As 2020 preparations come into full-swing — with the final countries confirming and the organisation revealing the slogan — we are gradually seeing the Eurovision landscape taking shape ahead of the upcoming edition.

Recently, Toñi Prieto, the Entertainment Director of Spain’s RTVE, said that the EBU was considering a change to the voting system. She said that officials were thinking and talking with the delegations and floating the idea of changing the voting system — potentially by making it a full jury or a full televote affair.

And updates on that situation have arrived via Greece. Maria Koufopoulou, director of International Relations of ERT, has disclosed to Sputnik News that at a workshop held in September alongside the EBU, delegations voted in favour of maintaining the current 50-50 jury and televote split. In fact, 80% of delegates voted not to change the current voting system, according to Ms Koufopoulou.

“I participated in the Workshop, along with my two colleagues, and there was the question of whether EBU members were satisfied with the current voting system,” Maria said.

As we know, concerns were raised after the Eurovision 2019 final over the cancellation of the Belarusian jury’s rating and the scandals that followed. But nevertheless, the current system was deemed the fairest after it was all taken into account. No word on whether there will be tweaks to the jury panels or the televote calculations just yet, but it’s safe to say that there are extensive reviews happening at every step to avoid possible issues and a repeat of recent gaffes.

EBU ‘opens up’ hotel pricing

Among other topics discussed at the meeting, the EBU and the Dutch are currently consulting with hotel owners in the city of Rotterdam about room rates. They’re encouraging them not to raise them excessively. That would prevent many fans from visiting and would be antithetical to the recently revealed motto of “Open Up”.

The current Executive Supervisor of Eurovision Jon Ola Sand, who is stepping down after the 2020 contest, has also given a farewell speech, thanking EBU members for their longtime collaboration and saying he’ll give his best to make the 2020 edition wonderful. He’s apparently looking forward to his new role at his native broadcaster, NRK.

What do you think must be done to make sure the voting system works best? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ana
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Ana

Everybody complaining about the jury while the televoters picked one of the cheesiest songs to be the winner of 2019, and put Serhat in the top 10 position. Who’s going to fix your picks guys? How the EBU is going to deal with that “special” taste of the public? Remember the quality of the entries in the early 2000s? When it was 100% televote? Who wants to go back to that?

PP77
Guest
PP77

OK, but increase jury members from 5 to 16 (we had 16 members in 80s,90s)

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

Fully agree. Juries are good but should have more members to make the result more representative!

Trash KAN
Guest
Trash KAN

I don’t mind about the percentage of the split voting. I only care about how EBU will select the juries. Jury system needs changing where inept and biased jurors should be scrapped. They do some mistakes alone or collectively yet it could hurt much to a given song and artists that earns a deserving place in the end. You can’t always believe a song will screw up just because of these handful of jurors. And these jurors had to come back the year after and repeat their mistakes.

Stevan
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Stevan

For starters, get juries that can read the instructions. Also, have more jurors.

Jake
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Jake

I know Sweden gets a lot of flack for being a jury favorite but I just went back and checked it out and in the last several years there’s a consistent over scoring of Sweden by juries relative to the public. And they’ve never performed in the final in the first 7 slots since the producers picked slots. The earliest they got was 9 because Frans picked it. It’s really startling. They hardly get 12s from the public outside of Scandinavian countries and yet 7-9 juries put them tops. So weird. And I personally love Sweden and Melo but there’s… Read more »

esc1234
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esc1234

Christer Bjorkman aprroves this article

Melissa j
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Melissa j

The real problem came from when they separated the jury and televotes. They should combine them all together like they used to, then there’s less angst and it balances out better. Also, just have the jury award points to their top ten songs rather than rank all of them. Makes it much harder to screw up and prevents juries from purposefully voting down countries they don’t like. (Looking at you, Azerbaijan/Armenia)

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Exactly right Melissa j. The separation mainly causes more complaints, while it’s too much to expect a juror (or anyone else) to rank 26 songs in order. A few YouTubers can manage it, but sadly they’re not jury members. What we had already wasn’t broken, and produced the Eurovision moment of the decade. When Ukraine’s eight points meant Conchita couldn’t be caught.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

thank GOD! I was so nervous it should be the horror diaspora televoting again. You could from 1998-2008 guess 1 year before what points countries would get. Is that really fun and fair you guys think? i dont get it! If you like that kind of boring horrible predictable voting your not true fans of fair play.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

One can still guess that.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

not now when the televotes are in a big voting pile. i meant before when it was announced 1-12. it was really boring. dont you think?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

i guess Armenia, Greece, Romania , Azerbaijan, Russia,Lithuania, Poland voted AGAINST this system haha. They have the most diaspora voters out there. I know what Turkey would have voted.

