Eurovision changes voting for finalists - will Israel's chances suffer?

Viewers from countries not taking part in Eurovision will be able to vote for the first time ever – a move that could affect Israel’s prospects of winning the contest.

 KALUSH ORCHESTRA from Ukraine pose for photographers after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, in Turin, Saturday night. (photo credit: YALA NARDI/REUTERS)
KALUSH ORCHESTRA from Ukraine pose for photographers after winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, in Turin, Saturday night.
(photo credit: YALA NARDI/REUTERS)

International singing competition Eurovision announced Tuesday that they would alter the way finalists are decided from now on – starting with Eurovision 2023.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that the semifinals of the competition will now be decided solely based on the votes cast by viewers of the competition, rather than a combination of a jury and public vote as has been the case since 2009.

Additionally, viewers watching in countries not taking part in the competition will also be able to vote for the first time ever – a move that could affect Israel’s prospects of winning the contest, as they have done four times in the past.

Netta Barzilai, Eurovision winner 2018. (credit: REUTERS)Netta Barzilai, Eurovision winner 2018. (credit: REUTERS)

Votes from non-participating countries

Votes from viewers outside of participating nations will be added together and converted to points that will have the same weight as one participating country in both the semifinal and the grand final.

“In 2023 only Eurovision Song Contest viewers will decide which countries make it to the Grand Final and, reflecting the global impact of the event, everyone watching the show, wherever they live in the world, can cast their votes for their favorite songs.“

Eurovision 2023 is being hosted in the UK on behalf of Ukraine following the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra’s win in 2022. Audiences in all participating countries will still be able to vote by SMS, phone or via the Eurovision Song Contest app, while viewers in the rest of the world will be able to vote via a secure online platform using a credit card from their country.