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Eurovision to open voting to viewers across the world in major rule change

panarmenian.net04/11th/2023, 1:12

Eurovision to open voting to viewers across the world in major rule change

November 23, 2022 - 15:30 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - The organisers of the Eurovision song contest have extended voting to its global audience and reduced the role of juries, The Guardian reports.

In the most drastic rule changes in its 67-year history, the winning song will be picked by viewers across the world, in combination with a jury of music professionals, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced on Tuesday, November 22. Juries will not, however, be involved in how countries are selected for the final. Qualifying countries will only be decided by the votes of viewers.

The changes, which have been approved by the contest’s reference group, come after “irregular voting patterns” were identified in national jury votes from six countries. As a result jury votes were removed from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino.

Sietse Bakker, a Dutch member of the reference group and former producer of the event, said the changes were made to ensure fair play in future.

Writing on Twitter he said: “Following the unprecedented voting irregularities we saw this year, we looked at ways to protect the integrity of the competition. The problem occurred in the semi-finals, this was the best way to end it. Also, difference of who qualifies in public v public+jury vote is minimal.”

He added: “I’ve been around in the Eurovision community for over 20 years and I’ve seen uproar and backlash about changes to the format over and over again. And look where the contest stands now; stronger than ever!”

Bakker also defended the new system against claims that audience votes would produce unfair results. He tweeted: “It is fair, just not objective. No measure is, in a contest that is ultimately judged by people’s personal taste and, in case o...

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