Changes to the rules at the Eurovision Song Contest are nothing new, but at the ESC 2023 in Liverpool the voting procedure will be completely overhauled: juries should only be used in the final, in the semi-finals the audience alone decides.

    In addition, for the first time, viewers should not only be able to vote outside of Europe – after all, Australia has been there since 2015 – but also outside of the participating countries. Their votes should be added up and have the same weight as a single country. “In its 67-year history, the Eurovision Song Contest has constantly evolved to remain relevant and exciting,” said ESC Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl. “These changes recognize the immense popularity of the show while empowering audiences at the world’s largest live music event.”

    The reason for the changes are also irregularities in the jury votes last year. In 2022, the organizing European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that there had been discrepancies in the voting behavior of several countries in the second semi-final. Their jury decisions were then calculated out. The countries whose jury results were not taken into account in 2022 were Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino.

    “Following the unprecedented election irregularities we saw last year, we were looking at ways to protect the integrity of the competition,” wrote Sietse Bakker, a Dutch ESC Executive Committee member, on Twitter. “The problem occurred in the semifinals, that was the best way to end it.” In addition, the difference between audience voting and audience and jury voting is minimal.

    Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Because of the war with Russia, the next ESC should not take place there. Instead, the BBC was commissioned to hold the competition together with the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:Suspilne.