The Eurovision Song Contest has announced major voting changes for 2023.
- READ MORE: Sam Ryder on his debut album and life after Eurovision: “Who knows what will happen next?”
Next year’s event, which is due to be held in Liverpool, will see professional juries scrapped from the semi-finals, meaning that viewers alone will choose who qualifies for the grand final rather than a mix of jury and viewers.
Although the people’s votes will count in the semis, the professional juries will return to contribute to the grand final.
Countries that are not competing in the contest will also be allowed to cast votes for the first time in the semis and the final and will essentially count as votes from one country – in this case, Rest of World.
The move comes after it was reportedly discovered that six juries traded votes at this year’s contest in Turin, Italy.
Irregular voting patterns were detected from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino, according to organisers, the European Broadcasting Union, reports BBC News.
Allowing non-participating countries to vote will reflect “the global impact of the event,” said Martin Österdahl, the contest’s executive supervisor.
“Everyone watching the show, wherever they live in the world, can cast their votes for their favourite songs.”
The United Kingdom’s entry Sam Ryder came in at second place to Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra at Eurovison 2022, scoring an impressive 466 points overall with his song ‘Space Man’.
In a lengthy statement, EBU explained the reasons why Ukraine couldn’t host the 2023 event. “The EBU fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest cannot be staged in Ukraine, this year’s winning country,” the body said.
“The decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are met to guarantee the safety and security of everyone working and participating in the event, the planning of which needs to begin immediately in the host country.”
The UK has staged the Eurovision Song Contest eight times previously: London (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977), Edinburgh (1972), Brighton (1974), Harrogate (1982) and Birmingham (1998).
Earlier this month, Kalush Orchestra expressed hope that Eurovision 2023 could still be held in Kyiv.
Speaking at this year’s MTV EMAs ceremony, lead singer Oleh Psiuk said: “This year our country will make the best artists, the best music, to win one more time. So when we win the war, Eurovision 2023 could be in Kyiv.”