The new voting method of Eurovision was polemic. With it, if a set of votes is invalid, a replacement set will be calculated based on the public votes of a group of pre-selected countries, approved by EBU and Reference Group; let’s say, the votes are pure fiction. Thus, the most affected countries are those that do not reach enough votes – such as San Marino. ESCPedia spoke to Alessandro Capicchioni, who gave us his impressions on this new system.
Q: Now that Eurovision is over, what’s your opinion about this new voting system? Was it fairer than the previous one?
A: The new system totally discriminates small states as it doesn’t allow them to deliver 100% of their vote. The change in the voting system has been decided without even telling us.
On the other hand, from a technical point of view we can finally say that it reached a true equal weight between juries and televoters. It is now really 50% each. In the 2014 Grand Final, the Italian televote gave San Marino 5 points but the Italian jury ranked us 26th, that is to say last, therefore the final vote was zero. With the new system, we would have gotten some points anyhow.
Q: San Marino televoting was replaced by ‘an average result of a representative group of televoting results of other countries’. This was the ‘televoting’ results of final: 12 – Ukraine; 10 – Russia; 8 – Lithuania; 7 – Poland; 6 – Latvia; 5 – Australia; 4 – Sweden; 3 – Bulgaria; 2 – Armenia; 1 – Hungary. Do these votes represent San Marino? Would you prefer to have the jury vote duplicated or something like this?
A: It is now clear that what is called ‘national televoting’ in the Official Rules is not valid anymore. I’ve no idea whether these votes may be representative of the tastes of the San Marino viewers and I think no one will have until the San Marino people are allowed to express their preferences. Right now we are now studying a proposal to improve this miserable situation and we’re going to submit it to the EBU. We think that duplicating our jury voting would be totally wrong with this new system.
Q: With this new voting system, San Marino was in 12th place, while with the old system, you’d finish 15th. This means that you were able to get the 3rd best result of your Eurovision history. Do you think this new voting system will keep giving you better results than the other one?
A: Really!? I didn’t know! I think every year has its own history, in 2017 this system could bring us disadvantages, who can tell? Again, every year has its own song: ‘Grande amore’ by Il Volo would have won all the contests prior to its year while ‘1944’ by Jamala would probably be able to win only this year, and not only for musical reasons.
Q: As expected, San Marino had a better result with televoting than with the jury. What was missing in your entry to make juries vote for you?
A: Did you really expect this? We tried to stage an act that was balanced between jurors and viewers tastes, we don’t know what was missing. But if you looked to the jury voting thouroghly, you would note that a group of countries in Semifinal 1 has exclusively voted for themselves, leaving the ‘other’ countries in the right side of the scoreboard. San Marino was not part of that group, so the answers to your question may be many and different. And not only artistically speaking.
Q: Junior Eurovision also has a new voting system – without televoting and with two different juries (professional and kids). What do you think about the end of televoting? Is this the best way of picking the winner in this competition?
A: The Junior Eurovision has always suffered from low audience rates and the televoters were probably too few to risk and keep the system going after the broadcast slot moved to Sunday. I’m happy if this change will help saving the programme from closing. We always have difficulties in finding singers in that age range, considering the country size and if we will take part again we will
need a foreign singer.
ESCPedia team tried to contact Christer Björkman, who was produtor of this year’s Eurovision. We haven’t got his answers yet.