Eurovision semi final rule change means UK's Olly Alexander will perform in Malmo before final

UK Eurovision's Olly Alexander
UK Eurovision's Olly Alexander -Credit:Getty Images

In a huge break from tradition, the United Kingdom WILL perform in the Eurovision Song Contest semi finals last week, as bosses give the Big Five the chance to get their songs heard before the grand finale.

Along with Spain, France, Italy and Germany, the UK has never had to qualify for the final, since the semis were first introduced 20 years ago, with all five nations being given an automatic spot in the final line-up, along with the host country, which this year is Sweden.

That has meant that in the past, the more 'casual' Eurovision viewer won't get to see or hear their performances until the final, whereas those countries who made it through from the semis will have had arguably more of a chance to make an impression. That all changes this year though, as it has been announced that all of the Big Five and Sweden will give 'exhibition' performances in either the first semi on Tuesday, May 7 or the second on Thursday, May 9.

READ MORE: Eurovision Song Contest 2024 countries, acts and songs for Malmo competition

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And, rather than perform after all of the competing acts have performed, the Big Five and Sweden's appearances will be spaced out between the rest of the countries, despite no-one being able to vote for them.

The move means that viewers across the world will get to see United Kingdom representative Olly Alexander do his track Dizzy on Tuesday night, rather than having to wait until Saturday night. The Years & Years star is set to take to the stage between two of the big hitters in semi final one - Ireland and Ukraine, with the show airing live on BBC One from 8pm.

There has been some good news for Olly as he begins what will be a hectic eight days, with odds on him winning the contest being cut rather dramatically after pictures and footage of his first rehearsal in Malmo got everyone talking online.