Earlier this week, the EBU revealed changes to the way the televote points will be announced in Tel Aviv. But that’s not the only changes we’ll be seeing. The European Broadcasting Union has today released the Eurovision 2019 contest rules. And with it come some of the most sweeping changes since the 1978 rule that limited the width of contestants’ flared trousers.
The EBU released the new rules today, along with the statement, “New year, new me, #bestlife”.
There’s a lot to get through with the new rules, but we’ve already been through them with a fine-tooth wiwi comb and have found the most significant changes.
Make no mistake — these rule changes will radically change the face of the contest as we know it, but we can’t help feel that some of these changes are long overdue.
The national language rule returns… with a twist
All countries must perform in a national language… of another country. A random draw will be held to match each country with the language of another. Google Translate will be allowed for any delegations who are not fluent in their allocated language. The rule was successfully trialed last year with MÉLOVIN’s song “Under the Ladder”.
Jon Ola Sand will be forced to mix things up with his catchphrase
The EBU acknowledges that Eurovision boss’s “take it away” catchphrase is getting a bit predictable. Instead, Jon Ola Sand will be given a box of props borrowed from the 2019 acts and a list of alternate catchphrases, which he will randomly select from. The EBU gives an example of JOS wearing one of Bilal’s wigs, Hatari’s leather-studded codpiece and saying “You read those results, Miss Thing!” in a comedic American accent.
Maltese-style pop-up advertising will be permitted
Following complaints from broadcasters that there aren’t enough opportunities to screen adverts, Eurovision 2019 will allow the type of pop-up banner ads as seen in Malta’s former national final. However, due to a misunderstanding, the 2019 rules only allow ads from Maltese businesses, meaning that all of Europe will see pop-ups for Hamilton Travel, 202 Jewellery and two brands of traditional Maltese galletti snacks.
Countries will be allowed to vote for themselves
At last, giving the fans something they have been asking for! All countries will now be allowed to vote for themselves. The Russian delegation has already confirmed that this year, 12 points from Russia will go to Russia.
Jury members will not be permitted to watch the Eurovision Song Contest
In order to keep the jury as neutral and incorruptible as possible, they will not be allowed to view the Eurovision Song Contest. EBU spokesperson Avril van der Füehl explained, “It’s felt that by watching the contest, jury members may form opinions about the competing artists, which may influence their ranking. We expect them to make their decision solely based on fan polls, YouTube reactions, and the ‘Top 10 Euro-hotties’ video that one guy made.”
Jamala will ask every contestant a very uncomfortable question
The green room will no longer be the place for pleasant chat. Ukraine Eurovision queen Jamala will instead get real and ask every contestant an uncomfortable question about their national identity. The EBU has given this example of the sort of question that might be asked for Italy: “Hi Alessandro, hi Mahmood. Welcome to Tel Aviv. So, I have very uncomfortable question to you: pineapple is pizza?”
— Ron K. (wiwibloggs) (@Ronkesc) February 23, 2019
San Marino will become part of the automatic qualifiers
The Big Five becomes the Big Six, as the microstate of San Marino joins the automatic qualifiers. This has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor only identified as “Daddy Hat”.
National final favourites will get a second chance
Each year, fans will be able to vote out five Eurovision entries and replace them with other songs that cruelly missed out on winning their national final. This will ensure that songs such “Cool Me Down”, “Statements” and the Belarus potato song will have their moment of glory.
No act will perform second
Following regular criticism that the acts that perform second always do poorly in the results, the EBU has confirmed that from this year no act will perform in the second position. After the opening competing act performs, Epic Sax Guy will come on stage and perform the “Run Away” sax solo on a loop for three minutes. After that, the second competitive act will perform.
The “no swearing” rule has been replaced with the “f**k yeah” rule
Previously songs were not permitted to contain swear words. This restriction has now been lifted and replaced with a new rule that makes swear words compulsory. This rule change was said to have been initiated by the Swedish delegation. SVT spokeswoman L. Ajax commented “Now everybody can give a f**k!”
What do you think? Will these changes improve the contest? Or has the EBU gone too far? Share your thoughts in the comments section below before midday!
Hi wiwibloggs, hi readers. Welcome to Tel Aviv. So, I have very uncomfortable question to you: post is April Fool’s joke?
Joke, of course.