Jon Ola Sand: "We will always do our utmost to secure a fair result"

Jon Ola Sand: "We will always do our utmost to secure a fair result"
Jon Ola Sand in Malmö at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: Sander Hesterman (EBU)
Geneva, Switzerland -

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.


There are 12 comments

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  • Posted on 19 October 2013 at 22:13
    The Eurovision Song Contest has lost it's way. There is nothing fair about a competition where a country gives it's votes to a neighbour and nothing more infuriating than witnessing this year after year.
    Each country should randomly be given 10 songs to judge on, on the night, eliminating neighbours with political persuations or affiliations. Every song will receive a calculated number of votes. This will eliminate any 'nil point' situations which many people find amusing but does nothing for the integrity of the contest.
    We all want the best song to win, and by and large this appears to have happened in recent times.
    Television viewers would also vote on the ten random songs that their country is allocated. Yours Robert Dickson, United Kingdom. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 24 September 2013 at 22:09
    After the new rules for jurys the EBU should now work on a new system for televoting to reduse diaspora- and neighbourhood-voting. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 23 September 2013 at 07:20
    Fair result ? Don't tell me that the Irish songs through the years were the best ever, soit....

    The jury can do what he wants and televoting, like always, who controlls it ??? report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 22:48
    He said" No one left contest for rules" Why Turkey left so ? report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 21:24
    Turkey will not return, 50% of their "wants" have been seen to, but their abolishing of the Big 5 has not yet been seen to. This means, more or less, they still won't return. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 20:58
    Uhh... Turkey left *because* of the 50/50 system. Or so they say. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 17:23
    Do not put any effort to return to Turkey in Eurovision, Jobs would continue to stir. Hopefully Turkey will go back! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 16:22
    I thought Turkey left the contest because of the jury rules. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 13:25
    @ Jajceboy

    Why shouldn't it? After all the 'jurors' are given a lot more impact on the results than normal viewers which means they are required to vote in a fair way and not based on personal taste. We have all right to observe and question their decision-making. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 20 September 2013 at 11:09
    I don't see the need to show every individual jury point. I think it's just enough to show the combined jury result from each country, in order. Much more easier.
    This way it will only create numbers and math and make it seem complicated when in fact it should be easy.
    What effect will it have to show every jury member's points? It probably won't change the result that much? Can somebody from EBU or from here perhaps clarify that please, somebody with a bit more knowledge of statistics and math than me? report to the moderator