It is still very much early days in the 2015 Eurovision season, however we do know some important details. Here are 15 things we know so far!
1. The dates of the semi finals and finals have been confirmed. The first Semi Final will take place on Tuesday 19th May, the second Semi Final on Thursday 21st May with the Grand Final taking place on Saturday 23rd May.
2. The venue for the Eurovision has been announced as being Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna.
3. ‘Dancing Stars’ host Mirjam Weichselbraun will be joined by Alice Tumler and Arabella Kiesbauer and will make history as the competition will be hosted by three women for the first time.
4. Conchita Wurst will appear at the 2015 final as host of the green room. (I wonder if she’ll refer to any of the main hosts as MILFs?)
5. While majority of the contestants have yet to be selected, eight acts have been confirmed.
6. This includes Spain (Edurne), France (Lisa Angell), Netherlands (Trijntje Oosterhuis) who have opted for an internal selection process instead of more traditional televoting, jury vote or a combination of both.
7. Dutch representative Trijntje Oosterhuis was a judge on the third season of the Voice of Holland. She mentored her contestant Leona Phillipo to victory.
8. Trijntje has also worked closely with former Dutch Eurovision contestant Anouk in the past, with the ‘Birds’ singer writing a number of songs for Trijntje’s 2012 album.
9. This year we have two songs called ‘Warrior’. The first is by Malta’s Amber. The second is from Georgia’s Nina Sublatti. It will be interesting to see which one will come out the victor.
10. Albania ruled that they would only accept entries that were 100% in the Albanian mother tongue and all composers and artists had to have Albanian citizenship. In the end it was Elhaida Dani and her song ‘Diell’ that was chosen to represent Albania in Vienna.
11. Macedonia’s choice is Daniel Kajmakoski. He is best known for winning the first ever series of X-Factor Adria in 2014 which sees contestants from Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina compete for the prize.
12. Belarus chose Uzari and Maimuna to represent them in Eurovision 2015, even though they only came third in the public televote. (The jury vote was worth more points and they scored higher in this). The other acts that placed higher in the televote were Muzzart and also Milki who’s song ‘Accent’ was co-written by former winner of Eurovision Alexander Rybak.
13. The early favourite to win the contest outright is Sweden with odds of 10/1, despite having not yet selected their entry.
14. Having said that Melodifestivalen is primed and ready to go with the 28 acts being split into 4 heats. Acts include former runner up Eric Saade who is hoping to do one better than his 2011 hit ‘Popular’ and take home the trophy for Sweden with his 2015 effort ‘Sting’.
15. While 2015 sees the withdrawal of Ukraine from the contest, it will see the return of Czech Republic, Serbia and Cyprus, making it 39 countries competing for the trophy.