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BAKU, May 27 (Itar-Tass) — The Eurovision-2012 final kicked off in the capital of Azerbaijan at 23:00 Moscow time on Saturday. Singers from 26 countries are taking part in the song contest.
Russia is represented by the Buranovo Grannies folk group from the Udmurt Republic who sang their song “Party for Everybody” under number 6.
The final was preceded by a colorful show. The audiences heard the winners of last year’s Eurovision song contest, Ell & Nikki, who sang their “Running Scared” song that brought them victory in 2011.
Bookmakers predict that Swedish singer Loreen (“Eurphoria”) is hot favorite to win this year. The second place is given to Russia’s Buranovo Grannies. Italian Nina Zilli with her song “Out of Love” or Serbian singer Zelko Joksimovic with the song “Nije Ljubav Stvar” (Love is Not a Thing”) are predicted to be the third.
Security was tightened in Baku on the day of the Eurovision final. Twenty-three thousand people who came to the Baku Crystall Hall were supposed to carry identification papers. All the people had to go through a thorough security check. Traffic in the vicinity of the Baku Crystall Hall has been restricted since daytime.
Thousands of people, including foreign guests and tourists, who failed to get tickets for the final are watching it on big screens in a seaside park.
The Eurovison-2012 final is being broadcast in 46 countries. About 150 million TV viewers will be able to watch it live.