Time for the Eurovision Song Contest How the boisterous Song

Time for the Eurovision Song Contest: How the boisterous Song Contest works – Al Jazeera English

Sprinkle the sequins and turn up the volume: The annual Eurovision Song Contest culminates on Saturday with a grand finale broadcast live from the UK city of Liverpool.

There will be catchy choruses, a kaleidoscope of costumes and homages to the spirit of Ukraine in a competition that has captured a continent’s changing zeitgeist since 1956.

According to the organizer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), 161 million people watched the competition last year, making it one of the most watched events worldwide.

Here’s what to expect as acts from across Europe – and beyond – compete for the continent’s pop crown.

Who is participating in the competition?

This year, 37 countries sent an artist to the Eurovision Song Contest, selected through national competitions or broadcasters’ internal selections. Usually, the winner of last year’s event hosts the competition, but as Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine continues, this year the UK is taking the honors on behalf of the 2022 winner, Ukraine.

Alyosha is representing Ukraine this year. Since it began participating in 2003, the country has won three times [Martin Meissner/AP Photo]Six countries automatically qualify for the final: last year’s winner and the five countries that fund the competition the most – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The others must perform in the semi-finals with 20 acts selected by public vote on Tuesday and Thursday.

The qualifiers are: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

The final will take place at the Liverpool Arena on Saturday.


Eurovision is not just geography. The Eurovision Song Contest is hugely popular in Australia and the country was allowed to take part in the competition in 2015. Other participants from outside Europe include Israel and Azerbaijan.

Who are the favourites?

It’s hard to predict the winners of a competition whose previous winners have ranged from ABBA to Finnish metal band Lordi, but bookies say Swedish diva Loreen, who won in 2012, is the favorite with her power ballad Tattoo.

Finn Käärijä was a crowd favorite in the semifinals with his pop metal party song Cha Cha Cha and Canadian singer La Zarra, representing France, also ranks high with her Edith Piaf-style song Évidemment.

Great Britain’s Mae Muller is hoping for a strong performance on Saturday night [Martin Meissner/AP Photo]And never underestimate left field posts like Let 3 from Croatia, whose song Mama ŠČ! is pure Eurovision camp: an anti-war rock opera that feels like Monty Python and Dr. Strangelove listens.

What happens in the final?

Around 6,000 people will attend the finale, which will be hosted by longtime BBC Eurovision presenter Graham Norton, Ted Lasso and West End star Hannah Waddingham, British singer Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian rock star Julia Sanina.

Each participating act must sing live and adhere to a three-minute limit, but otherwise are free to create their own production – the more flashy the pyrotechnics and intricate choreography, the better.

Russia’s war in Ukraine will add a celebratory touch to a competition known for celebrating cheesy pop.

The show will open with a performance by last year’s winner, folk-rap band Kalush Orchestra, and singer Jamala, who won the 2016 competition, will pay homage to her Crimean Tatar culture. Since the country’s participation in 2003, Ukraine has won the competition three times.

One who will not appear is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He asked to address the final via video, but the EBU said such talk would violate “the non-political nature of the event”.

How is the winner determined?

After all performances have been listed, viewers in participating countries can vote by phone, SMS or app, but are not allowed to vote for their own country.

This year, for the first time, viewers from non-participating countries will also be able to vote online, with votes from “Rest of the World” being given an individual country’s weight.

Let 3 from Croatia sing an anti-war rock opera [Martin Meissner/AP Photo]National juries of music industry professionals also award between one and twelve points for their favorite songs, with a speaker from each country appearing to announce which received the coveted “Douze Points” (12 points).

Public and jury votes are combined to give each country a single score. Getting “zero points” (zero points) at the end is considered a national embarrassment. The UK has suffered that fate on several occasions – most recently in 2021, but bounced back last year as Sam Ryder finished second and hopes this year’s contestant Mae Muller will also put in a strong performance.

Where can I watch?

Eurovision is shown by national broadcasters affiliated with the EBU, including the BBC in the UK, and on the Eurovision YouTube channel. In the US, it will be shown on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.