The new voting format allowed the non-qualified countries to vote in the final, whereas in the old format they couldn't vote. The outcome of this new format seems to be quite interesting and polemical.
In fact, Ukraine wouldn't have won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest if the old format had been used. Ukraine would have scored 175 points against 190 points of Serbia & Montenegro.
On the other hand, this new format gave Russia and Malta, automatically, a place in the final of 2005. However, the old format would give Russia only 19 points (would fall from 11th to 16th), and Malta would have scored 22 points (would come 13th instead of 12th).
As Russia and Malta saw in this new voting format an advantage, others faced a disadvantage. It's the case for Croatia and FYR Macedonia, who now have to take part in the 2005 qualifier round, instead of going directly to the final as they would according to the old format.
Therefore, it makes us conclude that the vote of the non-qualified countries makes all the difference.