The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will take place on U.K. soil for the first time in over two decades. Hosted on behalf of last year’s winners, Ukraine, the annual spectacle will be arriving in Liverpool, with the grand final commencing on Saturday, May 13, at 8 pm BST.
Liverpool has a strong history of creating exceptional musical talent, most notably, The Beatles, who secured 17 U.K. number-one singles. Scouse singer Sonia, who achieved second at the 1993 contest said: “Scousers know how to party. We're going to have the biggest party ever.”
Aiming to repeat last year’s success this time on home turf, the U.K. will be hoping the infamous days of nil points are long behind them.
What do we know so far?
Famed for its flamboyant, chaotic, and diverse culture, Europe has been entertained for generations by the show. Tickets are always in great demand, with this year’s final selling out in just 36 minutes. Predictions have also suggested the music extravaganza will bring a boost of £40 million to Liverpool as fans from across the continent embark on the city.
Broadcast live from the Liverpool Arena, the show will be presented by Eurovision veteran Graham Norton; musical theatre star Hannah Waddingham; Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina; and TV presenter Alesha Dixon.
There will be 37 countries enrolled and 37 performances taking to the stage during the two semi-finals on the 9th and 11th of May before 20 qualifiers are selected to compete for the crown in the final. The greatest financial contributors to the event – the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, and Germany have an automatic place in the final, along with the previous year’s winner.
Bookies are making their predictions, and the current favourite in the run-up to the contest is Loreen, representing Sweden. She won in 2012 and wishes to go for gold again with her song, Tattoo. The U.K.’s entrant is not included in the top five, predicted to win at only 33/1.
Solidarity with Ukraine
Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision 2022, swimming to victory after the announcement of the phone voting results. Following Russia’s ongoing and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Europe highlighted its solidarity with the Ukrainian people. As the conflict continues, the country is sadly unable to host and has instead handed over that duty to the U.K.
Liverpool has promised to pay homage to the courageous Ukrainian spirit, with HelpUkraineSong announcing the world’s biggest sing-along, where the public and musicians will join forces and belt out the classic Beatles hit, With a Little Help from My Friends.
Flash mobs will pop up at major landmarks across the U.K., and those abroad can join the fun online. Anyone hoping to get involved is invited to wear the Ukrainian flag colours; or purchase official merchandise where all proceeds will go directly into supporting Ukraine.
Over the years, Eurovision has been home to some of the world’s most iconic performers, including ABBA. After winning the 1974 contest with their song, Waterloo, the group went on to achieve international recognition, nine U.K. number-ones, and continue entertaining new generations with their infectiously cheerful songs.
Lulu participated in 1969, famed for her hit single, Shout, she won the show for the U.K., along with three other nations. Having four winners was not that exciting, so this event would force organisers to rethink the voting systems.
Iconic French-Canadian singer Celine Dion competed on behalf of Switzerland in 1988 and won by a single point. The competition would launch her into the international arena, making her the household name she is today.
Royal Seal of Approval
The King and Queen paid a visit to Liverpool last week to celebrate the launch of this year’s show. They toured the set and got the first look at the stage and lighting production.
Their Majesties also met this year’s U.K. entrant, Mae Muller. The 25-year-old from London, who rose to stardom last year, will be performing her track, I Wrote a Song. Muller is hoping to replicate Sam Ryder’s triumph 12 months ago, where he sang his catchy single, Space Man. He was later invited to perform at the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert last June.
The King said: “We will be watching with great interest, egging you on, no pressure.” Muller told the couple she was hoping for “no nil points this year,” with the Queen repeating her in agreeance.
As the U.K. continues to navigate a striking crisis, those attending the event must be aware of the rail strikes taking place on the day of the final. The RMT union was in wage increase talks with train operators and the government but has since rejected the latest offer.
There are likely to be many train cancellations on May 13, and the thousands of fans set to descend on Liverpool will need to make quick adjustments to their journeys. Ticket holders can find more information here.
Edited by: Kavya
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