Eurovision rules: Why are France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy not in the semi-finals?

Mika discusses being a host for the Eurovision Song Contest

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will be airing on BBC Three next week and the 40 countries will compete across two semi-finals. However, the Big Five – France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy – head straight through to the final. has all you need to know about why they are exempt.

Why are the Big Five not in the Eurovision semi-finals?

This year’s Eurovision is taking place in Turin after Måneskin’s victory in Rotterdam.

The first semi-final takes place on Tuesday, May 10, with the second on May 12.

The grand final is due to air on Saturday, May 14, with all shows starting at 9pm.

All of the countries support this year’s theme, The Sound of Beauty.

France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy will not perform until the grand final.

This is because these countries pay the most money into the EBU, otherwise known as the European Broadcasting Union.

The union organises the annual contest each year.

For France, the UK, Germany and Spain, they will not have to earn their place.

Hosting country Italy will also get to sit out of the semi-finals.

In 2000, a rule was created to allow these countries direct entry into the final, regardless of their placing in the previous year’s contest.

Italy returned to the contest in 2011, so what was the Big Four became known as the Big Five.

The total cap for the amount of countries in the grand final stands at 26.

This includes the Big Five, the host nation and 10 qualifiers from each of the two semi-finals.

Viewers may think this gives countries like the UK an unfair advantage, but this is not the case.

Out of fairness, the UK cannot vote for its own country, and it does not have a brilliant track record of winning votes.

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However, 2022 performer Sam Ryder is hoping to change this with his hit, Space Man.

The singer has already proven popular on a national level, now he hopes to win over the hearts of the rest of the world.

For the UK to take part in Eurovision this year, they had to contribute to a cost of €6.2 million.

This is according to, the competition’s official site.

They say all the Participating Broadcaster’s contributions are added up to help fund the show.

The acts representing the remaining four of the Big Five are as follows:

France – Alvan feat. Ahez with Fulenn

Italy – Mahmood & Blanco with Brividi

Spain – Chanel with SloMo

Germany – Malik Harris with Rockstars

Currently Ukraine is the favourite to win the 2022 grand final, with the UK in line to take the fourth spot.

Other frontrunners include Italy for second place and Sweden for third.

Eurovision 2022 airs on BBC Three from Tuesday, May 10.

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