There’s a rumour floating around at the moment, suggesting that the recent Heads of Delegation meeting may have involved one or two rule changes for Eurovision 2017. So we got to thinking about what sort of rule changes this could involve.

The last big change was at Eurovision 2016, when the presentation of the scoring was changed to create the most tense, nerve-racking, nail-biting finale in years. But are other changes afoot? Rumours suggest something new is to be expected in Kyiv, but no one knows what. Here are some of the more common suggestions for potential Eurovision rule changes.

1. A permanent place in the competition for Australia

As specially invited guest competitors for the past two years, Australia has proven itself a force to be reckoned with. It’s known that broadcaster SBS are very keen to come back for more, but that would require another invitation — unless the EBU changed the rules to allow Australia to compete every year, regardless of SBS only being an associate member of the EBU.

2. A guest spot for Kazakhstan

https://youtu.be/sCVupX8udIk

Like Australia, the Central Asian nation Kazakhstan is only an associate member of the EBU, so to compete the EBU would need to invite them. Fans of Kazakhstan’s efforts at Turkvision are keen to see them debut at Eurovision, but that’s up to the EBU to decide.

3. More people on stage

The current rules only allow for six performers to be on stage, but some countries want more. The argument goes that when that limit was determined in the early 1970s, Eurovision was hosted on small theatre stages — not the massive arenas of modern Eurovision. So why not allow two extra dancers to really fill up the stage?

4. Allow pre-recorded backing vocals

One fundamental rule of Eurovision is that all vocals must be live, but what about doing what many national finals and Junior Eurovision does and allow pre-recorded backing vocals? It would benefit poorer countries by allowing them to save money by leaving their backing singers at home.

5. Change the jury/televote ratio

After Sergey Lazarev won the televote in Stockholm but only placed fifth with the jury vote, the Russian delegation wasn’t happy. Russian Eurovision stalwart Filip Kirkorov has suggested that the jury/televote ratio be changed from 50:50 to 25:75.

6. Change the composite televote

The micro state of San Marino is too small to provide a valid televote. Instead the EBU creates a composite televote score, based on the televoting of a selection of other countries. San Marino isn’t happy that half their vote is coming from votes of other countries. So could there be changes to the way this is determined?

7. Allow live instruments

Bringing back the full orchestra is never going to happen, but what about allowing certain live instruments? Imagine Alexander Rybak performing his “Fairytale” violin live, or Ovi tinkling for real in his giant circular piano. It would complicate staging a little, but it might be allowed if it was restricted to certain instruments that are easy to set up.

8. Wildcard for Margaret to perform “Cool Me Down”

There are many fans who feel that Margaret was cruelly denied the chance to competed at Eurovision with “Cool Me Down”. But what if the EBU bent a few rules and allowed her to enter the song at Eurovision 2017? Oh, we can dream…

What do you think? What rules need to be changed for Eurovision 2017? Or are things fine as they are? Share your thoughts below!

Read more news on Eurovision 2017

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Agnieszka
Guest
Agnieszka

Hi,

Australia – I’m against. They’re not in Europe. Period. Maybe as a guest?
Pre-recorded vocal backup – NO!
More people on stage – I’m indifferent
The jury/people vote ratio – I’m in favour of 30/70%
Margaret – she might perform as a special guest, so that everyone would be able to judge for themselves. I’m against imposing her as Poland’s choice for next year.

Paula
Guest
Paula

Sorry, but I say no for Australia and Kazahstan. It’ Eurovision, not Worldvision.
And say no for Margaret, it’s some joke?

Azotman
Guest
Azotman

Bonsoir Kiev, 1. Australia ? No, it is not Europe. Please, just play rugby, eat kangourous and koalas and leave us alone for Eurovision. Why not organising a contest with your Pacific neighbours, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Fidji, Tahiti, Mururoa..? 2. Kazakstan ? Yes, since Australia was invited twice, anyone can be. 3. More people ? No, this is a song contest, not a theater show. 4. Vocals recorded ? No, it will kill the contest. 5. Jury/Televote ratio ? Yes, I guess a 2/1 televote ratio could be good. 6. Composite televote ? No. 100 % jury is better… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

With the stage being as big as it is, maybe the EBU should consider allowing as many as 8 on stage.

As for the jury, keep it 50/50. Quite a few deserving finalists would have been robbed (Israel, for one), if it had been 75% televote/25% jury.

