Warm up your wind machines and be sure to drink plenty of water: The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 is here! Tonight from 21:00 CEST, 25 countries will sing their three-minute songs in a bid for glory and, depending on how the charts play out afterwards, a bit of coin.
If you’ve been following the semi-finals, you’ll know most of what to expect tonight — but you might still encounter a few surprises along the way. As the contestants slip into their tightest trousers, we’ve put together a quick preview of tonight’s action, which you can follow along with below. Consider this our pre-recorded commentary. Blurbs are listed in the running order of the show.
We’ll also be live-streaming on YouTube live from the press centre, though the connection has gotten dodgier and dodgier as more journalists have arrived in Turin. Hopefully our connection can support all the hair extensions and sequins!
Eurovision 2022 Preview: Your guide to the grand final
1. Czech Republic: We Are Domi – “Lights Off”
We Are Domi is composed of Czech vocalist Dominika Hašková with Norwegians Casper Hatlestad (on guitar) and Benjamin Rekstad (on keyboard). Dominika sings about her confusion following a break-up, and wonders: “Where are you now when I need you, you’re sailing around in my peripheral, where are you?”
Despite the slightly downbeat lyrics, the song itself is an uptempo electro-pop offering. They adopt a rave vibe on stage, unleashing an array of strobe lights as they perform around a lot of electronic equipment. The big moment comes midway when the entire stage goes black and Dominika shouts “turn the lights off”. It’s brief but effective.
Memorable lyrics: “Tried changing jobs, changing lovers, changing my furniture, change my bed covers”
2. Romania: WRS – “Llámame”
Bucharest calling. Coming in at the number two slot is Romania’s Andrei Ursu — better known as WRS — with a Spanish-English pop banger. WRS, a former dancer, flaunts his best moves in “Llámame” (that’s call me) And his backing dancers definitely pick up the phone, throwing shapes and slaying the stage with their sensual choreography.
Speaking to wiwibloggs, WRS said: “For me, it’s an anthem to call my inner self to stay true to myself despite what society says. Living in a small town, it was hard to keep the authentic version of myself.” He says that society has now advanced far enough for him to express himself creatively as he has always wanted. No Eurovision dance number is complete without a dress reveal — and WRS doesn’t disappoint.
Memorable lyrics: “Hola mi bebébé, hola mi bebébé”
3. Portugal: MARO – “Saudade, Saudade”
MARO is a Portuguese singer of Italian descent living in the United States. “Saudade, Saudade” (I miss you, I miss you) is one of only two songs this year that is not written in the common (4/4) time signature. In 6/4 time, with skipped beats every few measures, the track has a unique vibe and rhythmic sway. MARO is joined on stage by five backup singers, who provide stellar harmonies throughout the mellow track.
Speaking to wiwibloggs, MARO said: “saudade is a word we use when we miss somebody or something. The song specifically was written for my granddad. That was truly my best friend […] I miss him daily”. Perhaps they’ll see each other again. On stage the various swells of colour mimic clouds, giving the sense we’ve moved somewhere between heaven and earth.
Memorable lyrics: “I’ve tried alright, but it’s killing me inside, thought you’d be by my side always”
4. Finland: The Rasmus – “Jezebel”
With almost thirty years of career behind them, The Rasmus have cemented themselves as Finnish pop music stalwarts, having sold over five million records around the world. They come to Eurovision with “Jezebel” — which inverts the themes surrounding the Biblical troublemaker. Rather than deeming her immoral, promiscuous and scheming, they celebrate the qualities of rebellion, defiance and independence. Yas, gurl! They’ve described their staging as the “birthday party from hell”, utilising a number of large, black balloons to fill up the stage. The kinetic sun that no longer moves now looks like a big black rainbow of death — the perfect ornament for this against-the-grain rock band.
