Regole dell’Eurovision Song Contest


Il regolamento ufficiale dell’Eurovision Song Contest è lungo, tecnico, e in continua evoluzione. Molte delle regole riguardano aspetti tecnici della trasmissione televisiva stessa. Ogni anno viene presentato un regolamento, che specifica in modo esplicito le date entro le quali devono essere svolti alcuni adempimenti, ad esempio il termine entro il quale tutte le emittenti partecipanti devono presentare la versione finale registrata della loro canzone. Molte norme riguardano questioni come accordi di sponsorizzazione e i diritti delle emittenti di ritrasmettere lo show entro un certo tempo. Le regole più importanti, che in realtà influenzano la formula e la presentazione del concorso, nel corso degli anni si sono modificate molte volte.

Numerous detailed rules must be observed by the participating nations, and a new version is produced each year, for instance the rules specify various deadlines, including the date by which all the participating broadcasters must submit the final recorded version of their song to the EBU. The rules also cover sponsorship agreements and rights of broadcasters to re-transmit the show. The most notable rules which affect the format and presentation of the contest have changed over the years, and are highlighted here.

The official rules of the Eurovision Song Contest are long, technical, and ever-changing. Many of the rules cover technical aspects of the television broadcast itself. However, a few of the more important rules affecting the conduct and outcome of the Contest follow.

Formula: Nel corso degli anni il regolamento della manifestazione ha subito diverse modifiche. Di seguito sono qui riportate alcune delle regole attualmente in vigore.

I paesi che partecipano all’Eurovision Song Contest possono selezionare cantanti senza vincoli di nazionalità, ad esempio nel 1988 la Svizzera vinse con la cantante canadese Céline Dion, ma ovviamente le tv possono privilegiare artisti autoctoni. Anche la modalità di selezione è libera, così alcuni paesi optano per una selezione interna mentre in altri viene organizzato un festival apposito, come ad esempio lo storico Melodifestivalen svedese o il Melodi Grand Prix norvegese.

I cantanti devono avere almeno 16 anni di età, e sul palco non sono consentite più di 6 persone (neanche per i gruppi). Per quanto riguarda la canzone presentata queste sono alcune delle regole in vigore, valide per tutti i paesi:

  • non deve durare più di 3 minuti;
  • può essere di qualunque genere e cantata in qualunque lingua, anche inventata (e anche qui le tv possono imporre le lingue ufficiali dei loro paesi);
  • non può essere cover o ispirata ad altro brano edito, pena la squalifica;
  • deve essere pubblicata non prima di un certo periodo prima del festival (solitamente non prima del 1º settembre dell’anno precedente a quello dello svolgimento della gara), e deve essere presentata insieme ad un video;
  • non deve avere una scenografia o una coreografia controversa (in particolare sono vietati gli animali);
  • non deve avere contenuti politici, pubblicitari, o offensivi.

Dall’edizione del 2015 non vi saranno più penali per gli Stati che si iscrivono e poi si ritirano oltre il termine ultimo per iscriversi, come invece accadeva in passato.

Il festival si svolge rigorosamente in una settimana di maggio ed è introdotto e chiuso come tutti i programmi in Eurovisione dal Te Deum di Charpentier. La finale deve essere obbligatoriamente trasmessa in diretta, mentre per le semifinali è sufficiente dal 2008 la trasmissione in diretta di quella di competenza del paese, anche su canali minori. Dal 1999 sono previsti, per le televisioni che volessero introdurli, degli spazi per inserire gli annunci pubblicitari e si può anche non trasmettere l’Interval Act.

Fino all’edizione del 2003 la manifestazione si articolava in un’unica serata finale. Per limitare il numero di partecipanti l’UER ha in alcuni casi effettuato una preselezione, ma più spesso usava le “retrocessioni” (cioè la non partecipazione per un anno alle ultime classificate). Dal 2004 al 2007 compreso è stata introdotta una semifinale che si è svolta due (nel 2004 tre) giorni prima della finale. Alla finale avevano direttamente accesso i cosiddetti Big Four (Francia, Germania, Spagna e Regno Unito) per il loro maggiore contributo finanziario, il paese ospitante, i nove migliori paesi della precedente edizione e i dieci vincitori della semifinale, per una finale a 24. In entrambe le serate votavano tutti i paesi.

Dal 2008, visto l’alto numero di paesi, il regolamento prevede due semifinali a cui partecipano tutti i paesi ad eccezione dei Big (che diventano Five nel 2011 con il ritorno dell’Italia) e del paese ospitante che accedono direttamente alla finale, che passa a 26 (o 25 se l’ospitante è una Big).

Nel corso degli anni anche il sistema di votazione ha subito alcune modifiche. Dal 1975 è entrato in vigore l’attuale sistema di assegnazione dei punteggi: ogni paese assegna un certo numero di punti alle 10 canzoni preferite: da 1 a 7 punti rispettivamente dalla decima alla quarta, 8 punti alla terza, 10 alla seconda e 12 alla prima, da cui la famosa frase “douze points”. Ogni paese non può votare per la propria canzone.

Inizialmente la votazione era effettuata da giurie. Dal 1997 è stato sperimentato il televoto che è entrato ufficialmente in vigore l’anno successivo per tutte le nazioni. Esistono comunque giurie di riserva che assegnano i punti nel caso il televoto non dovesse funzionare. A seguito delle critiche sul sistema di votazione, nell’edizione 2009 sono state reintrodotte le giurie solo nella serata finale, il cui punteggio ha pesato per il 50% sul punteggio finale, mentre il 50% dei punti è stato assegnato in base al risultato del televoto; anche in questo caso se il secondo sistema non funziona un paese può usare solo il primo.

Al termine delle semifinali vengono annunciati senza un ordine particolare i paesi che in base ai punteggi ottenuti hanno avuto accesso alla finale. I punteggi e la classifica delle semifinali vengono resi noti solo dopo la serata finale. In queste due serate dal 2010 si usano come per la finale televoto e giurie, sempre con peso del 50%, e votano solo i paesi coinvolti in quella rispettiva, più due o tre qualificati di diritto sorteggiati. Ad esempio la Svezia e la Germania nel 2009 hanno potuto votare solo di martedì e non di giovedì.

Lo show televisivo della finale dura poco più di 3 ore (le semifinali 2), segue un rigido protocollo, e si usa come lingua l’inglese, con alcuni inserti di francese (lingue ufficiali dell’EBU-UER) e della lingua del paese ospitante. Tranne che nel 2010 e 2011 (dove si è votato fin dalla prima canzone), è possibile televotare in uno spazio di 15′ poco dopo l’ultima canzone, annunciato dalla frase “Europe, start voting now!”. Nella finale tutti i paesi partecipanti hanno diritto di voto, compresi quelli che sono stati eliminati nelle semifinali. L’ordine di presentazione dei voti dal 2006 al 2010 è stato deciso per sorteggio: dopo l’esibizione di tutti i cantanti e scaduto il tempo per la votazione i presentatori della manifestazione si collegano ad uno ad uno con tutti i paesi partecipanti, che dichiarano il risultato delle votazioni nel proprio paese. Inizialmente il collegamento era telefonico, attualmente è in video.

Anche la dichiarazione dei voti ha subito delle modifiche dovute all’alto numero di paesi partecipanti. Inizialmente ogni paese dichiarava tutti i punteggi partendo dal basso e ogni punteggio doveva essere ripetuto per regolamento dal presentatore in inglese e francese, ma dal 2004 viene ripetuto il punteggio solo nella lingua non usata da chi si collegava (es. la Francia usa il francese e i voti sono ripetuti solo in inglese); dal 2006, per sveltire la procedura, i primi sette voti vengono mostrati in video e solo i tre punteggi massimi (8, 10 e 12) vengono dichiarati. Dal 2011, l’ordine in cui vengono chiamate le nazioni è basato su un particolare algoritmo sviluppato dalla tv norvegese NRK che tiene conto dei voti delle giurie, cercando di mantenere il più possibile in bilico il risultato finale.

Il paese che ottiene più punti vince l’Eurovision Song Contest e acquisisce l’invito a organizzare l’edizione successiva. In alcune edizioni il paese vincitore ha rinunciato all’organizzazione.

Il regolamento inizialmente non prevedeva il caso di parità. A causa del pareggio a quattro nell’edizione del 1969 e le critiche successive (alcuni paesi non parteciparono per protesta all’edizione successiva) il regolamento fu modificato e fu deciso che in caso di parità il paese con il maggior numero di 12 punti ricevuti sarebbe stato il vincitore. In caso di ulteriore parità si sarebbe deciso in base al numero di 10 punti ricevuti, eventualmente 8, 7 e così via fino a dichiarare il paese vincitore. Questa regola fu applicata nel 1991 in Italia assegnando la vittoria alla Svezia, che si trovava a pari punteggio con la Francia. Il regolamento fu successivamente modificato e la vittoria viene assegnata al paese che ha ricevuto punti dal maggior numero di paesi. Solo in caso di parità si procede al conteggio dei 12 punti, eventualmente dei 10 punti e così via. Con l’attuale regolamento la vittoria del 1991 sarebbe stata assegnata alla Francia.

Number of songs: Each country in the Eurovision Song Contest is entitled to enter just one song. The Contest final is limited to 26 songs (only exception being in 2015 when Australia participated in the contest and 27 songs competed in the final). They consist of the following:

  • The “Big 5” countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) as they are the 5 largest economic contributors to the contest, and are rewarded with automatic spots in the final.
  • The host country.
  • 10 qualifiers from Semi-final 1 – held on the Tuesday before the contest.
  • 10 qualifiers from Semi-final 2 – held on the Thursday before the contest.

At the first Contest, each country was allowed to submit two songs each with a maximum duration of three minutes. Nowadays, it is still required that each song not exceed three minutes in length, although many artists record the song in a longer version, simply performing a shorter version at the Contest. The number of participating countries has grown throughout the Contest’s history, and since 1993 the rules have been changed several times to both limit the number of finalists and to allow for participation by former Soviet and Yugoslav republics, Warsaw Pact nations and others.

