Let’s face it, the Eurovision voting system is confusing. The famous 12 points are actually 10 points. The final vote is split 50-50 between a professional jury and the voting public. To give that some perspective, imagine that the three judges on American Idol have 50% of the vote when deciding the winner. This means that even if Contestant A is more popular with the public, if Contestant B is favored by the judges, B will be the winner.
This was an issue in 2015 when the winner, Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden, actually came in third in the televoting. Italy’s Il Volo, my personal favorite, won the televote by a considerable margin.
Why bother voting, or even watching, if your votes don’t actually count? That’s the hue and cry that has the Eurovision powers-that-be sweating bullets and making big changes.
Going forward, the professional juries will still have 50% of the vote. However, their votes won’t be combined with televoters in their countries. Instead, all the televotes in every country will be combined together.
From the Eurovision website:
After viewers have cast their votes by telephone, SMS or using the official app, each national spokesperson from the 43 participating countries will be called in to present the points of their professional jury. After the presentation of the scores from the juries, the televoting points from all participating countries will be combined, providing one score for each song. These televoting results will then be announced by the host, starting with the country receiving the fewest points from the public and ending with the country that received the highest number of points, building towards a guaranteed climax.
For those wanting to know how their country has voted, the televoting and jury scores from each participating country will be available after the show on Eurovision.tv.
Yeah, it’s still confusing. You can read the entire article here.
The upshot is that the voting public will have more power and the actual, popular contestant will win rather than the juries’ choice. I was angry about Il Volo’s winning loss last year. I’m pleased with this change, but I also reserve judgment until we see how it actually plays out.
Eurovision 2016 will be held 10, 12 and 14 May in Stockholm, Sweden. You can watch the entire contest live on eurovision.tv.