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Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Russia Advance In For Eurovision After Second Semifinal

Azerbaijan's Chingiz was one of 10 contestants who advanced to the final on May 16.

Ten more countries have qualified for the final of the 64th Eurovision Song Contest, the annual Europop song fest that draws tens of millions of viewers from around the globe.

Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Russia, and seven other countries qualified in the May 16 semifinal, which featured contestants from 18 countries.

They will join Belarus, Serbia, and 24 other countries in the final round to be held on May 18 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Madonna is set to perform during the event.

Five core European countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain – as well as host nation Israel bypassed the semifinal rounds.

Eurovision was first held in 1956 with the aim of uniting Europe after World War II.

Today, the annual extravaganza has a combined global audience of around 200 million people and has even launched the careers of a few of its winners, most notably ABBA and Celine Dion.

Viewers and professional juries in all 41 participating countries will pick the winner, with televoting and national juries from each country each representing 50 percent of the outcome.

No country can vote for its own contestant.

Based on reporting by dpa and