Spain: Changes to Eurovision 2009 make headlines

by Victor Hondal 64 views

Since the very moment the Reference Group announced that a combination of popular vote and jury vote will decide the outcome of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Spanish media have massively reported on this fact. Most of the newspapers have stressed on the fact that Spain, as a member of the 'Big Four', has seen its chances to achieve a good result falling dramatically in recent years. Moreover, the new rule is said to be a good way to halt 'Eastern bloc voting'.

Despite the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest does not enjoy the best reputation possible in the Iberian country, certainly many Spanish media -the most followed and respected among them- have reported on the important announcement made from Moscow by the EBU's Reference Group that juries will play an important role in the Contest again next year. There is a shared opinion in the Spanish press: the change has been welcomed, warmly in several cases.

The leading paid newspaper, El País, published yesterday an article under the title "Jury to stop Eurovision friendly vote", which starts like this: "Cyprus was going to give their 12 to Greece; Germany was going to massively support Turkey. These are just two examples, but the truth is that Eurovision votes were conditioned by geopolitical or cultural friendship and the colonies of immigrants. Juries are coming back to solve this situation". The thread continued today: El País stated in a new article that "Eurovision lost its credibility and glamour time ago, but the biggest blow came this year. The day after the final, the most talked about topic were not the songs, but the neverending issue about neighbourly voting".

El Mundo, also an important newspaper, focuses the issue in a different way: "Eurovision loses its popular essence". In the body of the text, El Mundo stresses on the "accuracy" of the results to justify the change and the bloc voting as the main reason to re-introduce the juries in the Contest: "Some countries, like the United Kingdom, have modified their placings since the public decides the Eurovision winner. Nonetheless, other competing countries like Greece, Turkey and Russia have got benefit" from the current situation.

Taking a look at the non-paid press, 20 Minutos titled "Eurovision will have a jury to avoid emigration and neighbouring influence". This newspaper adds a remarkable reference to "the intention (of the EBU) to prevent mock acts -Ireland's Dustin the Turkey, Spain's Rodolfo Chikilicuatre- from stepping in the final".

In similar terms other respected newspapers stated their positions. Left-wing Público, under the title "Eurovision gets serious", paraphrasing Rodolfo's Chiki chiki, said: "Eurovision to re-introduce juries to avoid fixed results. The thing was like this: One, immigration; two, shared borders; three, common language; four, historical alliances". Barcelona-based La Vanguardia chose this headline: "Eurovision back to juries to avoid continous Eastern wins", and followed: "Eurovision wants to vaccinate against the fate that threatens its future if it's not solved: Eastern countries have won all the last editions of the Contest".

These are roughly the stories published on the Spanish main newspapers, but the juries' comeback to Eurovision has also reached other minor media, such as the regional papers, which enjoy a high audience in many regions of Spain. El Periódico de Aragón, Diario de Cádiz, Canarias 7, El Diario Montañés and many others have reported on the news as well, mainly emphasising the "seriousness" that the musical event wants to recover.

On the other hand, the news website of the Spanish public broadcaster,, seems to be more neutral: "EBU re-introduces jury vote in Eurovision final", and also refers to the wide acceptation of this change by fans and proves it with the results of the poll that is currently running. Remember that you can still cast your vote by clicking here .