Who were the 2023 jurors?

Much of the discussion following the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 has been focused on the differing choices of the national juries compared with the public vote. But who were this year’s jurors, and which of them had been involved with the Contest before?

Let’s take a look at the jury members who’ve been involved in the Eurovision Song Contest before, and stick around to the end for some controversial notes…


Sixteen previous Eurovision entrants leant their experience on stage to a dozen national juries this year. They were:

Backing performers

Six on Stage particularly celebrates backing performers and at least 11 former Eurovision backing vocalists, musicians and dancers were on their countries’ juries this year. In addition to some of the artists above, they were:

David Badalyan was also one of the writers of Armenia’s winning Junior Eurovision song Qami Qami in 2021.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, a big group of jurors were composers and lyricists, including at least 25 who have written for Eurovision. Some notable members of this group, excluding those already mentioned:

And also…

Falling into none of those categories and sitting on Denmark’s jury was Birgitte Næss-Schmidt, who has directed the staging of their entries on eight occasions between 2005 and 2022.

Norway’s jury included a couple of unsuccessful Melodi Grand Prix finalists, Emmy from 2021 and JONE from 2023, while Sweden’s included Clara Klingenström from Melodifestivalen 2021.

Returning jurors

At least 25 former jurors returned for a second (or third!) go at judging Eurovision songs, many of them already featured in the lists above. Those who’ve had the role more than once before include:

The earliest returning juror was Matjaž Vlašič, who last did the role 14 years ago in 2009.

So here’s where it gets a little controversial, if only because I don’t have a copy of the current rules for selecting jurors.

In previous years, there have been a number of rules for the selection of jurors, two of which are:

  • Jurors can’t have sat on a Eurovision jury in the previous two years (which for this year would mean not in 2021 or 2022).
  • Jurors cannot have any direct connection to the songs and/or artists (exactly what this means isn’t set out).

Last year I highlighted a few 2022 jurors who had been jurors for the previous two contests, and this was also the case for one of the Samminese jurors in 2021. This year there are two jurors who were listed as jurors for their countries in 2021, which as far as we know isn’t allowed: Lise Cabble for Denmark and Sokol Marsi for Albania. Given it’s apparently been broken three years in a row, I’d be interested to know if the rule has changed – after all, a lot did because of Covid.

On the second rule, a link to your own country’s song or artist may be unavoidable and it’s reasonable to suggest that it isn’t much of an issue given jurors don’t rank their own country. But since the rule doesn’t specify that, it’s worth noting in passing that Gustaph performed as a Eurovision backing vocalist for both Sennek and Hooverphonic, while Aliona Moon was a backing singer for Pasha Parfeni and 2012 and her 2013 song was written by him. Music is a small world and there are probably other examples too. None of that should imply wrongdoing, but if the rule is still in force it would be interesting to know if it only applies to songs jurors can vote for.


Who were the 2022 jurors?

Last year after the Contest I looked back at the 2021 jurors and – despite six countries’ jury votes being disqualified – this year I’m going to do the same.

The names of the those jurors, for Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino, were not published on the official list so they are not included in the information below.

As in 2021, some of the data is a bit messy – Cyprus’s jurors have no surnames provided, helpfully, and historical data is hit and miss – but we’ll do our best with what we have.

With 34 countries and 5 jurors each, that should leave us with 170 names, but in fact there are 171: one of the French semi-final jurors was replaced for the final (likely they became unavailable and one of the reserves stepped in).

  • Of the 171 jurors, 26 had been jurors before. Rita Guerra was a juror in 1994 (and in between those 1994 and 2022 represented Portugal in 2003).
  • 2 jurors had been on the panel twice before, in 2014 and 2017: Kaspars Ansons of Latvia and Michael Cederberg of Sweden.
  • 7 jurors have written Eurovision songs. Of them, Maian Kärmas wrote a winning song (Estonia’s Everybody from 2001).
  • 3 jurors had previously given their countries’ votes as spokespersons, all of them previous artists: Rasmussen, JOWST and 1993 winner Niamh Kavanagh.
  • 2 jurors were artists who took part in 2021: Montaigne and Tusse.
  • 2 jurors have been involved in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Swedish juror Josefin Glenmark co-wrote San Marino’s 2015 JESC entry Mirror while Gaia Cauchi won the 2013 JESC for Malta with The Start.
  • 26 jurors have taken part in national finals over the years, 12 of whom did not go on to perform at Eurovision. 6 took part in selection shows for the 2022 Contest: Spain’s Blanca Paloma, North Macedonia’s Yon Idy, Norway’s Mari Bølla, Croatia’s Mia Negovetić, Denmark’s DJ Speakr (from Fuld Effekt), and Czech Republic’s Annabelle.

While we’re here, let’s remind ourselves of the voting rules, which state that:

To increase diversity, music industry professionals can only take a seat in a national jury if they have not been in the jury during one of the previous two editions of the contest.

But according to the published data, Finland’s Amie Borgar and Lithuania’s Darius Uzkuraitis were jurors in 2021, while Belgium’s Alex Germys was listed as a juror in 2019 (there having been no edition in 2020). Hopefully there is a clerical error somewhere…


Who are the 2021 jurors?

The Eurovision Song Contest may be over for 2021 but the number-crunching is only beginning.

With the names of the 195 jurors now published (five each from the 39 participating countries) and loaded into Six on Stage, I’ve cross-referenced the data to see what previous involvement in Eurovision they’ve had.

There’s always a caveat and in this case it’s that the published data is a bit messy. For example, Finland’s jurors are largely missing surnames, so I’ve had to track down a separate source to fill them. I’ve also made the reasonable assumption that people with very close names are in fact the same person (e.g. Jonas Schroeder from Denmark is clearly Jonas Schrøder).

  • Of the 195 jurors, 31 have been on their national jury at least once before, and 2 have sat on the jury twice before.
  • 35 have performed on stage at Eurovision, 32 of whom have been lead artists. 3 have been backing performers only.
  • 17 jurors have writing credits on Eurovision songs from previous years. 1 of those wrote a winning song (Lise Cabble and Only Teardrops).
  • 8 have been their country’s voting spokesperson, only 1 of whom has not also been a performer (Monika Lelas Halambek from Croatia).
  • 41 have taken part in national selections – 16 of those without performing at Eurovision, although 1 of them should’ve done in 2020: Tan from off of Denmark’s Ben & Tan.
  • 2 have written Junior Eurovision songs, 1 has performed at Junior Eurovision (Nika Turković in 2004) and 1 has hosted Junior Eurovision (Helen Kalandadze in 2017).
  • 1 has been a conductor at Eurovision (Slobodan Marković, Yugoslavia’s final native conductor in 1991).
  • And, er, 1 member of the San Marino jury (Marilia Reffi) was listed as a member of the Sammarinese jury in 2019 – which isn’t supposed to be allowed…