Eurovision 2019: Begin instances, watch, finalists and every thing else that you must know



Croatia’s entry for Eurovision 2019 is every thing you would need from the Eurovision Music Contest.

Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

Each Could, half the world tunes into just a little tune contest referred to as Eurovision, able to lose their minds over a flurry of smoke machines, eye glitter and obscure Baltic disco-pop. And each Could, the remainder of the world wonders why everyone seems to be so obsessive about smoke machines, eye glitter and obscure Baltic disco-pop.

Welcome to the Eurovision Music Contest — the world’s greatest, finest and downright strangest TV occasion. This yr it is kicked off with a bang (we have misplaced our first favorites and we all know the primary nations by means of to the Grand Ultimate) and it is solely going to get extra epic from right here. 

You possibly can try the primary contestants by means of to the Grand Ultimate right here. (Hell yeah, Australia!)

Should you’ve by no means heard of Eurovision, you are formally out of the loop. This yr, Madonna is about to carry out on the present (there are rumours she’ll debut a brand new tune) and Will Ferrell is even engaged on a movie about Eurovision for Netflix. To not point out the actual fact it is the world’s longest-running tune contest and an occasion handled with sheer reverence throughout Europe.

Get out your sequins and your horny rooster coop dancing cage, as a result of we have got your full low-down on the Eurovision 2019.


Eurovision is just like the Avengers of pop-singing contests: the world’s greatest heroes (of European pop) unite to destroy the forces of darkness (by singing fabulously). And identical to Avengers, there’s usually somebody carrying a bejewelled glove.

First held in 1956, the Eurovision Music Contest is an annual competitors that brings collectively nations from the European Union (plus honorary nations like Israel and Australia) to point out off their wonderful native singers, B-Grade Ukraine’s Acquired Expertise winners and wildly-thrusting saxophone gamers (can’t unsee). It rakes in as many as 600 million viewers worldwide.

Eurovision distilled into roughly 40 frames.


Nevertheless it’s additionally greater than only a frivolous approach to preserve the European fireworks trade afloat. The competitors gave us ABBA and Waterloo (Sweden, 1st place, 1974). Celine Dion blew away the competitors in a highly-questionable drop-waisted tutu (Switzerland, 1st place, 1988). And the tune Volare? The tune that stored Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin enjoying in lounge bars for many years? That was initially a Eurovision entry (Italy, 1st place, 1958).

Not solely that, regardless of the actual fact guidelines state that songs cannot have a political message, it is usually a hotbed of geopolitical drama. In 2016, Ukraine’s haunting tune 1944 referenced the ethnic cleaning of the Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union in 1944. It was a powerful political assertion that went on to win, and was significantly poignant contemplating Russia’s annexation of Crimea simply two years prior, in 2014.

Germany’s Dschinghis Khan twirls up a storm at Eurovision in 1979.


And Portugal’s entry in 1974? That tune was seen as a secret sign to the Portuguese individuals to begin Portugal’s Carnation Revolution.

What number of different tune contests are you aware which have began a revolution? (Katy Perry’s outfits in American Idol do not depend).

The way it works

Every nation’s act sings a tune, all the time stay and usually chosen by means of that nation’s native equal of American Idol. Over two semifinals and a bumper grand ultimate, they compete to win… just about nothing. No money prize. Often no huge worldwide touring profession. Nothing besides the status of vaunting over their fellow European nations whereas high-kicking of their spangly pants.

This yr’s contest is being held in Tel Aviv, Israel (the nation received final yr and so will get the respect of internet hosting this yr). Forty-one nations will compete throughout two semifinals on Could 14 and 16, with the 26 finest (and weirdest) competing within the grand ultimate on Could 18.



Iceland 2019. There’s so much taking place right here. 

Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

It would not be a European custom if there wasn’t some needlessly advanced and byzantine voting course of to go along with it!

Here is the essential rundown: The nations in every of the 2 semifinal brackets get to vote on the opposite contestants in that bracket (however not for entries within the different semifinal group). In the course of the ultimate, all of the nations from the competitors can vote.

However Eurovision is type of just like the United Nations Safety Council — there are 4 everlasting members who’ve robotically certified for the grand ultimate since 2000 as a result of they contribute probably the most financially to the European Broadcasting Union (the occasion organizers). These 4 nations (France, Germany, Spain and the UK), plus the host nation (Israel this yr) get to vote in a single semifinal every, they usually get a spot within the grand ultimate no matter how horrible their efficiency is (ahem, I am taking a look at you, Nice Britain).

