Questionable lyrics, insane outfits and some downright weird staging decisions: there’s plenty of each in the Eurovision Song Contest. So much, in fact, that all the action can’t fit into one evening.
Just like every Eurovision since 2008, the competition is held over three nights – two semi-finals and one grand final on Saturday 18th May (starting 8pm, BBC1). Although 41 acts are in the running for this year’s competition, only 26 will advance to the final.
How exactly do the semi-finals work? And who is performing? Here’s everything you need to know…
When is the first Eurovision 2019 semi-final on TV?
The first semi-final takes place on Tuesday 14th May, available to watch from 8pm-10pm on BBC4, commentated on by Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills.
When is the second Eurovision 2019 semi-final on TV?
The second semi-final will follow on Thursday 16th May, also from 8-10pm on BBC4 with the same commentary team.
Is the UK in the Eurovision semi-finals?
No. But this isn’t a bad thing. This year’s UK representative, Michael Rice, has a free ride to the competition’s final.
That’s because the UK is one of the ‘Big Five’, the countries that are the biggest financial contributors to the European Broadcast Union. Other members of the Big Five – France, Germany, Spain and Italy – and last year’s winner, Israel, also go straight through to Saturday’s final and won’t perform in a semi-final.
Which acts have made it through the Eurovision 2019 semi-finals?
You can see which acts have qualified for the final here.
What acts will be performing in the Eurovision semi-finals? What is the running order?