Eurovision: Everything you need to know ahead of tonight's first semi-final
Seventeen international acts will vie for 10 spots in the grand final.
The Eurovision Song Contest will begin in earnest tonight as 17 international acts take to the stage in Israel for the first live semi-final.
The first of two semi-finals at the Expo Tel Aviv venue will determine which 10 countries appear in the 26-strong grand final on Saturday.
Three favourites are due to appear: Australia’s operatic pop star Kate Miller-Heidke, Iceland’s fetish-punk group Hatari and Finland’s Darude, a dance music veteran known for his 2000 track Sandstorm.
The public vote will make up 50% of the total vote, with the other half determined by a professional jury in each participating country.
All countries taking part in the semi-finals can vote along with France, Spain and host country Israel.
Fans can vote over the phone, by text or via the Eurovision app, available on iOS, Android and Windows devices.
The UK, as one of the “Big Five” countries, along with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, are already assured of a place in the grand final. Last year’s winners Israel also do not have to qualify via the semi-finals.
Marty Whelan will be providing commentary for RTE for the twenty-first year with the competition airing from 8pm on RTE2. Over on BBC Four it's Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills. You'll have to wait for the final on Saturday to enjoy Graham Norton's hosting on BBC One.
First semi-final running order:
1. Cyprus – Tamta with Replay
2. Montenegro – D Mol with Heaven
3. Finland – Darude ft. Sebastian Rejman with Look Away
4. Poland – Tulia with Fire Of Love (Pali Sie)
5. Slovenia – Zala Kralj and Gasper Santl with Sebi
6. Czech Republic – Lake Malawi with Friend Of A Friend
7. Hungary – Joci Papai with Az En Apam
8. Belarus – Zena with Like It
9. Serbia – Nevena Bozovic with Kruna
10. Belgium – Eliot with Wake Up
11. Georgia – Oto Nemsadze with Keep On Going
12. Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke with Zero Gravity
13. Iceland – Hatari – Hatrio Mun Sigra
14. Estonia – Victor Crone with Storm
15. Portugal – Conan Osiris with Telemoveis
16. Greece – Katerine Duska with Better Love
17. San Marino – Serhat with Say Na Na Na
Ireland will compete in the second semi-final on Thursday, May 16.