Tomorrow the Reference Group will meet to decide various aspects of next years contest and here are somethings that I believe should be considered.
1. Allowing Juries to vote based on the Saturday Night performance. If this year proved anything it showed that juries, who voted on the night before the final, gave very different results to the public. In the cases of UK, Sweden and Russia, they all gave a poor performance on the Friday but gave good performances on the show. For the sake of consistency I believe the juries should vote based on the Saturday Night performance.
2. Holding the draw for the running order during the show. This year I was not at the contest. The only way I could see the draw was on the Oikotimes site who had a miserable camera at the back of the press conference room. I think that when the results are going to be reveled the Head Of Delegations should be on stage holding their countries flag. When their country is called out they should immediately draw a number for their draw. The EBU claims this would add 10 minutes to the show but if it was well run I could see it taking 3 minutes. At the very least the press conference after Semi 1 should be shown on Eurovision.tv.
3. Inviting a major artist to perform at the Semi Final interval act. I believe the EBU should invite some big international star to perform the interval act. 2010 saw an interval act of the final second only to Riverdance and Aqua. 2011 saw the poorest ever interval act. The Cold Steel Drummers and Jan Delay or whatever his name was bored the arse off me. Some big name artist like Lady Gaga or Kylie would be only to glad to get a 10 minute gig with a 25 million audience, even them being on the bill may bring some more viewers. Certainly this should be the case in the Semi Finals.
4. Take no bull from Azerbaijan. This could be the best or worst Eurovision ever. It could be 1999 all over again. If Azerbaijan cannot produce a credible venue i.e. with a minimum of 15000 seats. Or if Azerbaijan cannot produce enough Hotel rooms the EBU should hit the road for Stockholm or Dublin (Just a hope). But really we could be looking at a poor show from Azerbaijan in terms of the stadium if they have to build it.
5. Keep the Juries. Since the reintroduction of juries the contest has become fairer and more credible in Western eyes. The juries may not always give the result we hope for but in the long term they will do a great amount of good for the contest.
6. Put in rules about ex-winners performing at the contest when they are participating. In my opinion the contest faces problems if last years winner comes back. A rule should be introduced that the returning winner may perform only during the interval act and not like what happened with Lena
7. Give a wildcard draw to the two countries who have not qualifed the longest. Wildcards get to choose their running spot and this can greatly improve their chances. Therefore to aid a country getting to the final the wildcard should not be given at random but to the two countries the longest out of the final. Currently Netherlands has missed the final for seven years. Bulgaria have missed it for 4 years. These countries should get the wildcards. Also the wilcard for the Big 5 should go to the lowest placed from last year - in this case Spain.
8. Allow internal selection to continue. Internal selection has worked in the past, so it can't not be allowed.
Obvisiously this is a realistic achievable list. I could have included things like open voting in the semi finals but I did not.