One of the most exciting parts of any Eurovision Contest are the results and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is no exception. As the rules for performers and their songs have changed, so have the method used to select the winner. This year, fans from all over the world will have the opportunity to vote for their favourites alongside national juries in each participating country. Before we look at this year’s voting procedure in detail, let’s go back in time to the voting methods in previous years.
The voting process in the Junior Eurovision has largely been the same as in its adult counterpart. For the first two contests in 2003 and 2004, the format was exactly the same as the adult contest. Televoting in each country awarded between 1-8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs. The results were announced by spokespeople in each country.
2005 marked the first change in the voting procedure. All participants were automatically given 12 points at the start of the voting, so that no one would end with no points. As a precursor to the adult contest, the results from 1 to 5 points automatically appeared on screen. The spokespeople then announced the remaining points from 6 to 12. This practice of announcing the points would continue until the 2010 contest. Due to the low number of participants in the contest between 2011 – 2013, the full results for each country for each country were announced, something which had not been done since the 2004 contest. The 2014 contest saw the announcement of points change again, with only the 8, 10 and 12 points being announced, exactly as was done in the adult contest at the time.
In 2013, the spokespeople announced the results of their countries’ vote live from the contest venue. This practice is still used in the contest today.
From 2003 until 2005, viewers had 10 minutes to vote after the last song had been performed. This was changed in 2006, when viewers could vote from the beginning of the show, before the old format was brought back in 2011.
2008 saw the introduction of juries to the contest for the first time, in the same year they were reintroduced into the adult contest. Each jury was composed of both adults and children. They awarded points in the same manner as the public. Their results were then combined with the televoting results to produce a single set of points for each country.
2012 saw the introduction of a Kids Jury. This was a jury with one child from every participating country on it. They would select their favourites in the same way as a national jury and their results would be equal to one country’s vote. A sole Kids Jury was used until 2015.
In the 2016 contest, for the first time ever in the contest’s history, there was no televoting. Instead, juries alone chose the winner. An expert panel consisting of three members each gave points from 1-8, 10 and 12. Each participating country also had an adult and kids jury. The adult jury results were announced by spokespeople, who only announced the 12 points. The kids jury results were all combined into one score for each country, just like the televotes at the adult contest. These results when then announced in reverse order.
This year, 50% of the result will be decided by professional juries. The other 50% will come from online voting. This is not the first time an online vote was attempted though. In 2014, online viewers were supposed to be able to vote for their favourite during the allotted time for televoting. The song that received the most votes would have won the “Online Fan Award”. However, the voting system crashed due to the high volume of traffic and was unsuccessful.
Online voting will begin on November 24, when previews of all 16 performances will be uploaded to junioreurovision.tv. After watching all of the previews, fans can choose between 3-5 entries to vote for. It will be possible for people to vote for their own country. The voting will close before the live show on November 26. After all 16 songs have been performed, the online will reopen for 15 minutes. The results will then be calculated and revealed during the voting sequence, most likely in a similar way to Melodifestivalen, in which entries receives points based on the percentage of votes received.
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia. 16 countries will take part, with Portugal returning to the contest for the first time since 2007.