Eurovision 2023: How points system will work as countries outside contest vote for first time in history

Eurovision 2023 is finally here, but even for seasoned fans the voting system can be confusing and there is a major change this year - here’s everything you need to know.

Eurovision 2023 is here with the main event finally kicking off in Liverpool tonight (Saturday, May 13). With the UK hosting the huge singing contest for the first time since 1998, thousands of new viewers will no doubt be tuning in for the first tine.

But even for seasoned Eurovision fans, the contest’s voting system can be confusing. Here’s how it works and what’s changing this year.

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Eurovision 2023 voting system - the basics

The outcome of Eurovision is determined in a 50/50 split by a jury of music industry professionals and viewers. But there are some changes to the voting system in 2023.

For the first time in Eurovision history, viewers watching around the world can vote for their favourite songs, thus determining the outcome of the competition. Viewers in all countries can vote using the official Eurovision App or go directly to the online voting hub.

People watching in the participating countries can also vote by telephone or SMS.

The jury system

A jury is appointed in each country taking part consisting of five members who must have a proven musical background. Each jury meets during the second dress rehearsal of each round where members watch the live broadcast of the rehearsals and rank each song from one to 12 , excluding their home country.

The ranking given to each song is converted into a score, with the total of the score from the whole jury making up the final national jury ranking. A national spokesperson from the participating countries will be called in to present the points of their professional jury.

Only the viewers votes will decide who makes it to the grand final in 2023, meaning acts won’t have to face the judges until then. The votes from juries from the participating countries in the semi-finals will only count towards the final vote of the semi-final if there is no valid audience vote.

Ukrainian comedian Verka Serduchka performs during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2023.Ukrainian comedian Verka Serduchka performs during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2023.
Ukrainian comedian Verka Serduchka performs during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2023. | AFP via Getty Images

Viewers votes

Voting takes place in both the Eurovision semi-finals as well as the grand final. Voting opens after all countries have performed and will remain open for 15 minutes. Fans can vote over the phone, by text or via the Eurovision app, with each person can vote up to 20 times but voters will be unable to select their own country’s entry.

The share of the vote will again be converted into a score, with the top 12 from each country given the points.

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What has changed this year?

Only viewers’ votes will decide which countries qualify onwards from the semi-finals stage in 2023. This means that acts will not have to face the judges until they reach the grand final stage.

For the first time in the competition’s 70 year history, people from countries outside the contest will be able to vote online and on the app. These votes will be converted into points that will have the same weight as one participating country in both of the semi-finals and the grand final.

Voting in the grand final

Viewers in all 37 countries taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 can vote for the 26 songs in the grand final. Those watching can vote from home. Voting will open after the last song is performed for approximately 40 minutes.

  • When the vote closes the Top 10 most popular songs in each participating country will be allocated points from 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points.
  • The 10 songs that have received the most votes from non-participating countries will be allocated points using the same scale and have the weight of one additional voting country.
  • The audience in each participating country will award a total of 58 points (1 – 8, 10 and 12). 37 countries x 58 points = 2,146 points from the from the national audiences of the participating countries.
  • The audience voting online from non-participating countries will also award a total of 58 points (1 – 8, 10 and 12).
  • The total number of points that will be distributed from the Audience will be 2,204 (37 participating countries + 1 Rest of the World “country”).
  • The jury in each of the 37 participating countries will also award a total of 58 points (1 – 8, 10 and 12)

    Each jury watched and casted their votes based on dress rehearsal 2 which took place on Friday (May 12).

UK Entry Mae Muller on stage during The Eurovision Song Contest 2023.UK Entry Mae Muller on stage during The Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
UK Entry Mae Muller on stage during The Eurovision Song Contest 2023. | Getty Images

After viewers have cast their votes, a national spokesperson from the participating countries will be called in to present the points of their professional jury – which range from the maximum ‘douze points’ (12) to zero. After the presentation of the scores from the juries, the public points from all participating countries will be combined, providing one score for each song.

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