Eurovision 2015: Everything you need to know ahead of the final

Eurovision 2015′s finalists are now all in place and getting ready for tonight’s live grand final.

So, what can we expect from the competition?


The 27 finalists are made up of those who have qualified through the semi-finals, the big five who get an automatic pass for providing the most funding, last year’s winner and, this year, a special guest.

Last year’s winner: Austria.

Australia's Guy Sebastian (Andres Putting/Eurovision)

Australia’s Guy Sebastian (Andres Putting/Eurovision)

Special guest: Australia. They love the Eurovision Song Contest Down Under and have been invited to take part as part of Eurovision’s 60th celebrations.

Big Five: UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy.

Semi-Final Winners: Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, Serbia, Hungary, Russia, Albania, Romania, Georgia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway, Israel, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Cyprus, Slovenia, Poland.

Who missed out?

Since 2004, there hasn’t been space for every country to compete as the semi-final round came in to whittle down the final numbers.

Ireland's Molly Sterling (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Ireland’s Molly Sterling (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Notable absences this year include Ireland, who despite being the competition’s most successful country with seven wins under their belt, failed to qualify in the second semi-final.

Viewers were also sad to see Moldova sent home, who gave it their all in skimpy latex police outfits, Finland whose punk rock act all have learning disabilities and seemed to have won over the audience, and San Marino, who despite being terrible, had a hugely entertaining routine.

Moldova's Eduard Romanyuta (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Moldova’s Eduard Romanyuta (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Others bowing out are the Netherlands, Macedonia, Belarus, Denmark, Malta, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Iceland and Switzerland.

What to expect from the final

Serbia's Bojana Stamenov (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Serbia’s Bojana Stamenov (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Eurovision can of course be unpredictable and the win could potentially be anyone’s on the night, but there are some front runners and of course the notorious bloc voting system still prevails.

Serbia’s entry from Bojana Stamenov, Beauty Never Lies, was hotly tipped as the winner after the first semi-final, thanks to its positive body image message, belting vocals and an unexpected dance break. It also helped that her track was written by Charlie Mason, whose hit, Rise Like A Phoenix, saw Conchita Wurst storm to glory last year.

But then came the second semi-final and Latvia’s Aminata suddenly made everything more interesting with her dance-inspired track Love Injected, which went down a storm with viewers across Europe and made the country another likely champion.

Latvia's Aminata (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Latvia’s Aminata (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Anyone who’s watched the Eurovision Song Contest before will be well aware that certain countries always vote for each other (often leaving the UK behind), so there are certain nations that we fully expect to be calling in points for their neighbours.

We’ll be missing our traditional voting partner Ireland and hoping the Australians step into the gap, but of the countries who made the final, these are the ones we expect to score each other highly:

Greece and Cyprus
The Netherlands and Belgium
Portugal and Spain
Austria and Germany
Sweden and Norway (although they’re missing Finland, Denmark and Iceland this year)
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
Albania, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia
Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia

Viewers should also look out for Slovenia’s headphone-wearing act, Israel’s gold shoes, Norway singing about a “terrible thing” he did in his youth, Armenia’s many, many lead singers and Lithuania’s snog mid-song.

Maraaya representing Slovenia (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Maraaya representing Slovenia (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Eurovision 2015′s essential facts

This year’s contest takes place at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria.

It will be hosted by Austrian trio Mirjam Weichselbraun, Alice Tumler and Arabella Kiesbauer, with last year’s victor Conchita Wurst presenting the coverage from the green room with contestants back stage.

Conchita will present backstage (Herwig Prammer/AP)

Conchita will present backstage (Herwig Prammer/AP)

There are 27 contestants this year – first up is Slovenia and the final act of the night is Italy.

UK’s entry this year comes from Electro Velvet (pictured, top) and is called Still In Love With You – watch out for the duo near the beginning of the show as they’re fifth on stage.

Graham Norton will be hosting the UK coverage again this year, airing on BBC 1 from 8pm.



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