Last week in Berlin, the Eurovision Reference Group gathered in Berlin to share amongst them their ideas for both next year’s edition and the future of the contest itself. One of the decisions they have taken has been made public today and concerns next year’s contest in Stockholm. The Big 5 (France, The United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany) will still be prequalified for the final, as well as Sweden having the right to be so being the host country, but a decision has been taken in order for them to be more visible during the semi-finals and by that, get as much publicity as all the other entries, who have the opportunity to be seen more due to viewers having the opportunity to get familiar with them during their respective semi-finals already.
According to svt.se/melodifestivalen this will happen by a video of one their rehearsals, in a shortened version. Each semi-final will contain 3 videos each and Germany has already requested to be shown and vote in the second semi-final, due to scheduling issues. EBU’s Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand, is happy with the changes and states that “more rehearsal time means better performances and a better TV show, since the production crew has more time to get acquainted with the act”. He also says it’s a much better idea to show the performances of the Big 5 and the host entry as they will be performed on the final night.
This change also has consequences for the rehearsal schedule of the prequalified countries. They will have to be in the host city one or two days earlier than usual, which on the other hand increases their opportunities to promote their entries.