Basic guide to Eurovision 2023 voting participating countries and other

Basic guide to Eurovision 2023: voting, participating countries and other recurring questions

[Esta pieza es una versión de uno de los envíos de la newsletter semanal de Televisión de EL PAÍS, que sale todos los jueves. Si quiere suscribirse, puede hacerlo a través de este enlace].

A total of 161 million people worldwide watched the final of Eurovision 2022. In the countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU, the organization of public service broadcasters that coordinates the festival), it reached an audience share of 43.3%, three points more than in the year 2021 shows that interest in the festival is still very high. The effect is particularly pronounced among young people: among young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the proportion reached 56.2%.

The success of the competition on social networks is also a testament to its large fan base. The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the events that generates the most activity on Twitter each year. In 2022, almost eight million tweets were written during Eurovision week, twice as many as in 2021. The festival’s official TikTok account recorded 189 million video views. In Spain, nearly seven million viewers watched the final on La 1, where Chanel finished third with a 50.8% audience share, a record since Rodolfo Chikilicuatre (2008). The data speaks for itself and proves that the competition is more alive than ever and knows how to adapt to changing times.

More information

What can you expect this year? What changes are there? Who is participating? Who represents Spain? We review the basic information to help you face the Eurovision final.

First, let’s remember: How was Spain last year?

Spain are among the favorites in 2022 and they were not mistaken. Eight countries awarded the 12 points of their expert jury to Chanel. It ended up in third place, a place that smacked of victory in an edition in which action was impossible given the avalanche of public support Ukraine was receiving in the televote. Great Britain finished second but who knows what the vote would have been like if it weren’t for the emotional factor. In any case, Spain have found the right path and it seems that they will continue on this path this year as the bets point to a good starting position.

Where and when can you watch Eurovision?

In Spain, La 1 will broadcast the final live this Saturday from 21:00 (Peninsula time). Tony Aguilar and Julia Varela will once again act as commentators for the event. An additional recommendation: keep an eye on Twitter. Eurovision is a festival of creativity and ingenuity in the little bird’s network. In EL PAÍS we will also follow the gala live from 7:00 p.m. to analyze and comment on everything that comes out of it.

Why is it in Liverpool when Ukraine wins?

Eurovision is understood to have two co-hosts this year: Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Due to security reasons, the organization of the festival soon decided that it could not be held on Ukrainian territory and chose second place. In addition, the BBC already has experience in hosting the festival when another country cannot. This is the fifth time she has done this. Ukraine is represented as host at the festival by one of its presenters, singer Julia Sanina, and there are also various nods throughout the three galas, such as the postcards before each performance showing locations in Ukraine and the UK . United.

Who will compete in the final?

26 countries meet on Saturday, 20 from the two semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday, in addition to the five Big Five countries (Spain, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy) and Ukraine as last year’s winners qualifying directly for the final. Like last year, Russia remains out of the question for an invasion of Ukraine. Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Moldova, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Israel, Portugal, Serbia and Norway qualified for the first semi-final. In the second, Armenia, Estonia, Belgium, Cyprus, Poland, Slovenia, Austria, Albania, Lithuania and Australia joined. The order of appearances in the finals is as follows: Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, France, Cyprus, Spain, Sweden, Albania, Italy, Estonia, Finland, Czech Republic, Australia, Belgium, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Norway , Germany, Lithuania, Israel, Slovenia, Croatia and the United Kingdom. Spain will operate in eighth place, just ahead of big favorites Sweden. It is estimated that Blanca Paloma will take the stage around 9:45 p.m.

Which countries are among the favorites this year?

Bookmakers are a fairly reliable guide. While they don’t always predict the winner, the winner is usually one of the frontrunners in betting. This time there is a clear favorite: Sweden. Loreen (Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui’s stage name) already knows what it’s like to win the Eurovision Song Contest, she did it in 2012 with Euphoria and now she wants to do it again with Tattoo. The betting shops ensure that you have over a 50% chance of winning. The other 50% are distributed among the other countries, with Finland playing a very important role within these countries. Rapper, singer and songwriter Käärijä (real name Jere Pöyhönen) is popular with audiences thanks to the playful Cha Cha Cha with a playful staging. They are followed by Ukraine, France and Spain, which could end up in the top 5 if forecasts come true. Also keep an eye on Israel and Norway, who are aiming for the top spots.

What are the changes in the voting system?

Important changes were introduced this year. Unlike previous editions, it was the only audience that decided who qualified for the finals. The expert jury also voted, but their result only came into play if the televoting was invalid for any reason. Where the balance between the professional vote and that of the public is maintained is in the final. In addition, this year voting has also been opened up to countries that are not taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest, giving a voice to all non-Eurovision viewers who are also following the competition. Your votes will be added together and count as one country. Thus, the televote in the final counts for about 50.6% of the final result. To vote from the rest of the world, you must do so through a secure platform and with a credit card from that country.

The changes came after an EBU commission investigated the electoral system after problems that had arisen over the past year and found “unprecedented irregularities”: expert juries from several countries divided the highest scores among themselves. Curiously, the EBU assures that forgoing the professional jury in the semi-finals would not have changed much in the results in recent years: 9 of the 10 qualifying countries would have done so anyway, and the remaining song did not achieve a good placement in most cases in the final.

As has been the case since 2016, the announcement of the results will mean that the winner can only be announced at the last moment. The speakers of each country (Ruth Lorenzo will be the Spanish one) announce the votes of the expert jury. At the end of this round, the points from the popular vote are added together to form a number that includes all countries’ points for each song. It is determined according to the order of classification in the voting round of the expert jury, ie the person who received the fewest points from the expert jury finds out first whether they cast many or few votes from the public. Since the criteria of the expert jury and the public are usually very different, surprises and surprises in the classification are always reserved with this system. The referendum can be conducted by phone call, SMS or via the official application (at the same cost as an SMS). Of course you can’t vote for Spain in Spain. To enter from a non-Eurovision country, you must go to this website and follow the steps.

Who is Blanca Paloma, Spain’s representative this year?

For Blanca Paloma Ramos Baeza (Elche, 33 years old) the second time is the attraction. Last year he performed at the Benidorm Fest but failed to win. This year he prevailed with the theme “Eaea”, a lullaby dedicated to his grandmother with reference to flamenco and spirit of Lorca. She is trained as a stage and costume designer and completed years of singing and dancing training. On stage, she is accompanied by a group of dancers and a red fringed curtain in the shape of a circle, reminiscent of that of her grandmother Carmen in a dress, symbolizing the protection she felt at her side.

Why do some countries reach the final straight away and why is Spain one of them?

Five countries, the so-called Big Five, enjoy this privilege. They are not the founding countries, as is sometimes said, but the five that make the greatest economic contribution to the EBU: France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. The idea for this group came about in 1996 when Germany was absent from the final and their absence caused a major financial problem in the organization. Therefore, it was decided that these countries would have a guaranteed place in the final.

You can follow EL PAÍS TELEVSIÓN on Twitter or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Receive the TV newsletter

All the news from channels and platforms, with interviews, news and analyses, as well as recommendations and criticism from our journalists