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Big-5 to "perform" in Semi-finals

The Big-5 countries and the host-country are still automatic pre-qualified for the Grand Final. But now we will see a recorded video-clip of the stage-performance in one of the Semi-finals

EBU has announced that the pre-qualified countries for the Grand Final also will perform in the Semi-final in which they are allocated to vote. The decision is made because the pre-qualified countries will have more rehearsal time and because it "looks better".

UPDATE: Instead of showing Big-5 + host's full performances live in the Semi-finals, a shortened recorded clip of the stage performances will be shown. The clip will be recorded during previous night's dress rehearsal. So the change is minor: Instead of showing a shortened clip of a music-video, a shortened recorded clip of the stage performance will be shown.

»It will look so much better to show the Big Five and the host country on the Eurovision Song Contest stage, performing their act as it will be in the Grand Final« says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the EBU.

The Big-5 countries are:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Disadvantages to be pre-qualified to Grand Final: 12 point!

Since 2004 we have had Semi-finals in Eurovision Song Contest. And since then, the "Big-4" and later "Big-5" has been introduced. The large nations are contributing more to the EBU's budget, and therefore the EBU has decided that these countries are automatically qualified for the Grand Final each year. The host country also skips the Semi-finals and is automatically qualified for the Grand Final.

We earlier wrote about the downside of being pre-qualified for the Grand Final, were we concluded that if you have heard a song before, you give the song more points. Historically there have been given more points to a song you've heard before in a semi-final than to songs you have not heard before. In fact, the pre-qualified countries every year lose 12 points because of this!

Are we closer to drop the concept of Big-5?

Why not drop the pre-qualifying system, and let's have all countries competing in one of the Semi-finals? Is it fair in a contest, that some can pay to skip the qualifications? It has not been revealed by EBU how much Big-5 countries pays for a place in the Grand Final.

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