Anthony Ko
Editor

Mark Beckenbreur, that would be impossible for San Marino under the “locals only” rule. If they don’t have their own televoting section, then how are they supposed to find their own composer, lyricist, backing vocalists and dancers?

PP
Guest
PP

Only like more people on stage (from 6 to 8) but no pre recorder backing vocals
Suggestion incrase number of members juries from 5 to 16 like in 80 ties , 4 age group from 16 to 25, from 25 to 35, from 36 to 45, from 45 , in all group 1 woman 1 man.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Kazakhstan has land in Europe so they have the right to be in ESC. No matter what other competitions they participate in. The world is full of festivals anyway.
For me would be ideal to totally drop the jury, and if you are afraid of bloc televoting, let more countries vote : China, USA, …………
It would be so good for everybody not to spend money with the jury, but to gain money from televote sistem.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Demetrio, the reason juries judge the dress rehearsal is due to technicality. It would be difficult to manage both tele-voting and jury voting the same night, the calculation would take forever.
It’s the same system in Swedish Melodifestival, the jury has always voted the night before. That’s why their votes always comes first, while they calculating the tele-voters

Demetrio
Guest
Demetrio

For me, the Jury final is a joke. There is no reason for Jury final to still exist. I dont understand why juries give their grades in ”their” final a day before the Grand Final. I totally believe that juries MUST give their grades for the appearance which televoters see (Grand Final) and not the apperance of the previous day in the ridiculous ”jury” final. If EBU doesnt want to change this system, then the ”jury” final must be able to be watched on TV or at least online by televoters, as far as it is part of the official… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

1. Australia always send great songs and takes Eurovision seriously. Why not? 2. I love Kazakshtan’s entries in Turkvizyon 3/4. Yes, 8 people on stage makes more sense, if backing vocalists perform live 5. The 50:50 ratio is find. The way EBU chooses the jury is not. 6. The composite vote is quite unfair. Either the jury vote is doubled or televoting given. Why is it not in the first place? I know it’s a small country but still. 7. Interesting.Countries should be allowed to do so if they want to. 8. Get over Margaret already. The song was great… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

There is nothing wrong with the televote/jury vote ratio. Russia didn’t win because it reeked of desperation

Chicken Kyiv?
Guest
Chicken Kyiv?

1. Yes to Australia, it is far more European than Azerbaijan. They love it, and have taken it seriously, they’ve been loving ESC since before most eastern block countries existed, they send great songs that get great results. 2. Well Kaz is definitely Central Asian, but then we let in others, so why not let in Kaz, from what I’ve seen in online fan contests, Kaz has some really great songs, similar sort of to Turkey who it seems we won’t be getting back. 3. I’d increase the number of people on stage to 8. It works in Melfest, and… Read more »

Gilmour
Guest
Gilmour

1 . Australia . Its, not a world vision , its Eurovision so they shouldnt be there no matter what , But in a way they take it serious more than some european countries and they pay more and more countries will take part which is an advantage 2 If Australia is in Kazakhstan have more right to be in because they have a european land Like Azerbaijan Georgia Turkey and Russia . and they have great singers we would be hazing another “Azerbaijan” 3.i dont mind more people on stage it depends how strong is the song 4 I… Read more »

MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease
Guest
MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease

3 – I am not in favour of allowing more people on stage. Hardly any band has more than 6 members. Most importantly, I think it might make the focus shift more towards to the visual performance, than the actual sign. Not a good idea, I think there is no reason why we need more people on stage.

7 – Definately YES to allowing live instruments. It’s a music contest, and it would increase the integrity of the event. Would look more authentic, and probably a lot more interesting for the artists taking part.

Comi
Guest
Comi

1 – Don’t really care, as long as they send good songs they’re welcome 2 – Same as Australia 3 – I would be okay with that 4 – N O ffs N O, I would be soooo done with esc if that happened.That just sets up a good camouflage for the likes of Margaret and those who rely on backing track *cough* most of melfest acts *cough* 5 – I don’t really think that would solve results ‘problems’ tho. But we can give it a try? 6 – This would be okay, the current situation with voting is pretty… Read more »

