Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final airs on Saturday: Performers from 26 countries compete for 2014 title

I love listening to music from across the world. When my husband and I visit a country, we always try to stop into a music store to get a sense for the local “hot” performers. In doing so, we’ve cultivated a growing, eclectic music collection that includes artists from Italy, Spain, England, France, Japan, Israel and other countries around the world.

But, we can only travel to so many countries.

Lately, I’ve turned to Spotify to listen to the top pop hits in countries across the globe. But, as I recently found out, most of the “top hits” in those countries are recorded by American artists. The other week, I noticed that the top 10 songs included on the lists of 12 different countries included two of the same songs – “Happy” (from Despicable Me 2) by Pharrell Williams and “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. And, seven country-specific lists included “All of Me” by John Legend.

That left me continuing to want better, more direct access to music coming out of other countries. And, it’s why I plan to tune into the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest’s Grand Final tomorrow.

Singers from 26 countries set to take the stage on Saturday

Winners on stage in the B&W Hallerne, Copenhagen after the first Semi-Final. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Winners on stage in the B&W Hallerne, Copenhagen after the first Semi-Final. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

On Saturday, May 10, 26 performers from across Europe will compete for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest title in Copenhagen Denmark. The finalist countries include Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Each country will perform in a set order, with Ukraine performing first and the United Kingdom performing last.

This is the 59th year of the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the longest-running television programs in the world. It has been broadcast every year since 1965, and is now broadcast across Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States.

More than 100 million people are expected to tune into the program this year.

Watch the European contest unfold live – even in the US

Not sure how to tune into the Eurovision Song Contest’s Grand Finals from the United States? You can watch the finals as they are broadcast live in Europe via the Eurovision website. The finals will be broadcast starting at 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT and 12 pm PST.

Big fans of the contest may also want to consider downloading the free, official Eurovision Song Contest app to get live updates as the show airs in Europe.

Winners on stage in the B&W Hallerne, Copenhagen after the second Semi-Final. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

Winners on stage in the B&W Hallerne, Copenhagen after the second Semi-Final. Credit: Andres Putting (EBU)

In Chicago, the Dank Haus is hosting a Eurovision Song Contest viewing party on Saturday afternoon. Starting at 2 pm, you can come to the German American cultural center to join other European music fans in cheering on your favorite performers. The Dank Haus is located at 4740 N. Western Ave. in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Chicago Sister Cities International is hosting a Eurovision Song Contest viewing party at The Kerryman, located at 661 N. Clark St. in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Adult attendees can purchase a special Eurovision Song Contest cocktail. Everyone is encouraged to bring flags that represent your favorite countries participating in the contest.

I've already warned my family that I'll be tuning into the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Finals on Saturday. I can’t wait to hear new European music – while at home in Chicago.

Do you plan to tune into the Eurovision Song Contest’s Grand Final? Who are you rooting for this year? Will you watch it at home or at a local party? Please share your thoughts and favorites in the comments below.

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