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Eurovision Finals To Include Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, With Russia Voted Out


Melovin from Ukraine performs the song Under The Ladder during a rehearsal for the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon on May 9.

The Eurovision Song Contest has completed its lineup of 26 contestants who will face off for this year's crown, following a second semifinal event.

Performers from Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands earned enough votes on May 10 to reach the final show on May 12.

The countries whose contestants were ruled out included Russia, Georgia, Latvia, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, and San Marino.

Half of the votes were cast by a professional jury and the other half were cast remotely by viewers.

Russia's wheelchair-bound singer Yulia Samoilova did not make the final round. She missed the event last year in Ukraine, where authorities barred her from entering the country in a move that prompted a Russian boycott.

Ten finalists were chosen in a first semifinal on May 8. Five countries and host Portugal automatically qualify for the final.

A total of 43 countries have been taking part in the hugely popular annual event, which is in its 63rd year.

It is being held this year in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, because the Portuguese contestant, Salvador Sobral, won last year's event in Kyiv.

In the first major controversy this year, organizers said they tore up their contract with China's Mango TV after it allegedly censored two performances.

The European Broadcasting Union, an alliance of public service broadcasters, said censorship "is not in line with the EBU's values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music."

The organization did not say which acts had been cut by Mango but said the contract was terminated immediately, leaving Mango TV unable to air the shows on May 10 and May 12. The Chinese company could not immediately be contacted.

The Eurovision Song Contest is popular in many countries outside of Europe, including China and Australia.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa
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