Why Eurovision 2024 'big five' of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK automatically qualify for final

Nebulossa of Spain will perform in the final without having to compete in the semi-finals -Credit:AP
Nebulossa of Spain will perform in the final without having to compete in the semi-finals -Credit:AP

Eurovision is back for another year with millions of people across the globe expected to tune in. The competition kicked off on Tuesday with the first semi-final, followed by the second on Thursday.

This year 37 countries entered the 68th contest - with 25 performing in Saturday's final. However, out of these, six countries did not need to take part in either semi-final and automatically get to take part at the weekend.

The first country that automatically qualifies this year is Sweden. As they won the 2023 contest in Liverpool with Loreen and her song Tattoo they get a free pass into the final as they are hosting the competition at Malmo Arena.

READ MORE: When and where Eurovision Song Contest 2024 is taking place

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK also get to compete in Saturday's final without having to qualify. This is because these are the group of countries that make the biggest financial contributions to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) which owns and operates Eurovision.

As a result in 2000, a rule was created that allowed them direct entry into the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Here is the full list of countries taking part, and running order, of Saturday's final:

  1. Sweden: Marcus & Martinus - Unforgettable

  2. Ukraine: Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil - Teresa & Maria

  3. Germany: Isaak - Always On The Run

  4. Luxembourg: Tali - Fighter

  5. Israel: Eden Golan - Hurricane

  6. Lithuania: Silvester Belt - Luktelk

  7. Spain: Nebulossa - Zorra

  8. Estonia: 5MIINUST x Puuluup - (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

  9. Ireland: Bambie Thug - Doomsday Blue

  10. Latvia: Dons - Hollow

  11. Greece: Marina Satti - ZARI

  12. United Kingdom: Olly Alexander - Dizzy

  13. Norway: Gåte - Ulveham

  14. Italy: Angelina Mango - La Noia'

  15. Serbia: - Teya Dora - Romonda

  16. Finland: Windows95man - No Rules!

  17. Portugal: Iolanda Costa - Grito

  18. Armenia: LADANIVA - Jako

  19. Cyprus: Silia Kapsis - Liar

  20. Switzerland: Nemo - The Code

  21. Slovenia: Raiven - Veronika'

  22. Croatia: Baby Lasagna - Rim Tom Tagi Dim

  23. Georgia: Nutsa Buzaladze - Firefighter

  24. France: Slimane - Mon Amour

  25. Austria: Kaleen - We Will Rave

The Eurovision Song Contest grand final takes place on Saturday from 8pm and will be broadcast live on BBC One.