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The rules are changing for this year's song contest

The rules are changing for this year's song contest

The Big Five countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain – will also perform live in the semi-finals. They are still ready for the final. There are also innovations in voting.

Some small rule changes aim to make the Eurovision Song Contest more exciting when it is held in Malmö. Swedish regulators announced this on Monday. This includes, among others, the emergence of the five largest donor countries: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Great Britain and the host country.

The 'Big Five' have been automatically seeded for the final for decades by statute and don't have to worry about their progress into the semi-finals. This was not always their advantage as it meant they could only perform live in front of a television audience once. More often than not, these countries end up lagging behind. Now they will also perform a full live performance in the semi-finals. And that's in the middle of other shows. So far, short video clips of them have been shown on the sidelines of the show.

However, these works are still safe in the actual end. Like host Sweden, Germany will be eliminated in the first semi-final, as will the Brits. France, Italy and Spain will be shown live in the second semi-final. “We think it's fairer,” ESC Director Ebba Adelson said. “You now have the opportunity to appear on stage ‘for real.’ This is also a benefit for the audience.”

The vote is valid from the first appearance

There are other changes too. On the evening of the finale, this year phone voting and online voting will be activated right at the beginning of the premiere, so you can cast your vote directly under the impression of the live experience. Previously, voting did not begin until after the sets had run in the second half of the show.

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Another innovation: anyone coming from a country that does not participate in the ESC can vote approximately 24 hours before the start of the three shows. The final of this year's ESC Championship will be held in Malmö on May 11, while the semi-finals will take place on May 7 and 9. German ESC hopes Isaac will be there with his song “Always On The Run”. (APA/DPA)

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