Belgrade prepares for Eurovision grand finals
The 53rd and biggest-ever Eurovision will see 25 representatives, including Spain and France, gather on Saturday.23 May 2008
BELGRADE - The final line-up for Saturday's grand finals of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade has been decided in a popular vote, with the final 10 contestants advancing from the second semi-finals.
Late Thursday, Ukraine, Croatia, Albania, Iceland, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Turkey and Portugal joined Greece, Romania, Bosnia, Finland, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Poland and Norway, who qualified Tuesday in the first semi-final of the mammoth show.
With a record 43 nations taking part, there were two semi-finals for the first time to choose 20 of the final 25 acts in the grand final.
People from the participating countries were able to vote by text message, telephone call or on the internet for their favourite song. They could not vote for their own country.
In line with new rules introduced this year, the "big four" of Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain qualified directly, as did the last year's winner, now host, Serbia.
The 53rd and biggest-ever Eurovision Song Contest starts at 1900 GMT Saturday evening, with the winner expected to be announced after 2300 GMT.
[dpa / Expatica]