No previously published music The entering song is also not allowed to be a cover version, and is not allowed to sample another artist’s work. All songs must be completely original in terms of songwriting and instrumentation, and may not have been released publicly before 1 September of the year preceding. If released publicly, it may only be released in the entrant country’s market until after the contest.

Voices and instruments Artists shall perform live on stage, accompanied by a recorded backing-track which contains no vocals of any kind or any vocal imitations aiming at replacing or assisting the live/original voice of the Contestant(s). The Host Broadcaster shall verify respect for this rule.

No entirely instrumental composition has ever been allowed in Eurovision contests. Norway won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 with a song focused on its instrumentals, but was eligible for participation because some lyrics (22 words in total) were added. Latvia performed their act a cappella in 2006, as did Belgium in 2011. Norway’s entry in the 2010 Contest, and Austria’s 2011 in the contest started a cappella but then the instruments started as well. Live music has been banned in Eurovision performances since 1998. This rule remains to this day.

Performers: Current rules state that countries are allowed to have up to six performers on stage. Performers must be aged 16 or older, on the day of the semi-final in the year of the Contest. This rule was introduced in 1990, as two contestants the year before had been 11 and 12 years. The introduction of this rule means that Sandra Kim, who was 13 when she won for Belgium in 1986, will remain the youngest winner unless the age limit is lowered. No restriction on the nationality of the performers exists, which has resulted in countries being represented by artists who are not nationals of that country. One of the most well-known winning artists, Canadian Céline Dionrepresented Switzerland in 1988. It should also be noted that the performer only needs to be 16 when the event takes place, and not when they are selected, as proven in 2001 and 2005 whenLindsay Dracass and Triinu Kivilaan respectively were selected to represent United Kingdom and Switzerland, despite only being 15 at the time. In Dracass’ case a special visa had to be issued to Dracass to enable her to travel to Copenhagen.

Musica dal vivo: Tutte le parti vocali devono essere cantate dal vivo: non sono ammesse voci su basi musicali. Nel 1999, la canzone croata conteneva suoni sulla sua base musicale che suonavano sospettosamente come voci umane. La delegazione croata dichiarò che non vi erano voci umane, ma che erano stati solo sintetizzati digitalmente i suoni che replicavano le voci. L’EBU-UER decise comunque  che si era rotto lo spirito delle regole, e tolse il 33% dei loro punti totali quell’anno, influenzano il calcolo della media dei punti della Croazia, nei cinque anni.

Dal 1956 fino al 1998, era necessario che il paese ospitante offrisse un’orchestra dal vivo. Prima del 1973, tutta la musica doveva essere suonata dall’orchestra. Dal 1973 in poi, furono autorizzate le basi musicali pre-registrate, anche se il paese ospitante era ancora tenuto a fornire un’orchestra, in modo da consentire ai partecipanti una scelta. Se veniva utilizzata una base musicale, tutti gli strumenti presenti nella traccia dovevano essere presenti sul palco. Nel 1997 questo requisito fu eliminato.

Nel 1999 le regole furono modificate abolendo l’obbligo da parte della TV organizzatrice di fornire un’orchestra dal vivo, lasciando la scelta facoltativa. Il padrone di casa di quell’anno, la TV IBA di Israele, decise di non utilizzare un’orchestra al fine di risparmiare sulle spese, e il 1999 divenne il primo anno in cui tutte le canzoni furono eseguite su basi musicali pre-registrate (in combinazione con tutte le voci dal vivo). L’orchestra, da llora, non ha più fatto la sua comparsa al concorso, l’ultima volta fu nel 1998, quando la BBC ospitò lo show a Birmingham.

All vocals must be sung live; no voices are permitted on the backing tracks. In 1999, the Croatian song performed by Doris Dragović and composed by Tonči Huljić featured sounds on their backing track which sounded suspiciously like human voices. The Croatian delegation stated that there were no human voices, but only digitally synthesised sounds which replicated vocals. The EBU nevertheless decided that they had broken the spirit of the rules, and docked them 33% of their points total that year for the purpose of calculating their five-year points average for future qualification.

From 1956 until 1998, the host country was required to provide a live orchestra. Before 1973, all music had to be played by the host orchestra. From 1973 onwards, pre-recorded, non-vocal backing tracks were permitted—although the host country was still obliged to provide a live orchestra to give participants a choice. If a backing track was used, then all the instruments heard on the track were required to be present on the stage. In 1997 this requirement was dropped.

In 1999 the requirement for a live orchestra was removed: it was left as an optional contribution. The host that year, Israel’s IBA, decided not to use an orchestra to save expenses, and thus 1999 was the first year when all the songs were played as pre-recorded backing tracks (in conjunction with live vocals).

Lingue nazionali: Le norme relative alle lingue nazionali, sono state modificate più volte nel corso degli anni.

Dal 1956 fino al 1964 ogni nazione ha partecipato con brani in lingua nazionale. Dopo che la Svezia presentò nel 1965 un brano in inglese, nel 1966 fu imposta una regola che indicava che le canzoni dovevano essere eseguite in una delle lingue ufficiali del paese partecipante .

La restrizione sulla lingua nazionale continuò fino al 1973, quando si permise agli artisti di cantare in qualsiasi lingua volevano. Diversi vincitori nella metà degli anni ’70 hanno usufruito della nuova regola, infatti artisti provenienti da paesi non anglofoni decisero di cantare in inglese, tra questi, gli ABBA nel 1974.

Nel 1977, l’EBU-UER decise di tornare alla restrizione sulla lingua nazionale. Una dispensa speciale fu data alla Germania e al Belgio poiché le loro selezioni nazionali avevano già avuto luogo, prima della decisione dell’EBU-UER. Entrambi i paesi si esibirono con brani in inglese.

Nel 1999 si ritornò alla scelta della lingua libera. Grazie a questo, il Belgio partecipò al concorso 2003 con ‘Sanomi’, una canzone cantata in una lingua immaginaria. Nel 2006 la canzone dei Paesi Bassi, ‘Amambanda’, fu cantata in parte in inglese e in parte in una lingua immaginaria. Nel 2008 il Belgio scelse ancora una lingua fittizia per il brano ‘O Julissi’. Nel 2011 la canzone norvegese, ‘Haba Haba’, fu cantata in inglese e swahili, ed è stata la prima canzone ad essere cantata in una lingua africana.

Non sono consentiti brani esclusivamente strumentali.

Each submission must have vocals; purely instrumental music has never been allowed. In the past, competitors have been required to sing in one of their own national languages, but this rule has been changed several times over the years. From 1956 until 1965, there was no rule restricting the languages in which the songs could be sung. In 1966, a rule was imposed stating that the songs must be performed in one of the official languages of the country participating, after Sweden was the first country to not sing in their own language, with opera singer Ingvar Wixell performing Sweden’s 1965 entry in English. The Swedish-language version of the song was originally selected at Melodifestivalen 1965, but it was later translated into English for the Eurovision contest.

The language restriction continued until 1973, when performers were again allowed to sing in any language they wished. Several winners in the mid-1970s took advantage of this: performers from non-English-speaking countries sang in English, including ABBA in 1974.

In 1977, the EBU decided to revert to the national language restriction. However, special dispensation was given to Germany and Belgium as their national selections had already taken place before the decision was made; both countries’ entries that year were in English.

In 1999, the rule was changed again to allow the choice of language once more, which resulted in 12 out of 23 countries, including the United Kingdom, singing in English that year. Belgium entered the 2003 contest with “Sanomi”, a song sung in a constructed language, finishing in second place. In 2006, the Dutch entry, “Amambanda”, was sung partly in English and partly in an artificial language. In 2008, the Belgian entry, “O Julissi”, was sung in an artificial language. In 2011, the Norwegian entry, “Haba Haba”, which was sung in English and Swahili, was the first song to be sung in an African language, apart from Arabic.

Since the language rule was abolished in 1999, songs in English have become increasingly common. In 2016, all but three out of 36 semi-finalists had songs in English, with only two (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northen Macedonia) performing songs in their native languages, as Austria sent a song in French. In the final, all but three out of 26 contestants had songs in English. After Salvador Sobral’s win in 2017 with a Portuguese-language song, the 2018 edition saw a significant increase in the use of native languages, with twelve of 43 participants singing in their country’s native language (not including Estonia, whose representative opted to sing in Italian).

The following is a list of languages used in the Eurovision Song Contest since its inception in 1956, including songs (as) performed in finals and, since 2004, semi-finals.

The rules concerning the language of the entries have been changed several times. In the past, the Contest’s organizers have sometimes compelled countries to only sing in their own languages, but since 1999 no such restriction has existed.

From the first Contest in 1956 until 1965, and again from 1973 until 1976 there was no restriction on language. From 1966 until 1972, and again from 1978 until 1998, songs were required to be performed in a national language. The national language rule was actually instituted shortly before the 1977 Contest, but some countries had already selected non-national language entries, and they were allowed to enter without any changes.

As of the 1999 Contest, the restriction was again lifted, and songs may be performed in any language. As a result, many of the songs are performed partially or completely in English. In 2003, Belgium made full use of the so-termed free language rule, and entered a song, “Sanomi”, in an artificial language created especially for the song. This proved successful as the country finished second, only two points behind Turkey. The same tactic was used in 2006 by the Dutch entry Treble which is partially sung in an artificial language and once again by Belgium with their 2008 entry “O Julissi”.

