41 countries to contest in 2022 Eurovision

Forty-one countries will compete in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, up two from this year, the European Broadcasting Union announced on Oct. 20.

The Geneva-based EBU puts together the kitsch annual pop extravaganza, which is one of the world's biggest live music events.  The 66th contest will be held at the PalaOlimpico arena in Turin on May 10, 12 and 14.All 39 countries that took part in the 2021 competition are returning next year, plus Montenegro and Armenia.

"We are so excited that we once again have over 40 broadcasters competing to win the iconic Eurovision trophy," said the contest's executive supervisor Martin Osterdahl."The Eurovision Song Contest will provide the excitement and state-of-the-art spectacle expected by nearly 200 million viewers."

The EBU said 36 countries would compete in two semi-finals, with 10 from each semi going through to join the so-called Big Five main financial backers - Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - in the May 14 final.Some 183 million people tuned in to watch this year's Eurovision, with young online fans driving up viewing figures for the pop extravaganza.

Lederhosen-wearing Italian rockers Maneskin won the contest in Rotterdam with their song "Zitti e Buoni," earning Italy the right to host the next Eurovision.Founded in 1950, the EBU is the world's biggest public service media alliance. It has 115 member organizations in 56 countries, plus 31 associates in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

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