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Eurovision Grand Final 2018: time, TV, streaming, and how to watch

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It’s the best worst thing you’ll watch this year (except for maybe West Ham)

Eurovision 2018 - Final Dress Rehearsal Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Hey Carty Free people! We are definitely and unequivocally a sports blog, which is why we’re giving you an entire open thread about the Eurovision Grand Final today.

We’re at the end of the season and there’s no Premier League football to play since everyone is playing at the same time tomorrow. Sure, there’s the first leg of the Championship playoff match between Middlesbrough and Aston Villa, and a whole slate of MLS games too, and feel free to talk about them in here. It’s your Saturday Open Thread, after all.

But we are wrapping up Eurovision Week here at Cartilage Free Captain by providing you a space to watch and discuss the best Eurotrash song competition ever. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Time

8:00 p.m. GMT (3:00 p.m. ET)

TV Channels

BBC One (UK), Logo (USA), SBS (Australia)

Streaming

If you live in the USA, you can try Logo TV but if you don’t already have Logo on your cable that probably won’t work. You can also try Logo’s YouTube channel. UK residents can stream Graham Norton’s commentary on BBC iPlayer.

For everyone else, it gets kind of tricky and involves some quasi-legal finagling involving VPNs and the like that I won’t get into here, but that you can probably Google. Another option is to view the official Eurovision YouTube channel, which will stream the competition minus commentary and voting information but won’t work in Canada, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Who’s participating?

A bunch of European countries have made the Grand Final, and that’s part of the fun. There’s the Big Five — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom — and they are joined by an additional 20 European countries that qualified via the semifinals: Austria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Israel, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, Finland, Ireland, Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands.

And, for some reason, Australia.

What’s all this, then?

Eurovision is a song contest that was created in an attempt to foster goodwill between European nations in the wake of post-World War II reconstruction. It is the longest running song competition in the world, started in 1956. 43 European nations (and Australia now I guess) sing original songs, and they are voted on by their fellow competitors and a panel of judges. The winner of the previous year’s competition hosts the following year.

This year’s host is Portugal. The theme is All Aboard!

This looks... amazing!

Boy, doesn’t it? It’s as much spectacle as it is song contest, with elaborate sets, extravagant costuming, and personalities as big as the voices singing it. Normally it is chock full of kitsch — there were dancing men wearing gorilla suits one year — but there are reports that Lisbon is planning on toning down the spectacle this year and just letting the music shine.

Can... can we still talk about the football?

Knock yourself out! Here are some games you might be interested in watching.

Middlesbrough vs. Aston Villa (Championship semifinal, first leg)
5:15 p.m. GMT/12:15 p.m. ET

Hoffenheim vs. Dortmund (Bundesliga)
2:30 p.m. GMT/9:30 a.m. ET

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hannover (Bundelisga)
2:30 p.m. GMT/9:30 a.m. ET

Minnesota United vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
7:00 p.m. GMT/2:00 p.m. ET