Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

The EBU has just announced that the Big-5 and the host country, Sweden, will be performing live in the Semi-finals regardless of already being in the final and

In the year 2000, the concept of the Big-5 (initially the Big-4, excluding Italy) was introduced, permitting direct passage to the Eurovision finals for certain countries, irrespective of their previous year’s ranking.

Comprising France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the Big-5, along with the host country (provided it aligns with the previous edition’s winning country), secured automatic places in the final.

Traditionally, these six qualified countries were allotted a brief spot during the semi-finals, featuring a representative delivering remarks and presenting a short clip of their performance. Concerns arose regarding the fairness of this arrangement, particularly in light of some Big-5 countries’ modest results.

However, a transformative shift has been announced by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Swedish broadcaster SVT. The pre-qualified countries will now perform live during each semi-final, while retaining their guaranteed spots in the final. This adjustment aims to create a more equitable playing field for the Big-5 and the host country in the Grand Final.

Explaining the decision, Ebba Adielsson, Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, stated,

We think that this change gives the Big Five countries and the host country a fairer playing field in the Grand Final, as they now have the opportunity to perform “for real” on stage in the Semi-Finals.

The allocation adheres to the draw conducted in January:

Semi-Final 1

  • Germany 🇩🇪
  • Sweden 🇸🇪
  • United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Semi-Final 2

  • France 🇫🇷
  • Italy 🇮🇹
  • Spain 🇪🇸

Changing in the Voting system

In Malmö, there’s a change in how people can vote during the Grand Final.

On May 11th, you can start voting right before the first song begins. This means you can vote as you watch each performance, instead of waiting until all the songs are done, like we usually do since 1997 (except for 2010 and 2011 when voting started at the beginning).

For fans in other countries (Rest of The World), they now have almost a whole day to vote for their favorite songs before each live show. Online voting for Rest of The World opens right after the second dress rehearsal for each Semi-Final and Grand Final the night before, and stays open until the live shows begin.

Executive Producer Ebba Adielsson expands on this change:

“Voting in the final has previously opened when all 26 entries have finished singing. Instead, we want to provide the opportunity to engage the viewers from the start – if you see something you like, you should be able to vote immediately. You can also, of course, wait until the recap at the end, as in previous years. 

SVT has positive experience with this voting procedure in ‘Melodifestivalen’ (Sweden’s national final). In addition, there are viewers in other parts of the world who want to vote and we want to give them a better opportunity to participate in the result. Now they don’t have to set an alarm clock in the middle of the night.”

The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 will take place in Malmö, Sweden, on May 7, 9, and 11.

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