Voting in 2016

Who hasn't heard about the famous douze points? The voting procedure of the Eurovision Song Contest is legendary and in 2016 there will be a radical transformation to the format. This page gives you both the basics as well as a detailed explanation of how the voting procedure works.

Procedure

In previous years the results of the professional juries and viewers have been presented as a combined result, each accounting for 50 percent of the final score. From 2016, the professional juries and televoters from each country will each award a separate set of points from 1 to 8, 10 and 12. This now means the top 10 countries in both the jury and televote will receive points, adding a new level of excitement for hundreds of millions of viewers in Europe and beyond.

How does it work?

After viewers have cast their votes by telephone, SMS or using the official app, each national spokesperson from the 43 participating countries will be called in to present the points of their professional jury. After the presentation of the scores from the juries, the televoting points from all participating countries will be combined, providing one score for each song. These televoting results will then be announced by the host, starting with the country receiving the fewest points from the public and ending with the country that received the highest number of points, building towards a guaranteed climax.

For those wanting to know how their country has voted, the televoting and jury scores from each participating country will be available after the show on Eurovision.tv.

The voting rules

Viewers in the countries of the Participating Broadcasters are invited to vote for their favourite songs (without the possibility of voting for the song representing their own country) by means of televoting. In addition, in each participating country, there is a National Jury.

With respect to the televoting, the song which has received the highest number of votes shall be ranked first, the song which has received the second highest number of votes shall be ranked second and so on until the last song.

With respect to the National Jury voting, the jury members shall rank first their favourite song, second, their second favourite song, third, their third favourite song, and so on until their least favourite song, which shall be ranked last.

The rankings of the televoting and the jury will then, in each of the participating countries, be used to calculate the amount of points awarded, using the well-known and popular "Eurovision system", with the top-ranked song getting 12 points, the second-highest ranked song 10 points, and the remaining spots, from 8 points to 1 point, given to the songs ranked 3 to 10.

In 2016, for the first time, the votes of juries and televotes will no longer be combined. In 2016 there will be two separate sets of votes awarded; the points from the juries and the points from the televote.

Voting in the Semi-Finals

Viewers at home and professional juries each determine the outcome of the two Semi-Finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. In each Semi-Final, 10 contestants qualify for the Final.

  • Viewers in all countries that are taking part in that particular Semi-Final are invited to vote via the official app, telephone and/or SMS. The voting window opens after the last song has been performed, and ends 15 minutes later. Televoters determine 50% of the outcome;
  • Professional juries in all countries that are taking part in or were allocate to that particular Semi-Final are required to vote. They also determine 50% of the outcome. The jury, which consists of five members (including a chairperson), is the same jury that will vote in the Final;
  • The EBU’s voting partner digame mobile GmbH (digame) will determine the national result by adding up the televoting points from 1 to 8, 10 and 12, and the jury points from 1 to 8, 10 and 12. This means each participating country will award two sets of points;

  • The ten qualified countries will be announced at the end of each Semi-Final in the order decided by the Excecutive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest. This order does not reflect the actual ranking on the score board;
  • The full score board will be made available shortly after the Grand Final on Eurovision.tv, to keep the excitement until the end of the Final.

Voting in the Grand Final

  • In all participating countries, televoters and professional juries will each award 1 to 8, 10, and 12 points.
  • Televoters can vote via the official app, telephone and/or SMS. The voting window opens after the last song has been performed, and ends 15 minutes later. These votes determine 50% of the outcome and are gathered by the EBU’s voting partner digame;
  • The professional juries will determine 50% of the outcome. The jury, which consists of five members (including a chairperson) is the same jury that voted in one of the Semi-Finals. They will watch live and rank all songs based on the second Dress Rehearsal, the so called Jury Final;
  • These national ranking will then be used to determine the amount of points allocated. The song ranked first by the jury will receive 12 points, the country ranked second will receive 10, etc. The country ranked 10th will receive 1 point;

  • After the televoting window has closed the results of the juries will be presented in the usual format with national spokespersons. During this time the EBU, it’s voting partner and an independent observer will gather and verify the televoting results;

  • After all the jury points have been awarded, the total points from the televote for each country will be added together. These totals will then be added to the scoreboard, starting at the bottom and working up to the top of the scoreboard. The country at the top of the scoreboard will be declared the winner;

  • Televoters and juries cannot vote for the country they represent;
  • Only for the purpose of solving tie situations, a combined national televoting and jury result will be calculated. In any situation where a tie occurs, this combined country result is considered, the winner shall be the song which has obtained points from the highest number of countries.
  • The full result, including the televoting and the jury result in every participating country will be published on Eurovision.tv after the Grand Final

