Acts from all over Europe will compete for Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest final, with Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra likely to win
Eurovision fans around the world are getting ready for one of the biggest events on the musical calendar: the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday evening (14 May).
About 180 million people are expected to see the final live on TV.
This year the UK will be represented by TikTok star Sam Ryder with his song Space Man. But the UK’s record in the competition has been pretty bad in recent years, including an embarrassing zero at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Fans across Europe will vote for their favorite acts, with Ukraine’s entry – Stefania from Kalush Orchestra – being considered the strong frontrunner to win. But how does the Eurovision voting system work and when will the winner be announced?
How does the Eurovision voting system work?
In Eurovision, points are awarded to entries depending on both the number of votes they received from the voting public and the expert juries in each participating country.
Entries will be ranked initially by jury vote and then points awarded from the public vote.
Both the semi-finals and the grand final are decided in this way. Entries are awarded a range of points ranging from one to eight and from 10 to twelve.
The so-called ‘Big Five’ countries – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – do not participate in the semi-finals and are automatically guaranteed a place in the final.
People in these countries can only vote in one of the two semifinals, which are allocated to them in advance.
Before the introduction of the public vote in 1997, the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest were chosen solely by the jury.
However, the public vote has been criticized because some people feel that points are awarded based on politics rather than the merits of each individual entry.
How do you vote in the Eurovision Song Contest?
You can vote for your favorite Eurovision entry by phone, SMS, the Eurovision app or the BBC Eurovision website. The voting will open after all entries have been made and will remain open for approximately 15 minutes.
However, viewers cannot vote for their own country’s entry. This means that if you are in the UK you cannot vote for Sam Ryder and his song Space Man.
When will the Eurovision winner be announced?
Live coverage of the grand Eurovision final starts Saturday at 8pm on BBC One and runs until around midnight, with commentary by Graham Norton.
This year’s winner will be announced once all the results from each participating country are in, before the champions take the win.