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article imageEurovision rule change aims to guarantee transparency

By Andrew John     Sep 23, 2013 in Entertainment
In an effort to increase openness and impartiality, the rules for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest are to be changed.
The names of jury members from each country are to be announced before the competition.
In addition, says the BBC, “individual juror scores will also be published immediately after the final.”
There were allegations after this year’s contest – the 58th, which took place in Malmö, Sweden, in May – that votes had been bought for the Azerbaijan contestant.
It was reported in Lithuanian media before the finals of the competition that an undercover video hinted that Azerbaijan was paying bribes for phone votes from Lithuania.
“Previously,” says the BBC, “the identity of jury members – whose votes account for 50% of the points each country awards it competitors – was not disclosed until after the final.
“To increase diversity, music industry professionals can now only take a seat on the jury if they have not participated during the previous two editions of the contest.”
Jon Ola Sand, the event’s executive supervisor, says on the Eurovision website: “Tighter rules with increased transparency are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success. We want to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result.”
Asked why the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Eurovision were implementing these rules now, and not before, Sand says: “Since reintroducing the juries in 2009, we have constantly worked on the jury procedures. We have tightened the measures every year, and gained more information. This was a natural next step.”
As for results of an investigation into alleged attempts to unfairly influence the voting, Sand says they’ll be made available “As soon as we are able to conclude. We are doing this very thoroughly, and will take the time we need.”
The 2013 contest marked the fifth time Sweden had hosted the annual event, the last time being in 2000. There were 39 countries in the competition.
The final was won by Denmark, with “Only Teardrops”, which was performed by 20-year-old Emmelie de Forest. The entry had been widely expected to win. de Forest received 281 points.
Any given year’s winning nation hosts the next competition, so the 2014 event will be held in Copenhagen.
More about Eurovision, Song contest, Eurovision song contest, Emmelie de Forest, Denmark
 
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