Eurovision Song Contest Wiki
Eurovision Song Contest Wiki

The "Big Five" (formerly "Big Four") are the group of countries who make the biggest financial contributions to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

In 2000, a rule was created to allow those countries direct entry into the final of the Eurovision Song Contest regardless of their placing in the previous year's contest, fear of relegation, or having to go through a semi-final round. With the return of Italy to the contest in 2011, the Big Four became known as the Big Five.

With the introduction of the semifinals in 2004, the maximum amount of entries allowed in the final were capped at 24 from 2004-2007, and 25 from 2008-2010. As of 2012, this maximum cap now stands at 26: the Big Five, the host nation, and the 10 qualifiers from each of the two semifinals. Their only other requirement, aside from voting in the final, is to broadcast and vote in their assigned semifinal. And since 2016, clips of their live jury rehearsal performances are shown during their assigned semifinals rather than their official music videos (or postcards in the case of 2013).

The only exceptions to this rule occurred in 2011, 2015 and 2022. In 2011 and 2022 respectively, Germany and Italy (host nations) were both Big Five countries, so the entries for the final were capped at 25 - this rule applies to any Big Five nation that wins the contest in the future.

When Australia debuted in 2015, it was given an automatic pass to the final as the guest nation as well as full voting rights for both semifinals, capping the entries at 27.

Due to Ukraine unable to host the 2023 contest being the uncertainties over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the honor of transferring it to the United Kingdom as 2022 runner-up, the entry cap remained at 26 because as defending champion, Ukraine got a direct berth in the final.

Members of the "Big Five"[]


  • Stories have said that the rule was developed at first to appease Germany, which had failed to qualify for the 1996 contest through the audio-only qualifying round (it would have been relegated due to a last-place finish in 1995).
  • All five of these nations have won the contest at least twice.
  • Since the introduction of the Big Five rule in 2000, Germany (2010) and Italy (2021) are the group's only winners.
  • Three members of the Big Five (France, Germany and Italy) are also part of the Founding Seven nations. The United Kingdom had intended to apply for the 1956 contest, but missed the cut-off date.
  • France is the only member of the Big Five to have never scored a full nul points.
Eurovision Song Contest
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Winning Songs
RefrainNet Als ToenDors, mon amourEen beetjeTom PillibiNous les amoureuxUn premier amourDanseviseNon ho l'etàPoupée de Cire, Poupée de SonMerci, ChériePuppet on a StringLa, La, LaBoom Bang-a-BangVivo CantandoUn jour, un enfantDe TroubadourAll Kinds of EverythingUn banc, un arbre, une rueAprès ToiTu Te ReconnaîtrasWaterlooDing-a-DongSave Your Kisses For MeL'Oiseau et l'enfantA-Ba-Ni-BiHallelujahWhat's Another YearMaking Your Mind UpEin bißchen FriedenSi la vie est cadeauDiggiloo DiggileyLa Det SwingeJ'aime La VieHold Me NowNe Partez Pas Sans MoiRock MeInsieme: 1992Fångad av en stormvindWhy Me?In Your EyesRock 'n' Roll KidsNocturneThe VoiceLove Shine a LightDivaTake Me To Your HeavenFly on the Wings of LoveEverybodyI WannaEveryway That I CanWild DancesMy Number OneHard Rock HallelujahMolitvaBelieveFairytaleSatelliteRunning ScaredEuphoriaOnly TeardropsRise Like a PhoenixHeroes1944Amar pelos doisToyArcadeZitti e buoniStefaniaTattooThe Code
Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEurovision's Greatest HitsEurope Shine a Light
Aspects of Eurovision
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