Stockholm 2016

EBU: “Change is coming!”

Interesting news from EBU. This morning, we saw a teasing tweet, saying we could expect change to come. The details of this change will be announced tomorrow, as the tweet below shows, but we can have a guess in which direction we need to be looking.

We don’t need to make a secret out of it: Sweden, or more SVT, always proposes some big changes for the contest. Where Denmark only changed not seeing the spokespersons until the eight points in 2014, Sweden removed the random draw in 2013. This might be a big change we’re looking at. After having a look on social media, some changes seem more likely than others. We’ve listed some of the suggestions below to see how that would fit in with the SVT/EBU hint that it’s going to be ‘a lot more exciting’.

A new country?

Immediately tweets surfaced suggesting the exciting change would be allowing China or Kazakhstan to début in the Eurovision Song Contest. In itself, both options have been discussed before. EBU has also denied both of those countries would enter Eurovision soon. However, an exciting change could also mean a change in the way they look at those countries. Then again, it doesn’t really seem likely that they’d change their views so much in just a few months. We know, EBU likes to change things, but they’d have been planning a new début ages ago and they wouldn’t actually openly lie about it. They’d just keep quiet. So this might not be the most likely ‘exciting change’.

Move the starting time an hour forward?

This is a change suggested by Martin Österdahl, the Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, a while ago. He said that the starting time of 21:00 CET was too late and a change to an hour earlier would be preferable. At 20:00 CET, you’d make it a true family event.
However, this suggestion was allegedly turned down by the responsible people. An understandable decision: Sure, you’d move it forward from 22:00 to 21:00 in Greece, but at the same time, you’d ask British viewers to tune in at 19:00 and that really isn’t something you should want.  Probably not the change either, then.

Can we keep the 50/50 split?

A point fans are always discussing, really after last year. Italy won the televoting, but juries only placed it sixth. Italy was also a point of discussion in 2011, when the juries loved Raphael Gualazzi and made him their winner, but televoting didn’t agree and put him in eleventh place. And then there’s Poland in 2014.
There are many cases where juries and televoting disagree. But in general, the trend is that the juries have made a change to the contest and are doing a good thing. What most people however do agree on is the fact that you need to find a way to stop juries absolutely killing a song, like Poland in 2014. But there’s other ways to do that, you don’t need to scrap the juries or change their share of the vote.

Make the voting more exciting?
In December, that same Martin Österdahl said he though the voting needed to be more exciting. We then listed a couple of ideas how SVT could be doing that, but they went quiet ever since. Neither Österdahl, nor EBU ever said anything about the voting. That could mean two things: The ideas weren’t liked by EBU and the suggestion has died down or this might be the change we’re looking at?
Ideas could include getting spokespersons to Stockholm to avoid satellite issues, getting rid of spokespersons, or even get the non-qualifiers in as one big vote. You could also take a look at Melodifestivalen, as we know SVT likes to do, shown by their running order decision from 2013. In Melodifestivalen, we first get the jury results and then the televoting results as one big pot, presumably by Petra or Måns. All of the ideas have their positive and their negative sides and will sure create many questions with the fandom as well as with the general viewers.

Stay tuned

Stay tuned as tomorrow, at 10:00 CET, EBU will reveal what the actual change is. Do you think one of the suggested options might be the one SVT and EBU are going with? Or will it be something completely different? Let us know!

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