The Radio Times logo

When are the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on TV?

Will the UK perform in the semi-finals? What is the running order? And can UK viewers vote? All your questions answered

Published: Thursday, 16th May 2019 at 7:41 pm

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?

 Here’s the running order for the two semi-finals…

Semi-final 1

  1. Cyprus – Tamta (QUALIFIED)
  2. Montenegro –D mol (ELIMINATED)
  3. Finland –Darude and Sebastian Rejman (ELIMINATED)
  4. Poland – Tulia (ELIMINATED)
  5. Slovenia – Zala Kralj and Gašper Šantl (QUALIFIED)
  6. Czech Republic – Lake Malawi(QUALIFIED)
  7. Hungary – Joci Papai (ELIMINATED)
  8. Belarus – Zena (QUALIFIED)
  9. Serbia – Nevena Bozovic (QUALIFIED)
  10. Belgium – Eliot Vassamillet (ELIMINATED)
  11. Georgia – Oto Nemsadze (ELIMINATED)
  12. Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke (QUALIFIED)
  13. Iceland – Hatari (QUALIFIED)
  14. Estonia – Victor Crone (QUALIFIED)
  15. Portugal – Conan Osris (ELIMINATED)
  16. Greece – Katerine Duska (QUALIFIED)
  17. San Marino – Serhat (QUALIFIED)

Semi-final 2

  1. Armenia – Srbuk (ELIMINATED)
  2. Ireland – Sarah McTernan (ELIMINATED)
  3. Moldova – Anna Odobescu (ELIMINATED)
  4. Switzerland – Luca Hanni (QUALIFIED)
  5. Latvia – Carousel (ELIMINATED)
  6. Romania – Ester Peony (ELIMINATED)
  7. Denmark – Leonora (QUALIFIED)
  8. Sweden – John Lundvik (QUALIFIED)
  9. Austria – Paenda (ELIMINATED)
  10. Croatia – Roko Blažević (ELIMINATED)
  11. Malta – Michela Pace (QUALIFIED)
  12. Lithuania – Jurij Veklenko
  13. Russia – Sergey Lazarev (QUALIFIED)
  14. Albania – Jonida Maliqi (QUALIFIED)
  15. Norway – KEiiNO (QUALIFIED)
  16. The Netherlands – Duncan Laurence (QUALIFIED)
  17. North Macedonia – Tamara Todevska (QUALIFIED)
  18. Azerbaijan – Chingiz (QUALIFIED)

How do the Eurovision 2019 semi-finals work?

Exactly like previous years, only the 10 best acts from each semi go through to the final round.

And as per the final, each country will give two sets of 1 to 8, 10 and 12 points – one set from a jury of five music industry professionals, the other from voters at home.

To make things fairer and keep the suspense for the final, the semi-final votes won’t be revealed until after the grand final. During the semi-final, we’ll only find out which 10 acts got the most votes – we won’t know exactly how well they’ve done.

Can the UK vote in the Eurovision 2019 semi-finals?

It’s a little strange: the UK can only vote in the second semi-final (16th May).

In each semi-final, all countries competing that night are allowed to vote, plus three of the six nations already qualified for the final (the Big Five and the host nation, which is Israel this year). Which of these three nations can vote for which semi-final is decided by a draw.

While France, Israel and Spain will vote in semi-final one, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom will vote in semi-final two.

How can I vote in the Eurovision 2019 semi-finals?

You can vote via the official Eurovision App or call using the onscreen numbers during the show.


The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final takes place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 18th 2019

Meet the acts competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019


Sponsored content