After an intense battle in the first round of the semifinals, ten countries have been selected to advance to the next stage of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The grand final will take place on Saturday, after the second of two semi-finals, which will take place on Thursday in Turin, Italy.
After Tuesday’s game, musicians from the following provinces are still in the fray: Switzerland, Armenia, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Norway, Greece, UkraineMoldova and the Netherlands.
According to Kalush Orchestra, which represents Ukraine, it is a big favorite to win Johnny Weir, who organized the American coverage of the music contest on streaming service Peacock.
In February, Eurovision organizers gave in to public pressure and decided that Russia were not allowed to participate in the competition. The European Broadcasting Union, which hosts the competition, had initially decided that an artist would be allowed to represent the country, despite the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Less than 24 hours later, it changed course.
“The decision reflects concerns that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s competition would discredit the competition,” said one statement released at the time said partially.
Ukraine and others had petitioned the European Broadcasting Union to ban Russia from participating.
Kalush Orchestra had finished second in the national final of Ukraine, but won the public vote. They were eventually selected to replace Alina Pash, who dropped out of the competition due to controversy over a trip she was taking to Russian-controlled Crimea.
Seventeen countries performed in the first round of the semifinals and 18 will take the podium.
In the final, the 20 qualifying countries perform together with the so-called Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), the countries that automatically progress to the final. The host country also gets a spot in the final, but this year’s host, Italy, was already there.