Memorable lyrics: “If you’re the hunter then I’m the prey”
5. Switzerland: Marius Bear – “Boys Do Cry”
Marius Hugli (professionally known as Marius Bear) is a 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Appenzell. Originally a mechanic, Marius gave up his career in engineering to perform on the streets of Germany and Switzerland. “Boys Do Cry” is a reminder that all people feel pain, including men, and encourages us all to embrace our feelings. Open up and let that vulnerability flow! The Swiss act’s staging features imagery of a young boy playing with a paper aeroplane, and a broken heart graphic projected on Marius’ face.
Memorable lyrics: “Hearts they get broken, god only knows why, and sometimes aeroplanes fall down from the sky”
6. France: Alvan & Ahez – “Fulenn”
It’s Brittany, witch! This Breton-language act celebrates the musical traditions of northwestern France by setting them to a thumping EDM beat. The trio of Ahez take their name from a mythological figure and the magic continues with their lyrics, which tell the story of a woman in the forest dancing for the devil. Alvan, a telegenic drummer, drops his sticks to portray said devil. He sings and dances with abandon and shows off a large field of tattoo roses around his neck. The stage show is chaotic with several bon fires and toxic green everything. This forest is lit, y’all!
Memorable lyrics: “I dance with the devil, so what?”
7. Norway: Subwoolfer – “Give That Wolf A Banana”
Greetings, earthlings! Say hello to Keith and Jim. Norway’s Subwoolfer claim to be “the biggest band in the galaxy, first formed 4.5 billion years ago on their home planet, the moon”. Donned head to toe in yellow morph suits, the lycra lycanthropes perform an otherworldly retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, persuading the big bad wolf away from their grandmas with a healthy portion of potassium. In one reading, the wolves represent a certain virus that’s gripped the world in recent years, and the banana is the vaccine that vulnerable grandma needs to survive. The men behind the masks are yet to be formally revealed, but rumours suggest they could be “What Does The Fox Say?” hitmakers Ylvis, or A1 singer Ben Adams and Norwegian Idol alum Gaute Ormåsen. Fans of dance challenges, get ready — “Give That Wolf A Banana” will have you up and moving in no time.
Memorable lyrics: “Is that saliva or blood dripping down your chin?”
8. Armenia: Rosa Linn – “Snap”
Armenia’s Rosa Linn is a 21-year-old musical prodigy from Vanadzor. With its warm nostalgic glow, “Snap” shares sonic similarities with the classy productions from indie folk-rock bands The Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men. Rosa Linn starts her performance in a white room covered in paper. The sheets represent the anxiety and inner turmoil that keeps her up at night — she’s literally trapped inside her thoughts. As the performance progresses she pulls and tears the sheets to reveal the song’s lyrics, which focus on evicting someone from your heart.
Rosa says this song is a journey into her inner world, a personal story everyone can relate to. She said: “I think we’ve all been at a snapping point, where it felt like there’s no way out and that the entire world is just crumbling down around you. You start questioning everything, including yourself. I have been there.”
Memorable lyrics: “Since June 22nd, my heart’s been on fire”
9. Italy: Mahmood & Blanco – “Brividi”
Let’s face it: Everything sounds better in Italian. Mahmood & BLANCO glide through “Brividi” (Shivers) without any obvious effort, keeping the range of raw emotions — from anger and pain to longing and regret — somehow feeling polished. The bridge, which pairs BLANCO’s staccato exertions with Mahmood’s more languid tones, is among the most powerful musical moments of the contest. The ambiguity of sexuality, connection and intention doesn’t limit the potential audience. They could be singing to each other or their respective partners, making this a truly universal love story that gives everyone an access point. In interviews here in Turin, they’ve said they aren’t ashamed of being both masculine and vulnerable, and sharing poetic thoughts while looking into each other’s eyes.