Dialects and regional languages notes per year On some occasions, dialects of a language or a very rare language have been used in a song entry:

  • 1971, 1996, 2003 & 2012 – Austria sang in various dialects of German (Viennese in 1971, Vorarlbergischin 1996, Styrian in 2003 and Mühlviertel dialect in 2012)
  • 1972 – Ireland sang in Irish, one of the two official languages of Ireland
  • 1980 – The title of Norway’s entry was in the national minority Sami language
  • 1982 – Germany sang in German but after winning performed the reprise in five different languages: German, English, French, Italian and Dutch
  • 1989 – Switzerland sang in Romansh, the fourth language of Switzerland
  • 1990 and 2012 – Finland sang in Swedish, which is the country’s second official language.
  • 1991 – Italy sang in Neapolitan, an Italo-Dalmatian language spoken in Naples and surrounding areas.
  • 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2011 – France sang in the languages of Antillean Creole (1992), Corsican (1993 and 2011) and Breton (1996).
  • 1995 – The introduction of Greece’s entry was in Ancient Greek.
  • 1999 – Lithuania sang in Samogitian, a dialect of Lithuanian
  • 2004 – Estonia sang in Võro, which is considered by some to be a dialect of Estonian, and others, a separate language
  • 2003, 2006 and 2008 – In 2003, Belgium’s Urban Trad sang “Sanomi” in a completely made-up language, while the Dutch participants in 2006, Treble, sang half of their song “Amambanda” in a fictional language. In 2008, Ishtar performed their song, “O Julissi” in a fictional language as well.
  • 2006 – Monaco sang partially in Tahitian.
  • 2009 – The Czech Republic sang partially in Romani, the language of the Romani people.
  • 2009 – Israel sang partially in Hebrew and in Arabic.
  • 2011 – Norway introduces lyrics in Swahili.
  • 2012 – Most of the lyrics of Russia’s entry were in the Udmurt language (which, alongside Russian, is the official language in Udmurtia).
  • 2012 – “Love Unlimited”, although mostly in Bulgarian, contains a line in Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, French, Romani, Italian , Greek, Arabic, English and the Azerbaijani which has never been present in the contest.
  • 2016 – Ukraine decided to send Jamala, a Crimean singer, with her song “1944” which featured lyrics in the Crimean Tatar language, which sparked controversy between Russia and Ukraine because of the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.
  • 2016 – The same year Greece sent Argo with a song in Pontic Greek. Only the refrain of the song was in English.
  • 2018 – Israel sang a line in Hebrew.
  • 2018 – Serbia sang a few lines in Torlakian dialect.
  • 2019 – San Marino sang three words in Turkish.
  • 2019 – Norway sang in there song partially in the native minority language, Sámi languages

Language issues and English-language prevalence Many European countries were founded on ideas of linguistic unity and because of the sometimes unwelcome dominance of the English language in modern pop music, the language of a country’s Eurovision entry can be a contentious issue. Some entries are performed in English to reach broader audiences, though this is sometimes looked upon as unpatriotic. In recent years up to 2007 the number of non-English language entrants has decreased, with mostly Israel, Ex-Yugoslavia (mainly Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and French language countries, Italy, Spain and Portugal performing in their native language. In terms of recent Contest performance, most non-English songs have been far less successful than those in English. Until 2007, the last wholly non-English language winner was Israel’s Dana International, who performed Diva in Hebrew in 1998. The 2004 winner, Wild Dances performed by Ruslana, was partially sung in Ukrainian. After 2007 when Marija Šerifović won, singing in Serbian, the number of non-English contestants increased again in 2008 – almost half of the performers contested in their native language. The next non-English language winner, Amar Pelos Dois, performed in 2017 by Salvador Sobral, was sung entirely in Portuguese.

In some cases, the lyrics are written and recorded in two different versions (usually English and a national language) or a single multi-language version. Examples include:

  • Denmark, where the national selection procedure allows freedom of language, but if the winning song from their national competition is in Danish, it must be re-written in English for the competition.
  • Sweden, even as there is no outspoken rule the song must be translated into English, it has usually been done so (if allowed in the rules), as in 1965, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2006.
  • F.Y.R. Macedonia, who held a vote to decide whether their 2005 song should be in English or Macedonian.
  • France, whose entry in 2001 was performed partially in French and partially in English. The 2007 entry was sung in Franglais. The French entry in 2008 caused controversy as it was all in English and people were unhappy about being represented with an English song. In 2012, Anggun performed her song Echo partly in English but mostly in French. The same happened in 2016, when Amir performed the chorus of his song “J’ai cherché” in English and the rest of the song in French. In 2017, Alma performed her song “Requiem” partly in English, but mostly in French as well.
  • Albania, only allows songs performed in Albanian at “Festival i Këngës”, their pre-selection round for the Contest. Afterwards, they often translate the lyrics of their entrant to English.
  • Italy, in the Festival della canzone di Sanremo (the Italian Eurovision selections festival) the song must be sung in Italian. The artist theoretically can choose at Eurovision to sing an English translated song, but nobody has chosen to sing the song at Eurovision entirely in English yet (at maximum some stanzas were translated in English).
  • Serbia, after failing to qualify in 2017 with a song in English. Serbian artists must sing in Serbian at their national selection.
  • Iceland makes their artists sing in Icelandic for their national selection but they can translate afterward which is the preferred way as with Ari in 2018, Svala in 2017, Greta Salóme in 2012 and 2016, Maria Olafs in 2015.

Rule changes by year: 

  • 1956 First contest – each of the seven competing countries were obliged to hold a national selection final to choose their entries.
  • 1957 After Italy’s song lasted 5:09 minutes, rule changes were introduced to limit maximum song times to three minutes – which still operates.
  • 1958 The convention of the winning country being invited to host the following year’s contest is introduced. However, several countries declined the opportunity in subsequent years.
  • 1959 Professional publishers or composers were no longer allowed in the national juries.
  • 1962 Voting system change. Each country had 10 jury members who awarded their three favourite songs 3, 2, and 1 points in order. Previously each of the ten jury members awarded 1 point to their favourite song.
  • 1963 Jury sizes doubled to 20 and points awarded were 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.
  • 1964 Jury sizes revert to 10, and points are now 5, 3 and 1. It becomes possible for a unanimous jury to award all 9 points to one song – but this does not occur. It was also possible to give 6 and 3 points to two songs, this happened only in 1965, when the Belgian jury gave 6 points to the United Kingdom and 3 points to Italy.
  • 1966 Countries must now sing in one of its national languages.
  • 1967 Scoring system reverts to the one used between 1957 and 1961. Each of the ten jurors awards a single point to their favourite song – so in theory a country could be awarded all 10 points, although the highest tally allocated under this system was 9 by the Belgian jury for Dana’s 1970 winning song.
  • 1968 Although not a rule change, the contest is broadcast in colour by 6 of the 17 countries competing. It has been available in colour to broadcasters each year since.
  • 1970 Following a four-way tie in the 1969 contest, a tie-break rule was introduced with provision for a sing-off and a show of hands from the juries to elect a winner.
  • 1971 Another voting system change. Each country had two jury members, one under 25 and one over 25. They each awarded 1 to 5 points for each song. This created an issue where some juries gave fewer points out than others. The rule permitting groups of up to six performers on stage was introduced. Previously, entrants could only perform solo or as a duet.
  • 1973 The rule forcing countries to sing in one of its national languages is relaxed – however this is only in place for four years.
  • 1974 The scoring system used between 1957 and 1961 and between 1968 and 1970 is restored for a third time.
  • 1975 The scoring system that still operates today is introduced. Each jury would now give 12 points to the best song, 10 to the second best, then 8 to the third, 7 to the fourth, 6 to the fifth and so forth until the tenth best song (in the jury’s opinion) received a single point. Unlike today, the points were not given in order (from 1 up to 12), but in the order the songs were performed.
  • 1976 As the cost of staging the contest increases, a new rule was introduced that, in future, each participating broadcaster would have to pay a part of the cost of staging the contest.
  • 1977 Countries must again revert to singing in their own national languages.
  • 1980 The jury spokesperson now read the points out in numerical order (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12) rather than in song order.
  • 1987 As the number of countries reached a record of 22, the EBU imposed a limit on the number of countries competing. Although set at 22, this limit has varied slightly over the years.
  • 1989 Following the closeness of the result at the 1988 Contest, the tie break rule was amended. If a tie was to occur the winner would be declared on the most 12 points, if that still failed to separate them, the one with the most 10 points.
  • 1990 Following Sandra Kim’s 1986 win for Belgium at the age of just 13 and controversy over two performers in 1989 being just 11 and 12 years old, a restriction on competitor’s age was introduced. The minimum age is now 16 at the time of the event.
  • 1993 After the breakup of Yugoslavia, a pre-qualifying round was introduced.
  • 1994 Relegation had to be introduced to accommodate the ever-increasing number of countries wishing to compete. Initially the bottom five countries from 1993 would not get an entrant at the 1994 contest. The relegation rules would change slightly over subsequent years.
  • 1997 After controversy over a 1996 pre-selection procedure (similar to 1993) which resulted in Germany being omitted from the contest, the selection procedure changed to allow only the countries with the best average scores over the previous four years.
  • 1997 Televoting was trialled in five countries and would become the preferred method of voting from 1998.
  • 1999 Restrictions are lifted again allowing countries to sing in any language.
  • 1999 Countries preferences to use backing tracks virtually leads to the abolition of orchestras. Live music became optional and all broadcasters since 1999 have declined to use an orchestra. In 2004, all live music was banned; even artists on stage were not allowed to play their instruments live, even if they explicitly voiced their wish to do so. This live music prohibition is still in place.
  • 2000 The “Big Four” rule is introduced giving France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom automatic entry in the contest regardless of previous performance. In 2011 Italy made a comeback becoming a “Big Five” member.
  • 2004 Relegation rules, which varied slightly since 1994 were dropped and a semi-final was introduced. Countries eliminated in the semi-final were still allowed to vote on the final, so the convention of reading the scores in both French and English were dropped. The spokesperson would now read the score in one language with presenters repeating in the other language.
  • 2006 Jury spokespersons no longer read out all the points from 1 up to 12. Instead the scores up to 7 points are displayed briefly before the spokesperson reads out their 8, 10 and 12 point allocations.
  • 2008 With a record entry of 43, a second semi-final was introduced. Juries were used to allocate a wild-card place in the final from each of the semi-finals. 25 countries now compete in the final.
  • 2009 After criticism of the voting system after the 2007 Contest, changes in the voting procedure were made with the re-introduction of a national jury alongside televoting (split 50/50). This format would be extended to the semi-finals in 2010.
  • 2010 People can vote from the first song until the end of the voting.
  • 2012 The 15-minute televoting window is restored due to criticism of the voting method after the 2011 contest. 26 countries now compete in the final, because Italy made a comeback in 2011 and became a “Big Five” country along with Germany, France, Spain and United Kingdom.
  • 2013 The format of the jury/televoting result is changed slightly in that all songs are now ranked instead of being given a score in each method, this is then merged and the ten highest ranked songs receive points in the usual manner. Also, for the first time, the running order in all three shows is determined by producers of the show instead of a random draw, which is supposed to give each song competing a fair chance of success.
  • 2015 The EBU considers the possibility of inviting countries outside of the European Broadcasting Areaor the Council of Europe to participate in future editions of the contest. The first of such “guest nations” was Australia in 2015. This also bumps up the number of countries competing in the final to 27.
  • 2016 A new voting system is introduced. Entries now receive one set of points from the jury and one set of points from televoting. First, the jury votes are given in the usual way, giving 1 up to 12 points but with only the 12th being read by the spokesperson. Then, the televotes are read by the presenters, starting with the country receiving the least televotes and ending with the country that received the most televotes, so the winner is not known until the end of the show. In addition, the number of countries competing in the final is reduced back to 26 as Australia now competes in the semi-final.
  • 2019 The voting system changes slightly, as now the order of the televoting changes. Instead of giving the televoting-results in order of lowest to highest points, the points will be given in the order of the jury-voting, meaning the loser of the jury votes will hear its points first, and the winner of the jury votes will hear its final score last.

