When is Eurovision? Date, time and how to watch semi-finals

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All eyes are on the Italian city of Turin as it prepares to host Europe’s biggest party

Love it, hate it or love to hate it – Eurovision is back.

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Eyes are on Italy as it prepares to host the big event, which is expected to draw almost 200 million viewers.

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Eurovision isn’t just a one-day event, with fans hoping to see previews of some of their favorite songs on stage for the first time during the much-anticipated semi-finals.

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But how do the Eurovision semi-finals work? And where can you see the first show from Great Britain?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Italy’s Maneskin were last year’s winners so Eurovision 2022 will be held in Turin (Photo: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

When is the Eurovision semifinals?

Two semi-finals will take place before the grand final.

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The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final 1 takes place on Tuesday 10 May at 20:00 UK time.

The second semi-final will take place simultaneously on Thursday, May 12th.

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Which countries take part in the Eurovision semi-finals?

Before a show starts, around 40 countries take part in the competition every year.

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This year, 41 countries are taking part, but not every country takes part in the semi-finals.

The UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy are a group of countries known as ‘The Big Five’ – the top five contributors to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

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As part of The Big Five, these countries get free entry to the Grand Final. Traditionally, the hosts also get an automatic spot – since Big Five member Italy won the competition last year, they were already guaranteed a place in the final.

Russia was originally supposed to take part in the competition, but shortly after the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Eurovision announced that the country had been eliminated from the competition.

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All eyes will be on Ukraine’s performance, with the Kalush Orchestra representing the country in the semifinals along with 16 other countries.

The Kalush Orchestra will represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. (Credit: Getty Images)

The running order for the first semi-final is:

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  • Albania
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine
  • Bulgaria
  • Netherlands
  • Moldova
  • Portugal
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Iceland
  • Greece
  • Norway
  • Armenia

Can Britain Vote In Eurovision Semifinals?

Voting in the Eurovision semifinals is slightly different than voting in the grand finals.

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While every country in Europe can vote in the final – regardless of whether they made it themselves – not every nation has a decisive vote on who makes it to the semi-finals.

The Big Five group will be split between Tuesday and Thursday shows, with the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy only being able to vote in one of the semi-finals.

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This year, the UK can vote in semi-final 2 on Thursday 12 May.

Where will Eurovision 2022 take place?

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Rock band Måneskin clinched the title last year after topping the rankings with 524 points.

Maneskin wowed the audience with Zutti E Buoni. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Italian rock band stunned audiences with their song “Zutti E Buoni” and brought the Eurovision trophy back to Italy for the first time since 1990.

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As a result, the 2022 competition will be held in the country, with the northern city of Turin hosting.

Which channel is the Eurovision semifinals on?

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Fans can follow the Eurovision semifinals from the UK on the BBC.

Both semi-finals will be broadcast on BBC Three.

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When is Eurovision final?

The grand finale takes place on Saturday 14th May at 20:00 UK time.

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Airing on BBC One, Graham Norton returns to provide his witty commentary on Europe’s biggest show.

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