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Eurovision 2012 first semi-final to be held in Baku

May 22, 2012, 11:49 UTC+3

The second semi-final will be held on May 24 and the final – on May 26

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BAKU, May 22 (Itar-Tass) — The first semi-final of the Eurovision 2012 song contest will be held in Baku on Tuesday. Russia’s group Buranovskiye Babushki with the song “Party for Everybody” will take part in it.

The contest will be held at Baku’s Crystal Hall Palace that was built on the shores of the Caspian Sea specially Eurovision 2012. The unique metal structure facility was built in a record short period – less than 8 months. Its shape resembles a faceted crystal - hence the name of the palace. It has an especially beautiful look in the evening, when numerous crystals attached to its facade begin to shine in the artificial light.

Special light systems inside the palace create different effects. They will be used to display during the performance of the competition participants the colours of their countries’ flags. This glow can be seen from the most remote points of Baku. As many as 23 thousand spectators will watch the contest in the hall. Another 16 thousand people will be able to watch the show on the big screen monitors installed near Baku Crystal Hall. The television audience of Eurovision 2012 is more than 100 million people in 50 countries worldwide.

Taking part in the current, 57th competition will be representatives of 42 countries. The show will begin at 24:00, local time (23:00 MSK). According to the lots drawing results, representative of Montenegro Rambo Amadeus with the song “Euro Neuro” will be the first to perform. The Buranovskiye Babushki group will be the 14th to sing. The music for their song was written by composer Viktor Drobysh, and the words in the Udmurt language are by one of the Babushki group members - Olga Tuktareva, and in English – by Mary Susan Applegate who collaborated with the Modern Talking group and Kylie Minogue. During the three-minute performance of Buranovskiye Babushki there will be a stove on the stage in which the Babushki will bake perepechi – the Udmurt national dish resembling a pizza.

Taking part in the first semi-final will also be representatives from Iceland, Greece, Latvia, Albania, Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Israel, San Marino, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Moldova and Ireland.

The favourites of the first semi-final are Buranovskiye Babushki, the Romanian group Mandinga with the “Zaleilah” song and representative of Greece Eleftheria Eleftheriou who will perform the song “Aphrodisiac.”

Security has been tightened in Baku in connection with the Eurovision contest events. The approach to the main arena of the competition - Baku Crystal Hall has been restricted for several days already. The competition participants and spectators will be transported there by so-called “shuttle-buses” from specially selected spots in the city. To get into the hall, the viewers will have to pass through several checkpoints, producing the identity card and individual ticket. Taking into account the fact that the show will end late at night, the underground rail system and public transport will be working in a round-the-clock mode.

The second semi-final will be held on May 24 and the final – on May 26.

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