Memorable lyrics: “I dreamed of flying with you on a bike of diamonds”
10. Spain: Chanel – “SloMo”
Fans of Spain’s Eurovision 2022 act have been using the mango emoji to share their love of Chanel’s juicy entry. But given the spice and enduring burn of her performance, a chilli pepper seems more appropriate. “SloMo” catches fire thanks to its infectious beat and enticing reggaeton feels. But Chanel takes the flames even higher with her eye-popping choreography, which would leave even J. Lo needing to stretch. From the strobe light effects to the killer dance break, this production is a dizzying slice of joy and awe. If a Eurovision winner is based on entertainment, this is among the most perfect entries of the year. The routine was choreographed by Kyle Hanagami — the Los Angeles-based choreographer known for his work with Jennifer Lopez, BTS and Blackpink.
Memorable lyrics: “And don’t be confused ladies and gentlemen, I am always ready to break hips and break hearts”
11. Netherlands: S10 – “De Diepte”
S10 — real name Stien den Hollander — has been very open about her past struggles with depression and auditory hallucinations. With “De Dipete” — The Depths — she takes us to a dark place, both literally and figuratively, her smokey voice filling the void with vulnerability and some glorious ohhh ahhhhs.
“It’s a love song to my own sadness — an ode to my own memories,” she told us in Amsterdam. “I just try to explain in the song that we all go through things in life — maybe losing someone, our parents divorce. It’s all pretty anonymous. I don’t know what you’ve been through. You’re probably not going to tell me now. But I do want to say you’re not alone. And maybe I can’t be there for you, but there are people who can be there for you.”
Memorable lyrics: “Here in the deep I hear your name over again”
12. Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra – “Stefania”
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra — founded by rapper Oleh Psiuk — are the firm favourite to walk away with the Eurovision 2022 trophy. “Stefania” is an ode to Psiuk’s mother of the same name. The lyrics thank her for the selfless care and unconditional love she offered with stern but soft hands. Written before the war, the song has taken on new meaning: it now invokes Mother Ukraine taking care of her children, who are fighting for their freedom and right to exist. The act feature some of the best staging of the night with Stefania’s eyes crying on the LED as her hands cradle the singers from the floor.
The six-piece rap and folk group earned the Ukrainian ticket to Turin after placing second in the national selection show Vidbir. The original winner Alina Pash was disqualified following controversy surrounding a trip to Crimea. Eurovison fans will recognise Ihor Didenchuk, the Go_A flautist of “Shum” fame.
Memorable lyrics: “Sing me a lullaby mother, I want to hear your native word.”
13. Germany: Malik Harris – “Rockstars”
Germany’s entry “Rockstars” starts softly and sweetly — the only grit coming from Malik Harris’ gravelly voice. Ninety seconds in, he seems to press pause on the music and launches into an extended soliloquy. He admits to getting lost in his own doubts and flaws and recognises that time has tamed his free spirit. His growing anger over it all gives the song its emotional crescendo and one well worth the wait. The soft exit takes us back to the beginning and gives the song a nice rounded quality. This may not break new ground, but the ground it covers is very well served indeed. Even so, many have suggested that the song is so produced and Americanised that it feels inauthentic. The staging — which involves Malik walking around the stage picking up instruments — will read as intimate to some, and boring to others.
Memorable lyrics: “I wish there was a way to go back dreaming”
14. Lithuania: Monika Liu – “Sentimentai”
The Masked Singer and The Voice of Lithuania panelist Monika Liu delivers spooky disco seduction with the enticing “Sentimentai”. Musically, Lithuania’s entry combines the best of The Carpenters with modern day EDM and synth. Coupled with the smoky yet glittery stage show, it creates a unique 1970s jazz lounge vibe updated for 2022 with electronic beats and deep space synths. Monika is the first Lithuanian act to sing in her native tongue since the country’s 1994 debut. Delivered with a Francophone sensibility, this elegant slice of sophistication crosses borders and resonates in the most unusual ways.
