Jon Ola Sand: “We still have a lot to do for Eurovision”

by Stratos Agadellis 2,213 views

As the preparations for Portugal’s first ever Eurovision Song Contest are already underway, the powered-by-the-EBU Eurovision Fan House met Jon Ola Sand, who has been the Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest since 2011.

During his interview, the Norwegian television executive had a lot of topics to talk about; the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, how the contest has changed over the years and also spoke about how important the large Eurovision fan club is.

A flourishing contest over the years

When asked, Jon Ola Sand talked about how strong the Eurovision Song Contest has proven to be, as it has maintained the ability to bring people from all European countries and beyond together and to build bridges of friendship between the participating countries and artists for over 6 decades.

Talking about his personal goals as the Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand said:

The goal of the Eurovision Song Contest, the one which I personally share, is to create a cultural meeting place where we can showcase talent from all over and bring it out to a wider, global audience. It’s a phenomenon that celebrates togetherness, our similarities but also our diversity. It also acknowledges that every artist on the Eurovision Song Contest stage, be it a famous star or a first timer performer, receives the same attention from the Eurovision team and from the audience, which makes this such a unique platform. We recognize all the artists equally and ensure they receive the best attention from the production side of the event.

Nothing less than a spectacular show to expect

About the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, Ola Sand stated that he has already been to Portugal several times, discussing with the host broadcaster RTP about the preparations of the upcoming show next May. Via his work, his goal is to guarantee that everything will be delivered on time and of course to provide one more successful Eurovision Song Contest.

Moreover, he said that both the EBU and RTP are now trying to compose a strong core team, which will be characterized by creativity and consistency. He also mentioned that the existing Portuguese team is already working to showcase their country in the best possible way next year. According to him, that’s the beauty of the contest. It travels in all corners of Europe, displaying both our similarities and diversity.

Eurovision still has much to offer

Jon Ola Sand also made reference to almost all changes that the contest has seen since its beginning in 1956. The always growing number of participants, which has converted the one-night contest into a whole week event, with 3 live shows, the removal of the orchestra, which helped Eurovision to become a more contemporary show and the return of the juries in order to provide higher quality in the contest and its final results, are remarkable facts that have made Eurovision a timeless annual event.

However, he was categorical that changes have to be made in careful steps. It’s something that never stops. We’ll always take care and develop the Eurovision Song Contest, he added.

Talking about changes and asked about the voting system, he stated that no new readjustment is currently under consideration. His remarkable statement is that the very recent change of the voting system in 2016 was being discussed and tested for many years before its first implementation.

The target of this novelty was to provide suspense until the last minute, in contrast with the previous years, when the viewers could predict the winner sometimes even during the first minutes of the voting procedure. According to Jon Ola Sand, this project was crowned with absolute success and this is how good television should be.

Eurovision not only in Europe!

Jon Ola Sand also spoke about the expansion plans of the contest outside Europe. He mentioned the collaboration of the EBU with the Australian broadcaster SBS, which already participates in the contest, the broadcasting of the contest in China and the potential collaboration with the American network Viacom, which will air the contest in the United States. Of course, he couldn’t skip a mention of the Eurovision Asia Contest, a project that the EBU is currently working on.

Fans are a blessing for the contest

Finishing the discussion, the Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand talked about how the fans of the contest have helped the competition to remain solid for 63 years and how much care they have taken of it. Jon Ola Sand says he is proud and happy of the fans and it is also encouraging for him that so many young people are joining the Eurovision project, adding their color and excitement.

The 63rd Eurovision Song Contest is going to be held on 8, 10 and 12 May 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal after the victory of Salvador Sobral last May in Kyiv with 758 points, singing his entry Amar pelos dois.