The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most-watched TV events of the year, with people tuning in from as far afield as Australia and the USA to watch the musical spectacular.
A peak of 8.1 million UK viewers watched the 2018 song contest Grand Final in Lisbon, Portugal on 12th May and now thoughts have turned to the 2019 contest.
But where will Eurovision 2019 be? Who will host it? And who will represent the UK? We’ll be updating this page regularly to keep you in the loop with all the latest song contest news as we get it…
When is the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on TV?
The Eurovision Song Contest will be held on Saturday May 18th 2019. The first semi-final takes place on Tuesday 14th May with the second semi-final following on Thursday 16th May.
Where will Eurovision 2019 be held?
The 2019 song contest will be held in Israel, thanks to their victory at the 2018 Grand Final in Lisbon, Portugal. The city of Tel Aviv has be chosen to host the Song Contest.
Where is Tel Aviv?
Tel-Aviv, Israel’s second largest city, is located on the Mediterranean coast. It has a population of over 400,000 people.
Israel’s Netta Barzilai was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, storming to victory with her song, TOY, in Lisbon.
Why is Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Well, Eurovision isn’t strictly geographic. The contest is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is made up of various broadcasters from countries across Europe and beyond. The BBC is a member of the EBU, as is RTE in Ireland, Rai in Italy, SVT in Sweden and so on. There are 73 member stations from more than 56 countries, including Israel, and they’re entitled to send acts to Eurovision if they wish.
Israel’s been a member of the EBU for decades and won the Eurovision a grand total of four times.
Dana International’s victory in 1998 remains one of their most famous Eurovision wins.
Who are the acts competing at Eurovision 2019?
The participating countries and their acts have yet to be revealed. We’ll keep you posted as soon as the names start rolling in, so don’t forget to keep checking back.
How does the Eurovision Song Contest voting work?
Eurovision was originally judged by juries before being opened to the public for a tele vote but when people started getting worked up about political Bloc Voting (the idea that countries in Eastern Europe were all just voting for their friends and neighbours) they introduced a new dual system.
The juries from each country (made up of five music industry professionals) award 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs, and reveal those jury scores through their national spokesperson in the usual time-consuming yet exciting way.
Viewers from each country also vote via phone or SMS, awarding 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 points to their favourite songs. Then, all the results from each country’s public votes are combined to give one overall Eurovision viewer score per song.
Spokespersons from each country read out the jury results – those all important douze points – during the live show.
Then the Eurovision presenters read out the results of the European televote – or public vote – in ascending order, beginning with the country that received the lowest number of televotes – public votes – and finishing with the country that received the highest.
Viewers in all the competing countries – including those who were knocked out in the semi-finals – can vote up to 20 times for the songs of their choice, but they can’t vote for their own country.
The country with the highest number of votes wins the competition and gets to host it the next year.
How do you vote in the Eurovision Song Contest?
You can vote by telephone. Here are the official BBC guidelines for UK voters:
“After all countries have performed, viewers will be invited to vote for their favourite act/s.
Voting is by telephone only. Voters in the UK can choose either to call from their landline using the long (11-digit) number for the country of their choice or from their mobile phones using the shortcode (7-digit) number for the country of their choice.
Please note that callers from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man should call from their landlines using the long (11-digit) number to avoid higher mobile charges, as the short (7-digit) numbers are not available in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for reasons outside of the BBC’s control.”
The numbers to be used will be given during the programmes.