The second esctoday.com TOP TEN list continues with the places 7 and 6 being announced. As announced on Saturday, this week's topic are the TOP TEN innovations that changed Eurovision.
Innovations in the rules and innovations in the production of the Eurovision Song Contest could qualify for the list if they changed the competition in one of the following aspects:
- The way the contest is seen by the general public
- The way the contest is seen by fans
- The popularity of the contest
- The outward appearance
- The addition of elements that helped making the contest a "cult event"
No. 7: 12 points voting system (1975)
Over the first 19 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest, the voting format changed many times. In fact, six different voting systems were used with the most popular one seeing ten jury members per country who could each give one point to their favourite song. In 1975, a new system was introduced and in fact it was so popular that it has remained until today: Each country picks its top ten and awards 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points to their favourites. The way the top ten for each country is determined has changed over the years, but the 12 points system was not touched for the last three and a half decades. The 12 points, or douze points in French, have become a symbol of the competition and are often used in the titles of books about the contest or compilation CDs. The first 12 points ever in the history of the contest were awarded by the Netherlands and they went to Luxembourg's Géraldine in 1975 for her song Toi. The most recent douze points went to Georgia's Sopho Nizharadze in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. They were awarded by Armenia. A total of 906 sets of 12 points were awarded in the Eurovision Song Contest finals since 1975, so we can probably expect the 1000th douze to be announced in 2013. Some unlucky countries got 12 points in a contest from a country – but no points at all from the others. The first one was Greece in 1998, who got their 12 points from Cyprus. In 1999, Portugal got its 12 from France. In the 2004 semi final, Andorra got 12 points in total – all of them from Spain. Remarkably, their national final that year was called "12 punts", but that was probably not what they meant…
A tradition – Cyprus giving 12 points to Greece:
No. 6: Relegation (1993/1994)
In the early 1990s, more and more new countries appeared in Europe and many of them wanted to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. As the show was not supposed to go on endlessly, the number of countries taking part was reduced. In 1993, seven countries in Eastern Europe – Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina – organised their own semi final in Ljubljana and the top three were allowed to compete in Millstreet. To reduce the number of countries competing in 1994, relegation was introduced. The bottom six in the final – Luxembourg, Turkey, Denmark, Slovenia, Israel and Belgium – were not allowed to compete the following year to make room for new countries who wanted to take part. In 1994, the bottom seven were relegated. Another format was used in 1996, when all countries could submit a song but only 22 of them along with host country Norway were allowed to take part in the final after making it past the internal semi final. Between 1996 and 2000, the qualifiers for the next contest were determined by the average score achieved over the past five years. The highest placed country in those years that was relegated was Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1999: Although they finished seventh in Jerusalam, they were not allowed to take part in 2000 due to a low average score. In 2001 and 2002, the format was more simple again with the bottom countries being eliminated. Due to relegation, some countries had to miss the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since their debut, most notably Belgium, Switzerland and Germany, who had competed every year since the first edition in 1956. Other countries always qualified – among them are Croatia, Malta and Sweden. Relegation was abolished in 2003 as from 2004 onwards, semi finals would be held to determine the finalists.
Relegation despite seventh place – Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1999:
Tomorrow, we will introduce the places 5 and 4.