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Serbia, Belarus Among Ten Countries Advancing To Eurovision Final

ZENA of Belarus performs during the first semifinal of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on May 14.

Ten countries, including Belarus and Serbia, have qualified for the final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, the annual europop songfest that draws tens of millions of viewers from around the globe.

Performers from 17 countries took part in the first semifinal on May 14 with Australia, Iceland, Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic, San Marino, and Slovenia qualifying for the finals.

Contestants from Montenegro, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Georgia, Portugal, and Belgium crashed out.

The second semifinal on May 16 will vault another 10 countries to the final round, which will be held on May 18 in Tel Aviv.

Five core European countries and host nation Israel bypass the semifinal rounds, so a total of 26 acts will compete to be crowned Europe's best pop act in the 64th year of the annual extravaganza.

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

Today it has a combined global audience of around 200 million people and has even launched the careers for 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 the televoting and juries each representing 50 percent of the outcome.

No country can vote for its own contestant.

Based on reporting by AP and