Will fans give 'douze points' to new Eurovision result rules?
TT/AFP/The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 16:56
Published: 18 Feb 2016 14:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2016 16:56 GMT+01:00
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The winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest won't be known until the last moment, thanks to a new way of presenting the results of voting by both viewers and the event's expert juries.
In previous years, audiences have been able to work out the winner long before the end of voting, because viewers have been presented with the combined results of text and phone voting and the scores from industry experts. Anyone with basic maths has been able to spot when an act is too far ahead to be caught up.
In 2016, there'll be a number of changes to this formula.
Firstly, public voters from each country will be able to award a set of points for the top 10 spots in the contest, just as the professionals do. In the past they've only been able to vote for their favourite act.
So, from your sofa, you'll have the chance to choose the famous "null points" (French for zero) and any other number up to eight, as well as ten points and twelve points (or douze points in French).
At the end of both public and jury voting, the show's Swedish hosts Måns Zelmerlöw (last year's winner) and Petra Mede (a comic) will then reveal the results in two stages.
Initially, the jury points from each country will be announced by each national representative. Then only after this, the combined televoting points from all participating countries will be added into the mix.
The show's hosts will add the points to the score board of countries, starting from the bottom upwards and building up to a climax, when an entry could be awarded hundreds of points to claim victory in the show's final moments.
Still confused? Watch the show's video explainer.
The organisers have described the move as "the biggest change since the 'douze points' system was introduced more than 40 years ago" and say it will add a new level of excitement for fans of the show.
“All competitions are enhanced by creating a dramatic finish,” Eurovision Song Contest Producer, Christer Björkman, said in a statement on Thursday.
“This was a unanimous decision taken by the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group. It’s about creating TV magic,” he added.
Sweden's search for a star act in the contest is already well under way, under the guise of the Nordic country's annual televised Melodifestivalen competition.
The Swedish capital will host the show on May 14th after Måns Zelmerlōw won the country its sixth crown last year -- the first being won by ABBA in 1974 with 'Waterloo'.
Eurovision voting has long been dogged by controversy, with countries accused of awarding the maximum 12 points to neighbours and allies rather than according to the acts' musical merits.
The competition is open to the 56 members of the European Broadcasting Union and seen some outlandish performers since its inception in 1956, including Russian grannies, Ireland's Dustin the Turkey and the 2006 winners, Finnish heavy metal outfit Lordi -- looking like orcs from 'Lord of the Rings'.