This week I will cover the big 5 and the host country, which is Israel this year. The big 5 consists of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and The United Kingdom. The big 5 and the host country do not have to compete in the 2 semifinals to make it to the final, they automatically have a spot in the final every year.
Now you may be wondering what qualifies them for their coveted spot is it talent or prestige? No its purely money. These countries contribute the most amount of money to the Eurovision Broadcasting Network and therefore do not have to compete in the final. That being said the big 5 do not have a good history in winning since the creation of the big 5. The only country to not come in last place since 2011 has been Italy. Italy is looking good again this year with the 5th best odds as of April 9th
The host country position hasn’t had much luck either. Most host countries tend to do very bad in the final coming in the bottom 5 the only exception being Sweden.
Kobi Marini a 27-year-old from Ramat Gan, Israel won this years Rising Star competition to represent his home country, Israel, with the song “Home”. While some countries choose their contestant internally Israel uses a competition style show where the audience at home votes on who their favorite act is. After competing against his fellow contestants he took home the win and right to represent his country this year in Tel Aviv.
Marini studied theater and acting throughout his life. He has performed in various plays and even performed in the Israeli Opera
Bilal Hassani is a 19-year-old Parisian whos claim to fame, other than representing France, is his youtube channel that has garnered almost 1 million subscribers. Hassani won Frances competition Destination Eurovision with his song “Roi”.
Hassani is an outspoken advocate of the LGBT community he is apart of. His song is a message of self-acceptance and hope to those that want to be free and unashamed.
S!sters is a duo of 19 and 26-year-olds Carlotta Truman and Laurita Kästel. They won Unser Lied Für Israel with their song “Sister”.
Truman has an extensive singing background first apearing in a German talent show at 9 years old Das Supertalent. Kästel first started singing at the age of 4 with her older sister. At the age of 10, she won the ZDF’s Kiddy Contest.
Mahmood (Alessandro Mahmoud) competed in the Italian competition Sanremo with his song “Soldi”. Born in Milan the 26-year-old he has an extensive list of previous hit songs. Mahmood started his musical career on the 2012 season of the Italian X Factor. Although he did not win that season he followed that year by entering more song contests and festivals.
“Soldi” is a song addressing what it is like to be raised in an immigrant family and the parallels it creates.
Miki is representing Spain with his song “La Venda”. Through the Spanish competition, Operación Triunfo Miki was able to gain recognition through duets with other singers. After his 6th place finish, he was chosen for the Spanish Eurovision Gala and gained favor with the jury of panelists and the public voters.
A mainly self-taught musician Miki only just appeared on the Spanish music scene but already has a full repertoire of songs. Miki is very influenced by Catalan Rumba and Latin pop. This is visible in “La Venda”.
Michael Rice, the North East England native, won the UK’s Eurovision You Decide contest with his song “Bigger Than Us”. Each contestant of the Eurovision You Decide was paired with another contestant and was given the same song styled in a different genre.
Rice started his career after a video of him singing “Years & Years” went viral. Rice also appeared and won All Together Now the UK singing contest