Eurovision Song Contest semifinal held in Helsinki

The semi-final for the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest took place on Thursday night in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

Among the singers from 28 countries, the 10 most popular songs and performances from Belarus, Macedonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Georgia, Latvia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Moldova made it through to the final. These 10 singers will join the 14 direct qualifiers for the final on Saturday evening. Among the direct qualifiers is the Finnish entry "Leave Me Alone" sung by Hanna Pakarinen.

Qualification for the finals is based on telephone and SMS voting by the TV audience.

Finland won last year's Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, with the "monster band" Lordi taking top place. Finland thus got the right to host the competition this year.

The final for the Contest will take place at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki on Saturday, 12 May. Saturday's Eurovision final will be Finland's biggest media event ever, with an estimated audience of 100 million people.

In addition to fans and music lovers who have gathered in Helsinki for this year's events, around 2,500 journalists, most from abroad were present to report the contest.

One of the longest-running song contests in the world, the Eurovision Song Contest began in 1956 through the efforts of the European Broadcasting Union.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---