Eurovision changes the voting system in the semi-finals

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 Eurovision changes the voting system in the semi-finals

The Eurovision Music Contest has announced major changes to the voting process for next year's contest.

The professional jury has been excluded from the semi-final, meaning that only the audience will be able to choose who will enter to the grand final.

Countries not participating in the competition will also be able to vote for the first time.

The move comes after six juries were found to have exchanged votes at this year's contest in Turin, Italy.

Illegal voting schemes have been found in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San -Marino, according to the EBU organizing the competition.

These jury votes have been discounted and replaced with a cumulative score calculated based on the results of other countries with similar voting results.

A professional jury, composed of professional songwriters and music industry figures, has existed since at least the second Eurovision Song Contest. in 1957 (the voting system for the first contest has never been revealed).

Under the current system, their scores are combined with the results of the public vote to determine the overall winner.

This practice will continue and in the final, according to an EBU press release.

Allowing non-participating countries to vote will reflect the “global impact of the event,” said Martin Österdahl, executive director of the competition: “Everyone who watches the show, wherever he lives, he can vote for his favorite songs.

Next year, 37 countries will take part in the competition, while Montenegro and North Macedonia have refused to participate due to the cost of participation.

Russia was excluded from this year's event after the invasion of Ukraine and will not be admitted to the competition next year.

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