Christine Marchal-Ortiz, head of the Eurosong reference group of the EBU, said that 24 countries is the ultimate number of participants.
Marchal said this in an e-mail to a British fan. The reason for this she gave in another mail to a Dutch fan: “We stopped at 24 in view of experience of past producers saying that this is the maximum countries we can have and yet respect the 3 hours format”, Marchal wrote.
Another reason to send 24 songs to Tallinn was “the time the two hosts spend hosting the show”. According to Marchal, there would be enough time for a 24th song if the hosts will talk less in the future.
“We make more people happy with adding two more songs, that's why we though we could do it”, Marchal finally said. However that's true, many fans are confused by the many changes in the rules by the EBU. “They changed their own rules three times in three months”, a fan said.