Eurovision kicks off
Eurovision, Europe’s most popular entertainment show, kicks off on May 22 in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The 57th annual song contest is bringing together the voices of 43 countries in Europe and beyond. Only 26 of them will make it to the finals. Those will be singers from Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Britain and Azerbaijan and 20 others who will be picked during the two semifinal rounds.
The final scores will be determined based on Europe-wide SMS voting, as well as jury vote. Traditionally, a country’s citizens cannot vote for their own representatives to ensure fair play.
The Eurovision finals are expected to be watched by around 125 million viewers in the whole of Europe. In Ukraine, the show will be broadcast by the First National TV channel, which has the widest reach in the country.
This year, Ukraine will be represented by Gaitana, a 32-year-old pop singer and composer, who will perform her own song called “Be My Guest” in the first round of the semifinals. By May 16, British bookmakers predicted that she would take between the 16th and 18th place in the contest.
Ukraine has been participating in Eurovision since 2003, and has won it once in 2004 with an energetic pop rock song called “Wild Dances” performed by Ruslana. The nation hosted the competition the following year.
Ukraine’s Gaitana’s first rehearsal in Baku on May 15. (Courtesy)