Some BIG changes are coming to next year's Eurovision Song Contest
These are certain to shake things up.
While one event pitting country against country rages on, a number of major changes to how another - the Eurovision Song Contest - will run have been announced.
Last month, it was revealed that Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine following its win this year.
And now the event's organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), have confirmed there will be changes to how voting in the contest will work.
The countries that qualify from Eurovision's two semi-finals will now be solely decided based on the votes cast by viewers of the competition. This is as opposed to a combination of a jury and public vote as has been the case since 2009.
As well as this, for the first time ever, those watching in countries not taking part in the competition will also be able to vote for their favourite songs online.
Their votes will be added together and converted to points that will have the same weight as one participating country in both of the semi-finals and the grand final.
Major changes to the Eurovision voting system have been announced by @EBU_HQ:⁰⁰
💫 Viewers alone will decide the Semi-Final results
🏆 Jury/Viewers still decide the Grand Final results
🌍 Rest of the World invited to vote too
🗳 Find out more: https://t.co/PGlLJJs5lm
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) November 22, 2022
Meanwhile, professional juries, made up of those working in the music industry, will continue to contribute to the result of the Grand Final.
This is along with viewers in each country taking part and those voting internationally.
“Throughout its 67-year history the Eurovision Song Contest has constantly evolved to remain relevant and exciting," Eurovision's Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl said in a statement.
"These changes acknowledge the immense popularity of the show by giving more power to the audience of the world’s largest live music event.
"In 2023 only Eurovision Song Contest viewers will decide which countries make it to the Grand Final and, reflecting the global impact of the event, everyone watching the show, wherever they live in the world, can cast their votes for their favourite songs.
"By also involving juries of music professionals in deciding the final result, all the songs in the Grand Final can be assessed on the broadest possible criteria.
"We can also maintain the tradition of travelling around Europe and Australia to collect points and ensure a thrilling voting sequence with the winner only revealed at the very end of the show.”
Eurovision Song Contest 2023
Audiences in all participating countries will still be able to vote by SMS, phone or via the Eurovision Song Contest app.
Those watching in the rest of the world, meanwhile, will be able to vote via a secure online platform using a credit card from their country.
Eurovision has said these changes come following "the unprecedented nature of the voting irregularities seen at the 2022 Contest".
In response to this, a working group of EBU Members was established to look at ways to "protect the integrity of the event".
Its recommendations were then approved by the Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board and the Executive Board of the EBU.
The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Liverpool on 9, 11 and 13 May.
More information about the voting changes can be found here.
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