Stuart Bolden
Guest
Stuart Bolden

So , let’s get one thing straight ! Australia shouldn’t even be in the “competition ” , Kazhakstan ? Maybe . My gripe is the voting , but there isn’t an easy way to “fix” (bad choice of word) this part of the “competition “. In the U.K. We have about a million Poles who take eurovision very seriously and vote for their own country ! That’s why we gave Poland such a high score last year .. it ain’t rocket science ! Also , being a UK citizen I’m fed up with having to pay for the bloody thing… Read more »

stephen podesta
Guest
stephen podesta

I would like to see Australia perform again at Eurovision, they at least bring some new to the show. And about Russia changing the voting Ratio, what a joke they are. In fact I would get rid of the Televote, the televote is a sham because they all vote fo each other irrespective if the song is good or not. The ratio should be 75% jury and 25% televote. Expand the Jury vote to more proffesionals in the industry that will have a more unbiased view on the artists performances. Eurovision is still to political and they must do something… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

Another idea I’ve heard for the juries: Instead of having all the jury members voting together in one room, why not have each juror in a separate room to independently watch the show as they vote. That would decrease collusion between members and give each juror a fair voice, yet each juror would still have to base their vote on the standard set of criteria (artist vocal capacity, stage performance, originality of the song, overall impression)

Nahapa
Guest
Nahapa

Yeeesss. Justice for Margaret.

Mark C
Guest
Mark C

I know it wouldn’t happen again, but I’d like to see them open the phone lines for the whole show again.

Mark Beckenbreur
Guest
Mark Beckenbreur

Not Kazakhstan, please! They belong in Turkvizion. Btw., Azerbuyjan and Turkey should also migrate in there. With Kazakhstan in ESC we will have yet another Turkic – an alien (for Europeans) culture, another Islamic country, which year after year will be giving their highest points to Azerbuyjan, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus. I’m really sorry that EBU is not even considering the question of buying abroad ‘all inclusive’ ESC entries. This is not right.. The singer, composer, lyricist, back vocalists, dancers – they all should be from a country of their origin or be originally (ethnically) from the country they are… Read more »

oli
Guest
oli

1. NO. No offense, but letting Australia be a permanent contestant in the ESC would be like wathing Australia playing in the UEFA European Championship or a girl from Sydney winning Miss Europe. I would love a Wordvision song Contest, but Eurovision should stay in Europe. 2.YES. Having Kazakhstan as a contestant would make way more sense than Australia, even though a special invitation would be fair enough. 3. YES. But I’d say max. 8-10 people if we don’t want to see Ukraine and Azerbaijan organising a Cirque du Soleil every year. 4. NO. We can’t enjoy live music anymore… Read more »

MirkoJoshua
Guest
MirkoJoshua

1. Their only good entry has been “Tonight Again” and they don’t really have something to do with Eurovision… I mean, I love Australia as a country, but seeing it at Eurovision is like putting a chicken on the sea to swim: it’s kind of out of context. 2. That would be the best thing. 3. Oooh that would be fun 4. Pretty fair, it’s annoying when they choose to hide the backing vocalists because they don’t fit in the performance, in this way there wouldn’t be any problem (and countries wouldn’t spend money hiring people) 5. They should drop… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

1. Let Australia stay! They’ve proven themselves with two consecutive top-5 finishes, and it could be a trigger for struggling countries to really up their game and rise to the challenge.
2. I’d have to say no to Kazakhstan
3. I’m neutral on having more people on stage
4. Absolutely not to pre-recorded backing vocals!
5. Keep the jury/televote split at 50:50, but get rid of the ranked ballot for the juries
6. Agree. Why should the smallest countries participating have other voices speaking for them?
7. Live instruments would be a great idea
8. Enough of the wank for Margaret already!

AberSam
Guest
AberSam

To all those complaining about Margaret: take a chill pill its a joke! As far as my own personal opinion, Australia. Yaaaaassss Kazakhstan. I believe that they’re close to competing on their own, so I dont think they should be given a place. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the National TV station is on the path to membership of the EBU.) More people on Stage. It looks great on Melodifestivalen, both live and on screen. And it gives you the option to make a large set up, but not to at the same time. It is just more… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

yes to live instruments and yes to change the stupid televoting rule for micro states!!!

Alex
Guest
Alex

more ppl on stage YES!!!

no change in ratio but increase the number of jury members!!!!!!! and strict criteria please no more journalists!

No to Kazakhstan! No more Asian countries…

#TeamJustin
Guest
#TeamJustin

For those who are saying Michal’s song was better than Margaret make me laugh so hard lol jk.

Racal
Guest
Racal

“After Sergey Lazarev won the televote in Stockholm but only placed fifth with the jury vote, the Russian delegation wasn’t happy. Russian Eurovision stalwart Filip Kirkorov has suggested that the jury/televote ratio be changed from 50:50 to 25:75.”