The stakes are as excessive as Cezar’s falsetto dubstep opera from 2013.


Factors are awarded by nations in two swimming pools. First, every nation has a jury of revered music trade sorts and their verdict makes up half of that nation’s vote. Every nationwide jury allocates factors to their 10 favourite entrants: 12 factors for the perfect, 10 factors for second, after which a run down of 8, 7, 6 factors and so forth right down to 1. The opposite half of the nation’s complete level allocation comes from a preferred vote (executed through televoting again dwelling). The preferred acts in accordance with most people are ranked, with the highest act given 12 factors, and the following given 10 factors after which Eight factors right down to 1 for his or her remaining picks.

Alright, nonetheless with me? Good. As a result of the scores are learn in French. And “Douze Factors” is what you need!

International locations cannot vote for themselves, however that is Europe so there are outdated allies who all the time vote for one another, just like the UK and Eire, the Nordic nations and so forth.

The US cannot vote, however boy howdy can it watch all of it go down.


Cyprus experiments with secure phrases at Eurovision 2019.

Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

How you can watch

Within the US

After airing the competitors in 2018, LogoTV didn’t renew the rights to broadcast for 2019 so which means Eurovision is at present with no dwelling within the US. There have been rumours Netflix might air Eurovision to generate buzz for its upcoming Will Ferrell movie. However that will be an uncommon transfer into stay broadcasting for Netflix — the corporate wouldn’t touch upon the file about its Eurovision plans however we’ll replace right here if we hear something.

In one other blow for Eurovision followers Stateside, the official Eurovision YouTube channel appears to be geoblocked for US viewers, which looks as if a troublesome blow contemplating it is not out there by means of any US suppliers. 

One eagle-eyed CNET reader identified that Semi-Ultimate 1 is on the market on the web site for Swedish broadcaster SVT, so for now that is a superb wager to get the stream legally. We have reached out to the European Broadcasting Union for readability on broadcast within the US, and we’ll replace right here as quickly as we hear one thing. For now, listed here are the native instances for the finals.

  • Semi-Ultimate 1 — Tuesday Could 14, three p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT)
  • Semi-Ultimate 2 — Thursday Could 16, three p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT)
  • Grand Ultimate — Saturday Could 18, three p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT)

Within the UK

All of us miss the perfectly-scathing commentary of Terry Wogan, however this yr Graham Norton will head up the Grand Ultimate commentary on BBC1.

  • Semi-Ultimate 1 — Tuesday Could 14, Eight p.m. GMT on BBC4
  • Semi-Ultimate 2 — Thursday Could 16, Eight p.m. GMT on BBC4
  • Grand Ultimate —  Saturday Could 18, Eight p.m. GMT on BBC1

Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke hitting a Kate Miller-Highnote.

Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

In Australia

Superfans can rise up early within the morning to look at on SBS or SBS On Demand (that is the time to vote!) or watch a primetime replay on the identical channels. Australia’s entry, Kate Miller-Heidke, can be in Semi-Ultimate 1.


  • Semi Ultimate 1 — Wednesday Could 15, 5 a.m. AEST
  • Semi Ultimate 2 — Friday Could 17, 5 a.m. AEST
  • Grand Ultimate — Sunday Could 19, 5 a.m. AEST

Primetime Replays

  • Semi Ultimate 1 — Thursday Could 16 at 8.30 p.m. AEST
  • Semi Ultimate 2 — Friday Could 17, 8.30 p.m. AEST
  • Grand Ultimate — Sunday Could 19, 8.30 p.m. AEST

The entrants to look at in 2019


The Netherlands are favorites to win Eurovision in 2019.

Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

You possibly can see the total listing of entrants right here, however that is plenty of Scando-ballads and Shawn Mendes-esque pop to get throughout in a short while. Should you’re having a Eurovision Social gathering (and you need to), you may must drop some information over your borscht and strudel about the perfect contestants. 

Arcade by Duncan Laurence (Netherlands)

If Eurovision within the 1970s was all ABBA and cape-twirling, then the Netherlands’ tune in 2019 is Eurovision all grown up. This tune is completely produced and it has a killer hook — “Loving you is a dropping recreation” is a line you would positively think about on the following Bond tune. This entry is the favourite to win on the betting websites (sure, you may really wager on something), and it is radio-play prepared.


Norway! Wants! Extra! Hearth!

