Eurovision Song Contest 2022: everything you need to know

The event begins on Tuesday in Turin, Italy

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 promises another night of memorable performances and eye-catching costumes as it takes place in Turin, Italy.

The competition will begin with two semi-finals on May 10 and 12, followed by the grand final on May 14.

Here is everything you need to know about the contest.

Who is hosting the event?

Italian host broadcaster Rai announced that the trio of singer Laura Pausini, presenter Alessandro Cattelan and pop star Mika will share presenting duties.

Mika is best known in the UK for his 2007 album Life in Cartoon Motion and has served as a judge on the Italian version of The X Factor.

Italian rock band Maneskin, who triumphed at the 2021 contest, will perform during the ceremony, delivering a live premiere of their new single Supermodel.

Why is Russia not competing?

The competition's producers previously announced that Russia will no longer participate in this year's contest following President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The European Broadcasting Union said that the inclusion of a Russian entry would bring the contest into "disrepute".

The EBU had previously said it intended to allow Russia to compete but faced strong criticism from state broadcasters in countries including Iceland, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands.

Who is competing for Ukraine?

Alina Pash was chosen in a televised national selection show and was due to perform her song Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors, but withdrew after facing scrutiny over a reported 2015 visit to Russia-occupied Crimea.

She was replaced by rap act Kalush Orchestra, who will compete with the song Stefania, which blends modern rap and classical Ukrainian folk music.

People who enter Crimea via Russia are considered by Ukraine to have illegally crossed the border, although there is no suggestion that Pash did this.

Who is touted to win?

Ukraine is favourite to win the competition as the country continues to resist Russian forces.

Kalush Orchestra have been placed at odds of 4/5 to top the voting.

The country has won the contest twice: in 2004 with Wild Dances by Ruslana and in 2016 with the song 1944 by Jamala.

Who is representing Italy?

Host country Italy has odds of 7/2 for its act, Mahmood and Blanco, who will be performing the song Brividi.

Mahmood, real name Alessandro Mahmoud, is an Italian-Egyptian singer-songwriter who rose to prominence after competing on the sixth season of the Italian version of The X Factor, while Blanco is an Italian singer, rapper and songwriter who was born Riccardo Fabbriconi.

Mahmood and Blanco hold the trophy after winning the 72nd Sanremo Music Festival in Italy on February 5, 2022. LaPresse via AP

Italian broadcaster Rai announced that the winning performer of this year's Sanremo Music Festival, the song contest held annually in Italy, would earn the right to represent the nation at Eurovision.

As both the host country and a member of the "Big Five" (countries that automatically compete, which also includes France, Germany, Spain and the UK), Italy automatically qualifies to the final.

Who is representing the UK?

The UK's pick this year is Sam Ryder, 32, a TikTok star from near Chelmsford, Essex.

Ryder found fame covering songs on the social media site during the UK's lockdown, amassing 12 million followers and catching the attention of global stars including Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys.

He later signed to the Parlophone record label, part of Warner Music Group, and released his debut EP, The Sun's Gonna Rise, in 2021.

A new documentary on the BBC YouTube channel, titled Sam Ryder: From TikTok To Eurovision, is to go behind the scenes following his journey to the contest.

With odds of 10/1, he's the fourth favourite to win.

What is he singing?

Ryder will attempt to win viewers over with his track Space Man.

He co-wrote the track with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran and Max Wolfgang.

The music video has him making a gaffe-ridden appearance on a fictional late-night talk show.

The National contributed to this report

Updated: May 08, 2022, 11:01 PM