RAI, the Italian national broadcaster, has this evening confirmed their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Italy has this evening become the latest country to confirm that they will be participating in next years Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal. Next year in Portugal will be the eighth appearance of Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest since they returned to the competition in 2011. Italy’s confirmation of participation means that all of the members of the Big Five will be competing in next years competition.
What is the Big Five?
The Big Five are the five largest financial contributors to the European Broadcasting Union. As a result of their financial contribution, since 2000 the largest financial contributors have been automatically qualified into the final, regardless of their position in the previous years contest. Between 2000 and 2010, the Big Five was made up of just four nations; France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Italy was added to this group on their return in 2011.
To date the following countries are yet to publicly confirm whether they will be participating in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. These countries are; Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, FYR Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino. While Andorra, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Turkey have all ruled out a return to the competition.
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Italy debuted in the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, and has participated a total of 42 times to date. Italy returned to the contest in 2011, having last participated in 1997. Italy has won the contest twice, the first time being in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti’s “Non ho l’età”, and the second being in 1990 with Toto Cutugno’s “Insieme: 1990”. Italy’s hosting of the contest in 1991 has been remembered as one of the most chaotic contests to date. Since their return in 2011 Italy has finished in the top 10 on four occasions, finishing in 2nd in 2011 with Raphael Gualazzi’s “The Madness of Love” and 3rd in 2015 with Il Volo’s “Grande amore”. The former was the jury winner of Eurovision 2011, and the latter was the winner of the public vote in 2015.