The outcome of this year's Eurovision Song Contest has left many fans infuriated, particularly due to the significant influence of the professional jury in determining the final results. In response to this perceived unfairness, Eurovision fans have taken to Change.org to launch a citizens' initiative demanding the complete removal of the professional jury from the competition.
The petition, which has already gathered over 2,200 signatures, highlights the concerns of loyal Eurovision fans regarding the conflicting aspects of the voting process that have compromised the fairness and integrity of the competition. The final result of the 2023 edition of the contest deeply shocked the Eurovision community, as Sweden emerged as the winner solely based on the votes of the professional jury, despite Finland receiving a significantly higher number of points from the public.
The signatories of the citizens' initiative express their dissatisfaction with Loreen's victory, as they believe Käärijä, the Finnish representative, was clearly the audience favorite. The margin between Loreen and Käärijä was a mere 57 points, with Loreen accumulating a total of 583 points, out of which 243 were awarded by the public and 340 by the professional jury. The audience bestowed Käärijä with the highest score of 376 points, while the jury only granted the artist 150 points. If the voting had relied solely on the public's voice, Käärijä would have been crowned the competition's winner. Käärijä also won the semifinals televotes clearly, receiving 177 points which was the highest of all contestants in the semifinals.
The citizens' initiative aims to emphasize the urgent need for a revised Eurovision voting system that ensures the final outcome truly reflects the audience's genuine opinion. The petition asserts that public votes should be of paramount importance in determining the winner of this beloved event. In addition to transparency and fairness in the competition, the initiative calls for a thorough investigation by expert authorities into the discrepancies in the Eurovision voting system and immediate measures to rectify the situation.
The proposed actions within the citizens' initiative include adjusting the weight of the jury's votes to prevent overshadowing the public's voice. Alternatively, they suggest considering a system where the final outcome is solely determined by public voting. Another option would be to have a jury “honorary mention” in addition to the winner selected by the public vote.
The Eurovision jury consists of music industry professionals selected by each participating country's national broadcaster. These professionals, including composers, songwriters, producers, and music journalists, are chosen for their expertise and impartiality. They evaluate the competing songs based on criteria such as vocal performance, composition, and originality. Their votes account for 50% of the total score, with the remaining 50% determined by public televoting. The jury's role is to provide an expert assessment and ensure a balanced voting system that combines industry expertise and popular opinion.
Plagiarism Allegations Surround Loreen's Eurovision Victory
The discontent over Loreen’s win extends beyond the voting process, as allegations of plagiarism have also emerged surrounding Loreen's Eurovision entry, "Tattoo."
The scrutiny intensified after videos comparing Loreen's song to an 18-year-old track surfaced on TikTok and Twitter soon after the song was selected as Sweden’s entry. The videos juxtaposed "Tattoo" with Mika Newton's 2005 release, "V plenu," the song representing Ukraine in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision enthusiasts paid particular attention to the bridge section of "Tattoo," which shared striking similarities in chord progression with the corresponding part of "V plenu."
Mika Newton herself acknowledged the resemblance between the two songs through an Instagram story. In the video, she commented on Loreen's song, stating, "What can I say? She almost used the same idea as me. Honestly, if I inspired her to the point where she decided to go with a performance almost identical to mine, then good luck to her! What else can I say? It's funny because it looks almost identical." The video clearly highlights the striking resemblance between the two tracks.
The plagiarism allegations have added another layer of controversy surrounding Loreen's Eurovision victory. The accusations suggest that "Tattoo" bears a disconcerting resemblance to Mika Newton's song, raising questions about originality and artistic integrity.
It is worth noting that Loreen is not a newcomer to Eurovision, as she previously won the competition in 2012 with her song "Euphoria," which became a massive hit and is still remembered today. This year, Loreen returned to the Eurovision stage with "Tattoo" and once again aimed for the trophy. Her performance mirrored the music video for the song, impressing commentators not only with her attention to detail but also with her powerful vocals.
However, the emergence of a video on TikTok by user I kirill you comparing Loreen's hit to Mika Newton's "V plenu" from 2005 has raised doubts about the originality of "Tattoo." Listening to both songs side by side, it is hard to deny the striking similarities between them.
Mika Newton represented Ukraine at the 56th Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf and achieved a fourth-place finish with "V plenu." The comparison between Loreen's hit and Mika Newton's song has sparked discussions among fans and online communities, with many expressing concerns about possible plagiarism.
Some even accuse Loreen of triple plagiarism, finding similarities with "Eternity" from Anyma
"Flying free" of Pont Aeri and "The winner takes it all" from Abba.
The Eurovision Song Contest has clear rules and guidelines regarding sampling and plagiarism to ensure fairness and originality in the competition. According to the official Eurovision rules, all songs submitted must be original compositions, meaning they should not contain any elements that infringe upon the copyrights of other songs or artists. This includes both melody and lyrics.
Regarding sampling, the rules state that if a participant includes any pre-recorded backing vocals or instrumental samples in their live performance, they must declare them in advance and receive approval from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organization behind Eurovision. The use of samples should be properly licensed, and participants must provide evidence of such licenses if requested by the EBU.
In terms of plagiarism, the Eurovision rules clearly state that entries must not have been commercially released before a specific date set by the EBU. This ensures that participants cannot enter songs that have been previously published or performed by other artists.
To enforce these rules, the EBU carries out thorough checks on the submitted songs before the competition. In case of suspicion or allegations of plagiarism or copyright infringement, the EBU has the authority to investigate and potentially disqualify a participant if the claims are substantiated. In case Loreen's song is disqualified, Käärijä will be announced as the winner.