Eurovision 2015 semi-final one results: Favourites Estonia and Russia go through, with Serbia and Belgium impressing

Video: Serbia's Bojana Stamenov stormed the Wiener Stadthalle

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The Independent Culture

Serbia has become a new favourite to surprise Europe and take home the Eurovision crown on Saturday after a dazzling performance in the contest's semi-final.

Eurovision 2015 began in Vienna on Tuesday with 16 of the "best" songs from "Europe" battling it out to make the live final on Saturday.

While the finale will go on for a couple of hours (the record is 3 hours, 31 minutes), Tuesday's spectacle was "just" two hours long as viewers and juries decided on which ten acts should make it through.

In the end, Albania, Armenia, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Estonia, Georgia, Serbia and Belgium triumphed at the expense of Finland, Moldova, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia, Belarus and Denmark.

Serbia's song, sung by Bojana Stamenov, was written by Charlie Mason, who wrote Conchita Wurst's winning number from last year, "Rise Like A Phoenix".

Stamenov's performance of "Beauty Never Lies" brought the house down in Vienna and saw the Serbian's chances of success on Saturday soaring: according to Oddschecker, Stamenov is now sixth favourite to win having been miles off the front-runners before the semi final. Russia and Estonia, who both went through easily, are slightly ahead of Serbia, with Sweden still the favourite to claim Eurovision glory.

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The second live semi-final takes place on Thursday evening on BBC Three, ahead of the grand final on Saturday on BBC1 at 8pm.

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