LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – Eurovision 2023 has kicked off in Liverpool, northern England, where acts from 37 countries are competing to win the 67th edition of the song contest.
Liverpool is hosting on behalf of Ukraine, which won the contest last with Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania”.
Ukraine was unable to stage the event this year, as the winner usually does, because of Russia’s invasion.
Britain, which came second, is promising to combine the creativity of Ukraine and the UK under the banner “United by Music”.
Who will compete?
There are 37 countries taking part with 31 competing in two semi-finals and 10 going through to the Grand Final.
Ukraine, as the previous winner, automatically progresses to the Grand Final, along with the “big five”, comprising the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
When are the semi-finals?
Tuesday May 9 and Thursday May 11 at 1900 GMT, 2100 CET
Who competes in semi-final one?
Norway, Malta, Serbia, Latvia, Portugal, Ireland, Croatia, Switzerland, Israel, Moldova, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Czechia, Netherlands, Finland
Who competes in semi-final two?
Denmark, Armenia, Romania, Estonia, Belgium, Cyprus, Iceland, Greece, Poland, Slovenia, Georgia, San Marino, Austria, Albania, Lithuania, Australia
When is the Grand Final?
Saturday May 13 at 1900 GMT, 21 CET
Who competes in the Grand Final
Previous winner Ukraine, host United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, plus the top 10 from each semi-final
How does the voting work?
Viewers at home will determine the outcome of the two semi-finals. Viewers and professional juries vote in the Grand Final.
Semi-final 1: viewers in the 15 countries taking part are eligible to vote, alongside France, Germany, and Italy.
Semi-final 2: Viewers in the 16 countries taking part are eligible to vote, alongside Spain, Ukraine, and the UK.
In a new development, viewers from non-participating countries around the world will also be able to vote, and will have the weight of one additional voting country.
Grand Final: Juries from all 37 countries allocate points 1-8, 10 and 12 to 10 acts, excluding their own country, based on performances in the second dress reversal on Friday.
The audience votes from each country, based on the live Grand Final, are used to allocate the same scale of points, with the rest of the world counting for one additional country.
A total of 2,146 points are available from the juries are and 2,204 from the audience votes.
Who will host the Grand Final?
Graham Norton, the host of an eponymous chat show on BBC television and Britain’s usual Eurovision commenter.
Alesha Dixon, a British television personality and pop singer.
Julia Sanina, front woman of Ukrainian rock band The Hardkiss.
Hanna Waddingham, a star of musical theatre and television.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Ed Osmond)