A lot of people will remember the 1980’s and the early 1990’s where everything in the ESC was different from nowadays. There was an orchestra, only one final and the notoriously famous national juries. At those days there existed neither televoting nor internet. From year to year there was a visible progress in terms of technology, stage design, virtual scoreboards and satellite transmissions of the jury’s spokesperson. Slowly but surely the internet has caused a dramatic change in everybody’s life and of course in the Eurovision Song Contest as well.
At those early days it was nearly impossible to listen to the other countries songs unless the entries have been presented in TV shows as it was done in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The majority of the ESC followers did not know any of the other countries songs. The songs have been presented to the European audience live partly with half playback, also with a high risk of wrong tones and orchestral blunders on that specific night. But this way was full of surprises and excitement.
In some countries the video clips have been presented in TV shows prior the ESC, but the public had no rights to vote. Things have changed a lot, what we have now is a very transparent and everything is available weeks or even months before the ESC takes place. Thanks to the internet it is possible to watch the national finals via webcast, video clips can be watched on YouTube and everybody can judge in beforehand. At the end the juries only count for 50%, now the TV viewers have the right to give their say expressed into points with 50% weighting. On the one hand it seems to be more fair that everybody can call or SMS for their favourite song, but on the other hand Diaspora and block voting might be a problem.
The ESC has changed a lot of the years and it has become a real music festival with three live shows. Thanks to the development of the internet it gives singers and songwriters more exposure and interested ESC viewers can enjoy the music even more. eurovisionlive.com has been specialized on video interviews with the singers since 1996! Of course this is livelier than a written interview and brings the singers directly onto your computer as often as you like.
All thanks to the internet. What a great achievement.