24 January 2017

Why The Eurovision Points System Needs Reverting to 2013 - 2015 Rules

Last year, the Eurovision Song Contest organised a new voting system that came straight out of the Swedish selection program (which is bigger than Eurovision itself in Sweden), Melodifestivalen. The factoring of the 50:50 split between juries and televoting was to be changed - again. But in doing this, the EBU and SVT lost sight of why juries were introduced in the first place. Between 2013 and 2015, the EBU had perfected the voting process and delivered fair results every time. We need to return to this.

After the controversial results of the 2008 final and 2007 semi final, the EBU finally decided that something had to be done about bloc voting. To an extent, bloc voting can be justified as voting for a good song that just happens to be one of your neighbours. Bosnia & Herzegovina's 6th place in 2011 can justify this as a result; ex-Yugoslav countries picked it over the likes of Serbia (with the help of some rather odd voting from Austria). 

Juries were introduced to try to curb bloc voting. The factoring between 2009 and 2012 didn't really help, though. Bloc voting still had an effect and bloc votes would normally end up with at least 6 points in the final standings for a particular country. 

The system between 2013 and 2015 was perfect. Whilst the points awarded overall did not change, the combinations were now done by taking all 26 countries into account. The best way to explain why is to look at an example, and this is the UK's voting in the 2014 final. The public's favourite entry was the erotic entry from Poland (you know, the one with the tits). The juries ranked this disgusting pre-watershed filth 25th and last. As a result, with a total score of 26, the voting system treated this as a bloc vote, and as a result Poland got 0 points from the United Kingdom, whilst the 12 went to Austria (total score of 6). 

The new system, however, does not weed out bloc voting at all in this way. Under the last system, Australia would have won last year's contest, instead of Ukraine. This was done in an attempt to add drama over fairness. However, had the previous years' results been decided in a similar way, especially in a landslide year like 2012, it would become clear who the winner would be when the televotes are being read out. Simply, the system needs reverting for those two reasons.

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