New Voting System for Eurovision 2016!

The jury votes and televotes for the Eurovision Song Contest will get a bit more transparent, as organizers announce a new point system for 2016.

The 12 points system has been a staple of the Eurovision Song Contest since 1975. Although there have been minor tweaks here and there with regards to the use of juries or televotes, today’s announcement from the Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest overhaul to the system.

The short version: countries will receive one set of points from juries and another set of points from viewers.

Here’s how it works. Each country’s jury will determine the ten best entries and award points accordingly in the stand 12/10/8-1 format. These will be the results announced by the presenters at the Grand Final. After all 43 countries have presented their results, the hosts of the Contest will announce the viewer votes for each song. Again, each country’s viewer votes will be ranked 12/10/8-1, but the hosts will be announcing the cumulative totals. For example, if a song received points from 15 different countries (a few 8’s, a couple 7’s, maybe a 12 or a 1), that sum will be added to the country’s total and will reveal the final score. Presumably, we will not know who the winner will be until the very end of the show.

There are a number of advantages to this new system. First, there’s less of a validation issue since it would be extremely difficult for a jury and a country’s televote to both be tampered with in a way that would make results unfair. Second, it eliminates the complaint people have had the last few years where the winner was announced as soon as a win was mathematically inevitable, thereby eliminating the participation of some countries revealing their votes.

However, my favorite new development involves the revelation of the viewer votes. The announcement will be done in order of fewest points received. How crazy will it be if the hosts are forced to say “Germany: Nil Points” or “Austria: Nil Points”?1 Also, this means we will get a definitive ranking of the 26 entries, both as the juries and home audience rate them. That’s really useful data for the prognosticators among us.

The downside of this new system involves determining the overwhelming popularity of the winning entry. Norway’s record of 387 from 2009 will likely be broken by this new system, though perhaps when the full results are released after the Contest the pre-modified scores can be determined.

What do you think of the new scoring system?

  1. I’m just going by last year’s result. No shade!  

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