Eurovision Song Contest: First ten voted through to final

Posted May 11, 2011 by Mathew Wace Peck
Last night saw ten acts voted through to the 2011 final of the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held at the Düsseldorf Arena in Germany this coming Saturday.
2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
2011 Eurovision Song Contest.
Alain Douit / EBU
The ten countries – Serbia, Lithuania, Greece, Azebaijan, Georgia, Switzerland, Hungary, Finland, Russia and Iceland – join the five permanent Eurovision member countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Britain – who have an automatic place because they fund the music event.
A further ten countries will be chosen in the second semi-final, which will be held on Thursday, 12 May.
Four of the successful countries – Serbia, Greece, Finland and Russia – from last night's first semi-final have won the Contest in the last few years. Switzerland has won the event twice in the past – at the first-ever European Song Contest in 1956 and again in 1988 – while Germany's Lena won the event last year with her performance of “Satellite”.
Nine countries – Turkey, San Marino, Poland, Norway, Malta, Georgia, Croatia, Armenia and Albania – failed to go through.
It is the first time since 2004, when semi-finals were introduced, that Turkey has failed to reach the final stage of the Contest. Turkey first took part in the event in 1975 and again in 2003, winning the competition. In 2010, in Oslo, they reached second place.
The final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, the 56th since it began, will be broadcast live across the world on Saturday, 14 May, at 21:00 CET. The event will be presented by Judith Rakers, Anke Engelke and Stefan Raab.