ENTERTAINMENT
01/05/2018 16:11 BST

When Is Eurovision 2018? Date, Odds, UK Entry, Plus Everything Else You Need To Know

🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

Get ready to break out that Union Jack bunting, as Eurovision is just around the corner. 

This year’s event marks the 63rd annual Song Contest, where countries from across the continent - and a select few others - battle it out at the campest event in the musical calendar.

While it has arguably become rather political in recent years (something which we’re sure Brexit has done little to help), as a nation, we still can’t seem to get enough of it. So ahead of the big night, here’s all you need to know about this year’s Eurovision... 

When is Eurovision 2018?

This year’s grand finale takes place on Saturday 12 May, airing on BBC One from 8pm.

The live semi-finals will be held on the Tuesday and Thursday prior to the final and broadcast on BBC Four.

What is the UK entry?

This year, the UK will be represented by former West End star SuRie, with her song ‘Storm’.

The track was chosen during a special selection show on BBC Four earlier this year, where SuRie went up against five other singers in a battle to represent the UK. 

This will be the third time that SuRie has been involved in the Song Contest, but only her first time doing so for the UK.

Last year, she was musical director for Belgium’s entry Blanche, and in 2015, she helped Belgium out with some vocals, as a backing singer for Loïc Nottet.

She’s also served as a backing singer for acts including Will Young and Coldplay. And as if that wasn’t enough, SuRie also previously starred in a West End production of ‘Les Misérables’, playing Fantine.

Who is Ireland’s entrant?

Fans of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ may just recognise Ireland’s hopeful Ryan O’Shaughnessy, as he came fifth in the 2012 final of the ITV show, as well as appearing on the first series of ‘The Voice Of Ireland’. 

He will be hoping to secure Ireland a place in the final with his song ‘Together’, which you can take a listen to in the video above...

Where is Eurovision being held this year?

dennisvdw via Getty Images

The Contest will be beamed live across Europe from the Altice Arena in Lisbon after Portugal won last year’s contest with Salvador Sobral’s song ‘Amar Pelos Dois’.

Who is commentating during the BBC’s coverage?

BBC

Graham Norton will be back to give his quick-witted take on proceedings, offering his verdict on all the night’s performances. 

Meanwhile, Rylan Clark-Neal has teamed up with Scott Mills to present coverage of the live semi-finals.

He replaces previous co-host Mel Giedroyc, who will now serve as this year’s BBC Eurovision Spokesperson, delivering the result of the UK vote live from London.

Which other countries are in the contest?

As ever, the Big Five (the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy) are already guaranteed a place in the final, due to the fact they historically pay the most to fund the event.

The other 37 countries involved will battle it out to bag one of the remaining places in the final, where a total of 26 countries will be taking part.

Those who don’t make the final will still be able to vote on the night, with all 43 countries eligible to have their say. 

How does the voting work?

Following big changes to the voting system in 2016, the decision is split between the public and a jury in each country.

Find out more about how it works in the European Broadcasting Union’s handy video explainer above. 

Is Australia still taking part?

After being invited to take part in 2015’s competition as a special guest, Australia are back for the fourth year, this time represented by Jessica Mauboy and her song ‘We Got Love’. 

What chance has the UK got of winning?

Chris J Ratcliffe via Getty Images

The early signs are not looking great as SuRie is currently an outsider with odds of 50/1, placing us at 17th in the rankings with bookies William Hill, alongside Denmark. 

However, the singer is not letting that bother her, as she has noted how she was also not the favourite to be selected to represent the UK in the ‘You Decide’ vote, but still overcome the odds. 

“I was barely even on the bottom of the bookies, I was clambering onto the underdogs,” she said during a recent appearance on ‘This Morning’.

She has also cited Australia as being her toughest competition, saying on ‘The Graham Norton Show’: “I have tried to listen to them all and I think the biggest threat is from Australia. It’s a great tune!” 

Who is the early favourite to win?

Israel is currently looking like it could scoop victory on the night, being the bookies’ early favourite.

As it stands, it has odds of 5/2 with William Hill, followed by Australia and Norway at 6/1, France at 7/1 and Bulgaria and Estonia at 10/1. 

However, everything is still to play for following the first semi-final rehearsals.  

Cyprus, Estonia, Finland and Greece have emerged as fan favourites from the video clips that have been shared online.

Who looks set for nil points?

Luckily, it looks like we might escape the embarrassment of ending up with nil points on the big night, but the same cannot be said for everyone. 

Slovenia, San Marino, Montenegro and Iceland are all the bookies’ least favourites with odds of 500/1 to win, while Switzerland, Serbia, Romania, Georgia and Albania are also pegged at 250/1. However, they will all have to make it through the semi-finals first. 

Photo galleryEurovision Fancy Dress Ideas See Gallery