Andres Placing/Eurovision

Spirit within the Sky by KEiiNO (Norway)

That is Eurovision by the numbers at the beginning: sequins, smoke machines and off-duty liturgical dancers. However simply as you are about to rise up for a cup of tea, Norwegian Vin Diesel busts out from the again and drops some phenomenal vocals which might be half guttural chanting, half rap, all superior. At first I believed it was a synthesizer — type of just like the yodel-goat synth in Justin Bieber’s Let Me Love You — nevertheless it’s really chanting referred to as “joik” and it is the normal music of the Lappland individuals in northern Norway. For this reason I like Eurovision: outdated people music blended with banging pop. This. Music. SLAPS!

Soldi by Mahmood (Italy)

R&B in Italian? Sure please. Mahmood received the Sanremo Music Pageant this yr with Soldi and went to shoot a movie clip that appears prefer it was recorded at his nonna’s place. Mahmood additionally sings one of many verses in Arabic (his father is Egyptian), noteworthy contemplating this yr’s competitors is being hosted in Israel.

Zero Gravity by Kate Miller-Heidke (Australia)

Australia? In Eurovision? You’d higher bloody consider it! The Aussies have been in Eurovision since 2015 (the competitors is sort of a second faith in Australia, which has a powerful historical past of European migration). Kate Miller-Heidke’s providing is bizarre, operatic and crystal-encrusted. Douze Factors s’il vous plaît.

Scream by Sergey Lazarev (Russia)

Simply take a look at these lyrics: “Although my throat is on hearth / My eyes can be liars / And so they attempt to keep drier” — Russia is second favorite to win however that is some first-rate phoning it in proper there.

She Acquired Me by Luca Hänni (Switzerland)

The hook on this tune is “She obtained me soiled dancing” which my buddy insists is about that feeling when your crush will get you a Patrick Swayze DVD on sale.


Italy’s Mahmood rehearses for Eurovision 2019.

Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

One of the best and weirdest Eurovision entries of all time

How do you select your favourite youngster? How do you catch a moonbeam in your hand? After 63 tune contests, there’s SO. MUCH. GOLD. Let’s relive the palms down, for sure, must-watch songs from Eurovision historical past… as a ingesting recreation.

Wings: Activate!


Arduous Rock Hallelujah by Lordi (Finland, 1st place, 2006)

Let’s begin with the esoteric we could? Finland’s Lordi melted the faces of the complete Eurovision crowd in 2006 with their half-death-metal, half-praise-music hit Arduous Rock Hallelujah. Oh, they usually had been cosplaying as demonic hellbeasts. Drink: When lead singer Mr Lordi opens up his demon wings.

Rise like a Phoenix by Conchita Wurst (Austria, 1st place, 2014)

Thomas Neuwirth may need a wide ranging voice, however his stage persona Conchita Wurst is a minimize above something we have seen at Eurovision in years. When she took the stage in Eurovision 2014, she wasn’t a campy drag queen in a beard and a gown — she was transcendent. Drink: Once you begin rethinking your perceptions of gender.

Dancing Lasha Tumbai by Verka Serduchka (Ukraine, 2nd place, 2007)

It has been 12 years since Verka Serduchka exploded the Eurovision stage they usually’re nonetheless prying items of disco ball out of the rafters. This tune is unexplainable, the costumes are unattainable and it’s nonetheless the perfect — the BEST — instance of Eurovision you’ll ever see. Drink: All of the liquor on the desk after which begin dancing on high of it.

Eurovision Song Contest - Finals

Verka Serduchka performs Dancing Lasha Tumbai Danzing on the 2007 Eurovision Music Contest.

Johannes Simon/Getty Photographs

Euphoria by Loreen (Sweden, 1st place, 2012)

This may all the time be the perfect Eurovision tune, settle for no substitutes. When it is three a.m. and also you get a much bigger response to a Eurovision monitor than you do for Darude’s Sandstorm you already know you have obtained a beat that drops and a tune that slays. Drink: A shot of tequila when the refrain hits.

Social gathering for Everyone by Buranovskiye Babushki (Russia, 2nd place, 2012)

Look, it is only a group of Russian nanas on stage, baking cookies of their oven whereas — what’s this?! Oh you higher BELIEVE the beat simply dropped! It is a get together for everyone and these Babushki are able to get lit. Drink: Your finest vodka.

Let’s elevate a toast to Eurovision, in all its fabulous glory.

This story was initially posted Could 13, 2019 at 10:50 p.m. PDT.

Up to date on Could 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. PDT to incorporate particulars about US stream availability. 


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