Will Eastern Europe benefit from the new Eurovision vote? Here is your answer! – ESCXTRA.com

Yesterday’s announcement of the new Eurovision Song Contest voting system sparked a lot of reactions on social media. That’s why we at ESCXTRA.com decided to take a closer look at the potential winners Where victims of this new system. Is the Western fear of returning to the days of 2004-2008 a reality? Will the East benefit, as some say, from the new vote in the semi-finals?

Recap: the new Eurovision vote

The EBU announced yesterday that only televoting will decide who qualifies for the semi-finals, from Eurovision 2023. This means that a backup jury will only exist if the televote does not work or if there are not enough (or no) televotes, as in San Marino. Apart from this, the EBU has introduced a series of televotes from Rest of the world, allowing non-participating countries to vote via a credit card system. This should prevent irregularities, such as VPN usage, from occurring.

One of the reasons cited by the EBU for making these changes is to combat unprecedented number of voting irregularities which took place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. A working group of EBU Members has been set up to look at ways to protect the integrity of the vote and these recommendations have been implemented by the EBU with these changes.

#XtraTalk [S02E03] | #Eurovision 2023: New voting procedures | ESCXTRA.com

Winners or losers?

In order to determine winners or losers, we decided to look at the number of times a country (would) have qualified. Some countries will increase their final participations, others will see theirs decrease. Some social media users have claimed that it is mainly Eastern European countries that will benefit, pointing to a dangerous narrative that dominated Western Europe between 2004 and 2008. The question is… Is it really the case ?

Azerbaijan: the biggest victim

One country will lose a massive total of three Grand Final spots in this new system: Azerbaijan. Interestingly, all of their additional non-qualifiers would have been ballads. “Start A Fire”, “Hour of the Wolf” and “Fade to black” would all have missed. The latter would even have finished last in his semi-final with zero points.

Nadir Rustamli - Fade To Black - LIVE - Azerbaijan 🇦🇿 - Grand Final - Eurovision 2022Nadir Rustamli – Fade To Black – LIVE – Azerbaijan 🇦🇿 – Grand Final – Eurovision 2022

Also losers: Israel, Malta and Hungary

Two other countries lose two places in the Grand Final without gaining any. They are Israel and Hungary. For Israel, two big men’s ballads would have been missed, with “Milim” by Harel Skaat and “Made of Stars” by Hovi Star. Hungary would have failed to qualify with “Sound of our Hearts” and “Wars for nothing”.

Malta is often seen as a country with a lot of jury support and that seems to be correct. They would lose two spots in the Grand Finals under the new system. “Coming Home” and “This Is The Night” were both qualified by the jury. However, both were already considered borderline qualifiers. Their big hits, such as “Tomorrow,” “Walk on Water” and “I’m Breaking” were also strong qualifiers for the TV vote.

Biggest winner: Finland

Interestingly, the biggest winner from this system would have been Finland. The northern country failed to qualify three times based on jury voting alone. This includes 2015 televote favorites PKN and “Aina Mun Pitää”, but also fan favorites “Blackbird” and “Työlki Ellää”. No other country would have had as many gains as Finland. In those years, their jury vote was bad enough that they didn’t qualify, despite televotes wanting to give them a chance in the Grand Finals.

Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki Ellää (Finland) Eurovision Song Contest 2010Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki Ellää (Finland) Eurovision Song Contest 2010

Also winners: North Macedonia, Lithuania and Poland

The next step is where some people think the East could benefit from this new system. North Macedonia, Lithuania and Poland both earn places in the Grand Final. For Lithuania, “Eastern European Funk” and “Run With The Lions” would have qualified. However, “It’s My Life” wouldn’t have made it through. This is where we start to see a bit more of a trend: InCulto would have taken last place from Niamh Kavanagh or Harel Skaat – both heavy ballads. Many of the ‘new unqualified’ are actually ballads.

Poland’s new qualifiers would have been Tulia and Gromee ft. Lukas Meijer, North Macedonia giving Kaliopi his second final run with “Dona”. Technically, “Neshto Sto Ke Ostane” would also have been a new qualifier for the televised vote, but they failed to qualify due to the 2009 system. Even in a combined vote, Next Time finished tenth in their semi -final, thus giving them a last place. However, the 2009 rules meant that the jury could “save” a tenth qualifier. This cost North Macedonia a final berth, as the juries pushed Finland’s ‘Lose Control’ through to the final.

Balance: Czech Republic, Netherlands and Ireland

Two countries that have often been cited as losers from the new system are the Czech Republic and Ireland. The two countries have traditionally struggled in a televised vote, as there is no (or almost no) natural and guaranteed televised vote for either. This means we want to take a closer look at them: Will they really suffer?

The answer seems to be no. At least not based on the system, as Ireland have been struggling for years. Ireland would indeed have lost a last place with the former winner Niamh Kavanagh in 2010, obtaining its last place of the juries. However, they would also earn a final spot with “Heartbeat,” their 2014 entry by Can-Linn & Kasey Smith. Ditto for the Netherlands, who would have won “You & Me”, but failed with “Outlaw in ’em”.