Memorable lyrics: “A million roses like sentiments, drowning in a sea of clouds”
15. Azerbaijan: Nadir Rustamli – “Fade To Black”
A person that lives in the memories of the past often sacrifices their future. That’s the message that The Voice of Azerbaijan winner Nadir seeks to convey through his Eurovision entry. “We’re living in a memory, the present is the price I pay,” he sings. Although the song is essentially a sad love story, hope lies ahead. Nadir perches near the top of a set of bleachers, while a male dancer occupies the bottom row. They mimic each other’s movements, first sitting, then lying, and finally walking across the seats. Has Nadir come to terms with his past? You decide.
Memorable lyrics: “You always go and blame the weather”
16. Belgium: Jérémie Makiese – “Miss You”
Jérémie Makiese is a man of many talents – he won the The Voice Belgique in 2021 but also currently plays in the second tier of Belgian football. Jérémie’s song is about the big decisions we make in our lives and having the courage and the strength to tackle them. On the Turin stage, Jérémie looks effortlessly cool, dressed in a shiny silver jacket, jeans and a black shirt. He starts off alone, shrouded in blue and white lights. After a while, he’s joined by four shadowy figures who are later revealed to be street dancers.
Memorable lyrics: “Am I gonna miss you? No”
17. Greece: Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord – “Die Together”
Time for a power ballad. Born to a Greek father and a Norwegian mother, medical student Amanda spent much of the pandemic working in hospitals, where she encountered pain, loss and death as a matter of course.
“Die Together” has shades of Lorde and Birdy, resulting in a magical number with a modern goth-pop kiss. It tugs at heartstrings while exploring a dying relationship. Amanda has said that this “death” doesn’t have to be sad — a couple
A vision in white, Amanda wears a sheer white Edwardian-inspired gown as she navigates through a sea of sunken chairs. The heavy vocoder and stuttering synths work to produce something of real electropop excellence.
Memorable lyrics: “Take my heart, rip it out, bring it to the other side”
18. Iceland: Systur – “Með Hækkandi Sól”
Iceland’s act has released music under several different names, but Eurovision viewers will know them as Systur, the Icelandic word for sisters. Their song describes the emotion of hope by using a metaphor that is very relevant to life in Iceland. Located in the Arctic, the country is prone to extremely long nights during winter and long days during summer. The title of the song isn’t directly translatable to English. According to the songwriter, it would roughly translate to “with the sun getting higher every day”. The warmth of the sun comes through in the staging, with plenty of amber and gold lights used throughout.
Memorable lyrics: “The darkest winter waits for the sun to ease away the longest nights with light”
19. Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers – “Trenulețul”
A change of pace comes from Europe’s favourite train conductors. Moldova’s Zdob şi Zdub are back in the Eurovision final for the third time in three decades after reaching sixth place in 2005 and 12th place in 2011. (That means they have qualified for the final more times than the nation of Montenegro). This time, they’ve teamed up with Moldovan folk duo the Advahov Brothers, who prance around the stage with a violin and an accordion. An all out musical journey through folk stylings and rock and roll, “Trenulețul” was released as a promotional song for the reopening of the rail connection between Chișinău, Moldova, and Bucharest, Romania. It’s also a statement of unity between the two nations. All aboard!
Memorable lyrics: “Hey ho! Let’s go, folklore and rock and roll”
20. Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs – “Hold Me Closer”
Cornelia Jakobs first bid for the Swedish Eurovision ticket in 2011, competing in Melodifestivalen as part of girl group Love Generation. A decade later, she’s made it to Turin to fly the flag for her country. “Hold Me Closer” is about the emotional turmoil of working through a difficult breakup. Cornelia sings about wanting to hold on to her significant other for as long as possible, even though she knows their relationship is coming to an end. Cornelia looks longingly into the camera as she performs around a huge circle, shifting through the green, white and red hues of the Italian flag. Sweden has at times been criticised for sending songs that are too polished. But Cornelia brings grit and soul, adding an imperfection that makes this somewhat close to perfect.
