30. Any active member of the EBU can enter the competition. Because of this, eligibility has nothing to do with membership in the European Union or whether a country is actually located on the continent of Europe (Israel and Morocco have both competed).
Green: nations that have competed at least once. Yellow: countries that have never entered, although they are eligible to do so. Pink: countries that entered but then later withdrew.
31. Qualification is determined by two semi-finals, since there are now more countries that wish to participate than there is time to air every performance.
The United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain have qualified automatically every year since 2000 and were known as the “Big Four.” Italy was added to the list of automatically qualified countries in 2010, now called the “Big Five.” This decision caused some controversy.
32. Many musicians have launched their careers on the Eurovision stage, like ABBA, who won the competition for Sweden in 1974.
41. Voting on a winner is always a controversial process, as old alliances, grudges against neighbors, and current political tensions can factor into each country’s decision.
42. After the interval performance ends, a representative from each voting country will appear on-screen to present the country’s votes. Everyone has 10 votes. Countries award 1 to 8 points and then 10 and 12 points to their favorite songs.
Finland’s representative in 2012. See what I mean about trolling?