Russians are just funny! You can’t change the rules to whatever format will allow you to win, that’s just absurd! They should just be thankful for winning in 2008 with an awful song and an awful singer without any jury to stop them.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Don’t y’all understand Australia already has, virtually, a permanent spot in the competition? Didn’t you guys notice how hard EBU tried to make them win with those suspiciously stellar jury points from this year for that mediocre song? Australia is here to stay and it’s going nowhere, get over it.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They should NEVER, EVER, EVER allow pre-recorded vocals. God forbid!!!
I support Australia and Kazakhstan being permanent participants.
Also, I would love to see a 100% televote system again.

Jocelyn
Guest

Also, I’d be fine with Australia permanently in the contest~~

Jocelyn
Guest

People need to let Margaret go lol…

mawnck
Guest
mawnck

“I don’t understand a case with composite televote. What is this about?” If, for whatever reason, a country doesn’t get a valid televote result, the EBU uses some mysterious process they won’t tell us about to create a “composite” televote, somehow combining the results of “similar countries” (which they also don’t tell us about). Since San Marino is itty bitty and doesn’t have its own phone system, its televote is always going to be composite – in other words, it will have nothing to do with actual voting by actual Sammarinese. In fact, nobody outside the EBU even knows where… Read more »

George
Guest
George

The Margaret idea isn’t something that should happen, as she lost to a better song and a better performer (michal szpak- color of your life) and that’s the end of the story. As far as Australia is concerned, their participation is likely in 2017 but I’m not sure about the permanent membership. I’m in favour of more countries joining the contest (not more that 43 countries though in total should compete), as long as the number of the countries competing in the final remains 26 or 27. More countries, means more song left out that is something not good. I’m… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Most of these suggestions sent shivers down my spine. Not in a good way.

eurana
Guest
eurana

Number 5 !

EsCfan
Guest
EsCfan

My idea was to invite the winner of Asiavision as a guest to Eurovision. So we will never see more than one non-European country in Eurovision.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

*First, give it up on Margaret. She lost fair and square. End of story. *Next, I’d love to see associate EBU members like Australia and Kazakhstan participate, but not sure about perm for Oz. *Live instruments sure, but pre-recorded backing vocals? Not really–it’s a singing contest! *San Marino, because of it’s unique situation, should be allowed to provide a jury vote only, not this averaged tele-vote nonsense. *6-10 performers max on stage would be appropriate, esp. with acts that use backing dancers. *Finally, on the split voting, I still believe juries have too much power given their size and composition.… Read more »

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

@ Richard
Let democracy win, and the whole world to vote, if it is full of sentimental, emotional eastern europeans who will give their affectionate votes for eastern countries, just because the heart says so. Just joking, let the whole world vote the way they want.

ct_greece
Guest
ct_greece

No permanent Australia, no pre-recorded vocals and no more than six people on stage please. Less is more. Let’s not turn this into a musical theatre production.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Only agree with 7.

@Nikos: God no! 27 acts in the final last year was a big mistake.

Alenn
Guest
Alenn

Poland made the right choice. Margaret is only good for singing playback, so let her have a career this way. She would have flopped in Eurovision and next day everybody would be like “why didn’t Poland choose Michal or Edyta instead?”

Skandar
Guest
Skandar

permanent spot for Australia? How about nope?

Rokoko
Guest
Rokoko

I don’t understand a case with composite televote. What is this about?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Why is everyone so obsessed with Margaret? She lost and that’s that. Time to finally get over that and move on! Allowing pre-recorded backing vocals would be mistake since it’s a live show. They aren’t going to change the 50:50 system any time soon, I reckon.It works for the EBU and the broadcasters. They won’t change it just because butt-hurt people still feel raw that their outdated favourites didn’t win. Again, time to move on! Making the songs longer would also require the length of the show to be longer. It’s already 3 h 30 min long. Does it really… Read more »

#TeamJustin
Guest
#TeamJustin

Margaret has already stated she’s done with Eurovision. With her career kicking in Sweden and across Europe, she wouldn’t have time for Eurovision. What Poland did to her is unforgivable. #TeamMargaret

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

If new countries join, the final should be bigger, not to make viewers fall asleep till 3 AM, but more than 26 countries. Kazakhstan is european like Turkey (a part of the land), Australia, like Israel is lonely and with european heritage in one way or another. Whatever happens, I hope that will be clear who is in, and who is out.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Yes! Being able to vote outside Europe and Australia would be amazing. Let it happen. This American wants to give his Douze points.