Memorable lyrics: “Oh it kills me, I found the right one at the wrong time”
21. Australia: Sheldon Riley – “Not The Same”
Australia’s Sheldon Riley is no stranger to big stages. From The X Factor to The Voice to America’s Got Talent, this Aussie superstar has completed the talent show circuit and has arrived at his dream destination. In 2014, Sheldon was inspired to begin his own Eurovision journey after watching Conchita Wurst rise to victory, stoking the flames of his young talent. Speaking openly about growing up gay and with Asperger’s syndrome in a religious household, Sheldon says his ballad “Not The Same” is a moving tribute to his younger self. A vision of Alexander McQueen and Yohji Yamamoto, Sheldon dons a 40kg pristine white suit, draping the train across a flight of stairs during the song’s bridge. It’s a glorious moment worthy of the Met Gala.
Memorable lyrics: “My father asked me if today I smiled, I said yes I did but that’s a lie”
22. United Kingdom: Sam Ryder – “SPACE MAN”
TikTok megastar Sam Ryder is on track to give the UK its best result in more than a decade. Second favourite with the bookies, the Essex-based star unleashes powerful falsetto choruses and gritty, high energy verses. Wearing a beaded boilersuit, Sam is surrounded by three huge scaffold structures, forming the illusion of a rocket launching dock. For good measure, he’s also thrown in an extra guitar solo into the final chorus. Sam told Good Morning Britain his song is about “appreciating and realising the things you have in your life that are already absolute treasures that you love”.
Memorable lyrics: “I’ve searched around the universe, been down some black holes”
23. Poland: Ochman – “River”
The Voice of Poland winner Krystian Ochman is the grandson of world-renowned Polish tenor Wiesław Ochman. Krystian inherited his grandfather’s vocal ability, which he puts to great use in “River,” delivering powerful falsetto notes and operatic passages against soft piano melodies. Speaking to wiwibloggs, Ochman said the song is about letting go of struggle and letting peace wash over you. He said: “We try to plan something out that hasn’t even occurred yet and that brings us a lot of stress. The song is basically about getting to this point of inner peace and letting go for at least a hot second.” Keep an eye on the overlay effects during this performance — Team Poland goes hogwild on the thunder, lightning, rain and earthquake simulations.
Memorable lyrics: “Let the water carry me away”
24. Serbia: Konstrakta – “In Corpore Sano”
Like a large onion, “In Corpore Sano” — in good health — has a lot of layers. At the outset it asks what seems a funny question: “What’s the secret behind Meghan Markle’s healthy hair?” But it soon becomes a critique of how we value physical health over mental health, and how the cult of celebrity warps our value systems. Other lines, which are selectively displayed on the screen, discuss the fact that artists in Serbia don’t have health insurance cards, despite the fact they deserve to live well too.
The performance includes plenty of potentially viral moments. These include the repetition of the phrase biti zdrava (be healthy), which comes with forceful clapping and fun hand motions; a segment where Konstrakta washes her hands at a wash basin; and a moment where she re-enacts Sharon Stone’s famous Basic Instinct moment…albeit without exposing anything untoward.
Memorable lyrics: “Dark circles around the eyes could indicate liver problems”
25. Estonia: Stefan – “Hope”
It was fourth-time lucky for Stefan, who earned the ticket to Eurovision on his fourth try at Estonia’s national final, Eesti Laul. He brings the Spaghetti Western song “Hope”, which tells the story of keeping hope alive in difficult circumstances. The Western theme continues in the staging and the opening shots use a sepia filter that harks back to the cowboy films of old. As we build towards the climax, Stefan runs around the stage with a hop, skip and a jump. It ends with a return to the sepia before fading to black in the style of an old movie reel.
Memorable lyrics: “Hey sing your heart out boy, for all the people great and small”
Are you excited to watch the Eurovision 2022 final? Who do you think is going to win? Share your thoughts in the comments below.