Criticism: French legislator François-Michel Gonnot criticized French television and launched an official complaint in the French Parliament, as the song which represented France in 2008, “Divine”, was sung in English. A similar incident occurred again in 2014, when Spanish artist Ruth Lorenzo was criticized by the Royal Spanish Academy after the Spanish national selection for singing her entry, Dancing in the Rain, with some lyrics in English.

Lingue e la loro prima apparizione Languages are fully counted below when they are used in at least an entire verse or chorus of a song. First brief uses of a language are also noted.

Order Language First
appearance
Country First performer First song
1 Dutch 1956  Netherlands Jetty Paerl “De vogels van Holland”
2 German 1956   Switzerland Lys Assia “Das alte Karussell”
3 French 1956  Belgium Fud Leclerc “Messieurs les noyés de la Seine”
4 Italian 1956  Italy Franca Raimondi “Aprite le finestre”
5 English 1957  United Kingdom Patricia Bredin “All”
phrases in Spanish 1957  Germany Margot Hielscher “Telefon, Telefon”
6 Danish 1957  Denmark Birthe Wilke & Gustav Winckler “Skibet skal sejle i nat”
7 Swedish 1958  Sweden Alice Babs “Lilla stjärna”
8 Luxembourgish 1960  Luxembourg Camillo Felgen “So laang we’s du do bast”
9 Norwegian 1960  Norway Nora Brockstedt “Voi Voi”
phrases in Sámi 1960  Norway Nora Brockstedt “Voi Voi”
10 Spanish 1961  Spain Conchita Bautista “Estando contigo”
11 Finnish 1961  Finland Laila Kinnunen “Valoa ikkunassa”
12 Serbian (variety of Serbo-Croatian)[6] 1961  Yugoslavia Ljiljana Petrović “Neke davne zvezde” (Неке давне звезде)
13 Croatian (variety of Serbo-Croatian)[6] 1963  Yugoslavia Vice Vukov “Brodovi”
14 Portuguese 1964  Portugal António Calvário “Oração”
15 Bosnian (variety of Serbo-Croatian)[6] 1964  Yugoslavia Sabahudin Kurt “Život je sklopio krug”
16 Slovene 1966  Yugoslavia Berta Ambrož “Brez besed”
phrases in Russian 1969  Yugoslavia Ivan & M’s “Pozdrav svijetu”
17 Viennese (dialect of German) 1971  Austria Marianne Mendt “Musik”
18 Maltese 1971  Malta Joe Grech “Marija l-Maltija”
19 Irish 1972  Ireland Sandie Jones “Ceol an Ghrá”
20 Hebrew 1973  Israel Ilanit “Ey Sham” (אי שם)
21 Greek 1974  Greece Marinella “Krasi, thalassa kai t’ agori mou”
(Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ’ αγόρι μου)
22 Turkish 1975  Turkey Semiha Yankı “Seninle Bir Dakika”
23 Arabic 1980  Morocco Samira Bensaid “Bitaqat Hub” (بطاقة حب)
phrases in Northern Sámi 1980  Norway Sverre Kjelsberg& Mattis Hætta “Sámiid ædnan”
24 Montenegrin (variety ofSerbo-Croatian)[6] 1983  Yugoslavia Daniel Popović “Džuli”
25 Icelandic 1986  Iceland ICY “Gleðibankinn”
26 Romansh 1989   Switzerland Furbaz “Viver senza tei”
27 Neapolitan 1991  Italy Peppino di Capri “Comme è ddoce ‘o mare”
28 Antillean Creole 1992  France Kali “Monté la riviè”
phrases in Corsican 1993  France Patrick Fiori “Mama Corsica”
29 Estonian 1994  Estonia Silvi Vrait “Nagu merelaine”
30 Romanian 1994  Romania Dan Bittman “Dincolo de nori”
31 Slovak 1994  Slovakia Tublatanka “Nekonečná pieseň”
32 Lithuanian 1994  Lithuania Ovidijus Vyšniauskas “Lopšinė mylimai”
33 Hungarian 1994  Hungary Friderika Bayer “Kinek mondjam el vétkeimet?”
34 Russian 1994  Russia Youddiph “Vyechniy stranik” (Вечный стрaнник)
35 Polish 1994  Poland Edyta Górniak “To nie ja”
phrases in Ancient Greek 1995  Greece Elina Konstantopoulou “Pia Prosefhi” (Ποιά προσευχή)
36 Vorarlbergish (dialect ofGerman) 1996  Austria George Nussbaumer “Weil’s dr guat got”
37 Breton 1996  France Dan Ar Braz “Diwanit Bugale”
38 Macedonian 1998  Macedonia Vlado Janevski “Ne zori, zoro” (Не зори, зоро)
39 Samogitian (dialect ofLithuanian) 1999  Lithuania Aistė “Strazdas”
40 Styrian (dialect of German) 2003  Austria Alf Poier “Weil der Mensch zählt”
41 Imaginary language 2003  Belgium Urban Trad “Sanomi”
42 Latvian 2004  Latvia Fomins & Kleins “Dziesma par laimi”
43 Catalan 2004  Andorra Marta Roure “Jugarem a estimar-nos”
44 Ukrainian 2004  Ukraine Ruslana “Wild Dances”
45 Võro 2004  Estonia Neiokõsõ “Tii”
46 Latvian Sign Language[7] 2005  Latvia Valters and Kaža “The War Is Not Over”
47 Albanian 2006  Albania Luiz Ejlli “Zjarr e ftohtë”
phrases in Tahitian 2006  Monaco Séverine Ferrer “La Coco-Dance”
48 Bulgarian 2007  Bulgaria Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov “Water”
49 Czech 2007  Czech Republic Kabát “Malá dáma”
50 Armenian 2007  Armenia Hayko “Anytime You Need”
phrases in Romani 2009  Czech Republic Gipsy.cz “Aven Romale”
phrases in Swahili 2011  Norway Stella Mwangi “Haba Haba”
51 Corsican 2011  France Amaury Vassili “Sognu”
title in Latin 2012  Albania Rona Nishliu “Suus”
52 Udmurt 2012  Russia Buranovskiye Babushki “Party for Everybody”
53 Mühlviertlerisch (dialect ofGerman) 2012  Austria Trackshittaz “Woki mit deim Popo”
phrases in Azerbaijani 2012  Bulgaria Sofi Marinova “Love Unlimited”
54 Georgian 2012  Georgia Anri Jokhadze “I’m a Joker”
55 Romani 2013  Macedonia Esma & Lozano “Pred da se razdeni” (Пред да се раздени)
phrases in Pontic Greek 2016  Greece Argo “Utopian Land”
56 Crimean Tatar 2016  Ukraine Jamala “1944”
57 Belarusian 2017  Belarus Naviband “Story of My Life”
phrases in Sanskrit 2017  Italy Francesco Gabbani “Occidentali’s Karma”
phrases in Japanese 2018  Israel Netta Barzilai “Toy”
phrases in Torlakian (dialect of Serbo-Croatian)[8][9][10] 2018  Serbia Sanja Ilić & Balkanika “Nova deca” (Нова деца)
phrases in Abkhaz[11] 2019  Georgia Oto Nemsadze “Sul tsin iare” (სულ წინ იარე)

Some languages that appeared in songs that didn’t manage to represent their countries at Eurovision include Greenlandic, Basque, Lombard, Sardinian, Emilian, Ligurian, Pitjantjatjara, Tagalog and various Sámi languages used in Sweden and Finland.

Footnotes

  • [N 1]This song was partially sung in Ukrainian.
  • [N 2] This song was partially sung in Crimean Tatar.
  • [N 3] This song contained phrases in Hebrew and Japanese.

Naming: The programme was first known as the “Eurovision Grand Prix” (in English). This “Grand Prix” name was adopted by Denmark, Norway and the Francophone countries, with the French designation being “Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne”. The “Grand Prix” has since been dropped and replaced with “Concours” (contest) in French, but not in Danish or Norwegian. The Eurovision Network is used to carry many news and sports programmes internationally, among other specialised events organised by the EBU. However, in the minds of the public, the name “Eurovision” is most closely associated with the Song Contest.

Year(s) English French Other language Official logo language
1956–64 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Prix Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne N/A French
1965 Gran Premio Eurovisione della Canzone Italian
1966 N/A French
1967 Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson French
1968–72 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Prix de la Chanson English
1973 Concours Eurovision de la Chanson French
1974–75 English
1976 Eurovisie Songfestival Dutch
1977– N/A English

The Contest’s name in national languages: This is what the “Eurovision Song Contest” is called in the official languages of current and past participant countries of the contest.

