First 10 Eurovision finalists named
Wednesday 26 May 2010
Ten countries have qualified for the finals of this year's Eurovision song contest, which will see a total of 25 nations vying for the top honour in one of the world's most watched events.
Bosnia-Hercegovina, Moldavia, Russia, Greece, Portugal, Belarus, Serbia, Belgium, Albania and Iceland made their way past the first semi-final held in Oslo after voting ended late Tuesday.
Five countries have already been picked for Saturday's final: Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Norway, which is hosting the event after winning last year's contest with a brash performance of a folk-inspired ballad.
The annual contest is watched by an estimated television audience of over 100 million people. The winner gets to host the event the following year.
Both the public from across Europe and specialist judges will vote for the winning act in this year's broadcast of the competing finalists.
The other 10 finalists will be chosen from a shortlist of 17 countries on Thursday during the last semi-final.
The Eurovision contest began in 1956 as an elegant black-tie event but has since evolved onto an annual music extravaganza known for its many kitschy acts that has been mocked for its "bubblegum pop" and overtly political voting by Eastern European countries.
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