It’s that time of year again, when golden-voiced serenaders from around Europe, and Australia, come together for the biggest song contest on the European subcontinent.
From heartwarming ballads to record-scratching hip hop numbers, from foot-tapping pop to hard rocking hallelujahs, it all happens on stage at Eurovision, making it a must-watch event.
And with Australia’s very own Jessica Mauboy representing the Land Down Under at the song contest, you’ll want to wake up early and vote live.
Eurovision 2018: What is it?
Eurovision is the longest running international televised song contest, bringing politics, extravagant stage sets, bizarre and glamorous costumes, and plenty of song and dance together in a fight to the glorious end.
While Eurovision has been held since 1956 among member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Australia was allowed to participate as a guest entrant in 2015, the 60th edition of the contest. Later that year, Eurovision organisers invited Australia back for the 2016 competition, and we’ve been participating ever since.
Each participating country has to submit an original song that’s performed live on television and radio, after which votes are cast to determine a winner. The winning nation hosts the next edition of the contest.
Portugal won Eurovision 2017 with Amar pelos dois, performed by Salvador Sobral, so this year, Lisbon hosts 42 other participating nations.
Six of the 43 nations automatically qualify for the finals. They include the host nation, along with Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. The other countries, including Australia, battle it out in two semi-finals, with the top ten performances from each heading through to the Grand Finals.
Australian representation at Eurovision 2018
Guy Sebastian, Dami Im and Isaiah have given it their best at Eurovision since 2015, and this year it’s Jessica Mauboy’s turn.
The former Australian Idol contestant will be performing We Got Love and has already spent time on stage perfecting her moves for her turn during semi-final 2 to be held on Friday, May 11.
Eurovision 2018 schedule
The annual song contest begins early Wednesday morning on May 9, with the first semi-final starting at 5am AEST.
The second semi-final, which includes Australia’s Jessica Mauboy, is scheduled for Friday, May 11, and you can tune in live at 5am AEST.
The big finale, however, is on Sunday, May 13 (which just so happens to be Mother's Day), with an early morning start of 5am AEST for us Aussies who want to tune in.
Watching Eurovision 2018 live and free
Eurovision has been broadcast live ever since it began in 1956 and is watched by millions, not just in Europe, but by several non-participating countries like the United States, Canada, New Zealand and China. 200 million people worldwide are expected to watch this year’s edition of Eurovision.
In Australia, SBS is the only broadcaster with rights to Eurovision. With Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey commentating on both semi-finals and the Grand Final, watching on the free-to-air channel will be a blast.
If you want all the Eurovision action without the commentating, you can live stream all the shows on Eurovision’s official YouTube channel.
If you reckon you won’t be able to wake up at 5am, or will be unable to watch Eurovision this year, there's also a full re-run of the day's performance at 7:30pm on SBS.
For everyone else, here’s Jessica Mauboy’s entry for the 2018 edition of the song contest.