Language Countries which language has official status in Name in language
Albanian Albania Festivali Evropian i Këngës
Arabic Israel, Morocco مسابقة يوروفيجن للأغاني
Armenian Armenia Եվրատեսիլ երգի մրցույթ
Azerbaijani Azerbaijan Avroviziya Mahnı Müsabiqəsi
Belarusian Belarus Конкурс песні Еўрабачанне or Конкурс песьні Эўрабачаньня
Bosnian Bosnia and Herzegovina Pjesma Evrovizije
Bulgarian Bulgaria Песенен конкурс Евровизия
Catalan Andorra, Spain Festival de la Cançó d’Eurovisió
Croatian Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia Pjesma Eurovizije
Czech Czech Republic Velká cena Eurovize
Danish Denmark Europæisk Melodi Grand Prix
Dutch Belgium, Netherlands Eurovisiesongfestival
English Australia, Ireland, Malta, United Kingdom Eurovision Song Contest
Estonian Estonia Eurovisiooni lauluvõistlus
Finnish Finland Eurovision laulukilpailu
French Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Monaco,  Switzerland Concours Eurovision de la Chanson
Galician Spain Festival da Canción de Eurovisión
Georgian Georgia ევროვიზიის სიმღერის კონკურსი
German  Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland Eurovision Song Contest, often “Grand Prix”
Greek Cyprus, Greece Διαγωνισμός Τραγουδιού Eurovision
Hebrew Israel תחרות הזמר של האירוויזיון
Hungarian Hungary Eurovíziós Dalfesztivál
Icelandic Iceland Söngvakeppni evrópskra sjónvarpsstöðva
Irish Ireland Comórtas Amhránaíochta na hEoraifíse
Italian Italy, San Marino, Switzerland Eurofestival or Concorso della canzone dell’Eurovisione
Latvian Latvia Eirovīzijas dziesmu konkurss
Lithuanian Lithuania Eurovizijos dainų konkursas
Luxembourgish Luxembourg Eurovision Song Contest
Macedonian FYRO Macedonia Евровизија
Maltese Malta Festival tal-Eurovision
Montenegrin Montenegro Evrovizija
Norwegian (Bokmål) Norway Eurovisjonens musikkonkurranse
Polish Poland Konkurs Piosenki Eurowizji
Portuguese Portugal Festival Eurovisão da Canção
Romanian Moldova, Romania Concursul Muzical Eurovision
Romansh Switzerland Eurovision Song Contest
Russian Belarus, Russia Конкурс песни Евровидение
Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia Песма Евровизије
Slovak Slovakia Veľká cena Eurovízie, often “Eurovízia”
Slovene Slovenia Pesem Evrovizije
Spanish Spain Festival de la Canción de Eurovisión
Swedish Finland, Sweden Eurovision Song Contest or Eurovision Melodifestivalen
Turkish Cyprus, Turkey Eurovision Şarkı Yarışması or Avrovizyon Şarkı Yarışması
Ukrainian Ukraine Пісенний конкурс Євробачення

Entries in artificial (constructed) languages: Three times in the history of the contest, songs have been sung in invented languages.

Appearance Country Performer Song
2003 Belgium Urban Trad “Sanomi”
2006 Netherlands Treble “Amambanda”
2008 Belgium Ishtar “O Julissi”

Winners by language Between 1966 and 1973, and again between 1977 and 1998, countries were only permitted to perform in their own language; see the main Eurovision Song Contest article. In 2017 “Amar pelos dois” became the first Portuguese-language song to win the contest, the first winner since 2007 to both be in a language that had never produced a winning song before and be entirely in a language other than English. Among all Eurovision winning entries, only Ukraine’s were performed in more than one language.

Wins Language Years Countries
32 English 1967, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,[N 1]2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,[N 2]2018[N 3], 2019 United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Finland, Russia, Norway, Germany, Azerbaijan, Austria, Israel
14 French 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1988 Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium
3 Dutch 1957, 1959, 1969 Netherlands
Hebrew 1978, 1979, 1998 Israel
2 German 1966, 1982 Austria, Germany
Norwegian 1985, 1995 Norway
Swedish 1984, 1991 Sweden
Italian 1964, 1990 Italy
Spanish 1968, 1969 Spain
1 Danish 1963 Denmark
Croatian 1989 Yugoslavia
Ukrainian 2004[N 1] Ukraine[N 1]
Serbian 2007 Serbia
Crimean Tatar 2016[N 2] Ukraine[N 2]
Portuguese 2017 Portugal
  •   English (46.3%)
  •   French (20.9%)
  •   Dutch (4.5%)
  •   Hebrew (4.5%)
  •   German (3.0%)
  •   Norwegian (3.0%)
  •   Swedish (3.0%)
  •   Italian (3.0%)
  •   Spanish (3.0%)
  •   Danish (1.5%)
  •   Croatian (1.5%)
  •   Ukrainian (1.5%)
  •   Serbian (1.5%)
  •   Crimean Tatar (1.5%)
  •   Portuguese (1.5%)

Voting: The voting system used in the contest has changed over the years. The current system has been in place since 2016, and is a positional voting system. Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one from their professional jury of votes of five music professionals and the other from televoting.

Historically, a country’s votes were decided by an internal jury, but in 1997 five countries (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom) experimented with televoting, giving members of the public in those countries the opportunity to vote en masse for their favourite songs. The experiment was a success, and from 1998 onwards all countries were encouraged to use televoting wherever possible. Back-up juries are still used by each country, in the event of a televoting failure. Nowadays members of the public may also vote by SMS, in addition to televoting. In every case, every country cannot vote for its own song From 2013, the public may also vote via a mobile app.

The current method for ranking entries, introduced in 2016, is to sum together the points calculated from the telephone vote and the jury separately. Prior to this, the jury and televoting rankings were combined 50/50 before the number of points were calculated. It was first used in the final of the 2009 edition, and extended the following year to the semi-finals.

Since 1964 the voting has been presided over by the EBU scrutineer, who is responsible for ensuring that all points are allocated correctly and in turn. Since 2011, the Executive Supervisor was supported by an Event Supervisor, to oversee and coordinate all event-related matters on behalf of the EBU. Sietse Bakker served in the role for the first six years, replaced by Nadja Burkhardt.

The following are the scrutineers and Executive Supervisors of the Eurovision Song Contest appointed by the EBU:

Country Name Year(s)
  Switzerland Rolf Liebermann 1956–57
None 1958–63
 Yugoslavia Miroslav Vilček 1964–65
 United Kingdom Clifford Brown 1966–77
  Switzerland Frank Naef 1978–92
 Denmark Christian Clausen 1993–95
 France Christine Marchal-Ortiz 1996, 1998–2002
Marie-Claire Vionnet 1997
 United Kingdom Sarah Yuen 2003
 Sweden Svante Stockselius 2004–10
 Norway Jon Ola Sand 2011–

According to one study of Eurovision voting patterns, certain countries tend to form “clusters” or “cliques” by frequently voting in the same way.

Presentation of votes: After the interval act is over, when all the points have been calculated, the presenter(s) of the show call upon each voting country in turn to invite them to announce the results of their vote. Prior to 1994 the announcements were made over telephone lines; with the audio being piped into the auditorium for the audience to hear, and over the television transmission. However, since and including 1994 the announcements have been presented visually. Often the opportunity is taken by each country to show their spokesperson standing in front of a backdrop which includes a famous place in that country. For example, the French spokesperson might be seen standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or an Italian presenter might be seen with the Colosseum in the background.

From 1957 to 1962, the participating countries were called in reverse order of the presentation of their songs, and from 1963 to 2003, they were called in the same order in which their songs had been presented (except for 1974). Since 2004, when semi-finals were introduced, the order of the countries’ announcements of votes has changed; and the countries that did not make it to the final each year could also vote. In 2004, the countries were called in alphabetical order (according to their ISO codes). In 2005, the votes from the non-qualifying semi-finalists were announced first, in their running order on the Thursday night; then the finalists gave their votes in their own order of performance. Between 2006 and 2010, like in 1974, a separate draw was held to determine the order in which countries would present their votes. From 2011 to 2015, the voting order was determined by the results of a jury the day before the final so as to create as much suspense as possible when the votes were revealed.

From 1971 to 1973, each country sent two jurors, who were present at the contest venue (though the juries in 1972 were locked away in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle) and announced their votes as the camera was trained on them. In 1973 one of the Swiss jurors made a great show of presenting his votes with flamboyant gestures. This system was retired the next year.

In 1956 no public votes were presented: a closed jury simply announced that Switzerland had won. From 1957 to 1987, the points were displayed on a physical scoreboard to the side of the stage. As digital graphic technology progressed, the physical scoreboards were superseded in 1988 by an electronic representation which could be displayed on the TV screen at the will of the programme’s director.

In 2006 the EBU decided to save time during the broadcast—much of which had been taken up with the announcement of every single point—because there was an ever-increasing number of countries voting. Since then, votes from 1 to 7 from each country have been displayed automatically on screen and the remaining points (8, 10 and 12) are read out in ascending order by the spokesperson, culminating with the maximum 12 points. Countries must announce the country names and points in either English or French and the scores are repeated by the contest’s presenters in the other language. For this reason, the expression douze points when the host or spokesperson states the top score in French is popularly associated with the contest throughout the continent. Since 2016, only the name of the top jury votegetter is announced, with the points awarded to the other 9 countries shown in an on-screen scoreboard during the announcement. In addition, only the jury points are announced by country. The televoting results are announced in aggregate, from lowest-scoring country to highest. In the 2019 contest the televoting results were announced in aggregate in inverse standing order based on the jury votes; starting with Spain (7 points from the juries) and culminating in Sweden (239 points from the juries). After the winner has been announced, the televoting points from the country where the contest is watched from are briefly seen on screen.

