Participating EBU Member Broadcasters overwhelmingly welcomed the introduction of professional juries in the Final as a positive development. At the same time, viewers, journalists and dedicated fans welcomed the introduction of over 200 judges from the music industry, and sent the EBU letters and emails to ask for implementation of the format in the Semi-Finals as well.
To increase consistency in the format of the Eurovision Song Contest, juries will also get a 50 percent stake in the results of the Semi-Finals of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, as well as in the Final. Viewers decide upon the other 50 percent of the outcome. The top-10 of the combined result in each Semi-Final qualifies for the Final of Europe's favourite TV-show.
Strict rules were introduced last year to secure the integrity of jury voting. Those rules will remain in place.
About the Reference Group
The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group is the executive Expert Committee for all Members, its purpose being to control and guide the Eurovision Song Contest. The Reference Group was established by the European Broadcasting Union's Television Committee in 1998 and its main tasks are approving the development and future format of the Eurovision Song Contest, securing the financing, modernising the brand, raising awareness and overseeing the yearly preparation by the Host Broadcaster.
The Reference Group meets four or five times each year on behalf of all Participating Broadcasters, and is required to take decisions in the general interest of the Eurovision Song Contest. The Reference Group is composed of a Chairman, three elected members of the Entertainment Experts Group of the EBU, two Executive Producers from previous host countries, as well as the Executive Producer of the current Host Broadcaster and the EBU Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor.