The Eurovision 2023 rules are out! Pre-recorded backing vocals are back for another year

August 26, 2022


The European Broadcasting Union has established a detailed set of rules for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

As report, these detailed rules, which have been established by the EBU, have also been approved by the contest’s governing body, the Reference Group. Many of these rules which have been set out are the same rules that we have seen at Eurovision for many years now, and have not had any changes made to them.

But one very recent rule that is making a comeback is the use of pre-recorded backing vocals. In 2021, the EBU announced that they would allow pre-recorded backing vocals at Eurovision for the first time ever, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, it was not specified that this rule would become a permanent fixture in Eurovision; however, they did bring it back for the 2022 contest. And now it looks like pre-recorded backing vocals are here to stay, as mentioned below:

The lead singer(s) of the selected song (the “Lead Vocal(s)”) shall perform live on stage only.

  • Eventual vocal support(s) for the Lead Vocal(s) (the “Lead Dub(s)”) shall perform live, on stage or off stage, only.
  • All other backing vocal(s) performing vocal harmonies (the “Backing Vocals”) may perform either live on stage or off stage and/or on a Backing track compliant to the requirements under par (iii) hereafter.

No on-stage Contestant (whether Lead Vocals, Lead Dubs or Backing Vocals or dancers) shall be allowed to lip-sync (playback) in such a way as to make it appear that they are singing all or most of the song when they actually are not.

The accompanying Backing track may optionally contain Backing Vocals. However, the Backing track in question shall not contain (i) Lead Vocals, (ii) Lead Dubs and/or (iii) any other vocals that would have the effect of, or aim at, replacing or unduly assisting the Lead Vocal(s) during the live performance on stage. 

In case there are live Backing Vocals, on or off stage, as part of the Act, they shall be mixed with the Backing track’s Backing Vocals (if any). […]

What are your thoughts on pre-recorded backing being brought back for Eurovision 2023? Do you think they will become a permanent feature in Eurovision? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

One Response

  1. Pre-recorded vocals are dreadful. It risks the integrity of the whole contest. There was a purity in requiring it to be live. Countries will continue to abuse this real and we now face the real risk of a Eurovision winner that cannot sing. The EBU needs to stand up to SVT, and insist on at least some vocal talent.

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