Ah, Eurovision. One of the glitziest, gaudiest, cringiest, most unmissable events in the TV calendar. That time of year when everyone comes together to perform terrible songs, make fun of those same songs, and remind the UK just how much Europe hates them. And it’s all back on your screens this weekend! The joy. The sheer joy.
Here’s everything you need to know about Eurovision 2022, from how to watch the contest to which countries might win.
Where and when is Eurovision 2022?
Thanks to the storming victory of Italian glam rockers Måneskin in 2021, this year’s contest will take place in Turin, Italy. Kicking off at 9pm CET (8pm BST) on May 14, the Grand Final will be presented by Italian TV presenter Alessandro Cattelan and singers Laura Pausini and Mika (yes, of ‘Grace Kelly’ fame).
How did countries qualify?
Some countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) qualify automatically every year. The rest have to fight it out in two semi-finals, which in 2022 has already taken place on May 10 and 12.
Who’s taking part?
The Big Five, as above, plus 20 others. Ten qualify from each semi-final.
Who’s not taking part?
There are a couple of countries who will certainly not be in the running. Russia was disqualified due to the recent invasion of Ukraine, while Belarus is currently serving a ban which will last until 2024.
Who’s representing the UK?
Sam Ryder, a 32-year-old TikTok star with a beautiful mane of hair and an equally gorgeous singing voice. He’ll be belting out his intergalactic ballad ‘SPACE MAN’.
Does the UK have a chance?
Erm, maybe. Depends who you listen to. Ryder is clearly a very talented dude and he’s backed by Parlophone (which also reps Coldplay, Gorillaz and PinkPantheress, to name a few), so this might be our best chance in years. But it’s also been almost a quarter of a century since the UK last won Eurovision, so it’s probs best not to get your hopes up.
Who are the favourites?
Eurovision has always been a bit about geopolitics, so it’s no wonder that an act of international solidarity with the people of Ukraine will likely be on the cards. Most bookies have Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra (performing ‘Stefania’) as the clear favourite.
Aside from that, Italy’s Mahmood and Blanco are expected to keep up Måneskin’s momentum. They’re second favourites. Then comes Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs and, shockingly, the UK’s Sam Ryder.
Any others to watch out for?
With a band named Subwoolfer and a song titled ‘Give That Wolf a Banana’, Norway’s entry is sure to be a total hoot. Also up for an eye-catching show will be legendary Finnish rockers The Rasmus, who y’know, are actually quite famous, as well as San Marino’s Achille Lauro, who is bringing back eyeliner rock in a big way.
How can I watch it?
It depends on your country, but SBS in Australia, BBC One in the UK, Peacock in the US and RTÉ One in Ireland will all be broadcasting live footage of the Grand Final. You’ll also be able to view it on European Broadcasting Union’s official YouTube and TikTok channels.
You can view the full list of broadcasters here.
Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here.