A Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

by Staff & Contributors

The countdown for the Eurovision Song Contest is on, with countries choosing their acts and fans all over the continent gearing up for the spectacular in Tel Aviv. One of the most-watched TV events of the year, the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final amassed 8.1 million viewers last year, and with less than 90 days to go until the Grand Final, here’s all the information you’ll need.

When is it on?

The Grand Final this year will be held on Saturday 18 May – with two semi-finals before then; the first taking place on Tuesday 14 May and the second, Thursday 16 May. The semi-finals will whittle 36 acts down to 20, and those successful will join the ‘big five’ and hosts Israel for the Grand Final.

Where’s it being held?

Following the success of Netta at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, we turn our attention to Israel and the city Tel Aviv. Israel is no stranger to hosting the competition and this is their third finals, with the previous two being held in Jerusalem. The 64th Eurovision Song Contest will take place the Expo Tel Aviv.

Who will be participating?

There are currently 42 countries in the running for the title this year, with Bulgaria pulling out due to financial constraints. As mentioned, there are 18 countries in each semi-final and the 10 winners in each of those will join the ‘big five (that’s France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), plus hosts Israel in the final. Not all countries have chosen their acts yet, but the participants so far are:


Cyprus – Tamta with Replay

Czech Republic – Lake Malawi with Friend of a Friend

Finland – Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman

Montenegro – D-Moll with Heaven

Poland – Tulia

Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl with Sebi

Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke with Zero Gravity

Belgium – Eliot

Estonia – Victor Crone with Storm

Greece – Katerine Duska with Better Love

San Marino – Serhat

Armenia – Srbuk

Austria – Paenda with Limits

Latvia – Carousel with That Night

Romania – Ester Peony with On a Sunday

Albania – Jonida Maliqi with Ktheju tokës

Croatia – Roko with The Dream

Malta – Michela Pace

Netherlands – Duncan Laurence

North Macedonia –Tamara Todevska with Proud

Russia – Sergey Lazarev

Grand Final

France – Bilal Hassani with Roi

Israel – Kobi Marimi

Italy – Mahmood with Soldi

Spain – Miki with La Venda

United Kingdom – Michael Rice with Bigger Than Us

How does the scoring work?

The scoring system of the Eurovision Song Contest changed in 2016 when fans believed that political or bloc voting made the contest tactical (i.e. the idea that all the Eastern European countries were voting for each other). As well as the jury vote, there’s now a public vote – and these two scores are combined for the overall winner. The juries from each country are made up of music industry professionals and they award 1-8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs. Viewers from each country also have the right to vote via phone or text, and similarly the most popular songs are also awarded 1-8, 10 and 12 points.

The most exciting bit, of course, is watching each jury spokesperson reveal their scores live on TV (often making a blunder or talking too much!). The hosts of Eurovision then read out the results of the public vote, starting with the country with the fewest points.

The winner, therefore, is the country with the most points across the two votes and gets the host the following year’s competition.

Who will win this year, make the top three, five or even 10? And who will receive nul points? Find Eurovision 2019 betting odds on Betfair.

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