jack
Guest
jack

I guess Sweden, Norway, Iceland,Denmark,Estonia,Finland dont vote each other right?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

hey sweden hater 2. you and polina here should be friends:) he is number 1 :). Actually if you look back. In sweden we didnt vote the same for 10 years in a row like Greeece for example. so your WRONG:)

jack
Guest
jack

of course you are happy, without Juries Sweden would still have 5 victories.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

Predictions now: at least 1 scandinavian (likely Sweden) country in top 5, at least 2 “message songs” (likely climate change this year) in top 10. Oh and Russia in top10

Its not that hard

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

No surprises there. But I will say that 80% of delegations voting in favor of jury voting speaks a clear language that needs to be accepted. Of course, it has NOT been fair at all with the way it has been handled so far: Only five people per jury (including various questionable choices in the past), insufficient scrutiny messing up the results. So, no, the current way of conducting this system is NOT fair. It COULD be fair(er) if they did it properly. It is the EBU who needs to see to that. And anybody not being able to provide… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Obviously, I’d love to know who the 20% were.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Greece, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Russia,Poland 100% for sure. dont you think?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I wouldn’t be 100% sure but it sounds plausible. I would think Lithuania for sure. Macedonia is an interesting case. They often didn’t qualify because of the jury voting, yet this year they won it. So I guess they like it now.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Azerbaijan usually does better with juries than televoting. Like this year. Or qualifying in 2014 and 2015. Swedish factor I guess.

Finland or Switzerland (almost every year) did better with televoting than juries in this decade.

Gilad
Guest
Gilad

The jury group need to be bigger and more from every generation that every generation will feel represent in jury vote, adding a eurovision fans will add as well, the jury need to be more represting their own country… In last year it was so different in each generation, clearly the jury need to get revamp

Denis
Guest
Denis

Having a fan jury is pointless because that’s what you have the televoting for.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Including a bunch of “real, regular” people in the mix seems good to me. After all, they are “the market”. Fan juries sound like an absolute nightmare.

Denis
Guest
Denis

100 % of any system is never good. Thats is incredibly flawed. 50/ 50 split is the best solution since both corrects eachother flaws.

Alex
Guest
Alex

They should just offer an award and a shoutout to the jury and televote winners. Give them a smaller trophy. Tamara and Keiino deserved recognition for winning their categories. It’d be cool. Like Salvador could’ve had all 3 and Jamala, Dami and Sergey too.

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

100% behind this

Loin dici
Guest

I mean, if the members still want that, there ain’t much problems about the system.

However, if it’s impossible to increase the number of juries or raise the standard, then the judgement criteria is the most possible to be revamped.

Davve
Guest
Davve

Definitely in terms of knowing what rules are in order. But in terms of ”voting like the televoting”.. no

Loin dici
Guest

“Definitely in terms of knowing what rules are in order.”

Indeed. I’ve seen some viewers taking notice of the weirdly loose criteria the EBU has given the juries.

In my head, I have an idea for a simple but scored guidelines. They might divide the scoring into a few points i.e “arrangement-presentation-lyrical substance-contextuality-mass appeal” and score them 1-5 in each criteria. Then, it will be added and ranked. That’s enough to tighten the criteria just a ittle bit.

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

What is the full criteria for the juries? Tried looking after this years contest but couldn’t find it.

Davve
Guest
Davve

Good! Juries are needed!

wt2wt
Guest
wt2wt

Sure, because you are from Sweden. What else would you say?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Well Sweden always send quality song ( i am not from sweden)

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

1998-2008 you could ONE year before the contest guess countries 8,10,12 points. Do you think thats fun and fair to have diaspora voters only again? I know greeks, turks, armenians loved it because they are so many. but the rest didnt

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Stop trashtalking nations pathetic bjorn

SpirK
Guest
SpirK

That’s so narrow sighted. Literally every country voted in blocks in the years you mention. Yeah, Greece had a very specific country they voted for, as well as Romania but you’re saying you didn’t expect points from every Scandinavian country as a Swede? I mean do some research and see for yourself who voted for whom from the Scandinaviam block, it was really consistent. You could expect at least 25-30 points with very few exceptions. Oh and to make it clear before you call me a hater , I’m very fond of the Scandinavian countries in the contest. Apart from… Read more »

John Moynahan
Guest
John Moynahan

Im so glad the prices of hotels has been brought up. Has anyone seen what is being asked?…….nothing less than €200/night is simply outrageous in a city the size of Rotterdam!!…….even started to consider Amsterdam and commuting to the shows but the prices are equally as astronomical there……..is there any hope that they will reduce, or is The Eurovision now going to be the reserve of the wealthy!……….totally disgraceful!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I haven’t even booked yet because I will need accommodation for about two weeks. I’ve even heard from people who booked their hotel on the day the host city was confirmed and it was high even then. People say one option is to stay at a nearby town like The Hague, but even hotels in those places are costly. Also, who wants a commute to the press centre each morning and evening?

