Eurovision 2022 has kicked off with Ukraine tipped to win. Here’s who is competing and how to watch in Australia

Source: ABCnews

Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals kicked off early on Wednesday morning, and there’s still an entire weekend filled with musical extravaganza ahead of us.

With last year’s event attracting the eyeballs of 183 million viewers, the world’s largest live music event is set to make some big waves this year. 

To help you brush up on the facts: here’s everything you need to know about Eurovision 2022. 

How do I watch Eurovision in Australia?

SBS will broadcast Eurovision. The network will exclusively cover the events on SBS and SBS On Demand from May 11 to 15.

Prime-time broadcasts will air on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14 at 8:30pm, and Sunday May 15 at 7:30pm.

The ABC will be live blogging the grand final on Sunday from 4:30am AEST.

Who is representing Australia? 

Sheldon Riley will fly the flag for Australia this year. 

The 23-year-old, who grew up on the Gold Coast, sealed his spot on the plane to Turin with his ballad Not the Same.

Riley has developed a large following through performances on The Voice in 2018 and 2019 and America’s Got Talent in 2020.

Why is Australia in Eurovision? 

To qualify for the Eurovision song competition, you have to be part of the EBU. SBS is part of the EBU and has been broadcasting the show since 1983.

Australia made its Eurovision debut in 2015 when, as part of celebrations for the contest’s 60th anniversary, it was invited to enter the competition. For now, the country has secured a Eurovision spot until 2023.

Does Australia have a shot at hosting Eurovision?

The country with the most votes wins the competition and gets to host it the next year.

Because of the time difference, if Australia wins, then it must nominate a European co-host which will stage the competition on its behalf.

Last year, Italian rock group Måneskin was crowned the Eurovision winner in Rotterdam with their song Zitti E Buoni, which in English translates to Shut Up and Behave.

The Italian band won the Eurovision Song Contest with 524 points, 25 points ahead of runners-up from France.

Australia’s Montaigne finished 14th in last year’s semi-final.

Russia is kicked out this year

For obvious reasons the EBU in February announced that no Russian act would participate in this year’s contest.

Ukraine’s act, folk rap group Kalush Orchestra, is overwhelmingly tipped to win, rising to the top of the winning odds following Russia’s invasion earlier this year.

Six artists of a music band stare at the camera in dress
Kalush Orchestra will represent Ukraine at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.(Eurovision: Maxim Fesenko)

The six members of the musical act have received special permission to leave Ukraine during the conflict in their country. Most Ukrainian men of military age are currently required to stay in order to help defend their nation.

Kalush Orchestra’s song, Stefania, will be sung in Ukrainian. The translated lyrics include the line: “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed.”

Who is tipped to win this year?

Ukraine is the favourite to win this year’s contest but Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden are in second, third and fourth place, respectively.

Wait, what actually is Eurovision?

It’s a glitzy, sometimes eccentric, often weird and wonderful song competition organised annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The participants are predominantly European, but this year, 40 countries across the globe have entered the international song contest.

Eurovision has public broadcasters from each country send a representative to perform an original song to compete for the coveted title of Eurovision champion.

It kicked off in 1956 as the brainchild of Marcel Bezençon of the EBU, in part as an attempt to unite Europeans following World War II, and it was also designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.

In 2020, the competition was cancelled for the first time in its more-than-60-year history due to the pandemic. However, it’s been recognised by Guinness World Records as one of the longest-running annual TV music competitions in the world.

And this year the Italian city of Turin is hosting. 

Who are the most famous people to come out of Eurovision?

Pop group ABBA claimed victory for Sweden in 1974.

Celine Dion claimed the title for Switzerland in 1988.

Yes, she’s from Canada and, no, singers don’t have to be from the country they’re representing. Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense.

But just go with it.

Famous Australian Olivia Newton-John was chosen as the United Kingdom’s singer in 1974, finishing in fourth place.

Who has won Eurovision the most? 

Ireland takes the Eurovision crown, with seven wins.

Coming in second, is Sweden which has won Eurovision six times, while the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France, and the Netherlands have won five times. 

What is the most successful Eurovision song?

ABBA’s legendary hit Waterloo.

The 1974 global hit, which rocketed the band to stardom, was recently named the greatest Eurovision song of all time by BBC viewers.