Jury voting

The rules for the juries are as follows:

  • The jury voting is alwas monitored by an independent notary in each country;
  • The EBU’s voting observer PwC has the right to send an additional independent observer to the jury session;
  • The jury consists of a variety of members in terms of age, gender, and background;
  • All jury members must be citizens of the country they are representing;
  • None of the jury members must be connected to any of the participating songs/artists in such a way that they cannot vote independently. The participating broadcasters must send a letter of compliance with the voting instructions together with signed declarations by each jury member stating that they will vote independently;
  • The names of the jury members must be revealed by the relevant participating broadcasters during the Final;
  • Each jury member of each national jury must rank all songs in the show;
  • The combined rank of each country’s jury members determines the jury result of that particular country;
  • By judging each song each jury member will focus on the vocal capacity of the artist(s), the performance on stage, the composition and originality of the song, and the overall impression by the act.
  • To increase diversity, music industry professionals can only take a seat in a national jury if they have not been in the jury during one of the previous two editions of the contest.

Jury member selection criteria

All jury members are music professionals. They are being asked to judge:

  • vocal capacity
  • the performance on stage
  • the composition and originality of the song
  • the overall impression by the act

The EBU looks into each jury member together with Digame and PwC, to assure they meet the requirements to take seat in a national jury.

The following criteria is applied in the selection of the jury members:

  • Members shall not have been part of a National Jury the preceding two years.
  • Members of the National Juries must be music industry professionals
  • There shall be a balance among the members of each National Jury to ensure sufficient representativeness in terms of gender, age and background.
  • All members of the National Juries shall be citizens of the country they represent.
  • No member of a National Jury shall be connected in any way with any of the participating songs entered and/or artists performing in the Eurovision Song Contest in such a way that they cannot vote in complete independence and impartiality

Judges signed a declaration stating they will vote independently.

About the televoting system

The Germany-based company digame mobile GmbH has been the EBU’s long-term voting partner since 2004. The company gathers all televotes and jury votes in all countries and is being closely monitored by two independent PwC observers. Its systems are build to handle all incoming votes according to the Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, and can detect and exclude systematic bulk votes (also referred to as ‘power-voting’).

Questions and Answers

Why change things?

For several years, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest has been known well before the end of voting as technically no other act could catch up. Under the new system, the winner will only be known in the final minutes of the show. The new format, inspired by the voting system of Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s national selection format for the Eurovision Song Contest, has been discussed since 2012. The changes increase transparency and were unanimously approved by the Reference Group and the EBU Television Committee, the governing bodies of the Eurovision Song Contest.

How will this make the voting more exciting?

This innovation means that the winner will not be known until the final moments of the voting procedure. Depending on the distribution of jury votes, it means that a country in third or fourth place for example, may still have a chance to win. The point is that viewers will not know which country has won until the final moments of the voting sequence.

Will this make the Grand Final longer?

No. Based on calculations made by the producers, the projected running time of the Grand Final will remain approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.

If the spokespeople are only giving points for the jury vote, where can we find out the results of the televote?

Viewers will be able to see the point allocation on-screen in a fast-paced and exciting sequence. The points given by televoters in each country will be made available via Eurovision.tv and in the official app shortly after the end of the Grand Final. As before, the EBU will also disclose full jury results after the Grand Final. The professional jury result of each country will continue to be determined based on the full ranking of all five jury members.

In addition, EBU, its voting partner Digame and Host Broadcaster SVT will facilitate broadcasters with the possibility to show the national televoting results on-screen, before the end of the Grand Final.

What if a country cannot deliver a valid televoting result?

Both jury and televoting award 1 to 8, 10, and 12 points in each country. In order to secure the 50/50 balance between jury and televoting a national jury result cannot be used as backup result for the televoting. Therefore, if – for whatever reason – a country cannot deliver a valid televoting result, a substitute result is calculated by the audience result of a pre-selected group of countries. These groups and their composition have been pre-approved by the EBU and the Reference Group.

What if a country cannot deliver a valid jury result?

Both juries and televoters award 1 to 8, 10, and 12 points in each country. In order to secure the 50/50 balance between jury and televoting, a national televoting result can’t be used as backup result for the jury. Therefore, if – for whatever reason – a country cannot deliver a valid jury result, a substitute result is calculated by the jury result of a pre-selected group of countries. These groups and their composition have been pre-approved by the EBU permanent services and the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest.