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.

You read those results, Miss Thing!

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?”

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!

Update: 12:00

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.

Read more lists posts here

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Malcolm CuschieriZelenoviAn American ESC Fanjonathanlopez_esGrftn Recent comment authors
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Malcolm Cuschieri
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Malcolm Cuschieri

I knew that it was an April fools joke the moment Jamala was mentioned.

Malcolm Cuschieri
Guest
Malcolm Cuschieri

And when my country Malta was going to annoy the whole Europe with our dumb advertisements. Meanwhile we Maltese will still see the ads.

Zelenovi
Guest
Zelenovi

Melovin singing in google translate!! I died. ;)))) Amazing work Robyn and team wiwi, 12 points to you!!!

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

Ngl I was convinced this was all real until we reached the part about Jamala lmao. Nice prank.

jonathanlopez_es
Guest
jonathanlopez_es

Robyn… I love you so f***ing much!!!!!

Grftn
Guest
Grftn

The Jamala tea ahahhaah
It will never get old

ESCBennn
Guest
ESCBennn

Is it embarassing that I only realized this was a prank when I read the Jamala thing ??

Chingiz
Guest
Chingiz

Robyn, I loved the article! Well written, and can’t believe so many people fell for it. My bf is kiwi as well btw, and ever since meeting me, he’s been obsessed with ESC (had no idea about it before). From where in NZ you’re from, if you don’t mind me asking of course?

Guest
Guest
Guest

I mean i wanted that idea of San marino to be Big 6………. just for one reason…….

to see Valentina Monetta every year

R
Guest

And Conan Osiris did a cover of Telemóveis in Albanian! 😀

(title was something like Një Prilli Genjeshtrave)

Malteser
Guest
Malteser

I was insanely confused until I got to the Maltese style adverts. Gotta love the galletti.

beccaboo1212
Guest

I’m glad this is an April Fool’s prank. 🙂

Royal Pilot 116
Guest
Royal Pilot 116

I actually believed this when I read it. I wanted to cry because I thought Eurovision was going down hill. But Thank God I read till the end! Happy April 1st!

...
Guest
...

Wiwibloggs, thanks for the pranks! Hahahaha

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Lol

Marianne
Guest
Marianne

I can’t believe I ALMOST fell for it lol

Adam carleton
Guest
Adam carleton

Imagine if the one about San Marino was true. I’d scream with joy

Eyal
Guest
Eyal

Loved the “update”! LOLOLOL
The whole thing is so well written.
ROBYN YOU ROCK!

Meliris
Guest
Meliris

Conan Osiris has taken this very seriously and recorded tel-a-moviv in albanian already.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Well, EBU also made an April Fool’s joke, but by mistake already revealed it two days ago.

JusticeForMaruv
Guest
JusticeForMaruv

Until I got to Jamala bit, I actually believed it. I’m a dummy. 😛

Lenchen
Guest
Lenchen

That’s a great article! So much fun to read!

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

That was so much fun to read! Despite the fact I don’t know if I’ll be able to see Jon Ola Sand again without picturing him as a member of that band the blog filter hates. 😀

ESC Fan
Guest
ESC Fan

Omg…I love this article…I laughed sooooo much…at first i thought it’s true oh my God…this is the best article ever…I’m still laughing….I can’t stop

Yeeep
Guest
Yeeep

Lolololol… So cool… Russia would always win ?????

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

The national final favourites getting a second chance at the expense of the bottom-feeders is not actually a completely horrible idea.

Jannik
Guest
Jannik

“Jamala will ask every contestant a very uncomfortable question”. This one was good. LOL “Daddy Hat” too.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

I cackled at the MELOVIN shade

La Signora
Guest
La Signora

Robyn you are a legend 🙂

Freddy
Guest
Freddy

The first of April , what fools we are.

Luke A
Guest
Luke A

I’d love them to bring the language rule back because I really like when countries sing in their native language, but this would be even better getting countries to sing in other countries languages, just a shame it was an April fools joke

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Made me smiling 🙂 Thank you so much! <3

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

kjhckasdjakdjk the maltese pop up ads had me spitting my tea

Raoul
Guest
Raoul

Lol well done!

Yana
Guest
Yana

Yeah, Happy 1st April !!!!

Denis
Guest
Denis

Forlike a minute I actually thought it was real:)
Good job Wiwibloggs!

Marco
Guest
Marco

Brilliant!!!!! I started reading and I thought it was so serious until they mention JOS wearing a wig….

Kris
Guest
Kris

Increasing people allowed on stage to 8 would be more welcome and believable.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

No thanks. It would probably mean less focus on music, and more focus on other things. Most bands don’t have more than 6 members anyway

willchrisiam
Guest
willchrisiam

I don’t know about 8, but they should really increase the number to 7. The seventh person doesn’t even need to be alowed to sing. The stages are way bigger then they used to be and this way you could have 2 backing singers and 4 dancers. Having an odd number of dancers (including the main singer) looks better and 3 is just not enough. I mean you could go with 5 and just 1 designated backing vocalist but good luck finding backing singers who are also great dancers outside Sweden, Russia and maybe few other countries.

Kris
Guest
Kris

This one didn’t fool me one bit !!
Last year’s prank was more believable

Avril van der Füehl
Guest
Avril van der Füehl

Avril van der Füehl, I’m dying

Idksmth
Guest
Idksmth

You got me until we got to that ad part. A good one. Also the f**k yeah rule should be a thing. And plz bring Jamala to ask the uncomfortable question for most probably Duncan aka the winner of this years ESC.

Tomás davitt
Guest
Tomás davitt

Omg the “pineapple is pizza?” Made me LOL

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

You should have come with an exclusive running order reveal as april’s fool
Something like
SF1
Poland
Cyprus
Belarus
Serbia
Montenegro
Slovenia
Czech Rep
Hungary
Finland
Iceland
Australia
Greece
Portugal
Belgium
Estonia
San Marino
Georgia

SF2
Switzerland
Sweden
Romania
Ireland
Denmark
Armenia
Austria
Moldova
Latvia
The Netherlands
Russia
Norway
Malta
Azerbaijan
Albania
North Macedonia
Lithuania
Croatia

Elliot
Guest
Elliot

Ha ha.. very funny

Eyal
Guest
Eyal

Loved the Jamala one! LOL!
That “Welcome to TLV” meme will serve ESC fans for years!

Mr Right
Guest
Mr Right

I was like: WTF?

Rom
Guest

I would not mind seeing Eurovision acts cussing on stage. It would be edgier, give more memes, and i mean, theyre artisist with the artist freedom to say f^&% if they wanted to.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

imagine the s!sters ending their friendship brutally n comin back in 2020 with a song insulting each other, how iconic would that be ? “don’t u try to play me, BYATCH !!!”

esc stan
Guest
esc stan

Happy birthday Sergey!

Conor K
Guest
Conor K

Almost got me. Almost

Leo M
Guest
Leo M

Love it! Happy April Fools Day