The Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest music competition in the world and it’s set to return to UK screens in 2022.
Attention turns to Ukraine this year, which is already proving to be a favorite with bookmakers and fans alike to win amid the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.
There are 40 countries involved in the show in total, with the UK again guaranteed a place in the final due to being part of the ‘Big Five’. These are the countries that contribute the most to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Britain hasn’t done well on the show in recent years, but their new entry comes with high hopes as their song is already on the charts.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
When is Eurovision?
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held from May 10-14.
The first semi-finals will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at 8 p.m. while the second semi-finals will take place on May 12, also at 8 p.m.
The grand finale is set for Saturday May 14 at 8pm when the new winner will be crowned and next year’s venue will be decided.
How to watch Eurovision
All semi-finals will be available in the UK on BBC Three for the first time since 2015.
Scott Mills and Rylan Clark will be in charge of narration and will oversee the broadcasts for UK audiences.
The BBC has yet to confirm where the finale will be screened, but it will likely be on BBC One as in previous years.
Who is the UK entry?
Sam Ryder will represent the UK this year with the song SPACE MAN.
Ryder rose to fame during the Covid-19 lockdown when he decided to upload various covers which quickly caught the attention of major stars.
Alicia Keys and Sia were among the biggest names supporting the singer, with even Elton John sharing the love.
By the end of 2020, he had grown to 10 million social media followers and was crowned TikTok’s most popular UK artist account for two consecutive years.
Who will host Eurovision?
This year the competition will take place in Turin, Italy after last year’s winner, Måneskin, won the prize with the song Zitti E Buoni.
Specifically, the show will take place at the Palaolimpico Arena, also known as Pala Alpitour – the largest indoor arena in the country.
It was originally built for the 2006 Winter Olympics for ice hockey and can accommodate 15,500 people.
Italy marks the 66th edition of the contest and the third time the country has hosted the show. This is the first time that Turin has hosted the event.
Has the UK ever won Eurovision?
Every year it can seem desperate for the UK to win the ultimate prize.
Britain are lucky if they go past the last five, although they are still guaranteed a place in the final as they are one of the biggest financial contributors to the competition along with Italy, France, Germany and Spain.
However, there was a time when the UK regularly got a much higher spot on the charts.
The UK have won the competition five times and come in second place a record 15 times.
He also holds the record for the longest streak of top five rankings.
The last time the UK won was in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves and their song Love Shine a Light. The very first winner was Sandie Shaw in 1967 with Puppet on a String.
Lulu won in 1969 with the song Boom Bang-a-Bang, although it tied with Spain, Holland and Spain.
The rules have been changed to ensure this never happens again.
In 1979 Brotherhood of Man took first place with Save Your Kisses For Me and finally Bucks Fizz won in 1981 with Making Up Your Mind.
Will Ukraine take part in Eurovision this year?
Ukraine is participating in this year’s competition and their song is already the focus of the event.
Kalush Orchestra with the song Stefania is the favorite to win with the year, with the bookmakers behind them.
However, they will not be present in person and will instead pre-record their performance from a “safe space”.
The group shared, “Despite the fighting, the Kalush Orchestra will record their performance in a safe place, which will be sent to the organizers of the singing competition, and in the event of our victory over the occupiers by May, our delegation will go to Italy and sing live all over Europe!”
Originally, Ukraine had chosen Alina Pash to appear on the show, but in early 2022 she was dropped due to a reported 2015 visit to Russian-occupied Crimea.