Euroradio has noticed differences in the rules of the Belarusian section contest and Eurovision. The voting systems are similar but there is still one huge difference.
The voting system at Eurovision is the same as ours. However, if two songs score the same number of points after the viewers’ and jury voting, the decision is made according to the viewers’ voting! “If two or more songs score the same number of points, the decision will be made according to the number of viewers’ votes,” the Eurovision website informs. It is different in Belarus.
Why are our rules different from the European ones? Euroradio asked head of the Belarusian Eurovision selection project Volha Shlyaher about it.
Volha Shlyaher: If you are a Eurovision expert, you should know that the European Broadcasting Union does not limit any country in the way they conduct their selection contests. Moreover, EBU representatives watched our national selection contest and have already commented on it.
Euroradio: Even if it is up to Belarus to decide which rules to follow, why did our country decide that the jury’s opinion was more important that the viewers’ voting?
Volha Shlyaher: Are you mocking at me? Did you read the rules? There were not invented yesterday – they were written two years ago.
Euroradio: That is why I am asking why our country decided that the jury’s opinion was more important?
Volha Shlyaher (sighs): I will waste my time to tell you again: every country can decide it on its own. That is why steering committees are created and the rules are announced in advance…
The logic is as follows: we could decide that the jury’s opinion was more important and we did. We did not break any rules, leave us alone. Meanwhile, the Eurovision website does report that TEO is the officially selected Belarusian representative.
The jury and TV viewers voted simultaneously during the national selection contest on January 10. According to viewers, TEO was only in the third position while the duo of Maks Lorens and DiDyulya won leaving their competitors far behind. However, the jury’s favourite was TEO and he won!
Maks Lorens and DiDyulya disagree with it. “The jury members neglected viewers’ opinion although people decided that we could represent Belarus at the European contest in Denmark. The opinion of thousands was not taken into account and 8 people made the decision for the whole country,” the musicians complained to Alyaksandr Lukashenka in their open letter.