After the second Eurovision win of Loreen this weekend, many Eurovision fans are questioning this victory since the public vote was clearly in Käärijä’s (Finland) favour. It was the jury vote that enabled Sweden’s entry to win, leading some to argue that the jury should have less influence in the points system since they were in such opposition to the public. Some very unhappy fans have even spread conspiracies that the competition was rigged for it to be held in Sweden next year, the 50th anniversary of Abba’s monumental win with ‘Waterloo’. This seems unlikely but a live performance at the competition next year would surely boost its popularity and viewers, (if they agreed to perform.)
Some are arguing for change to the voting system of the competition, where the jury and the public vote are weighted equally in the final decision. There are rules on fairness that stop voters from giving points to their own country and members of the jury mustn’t have any connection to any of the competitors and can only act as a juror every 3 years. These rules keep aspects of the voting system fair and ensure that all performers are considered equally, they are overlooked by independent observers to make sure they are being followed.
Although this voting system is well enforced and prevents cheating, some are arguing that it is still fundamentally flawed due to the significance of the jury vote. A small number of industry professionals are bound to disagree with the millions of public voters who can also vote up to 20 times each , so it is surprising that their influence in the results is 50/50. However the jury is difficult to get rid of because it still plays a vital role in the competition, it is integral in preventing ‘bloc voting’ where countries that are close to each other or are politically close will all vote for each other which adversely effects the results. This makes reforming the voting system a challenge because the jury votes both hinder and enable a fair result to the competition.
Despite the disappointment of Finish fans this year, they are still proud of their winner Käärijä, who has given Finland one of their best results. They welcomed him home as a hero, and he will be performing a concert in Helsinki for his fans, that will be broadcast worldwide, showing the true spirit of Eurovision.