Wednesday 17 July 2019

Eurovision hopefuls prepare for first semi-final

Nineteen countries including favourites Israel will bid to reach the grand final tonight.

A fan takes a picture in front of a banner at the Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal (Armando Franca/AP)
A fan takes a picture in front of a banner at the Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal (Armando Franca/AP)

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Azerbaijan, Israel and Ireland are among the countries hoping to reach the grand final of Eurovision 2018 tonight in the first semi-final in Lisbon.

Israel’s Netta Barzilai, who will perform her song Toy, is the favourite with bookmakers to win this year’s competition.

Other acts in the first semi-final expected to do well include Estonia’s Elina Nechayeva and Eleni Foureira from Cyprus.

Former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy will represent Ireland with the song Together.

SHOWBIZ Eurovision

The UK as one of the “Big Five” countries, along with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, are already assured of a place in the grand final. Last year’s winners Portugal also do not have to qualify via the semis.

Singer-songwriter SuRie is representing the UK this year with the song Storm.

A total of 19 acts will perform in the first semi-final, with only the top 10 – as decided by both a jury of experts and the public – qualifying for Saturday’s final line-up of 26 countries.

Scores will be weighted 50-50 between the marks from each competing nation’s professional jury and the results of the televote.

(PA Graphics)

Viewers in the UK will be able to vote for their favourite song in the first semi-final after the final act has finished performing.

The event will be screened live on BBC Four, where Radio DJ Scott Mills and This Morning presenter Rylan Clark-Neal will interview contestants and explore host city Lisbon.

PA Media

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top