Ties for first place: In 1969, four of the sixteen countries taking part, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, all tied for first place with 18 points each. There was nothing in the rules to decide an outright winner, so all four were declared joint winners. This caused much discontent among most of the other participating countries, and mass walkouts were threatened. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal did not participate in the 1970 Contest as a protest against the results of the previous year. This prompted the EBU to introduce a tie-break rule.

Under the current rules, in the event of more than one country scoring the same total number of points, a count is made of the numbers of countries who awarded points to each of the tied countries, and the one who received points from the most countries is declared the winner. If the numbers are still tied, it is counted how many sets of maximum points (12 points) each country received. If there is still a tie, the numbers of 10-point scores awarded are compared—and then the numbers of 8-point scores, all the way down the list. In the extremely unlikely event of there then still being a tie for first place, the song performed earliest in the running order is declared the winner. Since 2008, the same tie-break rule now applies to ties for all places.

As of 2019, the only time since 1969 when two or more countries have tied for first place on total points alone was in 1991, when France and Sweden both totalled 146 points. At that time, the rules did not include counting the numbers of countries awarding any points to these countries’ songs, but began with tallying up the numbers of 12-point scores awarded. Both France and Sweden had received four sets of 12 points. However, because Sweden had received more sets of 10-point scores, they were declared the winners. Had the current rule been in play, France would have won instead.

Trasmissione dello show: Ogni emittente partecipante è tenuta a trasmettere lo show nella sua interezza: inclusi i brani, il recap con in codici di televoto, la fase di voto e la ripresa finale. Se si desidera è possibile non trasmettere l’Interval Act fra la fine del televoto e l’inizio delle votazioni. A partire dal 1999, le emittenti che vogliono, hanno la possibilità di inserire brevi spazi pubblicitari in momenti non considerati essenziali ai fini della gara. Dal 1999 sono state concesse solo tre eccezioni. La televisione di stato dei Paesi Bassi non trasmise la Finale del 2000 a causa di un grave incidente, una disastrosa esplosione in un deposito di fuochi d’artificio della città di Enschede. La RTVE in Spagna ha ritardato la trasmissione in diretta della Seconda Semifinale del 2009, per il torneo di tennis di Madrid. La televisione di Stato albanese ha trasmesso in differita la Prima Semifinale del concorso 2012 per un grave incidente d’autobus. Sebbene, tecnicamente queste fossero violazioni al regolamento, l’EBU-UER permise queste eccezioni vista l’importanza degli accadimenti.

Each participating broadcaster is required to broadcast the show in its entirety: including all songs, recap, voting and reprise, skipping only the interval act for advertising breaks if they wish. From 1999 onwards, broadcasters who wished to do so were given the opportunity to take more advertising breaks as short, non-essential hiatuses were introduced into the programme. Four major interruptions or preemptions of the contest broadcast have taken place since 1999. The Dutch state broadcaster pulled their broadcast of the 2000 final to provide emergency news coverage of a major incident, the Enschede fireworks disaster. Spain’s RTVE delayed their broadcast of the second semi-final in the 2009 Contest, due to the Madrid Open tennis tournament. The Albanian state broadcaster deferred their broadcast of the first semi-final in 2012 to provide emergency news coverage of the Qafa e Vishës bus accident. In 2018, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV edited the Albanian and Irish songs out of their broadcast of the first semi-final for violations of Chinese broadcast regulations. The Albanian performer had visible tattoos, and the Irish song featured a storyline showing vignettes of a homosexual couple. Eurovision terminated Mango’s broadcasting rights when the broadcaster refused to agree to air the second semi-final and the grand final unedited.

Archive status – The first edition ever of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 was broadcast live, but not recorded, so only a sound recording of the radio transmission has survived from the original broadcast. The ninth edition in 1964 hosted by Danmarks Radio was recorded on tape, but a fire destroyed the recording, and it is unknown if any other TV station in Europe has another copy. Only small portions of the original broadcast and audio from the radio transmission have survived.

In late 2011, the EBU had begun archiving all the contests since the first edition in 1956 to be finalised before the 2015 Contest, for the 60th anniversary. It was later reported that the archive is ready and will be released on the 60th anniversary with making the content available to journalists in broadcast-ready formats while also giving public accessibility to “selected content” through the official Eurovision website.

Questioni politiche: Nel 1978, durante l’esecuzione israeliana, l’emittente giordana JRTV sospese la trasmissione mandò in onda immagini di fiori. Quando divenne evidente, durante le fasi di voto, che Israele stava per vincere il concorso, la JRTV interruppe bruscamente la trasmissione. In seguito, i media giordani rifiutarono di riconoscere la vittoria di Israele e annunciarono il Belgio come vincitore (che era in realtà arrivato al 2° posto). Nel 1981 la JRTV non trasmise il voto perché il nome di Israele appariva sul tabellone.

Nel 2005, il Libano intendeva partecipare al concorso. Tuttavia, la legge libanese non permette il riconoscimento di Israele, e di conseguenza la televisione libanese non aveva intenzione di trasmettere la canzone israeliana. L’EBU-UER li informò che un atto del genere avrebbe violato le regole del concorso, e il Libano successivamente fu costretto a ritirarsi dalla competizione. Il loro ritiro in ritardo causò il pagamento di una multa, in quanto avevano già confermato la loro partecipazione e la scadenza era passata. Tuttavia finoa l 2009, gli album dell’ESC erano ancora venduti nei negozi di musica libanese, con la parola Israele cancellata dalla quarta di copertina . A partire dal 2010, gli album sono stati banditi completamente dalla vendita.

In 1978, hosted in Paris only a month after the 1978 South Lebanon conflict, during the performance of the Israeli entry, the Jordanian broadcaster JRTV suspended the broadcast and showed pictures of flowers. When it became apparent during the later stages of the voting sequence that Israel’s song “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” was going to win the contest, JRTV abruptly ended the transmission. Afterwards, the Jordanian news media refused to acknowledge that Israel had won and announced that the winner was Belgium (who had actually come in 2nd place). In 1981 JRTV did not broadcast the voting because the name of Israel appeared on the scoreboard.

In 2005, Lebanon intended to participate in the contest. However, Lebanese law does not allow recognition of Israel, and consequently Lebanese broadcaster Télé Liban did not intend to transmit the Israeli entry. The EBU informed them that such an act would breach the rules of the contest, and Lebanon was subsequently forced to withdraw from the competition. Their late withdrawal incurred a fine, since they had already confirmed their participation and the deadline had passed. However, the Eurovision Song Contest albums were still being sold in Lebanese music stores until 2009, with the word Israel erased from the back cover. As of 2010, the albums were banned completely from sale.

In 2009, the song “We Don’t Wanna Put In” was selected to represent Georgia. However, the song text was banned by Eurovision as it was interpreted as criticism against Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin after the Russo-Georgian War the previous year. When asked to change the lyrics of the song, the Georgian broadcaster GPB withdrew from the 2009 contest.

Altre:

  • Nel primo concorso del 1956, per ogni brano c’era un limite di tempo consigliato di 3 minuti e mezzo. Nel 1957, nonostante le proteste, la canzone italiana era della durata di 5′ e 09″. Ciò ha portato alla regola che prevede che ogni brano non possa superare i tre minuti. Dal momento che il limite di tempo di tre minuti fu adottato nel 1960, alcuni artisti hanno presentato canzoni più lunghe che, quindi, devono essere modificati per vincoli di tempo, anche se alcune canzoni superano tale lunghezza da pochi secondi.
  • Non vi è alcuna restrizione imposta dall’EBU-UER sulla nazionalità degli interpreti o dei cantautori. Le TV sono però autorizzate ad imporre propri limiti, a loro discrezione.
  • Dal 1957 al 1970, furono ammessi sul palco solo solisti e duo. Dal 1963 si permise la presenza di un coro di un massimo di tre persone. Dal 1971, si ammettono al  massimo sei artisti sul palco
  • Non sono ammesse coreografie o scenografie controverse.
  • Non sono ammessi testi con contenuti politici, pubblicitari, confessionali o offensivi.
  • Dal 1990 in poi, tutte le persone sul palco devono avere almeno 16 anni di età.
  • La musica e il testo devono essere pubblicate o registrate dopo il 1° Settembre dell’anno prima che il concorso si svolga. Molti paesi hanno anche la regola aggiuntiva che prevede che la canzone non debba mai essere stata eseguita prima del relativo concorso nazionale. Cover, versioni rielaborate o campionamenti di canzoni già note non sono ammessi.

  • In the first contest, initiated by Karen Perry, 1956, there was a recommended time limit of 3​1⁄2 minutes per song. In 1957, despite protests, Italy’s song was 5:09 minutes in duration. This led to a stricter time limit of 3 minutes precisely. Since the three-minute time limit was adopted in 1960, some artists have had songs longer than three minutes, which must be edited down to 3 minutes, though some songs exceed that time by a few seconds. Many of the entries also have longer versions (including different languages) for commercial release, and since the 1990s, some are released in additional remixed versions.
  • The EBU imposes no restrictions on the nationalities of the performers or songwriters. Individual broadcasters are, however, permitted to impose their own restrictions at their discretion. About a dozen artists have performed more than once in the Contest representing different countries, and some of the winners were not born in the country they represented.
  • From 1957 to 1970 (in 1956 there was no restriction at all) only soloists and duos were allowed on stage. From 1963, a chorus of up to three people was permitted. Since 1971, a maximum of six performers have been permitted on the stage.
  • The performance and/or lyrics of a song “must not bring the Contest into disrepute”. No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature are permitted. No swearing or unacceptable language is allowed, neither are commercial messages.
  • Prior to 1990, there was no performer age limit. From 1990 to 2003, all performers were required to be at least 16 years of age by the end of the year in which the contest was held. In 2004, this was amended to the current rule, which requires all performers to be at least 16 years of age by the time of the contest.
  • No live animals.
  • Each artist may perform for only one country per year.
  • The music and text must not have been published or performed before 1 September of the year before the contest is held. Many countries also have the additional rule that the song shall never have been performed before the relevant national Eurovision Contest. Covers, reworked or sampled versions of older songs are not allowed.

