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Eurovision opens voting to non-participating international locations for the primary time : NPR


Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra received the 2022 version of the Eurovision Music Contest, held in Italy in Might. Subsequent yr’s contest would be the first ever wherein viewers from non-participating international locations can solid their vote.

Giorgio Perottino/Getty Photographs


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Giorgio Perottino/Getty Photographs


Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra received the 2022 version of the Eurovision Music Contest, held in Italy in Might. Subsequent yr’s contest would be the first ever wherein viewers from non-participating international locations can solid their vote.

Giorgio Perottino/Getty Photographs

Followers of the Eurovision Music Contest who dwell outdoors of taking part international locations will be capable to vote for his or her favourite acts subsequent yr, for the primary time within the competitors’s almost seven-decade historical past.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the competition, introduced the set of main adjustments on Wednesday. They successfully put extra energy within the fingers of the voters whereas broadening the worldwide voters.

“All through its 67-year historical past the Eurovision Music Contest has continually developed to stay related and thrilling,” Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Music Contest’s government supervisor, stated in a press release. “These adjustments acknowledge the immense recognition of the present by giving extra energy to the viewers of the world’s largest dwell music occasion.”

Beginning in 2023, solely viewers will resolve which acts qualify for the ultimate (versus a mixture of jury and public vote, which had been the case for a few years). Juries — composed of music business professionals — will nonetheless solid votes for the ultimate, which can be mixed with the results of the general public vote to find out the full total rating.

And, for the primary time ever, viewers who dwell outdoors of the a number of dozen taking part international locations can vote on-line utilizing what organizers name a “safe on-line platform utilizing a bank card from their nation.” Their votes can be added up and transformed to factors that carry the identical weight as one taking part nation in each semi-finals and the grand closing.

Eurovision representatives instructed NPR over e mail {that a} full record of eligible international locations can be revealed at a later date, however confirmed that the U.S. is prone to be on it.

“It is foreseen that U.S. audiences will be capable to vote on-line,” they wrote.

Contest organizers say they’re making these adjustments now partially due to “the unprecedented nature of the voting irregularities” seen in final yr’s contest.

Days after the newest competitors wrapped in Might, the EBU introduced it had recognized “irregular voting patterns” within the jury votes of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino. Montenegro, Romania and Poland have all pushed again on that accusation.

An EBU working group made this suggestion after exploring methods to guard the integrity of the occasion. Organizers don’t count on the brand new adjustments to drastically have an effect on which international locations qualify for the grand closing: They are saying in an FAQ that they decided which international locations would have certified from the semi-finals between 2017 and 2022 utilizing solely the end result from most of the people.

“We noticed that, in almost all circumstances, when eradicating the Jury outcomes from the calculation, 9 of the ten qualifying international locations from every Semi-Last stayed the identical,” they stated.

The track that certified for the grand closing underneath the earlier system — which “would have missed out if solely public votes had been counted” — went on to complete on the decrease finish of the ultimate scoreboard generally, they added.

Organizers stress that many parts of the beloved occasion (which drew 161 million TV viewers earlier this yr) will stay the identical.

“By additionally involving juries of music professionals in deciding the ultimate end result, all of the songs within the Grand Last may be assessed on the broadest doable standards,” Österdahl stated. “We are able to additionally preserve the custom of touring round Europe and Australia to gather factors and guarantee an exciting voting sequence with the winner solely revealed on the very finish of the present.”

Thirty-seven international locations will compete in subsequent yr’s contest, organizers say. Its semi-finals and grand closing are set to happen in Might 2023 in Liverpool, which positioned second this yr after Ukraine.

Whereas it’s customary for the profitable nation to host the following contest, the EBU concluded earlier this yr that Ukraine couldn’t meet the “safety and operational ensures” required to placed on the occasion as a consequence of its battle with Russia (which organizers banned from competing after it invaded Ukraine in February).

Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian folk-rap group that at the moment holds the Eurovision title, initially pushed again on the willpower that it was unfit, however has since given the British metropolis its blessing.

“Taking part in in the identical place that The Beatles began out can be a second we’ll always remember!” the band stated, in response to the Related Press. “Though we’re unhappy that subsequent yr’s competitors can not happen in our homeland, we all know that the folks of Liverpool can be heat hosts and the organizers will be capable to add an actual Ukrainian taste to Eurovision 2023 on this metropolis.”

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