By Dr Steve McCabe, Birmingham City University’s Business School

There is an old idiom about ‘flogging a dead horse’. As one internet explanation of this expression states, flogging a dead horse refers to doing something that is “entirely pointless and cannot result in any productive end.” This expression comes to mind with respect to changes that will occur at the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest that takes place in Stockholm on Saturday 14 May 2016.

As those who have watched this strange contest anytime in the last forty years will attest, once voting commenced there was usually little suspense in that the winner was mathematically apparent long before the process is over.

Though there was a combination of a jury vote and televoting by domestic viewers in each country, many believed that there is ‘mob-voting’, in that countries go with what they consider to be in the national interest rather than what is a good tune that is well performed. As a consequence there have been some pretty dreadful winners. Long gone are the days when a Eurovision winner would become a chart hit.

The change that is being made this year is that there will still be voting by ‘professional’ juries and voting by ordinary viewers, the former will be announced by a spokesperson from each country to provide cumulative score.

However, the scores of ordinary viewers will be added on to the cumulative scores subsequently in reverse order (i.e. lowest first). This, it is hoped by the organisers, will be increase suspense and mean that the result is a nail-biter up to the end.

As Eurovision Song Contest executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand believes, “This new way of presenting the votes is a big step forward, both to make a better television show as well as a more exciting competition.”

Well forgive me but the whole point of Eurovision is that it is all nonsense and I believe that no one really cares who wins. The fact that some countries vote in a way that suggests there are faux alliances (or conflicts) only adds to the sense of farce for which we, the British, are famed.

Tinkering with the voting for Eurovision seems as pathetic as it is desperate to add false excitement. Why not simply carry on celebrating the festival of kitsch and ridiculousness. The system of voting has worked well until now – last being changed in 1975. I see this as a retrograde move and don’t believe anyone will care that much.

RIP that stalwart of Eurovision Terry Wogan!

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Dr Steve McCabe

Dr Steve McCabe

Birmingham City Business School