…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
The United Kingdom is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this year on behalf of Ukraine, the previous year’s winner.
This arrangement is due to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
A total of 37 countries, including Ukraine and the “big five” (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), will participate in the contest.
While Eurovision is known for its entertainment value, it also adheres to strict rules established by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Reference Group, the contest’s governing body.
This article explores the song, costume, and flag rules, as well as the voting system, and highlights the changes implemented for the 2023 edition.
To ensure fairness, songs performed at Eurovision must not have been released or publicly performed before a specified date set by the show organizers.
If a song is released prematurely, the country can be disqualified, necessitating the submission of a new entry.
Additionally, each song must not exceed three minutes in length and must undergo a national selection process in each participating country.
The stage shows must mirror the dress rehearsals and cannot be altered during the final performance.
Lip-syncing is strictly prohibited, and no live animals are allowed on stage.
Furthermore, each country’s performance can have a maximum of six artists.
Finally, all participating artists must be at least 16 years old and can only represent one country in a given year.
While Eurovision allows for creative freedom in costume choices, full nudity is banned.
The competition provides extensive costume storage, with rails measuring 150m in length.
The hair and makeup teams use over 100 wigs and hairpieces, 1,000 liters of hairspray, more than 3,000 makeup brushes, and 5,000 hairpins to create unique looks for the performers.
Eurovision’s history has seen some memorable and unconventional costume moments.
Strict regulations govern what fans can bring to show support for their favorite acts.
The M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool only allows flags under a certain size, and prohibited items must be surrendered at the entrance and will not be returned.
Banned items include specific belts, bracelets, selfie sticks, chairs, backpacks, air horns, laser pens, and flag sticks.
Hand-held flags are permitted as long as they do not exceed 5m x 1m in size.
Eurovision is renowned for its intricate voting procedures.
During the grand finale, viewers from participating countries can vote for their favorite songs through phone, text, or the Eurovision app.
Each person can vote up to 20 times but cannot select their own country’s entry.
The public vote accounts for 50% of the total vote, while the remaining 50% comes from a professional jury in each participating country.
After viewers cast their votes, a national spokesperson presents the points from the professional jury, ranging from 12 to zero.
The scores from the juries are combined with the public points, determining the winner.
Changes in Eurovision Voting:
For 2023, there have been changes to the voting system.
Only viewers’ votes will determine which countries qualify for the semi-finals, removing the involvement of official judges until the grand final stage.
Additionally, people from countries outside the contest can now vote online and through the app.
Their votes will carry the same weight as one participating country in both the semi-finals and the grand final.
Analysis and Commentary:
The detailed rules and regulations governing Eurovision ensure a fair and standardized competition.
The emphasis on originality and preventing pre-released songs ensures that all participants start on an equal footing.
The restrictions on stage performances and costume choices contribute to the overall coherence