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Netherlands 2014|Latvia 2015|Ukraine 2016|????? 2017
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Of all the recent changes, none seems particularly fair to me.
I get it that juries were introduced to reduce voting bias. I rooted for it myself. But nowadays juries display more bias than televoters, national bias and also record label bias.
Especially juries work in Swedens favour a lot and Sweden is a power player in Eurovision in almost every aspect. They change and manage Eurovision as they will. So it concerns me that juries are sucking up to them. Christer Björkman is a key person of course.
His and his teams worst ideas in my opinion include:
- Change in voting rules in 2013, which gave juries the power to cancel off televotes completely. DR and ORF followed that concept blindly, until the top executives of SVT abolished their own idea and replaced it with yet another new rule.
- Average rankings in 2013, which was terribly intransparent. The actual 2013 votes still remain top secret. DR dumped the idea immediately.
- Executive decision on performance order. The idea to have a mix of uptempo songs and ballads is comprehensible, but in 2016 it included an awful lot of favouritism. Favourites with oddmakers got preferred spots. Other countries must have felt like cannon fodder.
- New voting of 2016. It is exciting but also a killer for all the countries that are called early. The announcement of only 12 points is also too little for me.
- Scripted voting. The scripted dialogues and jokes in the voting section did not work for me. It is better to have a loose conversation and let go the will to control.
- Small arenas. I get the idea that every host country should be able to host. But it is utterly hypocritical to have Melodifestivalen in the biggest arenas and ESC in the smallest possible. Other countries should not be taught by Christer Björkman and SVT how to host Eurovision.
I would suggest to go back to basics:
Every host should be free to host how they want.
Performance order should be determined by a draw
Voting in the Grand Final should 100% televote.
Juries should have a say only in the semifinal by 50%
A less scripted voting segment.
You are aware that Christer is Sweden's head of delegation in Eurovision, nothing more nothing less. He is also part of the SVT production team for Melodifestivalen, although apparently a main part. He has no formal influence at EBU. Here is a list of the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest.
It may be that EBU listens to what Christer has to say. You can't really blame him for that, can you? If anything it shows his devotion to the contest and perhaps that he possess an unique insight of crucial elements of the production. Simply put, he knows what he's talking about. You may not like the direction Eurovision is taking, but that is a completely different thing. The voting system is obviously Christer's idea, at least in main parts. But he didn't decide to change the voting. He is simply not part of the decision making.