It’s that point of yr once more as pop followers worldwide are gearing up for the Eurovision Song Contest, which begins its 2022 version on Tuesday, May tenth. Now into its seventh decade, Eurovision is among the most beloved occasions within the pop calendar, profitable an estimated viewers of over 200 million individuals throughout dozens of nations each May.

The contest is finest recognized for its campy aesthetic, the incessantly outlandish costumes and songs of the members, the near-obligatory key change in every tune, and the shameless favoritism proven by a number of the nationwide juries that resolve the vote on the finish of the night. The Song Contest has additionally been liable for propelling many contestants to European and even international stardom.


Back within the early Seventies, the Swedish pop quartet, ABBA, entered the competition, profitable in 1974 with their tune “Waterloo.” Worldwide superstardom adopted for the band. And Celine Dion’s career received a massive boost after her win in 1988 whereas representing Switzerland. Many different artists have had enormous success in pop music, together with Olivia Newton-John, Julio Iglesias, and Cliff Richard.

So what can we count on from this yr’s contest? Here are a couple of pointers.

Who’s Entering This Year?

The European Broadcasting Union’s chief contributors achieve computerized entry, so we will count on songs from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The UK stays eligible as their departure from the European Union attributable to Brexit doesn’t have an effect on the non-EU-affiliated contest. Another three dozen or so international locations will enter the 2 semi-finals, one on Tuesday and one other on Thursday, to win a slot in Saturday’s closing on the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. However, one nation that won’t be among the many entrants is Russia, which the EBU excluded in February on account of their invasion of Ukraine in simply certainly one of a slew of media-related snubs.

Iceland has an entry within the combine, however spare a thought for Daði Freyr, the red-hot favourite to win the 2020 version together with his band Gagnamagnið — full with matching inexperienced and blue jumpers — with the bubblegum pop tune “Think About Things” earlier than Covid intervened. They finally bought the possibility to compete final yr, ending in fourth place.

Related: Jeopardy! Clarifies Ill-Timed Clue About Russia and Ukraine

And, as has turn into conventional, the competition can even welcome an entry from a decidedly non-European nation — Australia. Ever because it got here to the EBU’s consideration that music followers Down Under had fostered an unusually sturdy affection for Eurovision, it was determined to increase an invite to take part. This makes Australia one of many only a few international locations exterior Europe to have a spot within the contest.

The Front Runners

Italy’s residence benefit appears to be weighing closely within the minds of the bookmakers, who make rap-pop duo Mahmood and Blanco’s tune “Brividi” the second favourite to win. And the United Kingdom can be within the combine. After 5 wins between Sandie Shaw’s “Puppet On A String” in 1967 and Katrina and the Waves’ “Love Shine a Light” in 1997, the UK has flattered to deceive, occurring a twenty-five-year run of underwhelming pop and dance songs that failed to bother the judges. This contains the last word embarrassment of a nul factors rating on two events, in 2003 and final yr.

However, this time, the UK’s entry has a significantly greater likelihood of success. TikTok star Sam Ryder, who boasts a powerful 12 million followers, rose to prominence in the course of the early months of the Covid pandemic with a string of well-received cowl variations on the platform and is ready to wow crowds together with his tune “Space Man.” Bookmakers have the monitor because the third favourite to win. The entries from Sweden and Spain spherical out the highest 5 on the time of writing.

What About Ukraine’s Entry?

But the runaway favourite for this yr’s contest is Ukraine. The tales of struggling and tragedy broadcast every day from the war-torn nation have generated large quantities of sympathy for the Ukrainians’ plight across Europe and beyond. Their entry, Kalush Orchestra — an offshoot of the favored Ukrainian rap act Kalush that blends hip-hop with conventional Ukrainian folks components — have been already garnering consideration within the nation with their tune “Stefania.” However, they have been attributable to be missed for Eurovision earlier than the winner of the nation’s tune contest was barred from coming into on a technicality in February.

Related: ABBA Officially Announces New Album and Digital Concert After 40 Years Away

Now, Kalush’s surprising entry has added resonance. Earlier within the spring, when Ukraine’s capital metropolis Kyiv was underneath siege, there was appreciable doubt that the group would be capable of compete. However, the Ukrainian government has since given the members special permission to journey to Italy to compete. One factor is definite — with such a storied previous and current, Eurovision by no means disappoints.


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