Srbuk, a 24-year-old pop-soul singer, rehearses on the stage in Tel Aviv. Her career rocketed after taking the runner-up spot in the inaugural season of hit TV show 'X Factor Armenia' in 2011. Srbuk, a 24-year-old pop-soul singer, rehearses on the stage in Tel Aviv. Her career rocketed after taking the runner-up spot in the inaugural season of hit TV show 'X Factor Armenia' in 2011. Srbuk, a 24-year-old pop-soul singer, rehearses on the stage in Tel Aviv. Her career rocketed after taking the runner-up spot in the inaugural season of hit TV show 'X Factor Armenia' in 2011. (Photo: Andres Putting / Eurovision)

How to watch the Eurovision singing contest

Israel is hosting this year's international competition, and audiences around the world can watch online.

Looking to watch Eurovision, the campy international song competition that happens each year? You're in luck.

It will start on Tuesday, May 14 and the winner will be announced on Saturday evening, May 18. The contest will be broadcast live throughout the week on Eurovision's official YouTube channel. Each day's performances will begin at 3 p.m. EST. Fans will be able to watch the opening ceremonies on YouTube. And they'll have access to on-demand videos of each performance and backstage interviews.

Romania's Ester Peony (center) and her backup dancers wait backstage before taking the stage for their first rehearsal. Romania's Ester Peony (center) and her backup dancers wait backstage before their first rehearsal. (Photo: Thomas Hanses / Eurovision)

As the winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Israel became the host nation for the 2019 outing. The singing competition began a half-century ago and enjoys a massive audience, with up to 600 million people watching the telecast worldwide. It launched the careers of ABBA and Celine Dion. But in the United States, which does not compete in the contest, it hasn't taken on the same resonance. That may be changing thanks to its availability on YouTube, as well as having a legendary American musician perform.

"We’ve reached out to Madonna to try to add some glitz to the event and create more interest," Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli philanthropist, told From The Grapevine. Madonna will perform two songs at the event – including a tune from her new album. The 60-year-old pop icon last performed in Israel in 2012, when she kicked off her world tour at a concert in Tel Aviv.

The Eurovision will be hosted by four Israelis: supermodel Bar Refaeli and TV presenters Erez Tal, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub. You can see them talk about the gig as they get ready in this video:

Contestants from the 41 countries participating – including Australia, Belgium and Greece – have been rehearsing in the week leading up to the competition, and you can watch some of those highlights here:

With the increased attention, Netflix has tapped actor Will Ferrell to star in a comedy about the contest. The satirical film will be in line with other Ferrell flicks that have poked fun at niche competitions — like a minor league basketball league (“Semi-Pro”) and the competitive ice skating circuit (“Blades of Glory”).

The way Eurovision works is each contestant submits one original song that they will sing in each round of the competition until the winner is announced. Official music videos for each song have already been made, allowing for viewers to choose their favorites before the competition even begins. According to online oddsmakers, Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands is the odds-on favorite to win the entire contest. The 25-year-old has some experience, as he performed on "The Voice of Holland," a reality competition in his home country.

You can hear him talk about the process behind writing his song, called "Arcade," in this video below:

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Music, TV

How to watch the Eurovision singing contest
Israel is hosting this year's international competition, and audiences around the world can watch online.