Jon Ola Sand: "We will always do our utmost to secure a fair result"
In the light of the recently published Rules of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the event explains in an interview to Eurovision.tv how the changes came to be and the reasoning behind them.
Earlier today, EBU/EUROVISION revealed the changes for the 2014 edition of the contest. Eurovision.tv asks Jon Ola Sand to give his view on them.
What's the reason behind the changes in the rules? How are the changes decided?
Tighter rules with increased transparency are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success. We want to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done and will always do our utmost to secure a fair result.
As with all changes to the rules of the contest, they were first discussed and approved by the Reference Group. This was followed by the approval of the TV Committee last week.
Why is EBU/EUROVISION implementing these rules now, and not before?
Since reintroducing the juries in 2009, we have constantly worked on the jury procedures. We have tightened the measures every year, and gained more information. This was a natural next step.
Concerning the rule change about revealing jury members names and points per jury member, will this not put the jury members under a lot of pressure from the media and the public to vote a certain way?
We believe in the independence of every jury member. They are professionals who are used to being evaluated. I even believe the increased transparency, and the fact that their votes are on display, will help them vote independently. However, there are always pros and cons and we will therefore scrutinise this very carefully.
Will you reveal the points per jury member for previous years too?
No, the rule changes are for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. According to the rules for the previous years, this is not an option.
When can we expect the results of the investigation on the alleged attempts to unfairly influence the voting?
As soon as we are able to conclude. We are doing this very thoroughly, and will take the time we need.
Some fans and journalists suggest that the investigation will lead to nothing and no one will get punished. What is your view on this?
First, this is not about punishing. For EBU/EUROVISION it`s important to find who is behind the alleged attempt, and if we find any wrongdoing that originates from a participating broadcaster, the Reference Group and the TV Committee will impose sanctions according to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest. We want to first put an end to these speculations, and clamp down on attempts to unfairly influence the voting.
Do you think the changes in the rules will influence some broadcasters to return to the contest?
We are in close contact and dialogue with all our Members. None of the broadcasters that have left the Contest have ever pointed at the jury rules as a reason. However, it`s important that the rules of the contest are relevant and applicable, and that's why we every year make changes and adjustments.