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Eurovision 2015: How to vote, how the countries are ranked and who makes up the jury

Published 22/05/2015

2014 winner Conchita Wurst from Austria performs ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.
2014 winner Conchita Wurst from Austria performs ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

You’ve watched all 40 countries sing their hearts out in the Eurovision grand final, and now it’s time to find out the winner. But it’s not quite as simple as that, because behind the scenes one of the most complex televoting operations in the world is underway.

Oh yes, more than 10 million calls and text messages were processed within minutes from over 200 phone operators during last year’s song contest, making this whole Eurovision malarkey pretty darn complicated.

The cheesiest, campest and arguably most ridiculous of all music competitions has long been plagued with cries of “It’s just political!”, but is it really true that the outcome is always rigged by tactical voting? That’s harder to claim nowadays, with National Juries of experts making up 50 per cent of the vote.

There are all sorts of technicalities involved but never fear, we’re here to brief you on all you need to know about where your vote goes.

 

Can I vote in the final?

This is your time to shine. Viewers from all 40 countries can vote in the grand final, again by the official app, phone or text message.

Who makes up the juries?

There are five members in each jury from a range of ages, genders and backgrounds. All must be music industry professionals and citizens of the country they represent, without being connected to the participating artist. Jury members will judge each song on vocal ability, performance, composition and originality of the song and the overall impression.

When does voting open and close?

You can vote as soon as the last song has been performed and you have 15 minutes to do it in.

No, you can’t vote for your own song

Eurovision rules state that countries are not allowed to vote for themselves (sorry, Electro Velvet). Cue uproar over people living abroad racking up votes for their homeland i.e. Cypriots with Greek heritage, Russians resident in Estonia…you get the picture. The jury’s still out on whether expats have been skewing the voting enough to change the outcome, mind.

How are songs ranked?

The song with the highest number of viewers votes is ranked first and so until the last song, as you’d expect. The same goes for the jury voting, with each member ranking their favourite song first and their least favourite one last.

The televoting and jury rankings are then used to calculate the average rank of each song, before this combined ranking is turned into the well-known ‘Eurovision system’ – 12 points for first, 10 points for second, 8 points for third, 7 points for fourth and so on down to tenth place.

What if there’s a tie in the ranking?

The song with a higher televoting ranking prevails in this situation, meaning you lot at home have most of the power.

When will the results be delivered?

Once the voting closes, that’s when the truly exciting part starts. Each country’s top ten will be read out live on air by spokespeople in each nation. The countries that have scored between one and 7 points will instantly appear on a scoreboard, before the spokesperson reveals who has won the big 8, 10 and 12 points.

 

The overall winner is, naturally, the country that receives the most total points. Last year this was bearded drag singer Conchita Wurst.

 

Source: Independent

Independent News Service

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