The Czech Republic has the same kind of history. Their first-ever qualification would now have taken place in a different year. Gabriela Gunčíková finished twelfth in her semi-final with the viewers with her “I Stand” and would therefore fail now. However, “Hope Never Dies” for the Czechs as their 2015 was actually a qualifier for the televised vote: Václav Noid Barta and Marta Jandová would have given them their very first place in the Grand Final.

On a separate note: San Marino is often the third country mentioned as suffering from this. However, all of their qualifying entries were also in the top ten televotes of their respective years (“Maybe,” “Say Na Na Na,” and “Adrenalina”).

In short: What do we get out of it?

We now have to draw conclusions after seeing the winners and losers of this system. Some of the presumed losers, like the Netherlands, San Marino or the Czech Republic, don’t actually lose any Grand Final appearances. It is actually Azerbaijan, Hungary, Israel and Malta that are missing more than anyone else. On the other side of the spectrum, Finland wins the most with three places in the Grand Final. Poland and North Macedonia also gain a little.

It’s also interesting to see that Sweden would regain their perennial qualifier status, with ‘This Is My Life’ returning to the final. At the same time, Ukraine would have lost its own in 2012 with “Be My Guest”. Cyprus and Greece would also further restore their records, with “Ela” and “Oniro Mou” slipping into the final.

Overall, most of the permutations seem to occur in eastern Europe. This goes for positive permutations (like Bulgaria or Croatia), as well as negative permutations (Azerbaijan or Serbia). Most of the changes are happening in Switzerland. Their record is still the same, but instead of “Boys Do Cry” and “In Love For A While”, it would have been “Unbreakable” and “Apollo” in the finale. Below you can see all the changes by country.

🇦🇱 Albania
In: Sekret (2022)
Released: Mall (2018) /
Karma (2021)
🇭🇺 Hungary
Release: The sound of our hearts (2012) /
Wars for Nothing (2015)
🇦🇲 Armenia
In: Boom Boom (2011)
🇮🇪 Ireland
In: Heartbeat (2014)
Exit: This is for you (2010)
🇦🇺 Australia
Released: Don’t Come Easy (2017)
🇮🇱 Israel
Release: Milim (2010) /
Made of Stars (2016)
🇦🇹 Austria
Released: Running on Air (2017)
🇱🇻 Latvia
In: Baking cake (2014)
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan
Release: Lighting a Fire (2014) /
Hour of the Wolf (2015) /
Fade to Black (2022)
🇱🇹 Lithuania
In: Eastern European Funk (2010) /
Run with the Lions (2019)
Release: It’s My Life (2011)
🇧🇾 Belarus
In: I love Belarus (2011) /
Help Yourself Fly (2016)
Release: I Like It (2019)
🇲🇹 Malta
Exit: It’s the night (2012) /
Coming Home (2014)
🇧🇪 Belgium
Release: The Bad Place (2021)
🇲🇪 Montenegro
Release: Moj Svijet (2014)
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina
In: Ljubav I (2016)
Released: Thunder and Lightning (2010)
🇲🇰 North Macedonia
In: Nešto što kje ostane (2009) /
Dona (2016)
🇧🇬 Bulgaria
In: Unlimited love
🇳🇴 Norway
In: Haba Haba (2011)
🇭🇷 Croatia
In: Tic-Tac (2021)
🇳🇱 The Netherlands
In : You and me (2012)
Out: Outlaw In ‘Em (2018)
🇨🇾 Cyprus
In: Ela (2022)
🇵🇱 Poland
In : Turn me on (2018) /
Pali Się (2019)
🇨🇿 Czech Republic
In : Hope never dies (2015)
Release: I Stand (2016)
🇵🇹 Portugal
In: Quero Ser Tua (2014)
🇩🇰 Denmark
In: Øve Os På Hinanden (2021)
Release: Love is Forever (2019) /
Where I Am (2017)
🇷🇸 Serbia
Released: Čaroban (2011)
🇪🇪 Estonia
In: Verona (2017)
Released: Rockefeller Street (2011)
🇸🇪 Sweden
In : It’s my life (2010)
🇬🇮 Finland
In: Työlki Ellää (2010) /
Aina Mun Pitää (2015) /
Blackbird (2017)
🇨🇭 Swiss
In: Unbreakable (2012) /
Apollo (2017)
Release: In Love for a Time (2011) /
Boys Cry (2022)
🇫🇪 Georgia
Released: Golden Midnight (2016)
🇹🇷 Turkey
In: Party (2011)
🇬🇧 Greece
In: Oniro Mou (2018)
🇺🇦 Ukraine
Release: Be My Guest (2012)
Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta - Hope Never Dies (Czech Republic) - LIVE - Eurovision 2015 sf2Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta – Hope Never Dies (Czech Republic) – LIVE – Eurovision 2015 sf2
Czech Republic: Not the victim people thought they were

We want to hear your thoughts on these changes to the voting system. Let us know if you think this will benefit or impact the competition in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA on Twitter, Facebook, ICT Tac, Mastodon and Youtube.