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Do people who book a regular hotel for these kind of prices even exist? They must have too much money on hand then.

Olivier
Guest
Olivier

A city the size of Rotterdam? Strange argument, as Amsterdam and Rotterdam are roughly the same size. There are 2.7 million people within a 25km radius from Rotterdam. Within a 20 minute train ride, you’ll reach Delft, The Hague, Gouda, Dordrecht, all of which are really nice cities to stay as well. Just expand your search radius! The entire Netherlands is essentially one big city. Distances between cities are tiny.

John Moynahan
Guest
John Moynahan

That was exactly my argument when i said a city the size of Rotterdam….it is a major city with more than enough accom capacity. However, it seems not to have all been made available as yet and that amount that has, has been priced outrageously…….i hope this is a temporary blip and reasonable prices will return……
It sure makes Maastricts decision to block book thousands of rooms in advance of tbeir hosting bid a wise one. If only more cities would follow suit!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’d like to see a rule that says at least two of the five jury members must be 25 or younger. Or maybe they must have at least one teen member. Obviously, people with decades of experience are important, but some countries seem to feature too many middle-aged jurors.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

I think the jury system they had in the 70s/80s where the jury was split 50% male, 50% female, with one member of each gender representing a different age demographic is the best way to do a jury system.

James
Guest
James

Also, there seem to be loopholes with regards to selecting jurors who are supposedly “music professionals”. I read a post somewhere years ago where it stated that some chosen tend to hold corporate positions in record labels (and possibly have less of a background in music) so there’s a great possibility of them favoring commercial viability over song and performance quality so I could see why there is a bias with recent Swedish entries coming from that side of the vote.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

There’s also an issue that smaller countries have a much smaller pool of music industry professionals to choose from. Especially challenging when jurors can’t repeat from year to year. A country like the UK or Sweden would have an almost endless supply of potential jurors, but a country like San Marino or even one as big as Montenegro or Malta is going to struggle at times.

Jake
Guest
Jake

I’m pretty sure in an Eurovision crazy country like Malta they can find 10 people with some sort of music background to judge. They used to have a national final of 24 acts. Just ask half of these people to commit to being a jury.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Well its always nice to have different age juries but for example this year Slovenia has in jury Ula Lozar she participated in JESC in 2014 and was in national selection this year and she gave 10 or 12 points in semi to Zena (Zena was good but i don’t think her song deserve to be in the final) and also in 2016 Lisa Ajax voted for Zoe and Samra so younger jury often voted for singers who are young …. I think its should be in jury 5 different age people ….because also older jury will not be voting… Read more »

Campbell Grace
Guest
Campbell Grace

I hope they at least add more members to a country’s jury

Tomás davitt
Guest
Tomás davitt

I’m glad the hotel thing has been brought up – the prices in not only Rotterdam, but also Amsterdam are astronomical. Even more than Tel Aviv was!

Martin
Guest
Martin

True! Prices in Tel Aviv were not that expensive as in Rotterdam…. Of course, they were high, but still…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

too bad, i was hoping they’d downweigh the jury vote’s influence or at least do sumthin to resolve the obvious problems with it. i wonder who the 20% delegations who wanted to change the voting are, i guess russia wanted 100% televote

Joe
Guest
Joe

If anything, Russia would want to keep the juries. They held on to a jury vote as long as humanly possible, even when other countries started moving towards televoting. In the article, they mentioned that it was mostly difficult for smaller countries where it’d be harder to find people who aren’t all attached to the same record label and so forth (so, what, Cyprus, Moldova, Malta, San Marino, Montenegro? A lot of Cyprus’ acts are from the same labels as the Greek acts, so if anything the Cypriots are trying to prevent their infamous bloc voting with Greece).

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

yet cyprus’ juries have always given greece their 12s lmao

Davve
Guest
Davve

What problems? That they dont vote exactly like the televoters

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

y’all are gonna ignore the fact that THREE juries effed up this year smh plus they vote based on their taste just like televoters which isn’t fair. give them objective criteria instead n they’ll start making sense.

Loin dici
Guest

It’s possible they’d organize an objective list of criterias. You’d have to wait, it’s still frickin’ November.