Discussions ongoing at EBU about Eurovision’s juries

News out of Norway indicate that Eurovision broadcaster NRK are in dialogue with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) regarding what to do with the jury system.

The Broadcasting Council in Norway met on 13th June, and Norway’s national final Melodi Grand Prix and Eurovision Song Contest were discussed. NRK has been bombarded with complaints from disgruntled dans who believe there should be changes to the jury system, or that it should be gotten rid of entirely.

NRK’s ​​project manager for MGP, Thea Flinder, revealed that there has been increased involvement in discussions about the jury system after the final this year. She explained that NRK continues a dialogue with the EBU, and that the jury system is being assessed and a decision will be made by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group in January.

The EBU had no comment on the matter, other than a note on why a jury system exists:

Using national juries of musical experts in the Grand Final, who rank all the songs in order of priority, each song can be assessed individually. It ensures the best qualitative ranking of all participants in the Grand Final and that a winner is decided on the broadest criteria.

By using a jury vote for the Grand Final, we can also continue a long-standing tradition of uniting all participating countries on air with spokespeople providing votes from their nation.

With all participating countries voting in the Grand Final, including the points awarded by professional juries, it also helps mitigate diaspora and cultural voting which is reduced by 50% in the semi-finals by assigning countries with similar voting records to perform and vote in separate shows.

Finally, to maintain the suspense of the voting sequence in the Grand Final, with the final winner only known at the very end of the show, two sets of separate votes are still required.

On the one hand, every year there are discrepancies between the jury vote and the public vote. However this year, fans have been much more vocal than in previous years. Eurovision 2023 was the first time that the public vote winner did not win the Contest since 2019.

On the other hand, juries were removed from 1998 to 2008, a period in Eurovision’s history characterized by allegations of bloc voting and silly or joke entries.

What do you think should be done with the juries? Let us know below in the comments or on our social media @escbubble!

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