During a telephone meeting Tuesday, the Eurovision Song Ccontest Reference Group discussed the issue of the previous decided new format. The idea was not revealing the results from the tele voting in the semi-final on Wednesday until the live broadcast of the final on Saturday. The EBU changed its mind again!
The idea behind this format is to create a greater suspense for artists, spectators and viewers and also to more obvious integrate the two shows. It was noted by the Reference Group that several participating members have expressed their doubts for this format. Esctoday.com already reported that the Israeli IBA and the Dutch NOS did. With several good reasons the members listed their concerns.
The European Broadcasting Union wrote: “The Reference Group still believes that in order to keep the high attention and viewing figures across Europe a development of the format always must be considered. However the Reference Group also respects the concerns of the participating members and also taking into account some problems of a technical sort another decision has been made”.
The semifinal on Wednesday May 12 will still be a two-hour show, broadcasted from 21:00 to 23:00 CET. The 22 songs will perform with a recap after the last song and then a ten minute voting window will be open. In the end of that voting window the scoreboard with the drawn running order of the 24 countries in the final will be presented, with 10 open spots. The ten countries with the highest score will be presented by the opening of ten envelopes (or similar).
The hosts will open them one by one (without individual order) and the name of the qualified country appears on the scoreboard. And finally they will have the full starting order leading to Saturday�s final on the scoreboard. And all 24 songs in the final will start equally.
There will be no need for a spokesperson to present the points from the televote in each country on Wednesday. The result for the songs placed number 11-22 will be presented graphically to the viewers on Wednesday. The total individual results from each country will presented online after Saturdays final. This means that it will not be known how every of the ten qualified countries scored before the final, which keeps it exciting for all ten countries. The dress rehearsals for the final will be produced as previous years.
The 12 participating members that will not make it to the final after revealing the result on Wednesday are out of Eurovision Song Contest 2004. “However the Reference Group recommend all delegations to stay until the final and take part of the Eurovision Song Contest celebrations”, the EBU says in a press release.
The Reference Group also invites all heads of delegation to a discussion of a development of the format for 2005 and onwards at the head of delegations meeting in Istanbul, March 22-23. The draw for running order of the final will also take place during that meeting.