"Europe Start Voting Now!" This evening the voting for the Junior Eurovision has begun. In an attempt to expand viewers, and Eurovision interaction, the EBU have now included online voting for viewers all around the world to contribute to deciding the winner. Viewers from around the world can watch the recap of the songs, and can vote for up up to 5 songs. The EBU's chief executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand, gave an interview to ESC Daily earlier on and said it could be expanded to the adult version of the show.
Jon Ola Sand said that, "Technology develops, so for the future, who knows, online voting could be a good solution (referring to adult Eurovision). That's why it is good to test it out here at Junior Eurovision".
What Are The New rules?
Online voting started earlier, and will be stopped at 15.59 CET just before the live show. After all participants have performed again, it will re-open for a further 15 minutes. Each song will receive points based on the percentage of the online votes it gets. This will make up 50% of the vote, whilst the other 50% will come from a professional jury. Viewers must vote for atleast three countries, but can vote up to five. Voters can also vote for their own country.
What Are The Benefits Of An Online Vote?
As Jon Ola Sand has stated in his interview, it gives all viewers a chance to participate. It also opens up the contest to a larger audience, which in turn will increase the popularity of the shows. It is also a modern way of interacting with the audience, and shows Eurovision is moving with the times.
What Are The Negatives Of An Online Vote?
It could lead to abuse and fraud of the system. Currently, telephone votes are regulated and checked for irregularities. Online would make this more difficult. Also, people from Russia and Poland who have larger populations compared to the smaller countries such as Malta could see their percentage of the vote dwarf them. This combined with a possible diaspora voting could see some nations benefiting massively. Also, voting before the show takes an element of the live show out of the equation.
Could Online Voting Work?
Technically we will find out on Sunday night when all votes have been cast, and analysed. There is no reason why it shouldn't. A similar format is used for the Finnish national final where viewers can vote before the live show. However the result of this only makes up an eighth of the final score not the 50% as it does in Junior Eurovision.
Could Online Voting Work For Adult Eurovision?
Again, in theory it could. It is a fantastic way of gaining new, and younger viewers. However, with around 43 countries participating not all will like how you can vote for your own song. Many like San Marino with very small populations will not be able to compete on an equal footing with those such as Russia who have larger demographics. Certainly, when songs are reprised, viewers are always told not to vote for their own song. Many Eurovision viewers are used to the televote, and may not like technology. However, this could easily be solved by having televote making 25% of the vote, and online voting also 25%. With tweaks to the system it could possibly work.
Could 2018 be the final year where we hear those famous words, "this is how..... has televoted?" Tell us what you think of the proposed online voting to Eurovision, and if you agree that voting for your own country would work? Let us know in the comments below.
Don't forget if you liked the interviews and articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, tweet @ on Twitter, # on Instagram, and continue to check our website out. Stay tuned for more Eurovision news, gossip and interviews. Please do not forget to like and comment on our articles below.