
After viewers have cast their votes by telephone, SMS or using the official app, each national spokesperson from the 43 participating countries will be called in to present the points of their professional jury. After the presentation of the scores from the juries, the televoting points from all participating countries will be combined, providing one score for each song. These televoting results will then be announced by the host, starting with the country receiving the fewest points from the public and ending with the country that received the highest number of points, building towards a guaranteed climax.
Melodifestivalen fans will recognise this system from Sweden’s national selection. Who among us can forget the drama when Ace Wilder lost out to Sanna Nielsen at the very last second, or Robin Stjernberg’s unexpected win when he overcame YOHIO’s televote charge.
Will this make the broadcast longer? In SVT’s video, Christer Björkman explains that the the votes from 1 to 10 are displayed on screen, with the spokesperson only delivering the 12 points. This means there’s still room for those Eastern European comedy routines that fans just love.
The new system will also keep the tension running right until the end. There’ll be no “We’ve done the math…” announcements, and no more awkward moments where spokespeople are forced to deliver their 12 points to countries who can’t possibly win anymore.
The semi-finals will use the same voting process, but as per usual, only the top 10 will be revealed on the night, in random order.
How it works
“All competitions are enhanced by creating a dramatic finish,” Eurovision Song Contest Producer, Christer Björkman, told Eurovision.tv. “This was a unanimous decision taken by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group. It’s about creating TV magic.”
His colleague Martin Österdahl, Executive Producer for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, agrees whole-heartedly: “In previous years the winner has been known for up to 20 minutes before the end of voting and that’s not good TV. This format change will inject a new level of excitement into the finish of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
SVT explains the new voting presentation
We’ve crunched the numbers to test whether this new system would make the ending of the show more dramatic. Read about it here.
What do you think of the new system? Will it improve the show? Or should the EBU stick with the old ways? Share your thoughts below.