Eurovision 2023: Pre-Recorded Backing Vocals Will Be Allowed

Following the official rules of Eurovision 2023, we can learn that pre-recorded backing vocals will be allowed in Eurovision 2023.
The rules were approved by the contest’s governing body, the Reference Group

Here are the accurate regulations regarding live singing:

  • 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
  • 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 are not.

This will be the third year in a row where pre-recorded backing vocals will be allowed.
The first time was in 2021, following the restrictions of the Covid pandemic

Back then, the EBU explained its choice:

We believe allowing backing vocals to be pre-recorded increases the creative potential and diversity of acts and facilitates modernisation of the Eurovision Song Contest. It also allows songwriters and producers to present their work as close as possible to their original composition. The change also provides flexibility for participating broadcasters to minimise the size of their delegations, thus saving costs.

Permitting recorded backing vocals also contributes to reducing the technical burden and costs for the host broadcaster as well. This all contributes to the sustainability of the Contest in our new reality.

During Eurovision 2021, several countries used the option to include pre-recorded backing vocals. Slovenia and North Macedonia used choirs, while Iceland included hundreds of people singing a a couple of lines of the chorus.
In 2017, Norway received special permission to include vocal sampling in Eurovision performances.
In 2022, we could see countries like Serbia using this mechanism.

This rule was accepted with mixed reactions among the fans.
While some of them claim it can give other interesting dimensions to the performance, others claim it will decrease the quality of the live performances.

What do you think about the existence of the rule in Eurovision 2023 as well?

Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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