Love it or loathe it you have to concede that the Eurovision Song Contest is the greatest all-singing all-dancing all douze point-ing extravaganza on our TV screens, so it’s little wonder viewers tune in in their millions to watch year after year.
The 2018 Song Contest will be no different so whether you’re eager to get your plans for a Eurovision party in motion or are quite simply just curious about the who, what, when, where and why of this year’s competition, we’ve put together a handy guide detailing everything you need to know…
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 Grand Final takes place on Saturday, May 12th. You’ll be able to watch the show live on BBC1 from 8pm with Graham Norton on the night, or you can tune in on BBC Radio 2 with Ken Bruce from 8pm.
Former Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak is constantly rising up and down in the odds. He’s performing Norway’s entry, That’s How You Write A Song.
How does the Eurovision Song Contest voting work?
Eurovision was originally judged by juries before being opened to the public for a tele vote but when people started getting worked up about political Bloc Voting (the idea that countries in Eastern Europe were all just voting for their friends and neighbours) they introduced a new dual system.
The juries from each country (made up of five music industry professionals) award 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs, and reveal those jury scores through their national spokesperson in the usual time-consuming yet exciting way.
Viewers from each country also vote via phone or SMS, awarding 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs. Then, all the results from each country’s public votes are combined to give one overall Eurovision viewer score per song.
Spokespersons from each country read out the jury results – those all important douze points – during the live show.
Then the Eurovision presenters read out the results of the European televote – or public vote – in ascending order, beginning with the country that received the lowest number of televotes – public votes – and finishing with the country that received the highest.
Viewers in all the competing countries – including those who were knocked out in the semi-finals – can vote up to 20 times for the songs of their choice, but they can’t vote for their own country.
The country with the highest number of votes wins the competition and gets to host it the next year.
“After all countries have performed, viewers will be invited to vote for their favourite act/s.
Voting is by telephone only. Voters in the UK can choose either to call from their landline using the long (11-digit) number for the country of their choice or from their mobile phones using the shortcode (7-digit) number for the country of their choice.
Please note that callers from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man should call from their landlines using the long (11-digit) number to avoid higher mobile charges, as the short (7-digit) numbers are not available in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for reasons outside of the BBC’s control.”
The numbers to be used will be given during the programmes.
Who has been eliminated from Eurovision 2018?
The countries who failed to qualify during the semi-final stages are:
Portugal’s Salvador Sobral secured victory with his song Amar Pelos Dois in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2017. His win marked the first ever Portugese Eurovision victory.
Where is the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 being held?
As is traditional, last year’s winner will host the event, with the Portuguese capital of Lisbon chosen for the country’s first ever Grand Final, which will take place at the Altice Arena.
Who are the Eurovision 2018 presenters?
Portugal has chosen four female hosts for this year’s Song Contest – TV presenter and 2017 Portuguese Jury spokesperson Filomena Cautela, the country’s Strictly Come Dancing, Masterchef, Top Chef and Portugal’s Got Talent host Sílvia Alberto, NCIS: Los Angeles star Daniela Ruah (who grew up in Portugal) and TV presenter and actress Catarina Furtado.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news