Today marks the 10th anniversary of Eurovoix, with a decade of Eurovision behind us we look back at the biggest moments and changes.
As Daði Freyr says “We’ve been together for a decade now”, on May 1st, 2011 Eurovoix was founded since then we’ve grown from a teenager’s hobby on Blogspot to one of the largest and most respected sites covering the Eurovision Song Contest.
Over that time it’s been a pleasure to see the work that our team puts in appreciated by over 12.5 million visitors to the site. From starting off with simple articles, we’ve grown into organising massive events like The Euro Jury and Concert in the Dark.
It only seems right that we say thank you in the most Eurovision way possible, a lip-sync.
As part of our 10-year anniversary, we take a look back on how the Eurovision Song Contest has changed over the last 10 years from 2011 to 2021.
in 2011, 43 countries took part in the contest that year, countries such as Italy, San Marino and Austria re-joined after long absences, and it was the first year since 1997 that all of the big five took part. Over the next 10 years, the number of participants has fluctuated between 43 and a low of 37 in 2014.
The early part of the decade saw many countries withdraw due to the financial implications of the economic crisis of 2009 in the following Eurozone crisis, which strain some public broadcasters’ finances. To this day countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina who participated in 2016 have not returned due to financial difficulties.
The biggest change in the last 10 years was the disappearance of Turkey who dominated the contest in the previous decade have withdrawn and have not been seen on the Eurovision stage for close to 9 years now. While the return Italy has seen a new Eurovision powerhouse emerge.
The last 10 years has seen only one new country join the Eurovision Song Contest. This debuting country also marked the first time a non-full EBU station member broadcaster took part in the contest. Australia’s debuting 2015 was initially one-off guest participation to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition in Vienna. However, due to the countries success at the contest, Australia has been invited back year after year and is now a Eurovision staple.
Over the decade numerous changes have been made to the voting process. The biggest change occurred in 2016 when the public and jury votes were separated. Up until 2015, each country would award points from 1 to 12, to their 10 highest-ranked nation. This ranking was a combination of both the jury vote and public vote. The system was in place between the Grand Final of 2009 and the 2015 contest.
2016 saw the jury points presented separately in the normal Eurovision style by spokespersons from across the participating countries. However in changes to the presentation of the votes established in 2006 only 12 points were announced, unlike previously where both 8 and 10 points were announced by the spokesperson.
The public votes points were then presented with all points from each country combined are revealed at the same time each act. Starting with the country that received the fewest points from the public. This change was done to make the contest more exciting and to to make sure the winner was only known right at the end of the voting process.
In 2019 a further change was made, where the public vote would now be presented in order of the jury ranking. This means the country that received the fewest points from the jury would be awarded public points first, regardless of the ranking achieved in the public vote.
The generic Eurovision logo was first introduced in 2004 and was designed by the London-based agency JM International. Ahead of the 60th Eurovision Song contest in 2015, the generic logo was updated by Storytegic. This new generic logo has featured In all contest logos since 2015.
At the start of our journey in 2011, the original Eurovoix site had branding elements inspired by the pre-2015 generic logo.
The flag parade which has become a staple of the Grand Final and is one of the biggest changes seen over the last 10 years in terms of opening acts. The flag parade has opened the grand finale of the contest every year since 2013 the variety of technological and creative methods used to differentiate the parade each year. Prior to the introduction to the flag parade, most contests began with a rendition of the previous winning song, this is now often an opening act for the first semi-final rather than the grand finale.
On the topic of opening acts in the semi-finals, these two have become more elaborate in the past 10 years. Prior to 2013 many semi-finals did not have an official opening act, however, today and opening act for the semi-final is normal and can range from a flag parade as in the case of 2015 or the performance of last year’s winning song.
Back in 2011, the running order was done via a random draw however in 2013 this was changed. Since 2013 the producers have decided the running order for all shows.
Each act is still drawn at random into the 1st or 2nd half of a show, from which the producers will pick at what place that song will perform. This change was done to make the show more exciting and ensure each act can stand out.
New power players
At Eurovision anything is possible and nowhere is this more evident than the current list of Eurovision powerhouses. Before the year 2000 countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland routinely topped the scoreboard, while in the new millennium many former Soviet nations such as Russia and Ukraine became the new power players at the contest.
However since 2011 much has changed. Italy since re-joining has made it to the top 10, in six of the last 10 years despite being absent for all of the previous decade. Bulgaria only once qualified in the previous decade became one the most successful nations in the latter half of the decade since its return in 2016.
In the modern Eurovision age countries such as Bulgaria, Italy, Sweden and Russia all routinely tops the pre-contest odds before a single song has even been released.
The past two years have seen the betting odds dominated by nations such as Lithuania, Iceland, Malta, Switzerland, and France. Countries that in the past few years have seen limited success at the contest. Proving that at the Eurovision Song contest, it’s never too late for comeback and it’s important not to rest on your laurels.
Of course, Eurovision is not the only thing that’s changed in the last 10 years, our website and branding have changed considerably. We started off on Blogspot and moved over to WordPress in 2013, our first logo inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest logo.
By 2013 we’d expanded our coverage from the world of Eurovision to just as you can see from the December screenshot featuring the ABU Radio Song Festival. Over the years we have covered the Turkvision Song Contest, ABU TV Song Festival and various global contests, so much so that Eurovoix World is now the home of our international event coverage.
Since then we have continued to grow not only in the depth of coverage we provide but the team that brings it to you. From just one person for the first 3 years, we now have a team of 20 people that bring you Eurovision, Junior Eurovision and everything in between all year round.
Our biggest articles over the years have been those that have surprised or shocked you. In 2019 we brought you the news that the Belarusian jury had been removed after revealing how they voted in the Semi-Final:
While in 2016 it was the revelation that the Danish jury votes were incorrect following the admittance of a juror to voting back to front:
On behalf of the entire Eurovoix team thank you for your support and we look forward to our next decade together.
Image Source: Eurovision.tv / Eurovoix