Jon Ola Sand the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest has spoken to Dutch media about how the contest deals with political differences and the matter of voting.
Speaking with AD.nl, Jon Ola Sand has spoken about the issues surrounding voting at the Eurovision Song Contest. Mr Sand was posed the question of how do you deal with Armenia and Azerbaijan who routinely rank each other as last place in the jury vote;
That is indeed not good, but what should we do? Throw out those countries? No, we are already proud that they are on the same stage, we want to keep them on board, and hope to change the situation again by talking a lot.
A number of incidents have occurred involving the two nations since Armenia debuted in the contest in 2006, and Azerbaijan followed in 2008. Most recently after the 2019 contest Azerbaijan formally complained to the EBU regarding a map show during the voting. While Armenia has previously been warned by the EBU for displaying the flag of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh during the 2016 contest.
Mr Sand went on to talk about voting in general at the Eurovision Song Contest and how it has evolved:
In fact, we have often thought about a different scoring in recent years. 25 percent for the professional jury and 75 percent for the public, for example. Or vice versa. But we think the current fifty-fifty distribution is the best.
As reported during late 2019 the European Broadcasting Union consulted with a number of delegations about potential changes to the voting. The EBU has asked member broadcasters to suggest potential changes to the voting, which in the end saw 80% of broadcasters vote to keep the current voting method in place.
Overall Mr Sand is happy with the evolution that has occurred to the voting during his time as Executive Supervisor:
I myself am proud that the mood has become more exciting since a different procedure. First you saw the winner coming from far away; not anymore.