General News

Eurovision bosses change rules after voting scandal

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Sep 23, 2013 | 9:21am EDT

Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest are changing the rules following allegations the annual competition has been tainted by vote-fixing and bribery. An investigation was recently launched following a number of complaints over the way the competition is run, including claims by Britain's 2013 entry Bonnie Tyler, who came 19th out of 26 finalists in May (13), who alleged she overheard Russian officials demanding to know why they didn't receive the votes they bought. Eurovision bosses have now announced a series of rule changes which will come into force for the 2014 contest. The names of jury members for each country's judging panel will now be made public and their individual votes will be published, while music industry professionals can now only take a seat if they have not participated in the previous two shows. Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor of the contest, says, "Tighter rules and increased openness are important for the Eurovision Song Contest to build on its success. We want to make sure participants, viewers and fans know that we have done, and will always do, our utmost to secure a fair result. We believe in the independence of every jury member (and) I believe the fact their votes are on display will help them vote independently." Sand also insisted investigations into the allegations are ongoing, adding, "It's important to find who is behind the alleged attempt (to fix votes)... We want to first put an end to these speculations, and clamp down on attempts to unfairly influence the voting."

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