During their second meeting, the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest discussed one of the most important issues on this year's agenda, the voting process of the next contest to be held in Moscow. The Group's decision has now been announced and it is that jury vote will return to the contest for the final only, although the exact split between jury vote and televote is still to be revealed.
A first step towards the reinforcement of the jury vote was made this year when one out of the 10 qualifiers from the semi finals went through based on the vote of local back-up juries. For next year, the EBU takes another step by deciding to introduce a voting model of a mix between televoting and jury vote. The idea is supported by the majority of the broadcasters who answered to the questionnaire sent out by the EBU as well as by a large proportion of the fan base. Further details will be announced in the months to follow.
Ruurd Bierman, Chairman of the Reference Group, explains: "We strongly believe in televoting as a way of measuring the opinion of our millions of viewers across Europe. After the public debate about neighbor- and diaspora voting, we decided to give the national juries a say in the outcome of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest."
Svante Stockselius, EBU Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest states: "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. In Belgrade, we saw a difference in judgment of the public and the back-up juries, and we believe a combination will make the show more interesting,"
The same format as this year will be retained for the semi finals, with 9 countries qualifying through televoting and one through jury vote. During the next meeting of the Reference Group details, such as the composition of the juries, will be discussed.
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