The voting: How does it work?24 May 2010 at 22:30 CEST
Since 2004, the European Broadcasting Union works with the company Digame to handle the voting of the Eurovision Song Contest. Their experts built a special pan-European response platform to handle millions of incoming votes that people at home cast by phone and/or SMS, which makes it by far the most challenging and complex televoting operation in the world. Votes come in through more than 200 phone operators from all over Europe, and last year more than 10 million calls and SMS messages were processed in a matter of minutes! From the side of Digame, 84 people are involved in this enormous operation.
Apart from being the most popular element of the contest, it is also one of the most discussed elements. With some 125 million viewers come some 125 million different opinions. After criticism on the predictability of the voting, a few years ago, the EBU made some heavy changes in the way the winner of Europe's favourite TV-show was chosen. The biggest change happened in 2009, when the EBU gave professional judges the opportunity to determine half of the result in the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest. After positive feedback from the contestants, the press and viewers, it was decided to also give judges a 50% stake in the outcome of the Semi-Finals. Read more..
We need your vote!
In both Semi-Finals as well as in the Final, half of the result will be determined by you - the viewers at home. You can vote in the Semi-Final your country is represented in. During the Final, viewers from all 39 participating countries can vote by phone and/or SMS. For the first time, in each of the three live shows, you can start voting from the first song onwards, until 15 minutes after the last song has been performed. The show hosts will clearly indicate when the voting starts and ends, and televoting information appears at the bottom of your screen.
Five countries pre-qualified for the Final; France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and Norway. During the first Semi-Final, viewers and judged in France, Germany and Spain will also cast their vote. During the second Semi-Final, viewers and judges in Norway and the United Kingdom will also cast their vote.
So, now we know where 50% of the result comes from - you! - we'll explain you where the other 50% comes from!
The other half of the result of both the Semi-Finals as well as the Final will be determined by professional juries. In each country, five music industry professionals, such as song writers, composers, radio presenters and singers, gather to listen to the songs with professional eyes and ears. They have been asked to judge the vocals, the quality and originality of the songs, the acts and the overall impression of the performance. All judges signed a declaration stating that they are not related to any of the contestants in such a way that they cannot vote independently, and their judging process is being monitored by an independent notary in each country. All judges must be citizens of the countries they are voting from.
The names of the judges will be revealed by your national commentator. We can already tell you that several former Eurovision Song Contest participants and even a former winner are amongst the nearly 200 music industry professionals who were carefully selected for this honourable job!
Combining your vote with the jury vote
In each country, the result of the viewers and the judges will be combined. Each country then gives 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points as usual. At the end of the Semi-Finals, the hosts will only reveal the 10 countries that qualify for the Final in random order. The full voting details of the Semi-Finals will be released shortly after the Final, to keep the excitement until the very last moment.
During the Final, the results will be merged in the same way, and spokespersons from the 39 represented countries will read out the points. The country with the highest number of points wins the grand prix of the 55th Eurovision Song Contest, and the honour to host next year's contest!
Good to know...
- Most important of all: To determine the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, we need your vote! Last year, we received over 10 million votes from people like you. The more votes we receive, the better the winner reflects the opinion of the people from all over Europe
- You can vote up to 20 times, either for the same song or for different songs
- You can not vote for the country you are voting from
- Do not vote before the voting has been opened, or after the voting has been closed. You might still be charged! The hosts and commentators will keep you well-informed!
- Make sure you follow the instructions on screen. Sending an incorrect vote means your vote cannot be counted and you might still be charged
- In case of a tie for any position, the country who received points from most other countries ranks highest
- In case of a tie between the jury vote and the televote, the televote will prevail
- In the unlikely case of technical problems during the televoting, only the jury result will be used for 100%
- For an easy overview of the voting procedure in the Semi-Finals and the Final, check out our special voting page