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article imageOslo: 25 countries line up for 55th Eurovision Song Contest

By Andrew John     May 29, 2010 in Entertainment
Tonight sees the final of the 55th Eurovision Song Contest, which will be broadcast live from Oslo, Norway, to a worldwide audience expected to be in excess of 100 million.
In total, 25 countries are competing for the title of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest Winner.
The final line-up, after semifinals held on Tuesday and Thursday this week, in performing order, is as follows:
01: Azerbaijan, Actimai Safura singing “Drip Drop”
02: Spain, Daniel Diges singing “Algo Pequeñito” (“Something Tiny”)
03: Norway, Didrik Solli-Tangen singing “My Heart Is Yours”
04: Moldova, Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira singing “Run Away”
05: Cyprus, Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders singing “Life Looks Better In Spring”
06: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Vukašin Brajic singing “Thunder And Lightning”
07: Belgium, Tom Dice singing “Me And My Guitar”
08: Serbia, Milan Stankovic singing “Ovo Je Balkan”
09: Belarus, 3+2 singing “Butterflies”
10: Ireland, Niamh Kavanagh singing “It’s For You”
11: Greece, Giorgos Alkaios & Friends singing “OPA”
12: United, Kingdom Josh singing “That Sounds Good To Me”
13: Georgia, Sofia Nizharadze singing “Shine”
14: Turkey, maNga singing “We Could Be The Same”
15: Albania, Juliana Pasha singing “It’s All About You”
16: Iceland, Hera Björk singing “Je Ne Sais Quoi”
17: Ukraine, Alyosha singing “Sweet People”
18: France, Jessy Matador singing “Allez Olla Olé”
19: Romania, Paula Seling & Ovi singing “Playing With Fire”
20: Russia, Peter Nalitch & Friends singing “Lost And Forgotten”
21: Armenia, Eva Rivas singing “Apricot Stone”
22: Germany, Lena singing “Satellite”
23: Portugal, Filipa Azevedo Há singing “Dias Assim”
24: Israel, Harel Skaat singing “Milim”
25: Denmark, Chanée & N’evergreen singing “In A Moment Like This”
The first semifinal saw ten countries make it through. They were Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Iceland, Moldova, Portugal, Russia and Serbia.
On Thursday, the second semifinal saw a further ten countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Denmark, Georgia, Ireland, Israel, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine – qualify.
Most popular, most watched
In total, 25 nations will compete in the final of one of the world’s most popular and most watched events.
Five countries are automatically guaranteed a place in the final – Britain, France, Germany and Spain – by virtue of their funding the event, and Norway, the host country, because it won last year’s contest, with Alexander Rybak’s folk-inspired ballad “Fairytale”.
Of the 25 finalists, nearly half originate from Eastern Europe, demonstrating that it continues to send excellent artists to the popular musical extravaganza,
The Eurovision Song Contest first took place in 1956, when seven nations took part. It has since evolved from an elegant black-tie event into an annual music extravaganza.
Specialist judges
For the first time in its history, the voting for the Eurovision finals will be carried out by a 50–50 combination of the public from across Europe and specialist judges.
With the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, there was a sudden increase in numbers, with many former Eastern Bloc countries queuing up to compete.
Of those countries taking part in 2010, Ireland holds the record for the most number of wins, having won the contest seven times. France, Luxembourg and United Kingdom are joint-second with five wins. Israel and Norway have each won the title three times, Denmark, Norway and Spain have each won it twice, and Germany (as West Germany), Greece, Serbia, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine have each won it once.
Russia, who won the event in 2008 with Dima Bilan’s “Believe”, hosted the 2009 contest. In 2005, Bilan had attempted to represent Russia at Eurovision with “Not That Simple”, but finished in second place during the Russian national selection. In 2006, he did represent Russia with “Never Let You Go”, reaching second place with 248 points, before winning the contest for his home country in 2008.
More about Eurovision, Oslo, Dima bilan, Alexander rybak, Song contest
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