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    Eliot performs in Eurovision semi-final

    © Eurovision.tv/press, Andres Putting
    Eliot at the Orange Carpet welcome ceremony in Tel Aviv
    © Eurovision.tv/press, Andres Putting

    In tonight’s first semi-final, 17 countries will take to the stage at Expo Tel Aviv. Belgium’s Eliot will perform the 10th  with his song Wake Up. The semi-final starts at 21:00.

    Last year’s Eurovision winner, Israeli Netta Barzilai, will open the show with a rearrangement of her victorious song Toy.

    Israel´s winner in 1998, Dana International, will appear for a special interval act. She will sing her own version of Bruno Mars´ ‘Just the Way You Are’.

    Spectators can vote for their favourite songs if they are in one of the 17 participating countries, Israel, Spain or France. Voting lines open as soon as the hosts announce it. Yesterday the international juries cast their vote for the first semi-final. Their vote counts for 50% of tonight’s result.

    The juries decided their points based on four key elements: Vocal capacity of the singer, performance on stage, composition and originality of the song, and the overall impression of the act.

    26 countries will participate in the final on Saturday, with 10 countries continuing from each semi-final, the “Big 5” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) and the host country Israel.

    The Eurovision kicked off on Sunday evening with a welcome reception for artists, delegates, press and fans at Habima Square in central Tel Aviv. The ceremony has been a tradition in the host city since 2009. The carpet rolled out for the artists has had different colours, this time it was orange.

    Altogether 41 delegations participated in the Orange Carpet welcome ceremony. No country has boycotted the Eurovision in Tel Aviv, despite calls for a boycott because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    When the ceremony started, a small group of activists protested against the event. “The Eurovision is seen exclusively as a cultural and artistic event,” a Belgian embassy source told The Brussels Times.

    The Brussels Times