Critiche e controversie: L’Eurovision Song Contest è soggetto a diverse critiche riguardanti soprattutto il meccanismo di votazione.

Il meccanismo di votazione si basa al 50% sul televoto (ma alcuni paesi usano la giuria, ritenuta più equa) e tende a favorire paesi con cui si intrattengono buone relazioni politiche, soprattutto quelli confinanti, piuttosto che valutare la qualità artistica delle canzoni, dei cantanti, della performance o degli autori. Con la recente apertura ai paesi dell’est Europa, frammentata in molte realtà una volta ben coese, questo ha portato a una intensificazione del fenomeno. Ciò accadde soprattutto nei paesi dell’ex Urss, nell’ex Jugoslavia (che partecipò per anni come unico paese), nei paesi nordici (Svezia, Norvegia, Danimarca, Islanda, Finlandia, Estonia, Lettonia ) e tra le coppie Grecia-Cipro, Romania-Moldavia, Azerbaigian-Turchia che da anni si scambiano quando possibile i 10-12 punti. I difensori della formula sostengono che paesi vicini condividono cultura e quindi gusti musicali e che dunque appare naturale che siano portati a favorire nel voto i paesi vicini. Frequente è però anche il voto “diaspora”, cioè degli emigranti che vivono lontano dal loro paese e lo votano in massa, i casi più evidenti sono quelli di Germania e Francia che hanno quasi sempre assegnato non meno di 10 punti alla Turchia. Per limitare questi fenomeni, dal 2009 televoto e giurie contano alla pari.

Altre critiche vengono mosse circa la partecipazione al televoto di Paesi che non appartengono fisicamente all’Europa (Israele, parte asiatica della Turchia, paesi caucasici). Altra regola controversa è l’esistenza dei cosiddetti Big Five (Regno Unito, Germania, Francia, Spagna e dal 2011 Italia) che hanno in ogni caso diritto alla finale, vantaggio non sempre ben visto, anche se tali Paesi danno contributi finanziari maggiori all’EBU-UER per le sue attività.

Un tentativo di falsare il televoto dell’edizione del 2013 ha portato l’EBU-UER a varare regole più restrittive, che possono portare anche all’allontanamento per tre anni del o delle reti partecipanti che dovessero avere anche solo tratto vantaggio dal tentativo di falsare le votazioni, sia che accada prima, durante o dopo la gara.

The contest has been the subject of criticism regarding both its musical and political content. For example, on rare occasions, certain countries have been booed when performing or receiving points, especially when being given by a neighbour country. Most recently in 2014 and 2015, Russia was heavily booed when it qualified for the final and received high points. The reason for the booing is considered to be due to the Russian annexation of Crimea and opposition to the country’s policy on LGBT rights. Fraser Nelsonwrote: “I can’t remember the last time I heard a Eurovision audience boo anyone; during the Iraq war in 2003, no one booed Britain.” Due to the 2019 Contest being held in Israel, some people called on their national broadcasters to boycott the competition over Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Peter Gabriel was among 50 artists who urged the BBC to ask for the contest to be moved out of Israel. In response, the BBC said it was not appropriate “to use the BBC’s participation for political reasons”. 

China’s broadcaster Mango TV, which broadcast 2018 Contest for Chinese audiences, was banned from broadcasting Eurovision after it was revealed that Mango TV censored Ireland’s same sex dance performance, along with censoring LGBT symbols and tattoos.

Musical style and presentation – Because the songs play to such a diverse supranational audience with contrasting musical tastes, and countries want to be able to appeal to as many people as possible to gain votes, this has led to the music of the contest being characterised as a “mishmash of power ballads, ethnic rhythms and bubblegum pop”. This well-established pattern, however, was notably broken in 2006 with Finnish metal band Lordi’s victory. As Eurovision is a visual show, many performances attempt to attract the attention of the voters through means other than the music, notably elaborate lighting sequences and pyrotechnics; sometimes leading to bizarre on-stage theatrics and costumes, including the use of revealing dress.

Political and geographical voting – The contest has long been accused by some of political bias; the perception is that judges and televoters allocate points based on their nation’s relationship to the other countries, rather than the musical merits of the songs. According to one study of Eurovision voting patterns, certain countries tend to form “clusters” or “cliques” by frequently voting in the same way. Another study concludes that as of 2006, voting blocs have, on at least two occasions, crucially affected the outcome of the contest. On the other hand, others argue that certain countries allocate disproportionately high points to others because of similar musical tastes and cultures and because they speak similar languages, and are therefore more likely to appreciate each other’s music. A recent study in presents a new approach which allows an analysis of the whole time-line of the contest (from 1957 to 2017) to investigate collusion and the cluster blocks which have been changing. It allows the analysis to find collusive associations over time periods where the voting scheme is non-homogeneous. The results show a changing pattern in the collusive tendencies previously discussed. The current research into the analysis of the voting patterns has been used in notable sources, such as the Economist, for investigating whether over 10-year periods such collusion is increasing or decreasing.

800px-The_collusion_between_countries_in_Eurovision_1997_to_2017

The collusion between countries in Eurovision 1997 to 2017

800px-Mutual_neglect_of_score_allocations_in_the_Eurovision_2010_to_2015.png

Mutual neglect of score allocations in the Eurovision 2010 to 2015. Produced using the methods presented in and a network of the significant score deviations can be viewed over a time period of interest.

As an example, Terry Wogan, the United Kingdom’s well-known presenter of Eurovision since 1980 and one of the only three presenters mentioned by name during the contest proper stood down from BBC One’s broadcast in 2008 saying “The voting used to be about the songs. Now it’s about national prejudices. We [the United Kingdom] are on our own. We had a very good song, a very good singer, we came joint last. I don’t want to be presiding over another debacle”.

Another influential factor is the high proportion of expatriates and ethnic minorities living in certain countries. Although judges and televoters cannot vote for their own country’s entry, expatriates can vote for their country of origin.

The total numbers of points to be distributed by each country are equal, irrespective of the country’s population. Thus voters in countries with larger populations have less power as individuals to influence the result of the contest than those voting in smaller countries. For example, San Marino holds the same voting power as Russia despite the vast geographic and population differences between them.

To try to reduce the effect of voting blocs, national juries were re-introduced alongside televoting in the final in 2009: each contributing 50% of the vote. This hybrid system was expanded in 2010 to also be implemented in the semi-finals. However, since 1994 no country has won two years in a row, and semi-finals have also been won by different countries, until 2012 when Sweden won the second semi-final in 2011 and 2012. Although many of them used to give their 12 points to the same country each year, like Cyprus and Greece, it has been noticed that factors such as the sets of other high votes received (7, 8 or 10 points) and the number of countries giving points to a specific entry, also highly affect the final positions.

An overview of the overall preference between countries that exhibits patterns of high score allocations is a question that appears frequently and recently a new study investigates the question of ‘neglect’ in the competition. The concept of ‘neglect’ here is represented by countries which produce patterns of biased low score allocations to certain countries. Together these two patterns provide a better view of the competition’s intrinsic country pair biases. Result of such a study are presented in this paper. From the analysis it can be seen that countries which exhibit these biases do not receive a penalization from other participants and it presents itself as a means to accumulate more points by establishing these partnerships.

Running order of the participating songs – From 2013 onwards, the final and the semi-finals running order of the competing performances at the semi-finals and the final has been decided by the show’s producers and then approved by the EBU Executive Supervisor and the Reference Group. An “allocation draw” occurs for the final and the semi-finals with each nation drawing to perform in the first or second half. Prior to 2013, the order was decided at random (though when the host nation performs is still decided at random, to ensure fairness). There is some statistical evidence that the contest’s results were positively related to the running number in 2009–2012. The change in procedure was aimed to make the show more exciting and ensure that all contestants had a chance to stand out, preventing entries that are too similar from cancelling each other out. The decision elicited mixed reactions from both fans and participating broadcasters. Some fans have alleged that there is a risk of corruption and that the order can be manipulated to benefit certain countries, since the running order is considered to be of importance to the result. As of the 2019 contest, the only regularly contested positions in the running order that have never won the contest are numbers 2 and 16, with position number 21 winning for the first time in 2016. Position 17 has the most victories, with 7. Positions 25, 26 and 27 have not won either, but there have been very few finals with that many participants.

Regolamento: Il regolamento negli anni e nei suoi vari ambiti è stato rivisto più volte. Di seguito sono indicate le attuali regole:

Per i cantanti: 

  • Devono avere almeno 16 anni di età;
  • sul palco non possono essere presenti più di 6 persone (sono inclusi i gruppi e gli eventuali ballerini o coristi).

Per le canzoni: 

  • Non deve durare più di 3 minuti;*
  • può essere di qualunque genere e cantata in qualunque lingua, anche inventata;
  • non può essere cover o ispirata ad altro brano edito;**
  • deve essere pubblicata non prima di un certo periodo (solitamente non prima del 1º settembre dell’anno precedente allo svolgimento della gara), e deve essere presentata con un video;**
  • non deve avere una scenografia o una coreografia controversa (in particolare sono vietati gli animali);
  • non deve avere contenuti politici, pubblicitari, o offensivi.***

*Questa regola è stata inserita nel 1962 (con un limite di 3 minuti e 30 secondi) in seguito all’esibizione di Corde della mia chitarra, che si è protratta per 5 minuti e 9 secondi.

**Nel 1988 Yiannis Demetriou, rappresentante cipriota, è stato squalificato poiché la sua canzone era già edita.

***Nel 2012 Valentina Monetta, rappresentante sammarinese, ha dovuto modificare titolo e contenuto della sua canzone a causa del riferimento esplicito al social network Facebook

Per il televoto: 

Il televoto è l’insieme di voti assegnato dal pubblico attraverso un messaggio di testo con il numero della canzone, una chiamata (entrambi a numeri presentati durante lo show) o tramite l’app ufficiale dell’evento.

Le regole principali sono:

  • bisogna aver compiuto 18 anni;
  • non si può votare per il proprio paese.

