One of the pieces of news revealed at last week’s Eurovision Reference Group meeting in Berlin was that from next year, the “Big 5” and the host country will have a more prominent role in the semi-finals. Until this year, a brief clip of each of the songs automatically qualified to the final was broadcast during each semi-final, but it has been decided that as of the 2016 contest in Stockholm, this will be expanded.

Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and host country Sweden will feature in the semi-final in which they are allocated to vote and broadcast; this will be decided in January at the semi-final allocation draw, although Germany has already been granted the right to vote and appear in the second semi-final.

This will mean that semi-final viewers will get a better idea of how the finalists will look on stage in advance of the Saturday night, and will get to hear a longer portion of the songs. It also will mean the artists from these countries spending slightly longer in Stockholm that they otherwise would have done.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor, had this to say:

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. More rehearsal time means better performances and a better TV show, since the production crew has more time to get acquainted with the act. From here on, its in the hands of these six countries to pick great entries for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

The finalists can consider the gauntlet thrown down! More information on exactly what form these semi-final performances will take will be announced officially in due course, but what do you make of the move? A decision balancing the competition more fairly between the participants or an unnecessary extension of the semi-finals? Let us know!

Content Manager: In the real world I work in PR and I love pizza, dogs and gin. When it comes to Eurovision I can be quite a cynical fan at times, but I can always be won over by a killer key-change.

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