Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 16:52 UK

Juries coming back to Eurovision

Andy Abraham
The UK's Andy Abraham finished last earlier this year

Juries are to make a comeback in next year's Eurovision Song Contest final after criticism about the fairness of public televoting at this year's event.

A panel from each country will vote alongside the viewing public, and is seen by Eurovision bosses as a way of balancing the popular decision.

This year's contest came under fire for neighbourly voting, which helped Russia win while the UK finished last.

Next May's annual musical competition is due to be held in Moscow.

Song contest officials will meet again later this year to decide how the voting will be split between the juries and televoting.

Diaspora voting

Svante Stockelius, Eurovision's executive supervisor, said: "Nothing is more democratic than the vote of the public. But a jury takes the opportunity to listen to the songs several times before they make up their minds.

"We believe a combination will make the show more interesting," he added.

A jury vote was reintroduced to the semi-finals of the contest at this year's contest in Belgrade, and there was a difference between their view and the public's verdict.

1963 Eurovision jury
A UK Eurovision jury at work in 1963

Sweden finished 12th in the televote, but came 10th with juries and proceeded to the grand final.

Some countries, including the UK, have performed poorly since public voting determined the winner of Eurovision.

This year, singer Andy Abraham only picked up votes from Ireland and San Marino.

Other competing nations, including Greece, Turkey and Russia, have benefited from neighbourly votes and those cast by communities living in other European states.

Fans of the contest, who have become disgruntled with the voting system, have been calling for a return of the jury vote.

Until 1997 when the first countries adopted televoting, national juries were entirely responsible for allocating Eurovision votes.

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