Ruurd Bierman, Chairman of the Reference Group, explained the decision: "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."
A survey amongst delegation heads from represented countries revealed that a majority is in favor of such mixed model. Earlier today, they were informed about the outcome of the Reference Group meeting in Moscow.
A mixed voting system also has great support amongst the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest.
"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," said Svante Stockselius, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU.
In its next meeting, later this year, the Reference Group will decide upon the exact way the jury has to be composed, and to discuss rules to assure a fair jury vote.
The Semi-Finals will not see any changes in the voting procedure. As at the 2008 contest, televoters will again decide upon the nine songs that qualify in each of the two Semi-Finals, while the highest ranked entry of the back-up juries that didn't qualify yet through televoting will also qualify.
The Semi-Finals of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Moscow, Russia, on 12 and 14 May, the Final on Saturday, 16 May, next year.