Italy, Australia and Spain feature in final flurry of Eurovision entries
The 26 finalists in the Eurovision Song Contest have performed in the hope of securing the coveted “douze points” from the international audience.
The final salvo of entries to take to the stage at the Expo Tel Aviv, Israel, featured a number of acts touted as potential winners.
Italy’s Mahmood began the final run with a rendition of his song Soldi.
The singer-songwriter has suffered a reported throat infection this week but delivered a vocally competent performance to perhaps the most raucous cheer of the night.
Serbia’s Nevena Bozovic followed with Kruna, which translates as The Crown, a soulful ballad which drew a positive response from the crowd.
After came Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke, whose rendition of Zero Gravity, a song about her experience of postnatal depression, saw her flying through the air atop a pole, and was received with a roar.
Last came Spain’s Miki, who offered a vivid counterpoint to Miller-Heidke’s musical theatre-inspired performance with an energetic rendition of the poppy La Venda.
Fans in all participating countries can vote. They can vote over the phone, by text or via the Eurovision app, available on iOS, Android and Windows devices.
As per one of Eurovision’s most famous quirks, fans can vote up to 20 times but will be unable to select their own country’s entry.
The public have a 45-minute period in which to cast their votes.
During that time former Eurovision contestants will take to the stage and, finally, Madonna will appear for a highly-anticipated performance with Migos rapper Quavo.
Earlier, Michael Rice delivered a rousing performance in a bid to turn around the UK’s fortunes in the contest.
The Hartlepool native sang Bigger Than Us against a backdrop of a starry night sky and racing comets.
The 21-year-old was joined by an outfit of backing vocalists dressed in white as he broke into the song’s gospel-influenced chorus.
He performed 16th, after Norway and before Iceland – whose techno-punk outfit Hatari are a favourite to win.
The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence, Russia’s Sergey Lazarev and France’s Bilal Hassani are also touted to score well.