Producer Martin Österdahl: “A huge step forward for Eurovision Song Contest”

EBU introduced a new way of determining the running order earlier today which upset most of the Eurovision Song Contest fans who commented the news on social media and forums. From next year on, the host broadcaster will get to determine the running order in the semi-finals and in the final. Only the starting position of the host country will be drawn as well as in which semi-final countries will be competing.

Martin Östedahl | Picture: SVT

– This is a huge step forward for Eurovision Song Contest […] when you write a book, you have to be able to decide the chapter order, Executive Producer Martin Österdahl explains this new change.

He continues that in almost every music show the running order is determined by the organisers and that ESC has been a major exception. He believes this new way of determining the running order will work also in the future, in spite of the host country. Österdahl also confirms on SVT that this change is permanent and will be used also in 2014.

SVT’s idea

– We had a very good discussion with the Reference Group and eventually we all found this new way better and believed this should’ve been done years ago. Eurovision is definitely a competition but also a television show, if we want to make sure we get more viewers in the future, we must make changes to the format.

The running order will be made by the host broadcaster and approved by Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand. Musical genre, visual style and tempo will affect the running order to make sure that for example four ballads won’t be performed one after another.

Whether this new method works or not, will be known in May at the earliest.