Eurovision fans gear up for the grand final

Stephen Nolan: Eurovision stage invader tried to disrupt my show

The favorite of the bookmakers after the first semi-final was the 31-year-old Greek pop singer of Albanian origin, Eleni, Purara, the representative of Cyprus, with the song "Fuego". He put the room to Jamala, with whom she won the Eurovision in 2016.

"SuRie and her team are extremely proud of her performance and have together decided that there is absolutely no reason to perform the song again", he tweeted.

The Dubliner is now third favourite to win and he will perform third from last.

Australia's Jessica Mauboy during rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision 2018 grand final.

The incident left SuRie without a microphone for at least ten seconds and she was forced to clap along as cameras cut to fans in the audience.

The singer is touring the United Kingdom in May until July, with her "Eurovision Unplugged Tour", and has eight incoming gigs across the United Kingdom for fans wishing to see her again.

Romania, Poland and Greece all missed out on a place in the final too.

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SuRie chose not to perform for a second time after the incident. But it was a short return: Russia's contestant Julia Samoylova went out in the semifinals, while Ukraine singer Melovin advanced to the Grand Final. That's not much time to get the props off stage, though the commercial breaks offer more breathing space for the crew.

The show is taking place at Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday night, starting at 8 p.m. (1900 GMT.) Some 200 million people around the world are expected to be watching.

Noway's Alexander Rybak is a previous Eurovision victor, but he seems unlikely to make it to the top a second time with his offering this year, That's How You Write A Song.

The event started out as a competition between European countries, but its huge popularity has led to the inclusion of Israel and Australia as contestants. Portugal won previous year with Salvador Sobral's subdued ballad "Amar pelos Dois". Could the Eurovision Song Contest finally be focusing on the music? They are seen to have large diasporas that vote to ensure the countries reach the final but it didn't happen.

The annual Euro-pop fest has always been the glittery home of outlandish costumes, high-voltage stage effects, forgettable tunes and kitschy acts like last year's dancing gorilla.

The 25-year-old won season five of the Israeli reality show HaKokhav HaBa, an X Factor-style singing competition. And it's doing that with a $23.8 million budget that officials say is the most restrained since 2008.

That means the contest is heading to what many predict will be an exceptional year.

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