Last night the Eurovision Song Contest was watched by millions of people worldwide. The singing contest even went live in China for the first time.
There have been complaints for years about the competition being ‘too political’ and that countries vote only for their neighbours, not for the songs. This year we may have proof.
The votes of each country is determined equally by a jury of five experts from that country, and by the public. The scores from the experts (50%) and the public (50%) are averaged to decide how that country will vote.
This year two countries’ juries were disqualified. These countries were Montenegro and Macedonia- their countries’ votes were instead determined 100% by the public of these countries.
The juries were excluded by the independent voting observer, whose role it is to ensure everything is fair. The Eurovision website only gives this brief statement:
“In both countries, televoting applied for 100%. The exclusion of two juries will be further discussed in the next Reference Group meeting in June.”
Eurovision refuses to say exactly why the two juries were excluded. There will be an investigation next month, but at the moment no one knows what happened. Did they cheat? Did the vote politically? Did they accept a bribe? What do you think?
Vocabulary: proof (n- evidence), determined (v- decided), jury (n- group of unbiased experts who decide something), disqualified (v- taken out of the competition), brief (adj- short).
1) Do you believe voting in Eurovision is political? (reasons, examples?) What reason might a country have for voting politically?
2) Do you, or anyone you know vote in Eurovision?
3) Do you think the voting system is fair? (50% jury 50% public vote)
4) What reason might a jury have for cheating?
5) If Macedonia and Montenegro are found guilty of cheating, what do you think should happen?
6) Some people say that there is no place for Eurovision in the 21st Century and that it is old-fashioned. Do you agree?
7) How would you improve Eurovision?