September 20, 2013 - 18:14 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - EBU/EUROVISION released the revised rules for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Although the fundamentals have not changed, organisers are tightening the rules and increasing openness on the jury voting, which makes up 50% of the outcome in each participating country, the Eurovision official website said.
Under the new rules, the names of all jury members will be announced on the 1st of May, before the contest. Additionally, EBU/EUROVISION will publish the ranking submitted by each individual jury member for all shows right after the Final, and thus the split results of jury voting and televoting for each country. To increase diversity, music industry professionals can only take a seat in a national jury if they have not been in the jury during one of the previous two editions of the contest.
"Tighter rules and increased openness are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success," Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of EBU/EUROVISION, adding: "to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result. These changes show that the Eurovision Song Contest is an ever evolving tradition, which continues to adapt to the spirit of time."
"Through this increased openness, we want to assure everyone - participants, press and fans - can come to understanding of how we obtain a valid result. With these changes, we hope to put an end to the kind of speculation we have recently seen," said Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Reference Group.
Over the past months, EBU/EUROVISION has been investigating reports about alleged attempts to unfairly influence the voting.
EBU/EUROVISION will open a section on the contest's official website where jury members and viewers at home can report voting irregularities, so they can be adequately investigated by the organisers, the contest's voting partner Digame and PwC, which is overseeing the voting procedure.
The contest's governing body on behalf of the participating broadcasters, the Reference Group, as well as the EBU's TV Committee unanimously approved the rules.
Earlier this year, Emmelie de Forrest won the 2013 contest with Only Teardrops, securing Denmark's right to host the next edition of the contest for public broadcaster DR.
However, following the 2013 contest, Denmark, along with the runner-up Azerbaijan found themselves in the center of a scandal which put their victory in question.
Denmark was accused of plagiarism by journalists who found similarities between the Eurovision entry “Only Teardrops” and “I Surrender” performed by K-Otic band in 2002. Also, as Lithuanian journalists revealed, Azerbaijan was paying people to vote for their contestant. The two countries’ contenders Emmelie de Forest and Farid Mammadov, were facing possible disqualification; however, a recount of votes was never held.
Semi-Finals of the 59th Eurovision Song Contest are set to take place on Tuesday 6th and Thursday 8th of May, the Final is scheduled for Saturday, the 10th of May. Some 170 million people from over 40 countries are expected to tune in for the upcoming contest.