Per le emittenti: 

  • È necessario che l’emittente sia un membro effettivo dell’unione europea di radiodiffusione;
  • è necessario che l’emittente si iscriva o si ritiri entro un determinato termine, tuttavia dall’edizione del 2015 non ci sono più penali per le nazioni che si iscrivono e poi si ritirano oltre il termine ultimo;
  • la serata finale deve essere trasmessa integralmente e obbligatoriamente su canali principali, mentre per le semifinali è sufficiente, dal 2008, la trasmissione in diretta di quella di competenza del paese, anche su canali minori. Per quanto riguarda i Big 5, anche se non si esibiscono nelle finali dalla loro istituzione, hanno diritto di voto in una delle due semifinali, dove vengono inoltre presentate parti delle prove delle canzoni sul palco;*
  • è severamente vietato non trasmettere o trasmettere solo parzialmente una o più esibizioni dei rappresentanti di altre nazioni;
  • per le emittenti organizzatrici è necessario ospitare la manifestazione in un luogo provvisto di copertura e dotato di una capacità adeguata.

*Dal 1999 sono previsti, per le televisioni che volessero introdurli, degli spazi per inserire gli annunci pubblicitari, e si può omettere la trasmissione dell’interval act.

Organizzazione ed articolazione: 

Selezione dei partecipanti: La selezione dei partecipanti all’Eurovision Song Contest spetta alle emittenti televisive competenti dei singoli stati, ed esse decidono la modalità di selezione: una scelta interna (quindi cantante e/o brano vengono scelti dall’emittente stessa), organizzare un festival musicale (il pubblico e/o una giuria scelgono un vincitore che viene invitato a partecipare all’Eurovision), o un misto. Il vincitore dell’eventuale festival però non è obbligato a partecipare all’Eurovision né tanto meno è obbligato ad esibirsi con la canzone vincitrice, ad esempio Iva Zanicchi ha vinto il Festival di Sanremo nel 1969, in coppia con Bobby Solo, con la canzone Zingara, ma all’Eurovision si presentò da sola con il brano Due grosse lacrime bianche.

I partecipanti non devono obbligatoriamente avere vincoli di nazionalità (ad esempio nel 1988 la Svizzera vinse con la cantante canadese Céline Dion) e le canzoni non hanno restrizioni riguardanti la lingua (anche se nelle prime edizioni vigeva un obbligo di cantare in una delle lingue ufficiali del proprio paese).

Articolazione: 

• Semifinali: Fino all’edizione del 2003 la manifestazione si è articolata in un’unica serata finale e alcune volte, dato il numero di partecipanti, l’UER ha effettuato o una preselezione o le cosiddette “retrocessioni” (cioè la non partecipazione per un anno alle ultime classificate).

Dal 2004 al 2007 è stata introdotta una semifinale che si è svolta pochi giorni prima della finale, alla quale avevano direttamente accesso i cosiddetti Big Four (Francia, Germania, Spagna e Regno Unito), il paese ospitante, i nove migliori paesi della precedente edizione e i dieci vincitori della semifinale, per una finale a 24. In entrambe le serate votavano tutti i paesi.

Dal 2008, visto l’alto numero di partecipanti, il regolamento prevede due semifinali a cui partecipano tutti i paesi con l’eccezione dei Big (che diventano Five nel 2011 con il ritorno dell’Italia) e del paese ospitante che accedono direttamente alla finale, che raggiunge perciò i 26 partecipanti (25 se l’ospitante è uno dei Big Five). Nelle semifinali però, votano solo i paesi che gareggiano in tale serata più tre nazioni qualificate

Le semifinali durano normalmente 2 ore e si svolgono il martedì e il giovedì di una settimana di maggio.

I paesi che si qualificano per la finale vengono annunciati in ordine casuale e i risultati vengono divulgati a fine concorso. I vincitori inoltre partecipano ad una conferenza stampa dove, dopo aver risposto alle domande dei partecipanti alla conferenza, si viene a sapere in quale metà della finale si esibiranno.

• Finale: Lo show televisivo della finale, che si svolge normalmente di sabato, dura poco più di 3 ore e, come nelle semifinali, le lingue utilizzate dai presentatori sono l’inglese e il francese (lingue ufficiali dell’UER), spesso affiancate dalla lingua ufficiale del paese ospitante. Inoltre, dal 2013 vi è una parata dei finalisti che apre la serata.

Buona parte della serata finale è occupata dall’annuncio e conteggio dei voti, che, contrariamente alle semifinali, avviene in diretta: i presentatori videochiamano i corrispondenti di ogni nazione partecipante, incluse quelle uscite nelle semifinali, che danno i risultati del voto delle giurie (annunciando solo il punteggio più alto). Al voto delle giurie viene affiancato, partendo dal più basso, il risultato del televoto.

Finito il conteggio dei voti il vincitore viene premiato, solitamente dal vincitore dell’anno precedente, con un trofeo di vetro a forma di microfono e viene invitato ad esibirsi nuovamente con la canzone vincitrice.

Come ogni programma dell’UER è introdotto e chiuso dal Te Deum di Charpentier.

Vittoria: Il paese che ottiene più punti vince l’Eurovision Song Contest e acquisisce l’invito non vincolante a organizzare l’edizione successiva. Infatti il paese o l’emittente televisiva possono rinunciare all’organizzazione dell’evento, in tal caso viene scelto un altro paese tra i candidati.

Il regolamento inizialmente non prevedeva spareggi, ma a causa del pareggio a quattro nell’edizione del 1969 e le critiche successive (alcuni paesi non parteciparono per protesta all’edizione successiva), il regolamento fu modificato e fu deciso che in caso di parità il paese con il maggior numero di 12 punti ricevuti sarebbe stato il vincitore (in caso di ulteriore parità si sarebbe deciso in base al numero di 10 punti ricevuti e così via). Questa regola fu applicata nel 1991 in Italia assegnando la vittoria alla Svezia, che si trovava a pari punteggio con la Francia. Il regolamento fu successivamente modificato e la vittoria viene assegnata al paese che ha ricevuto punti dal maggior numero di paesi e solo in caso di ulteriore parità si procede al conteggio dei 12 punti, eventualmente dei 10 punti e così via. Con l’attuale regolamento la vittoria del 1991 sarebbe stata assegnata alla Francia.

Dal 2016 giurie e televoto sono considerati separatamente, e i presentatori in video per le varie nazioni rivelano solamente i 12 punti assegnati dalle giurie (mostrando gli altri in video), per poi annunciare i punti del televoto, dicendo, stato per stato concorrente, il numero dei punti, partendo dalle nazioni che ricevono i punteggi più bassi a quelle che hanno ricevuto i punteggi più alti.

Sistema di votazione:  Nel corso degli anni anche il sistema di votazione ha subito alcune modifiche. Nel 1975 è entrato in vigore l’attuale sistema di assegnazione dei punteggi: ogni paese assegna un certo numero di punti alle 10 canzoni preferite: da 1 a 7 punti rispettivamente dalla decima alla quarta, 8 punti alla terza, 10 alla seconda e 12 alla prima, da cui la famosa locuzione francese douze points.

Inizialmente la votazione era effettuata dalle sole giurie, ma dal 1997 è stato sperimentato il televoto che è entrato ufficialmente in vigore l’anno successivo per tutte le nazioni. Nel caso in cui il televoto non dovesse funzionare, si conterebbe il solo voto della giuria.

Solitamente le giurie nazionali sono composte da cantanti e autori, che spesso hanno già partecipato all’Eurovision. In seguito alle critiche sul sistema di votazione, nell’edizione 2009 sono state reintrodotte solo nella serata finale, dove il punteggio ha pesato per il 50%.

Modalità: Tranne che nel 2010 e 2011 (dove si è votato fin dalla prima canzone), è possibile votare, sia nelle semifinali che nella finale, in uno spazio di 15 minuti dopo l’esibizione dell’ultima canzone. Questo momento viene annunciato dai presentatori con l’altra celebre frase Europe start voting now!.

Nelle semifinali votano solo i paesi coinvolti più due o tre Big Five (anche il paese ospitante vota in una delle due semifinali), mentre in finale tutti i paesi partecipanti hanno diritto di voto, compresi quelli che sono stati eliminati nelle semifinali.

Dichiarazione dei voti: Al termine delle semifinali vengono annunciati senza un ordine particolare i paesi che hanno avuto accesso alla finale, ma i punteggi e la classifica delle semifinali vengono resi noti solo dopo la serata finale.

Anche la dichiarazione finale dei voti ha subito delle modifiche: inizialmente ogni paese dichiarava tutti i punteggi partendo dal più basso e ogni punteggio doveva essere ripetuto per regolamento dal presentatore in inglese e francese (dal 2004 solo in francese o inglese). Dal 2006 al 2015, dopo l’esibizione di tutti i cantanti e scaduto il tempo per la votazione, i presentatori della manifestazione si collegavano a uno a uno con tutti i paesi partecipanti, che dichiaravano le nazioni che avevano ricevuto 8, 10 e 12 punti. Dal 2016 i presentatori videochiamano i corrispondenti di ogni paese votante che danno solo il punteggio più alto assegnato dalle giurie (i punti da 1 a 10 vengono aggiunti automaticamente sullo schermo), mentre il punteggio del televoto viene aggiunto, partendo dal più basso, dagli stessi presentatori. L’ordine in cui vengono chiamate le nazioni in principio era basato sull’ordine di uscita delle canzoni, nel 2004 sulla sigla internazionale delle nazioni in ordine alfabetico, nel 2005 partendo dalle nazioni fermatesi in semifinale e poi quelle finaliste, dal 2006 al 2010 tramite sorteggio, dal 2011 è basato su un particolare algoritmo sviluppato dall’emittente televisiva norvegese NRK che tiene conto dei voti delle giurie, cercando di mantenere il più possibile in bilico il risultato finale. Con il nuovo sistema di voto, il primo paese che presenta il risultato delle giurie è quello che aveva ospitato l’ESC l’anno prima, l’ultimo quello ospitante.

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