The Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest, the governing body of the competition, have announced moments ago that the 2010 contest will see an important novelty: viewers will be able to cast their votes from the performance of the first song. Once more, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proves to be a testing ground for the senior competition.
This change will be introduced to both the semifinals and the grand final. Phone lines will remain open from the performance of the first entry until 15 minutes after the end of the last song. This means that televoting via phone call and SMS will be enabled for nearly one or two hours depending on the show.
Some reasons are argued from the EBU to support this change. The total amount of votes cast throughout the three shows will be higher and will not arrive in a bulk in just 15 minutes between the last song is performed and the results start to be announced. It is also intended to prevent telephone companies from getting their systems overloaded.
EBU founds this change on the experience from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where the extended voting window was implemented three years ago. Research by the EBU's televoting partner Digame shows that "the songs performed early in the running order, that have a longer voting exposure, will not unfairly benefit from this". The same research quoted by the EBU shows that "the tendency is that people vote while their favourite song is being performed, no matter where it is performed in the running order", EBU says.
"It is more logic to pick up the telephone and cast your vote while hearing and seeing a song, rather than at the end the performances. Experiences from several national selections also show that this extended voting window is being used with success," Svante Stockselius, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, told Eurovision.tv.