Eurovision Song Contest 2013: A complete guide and playlist

Eurovision Song Contest 2013

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This year the Eurovision Song Contest juggernaut rolls up in the Swedish city of Malmö, where the impeccably coiffed and manicured pop divas from across the continent will pit themselves against each other in the world’s biggest karaoke night.

With the first semi-final tonight, WOW247 guides you through the whole lip-synced, perma-tanned extravaganza, with everything you need to know (and hear) from the 58th Eurovision.

Eurovision Song Contest 2013
[Rejoice! Eurovision’s back]

Six countries get a ‘bye’ to the final – this year’s host, Sweden, plus the five big guns – the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The other 33 entrants have to compete in two semi-finals, with Ireland appearing in the first half. Each semi-final will have ten qualifiers for the final.

Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal and Slovakia have pulled out due to economic reasons, while Turkey said they would not compete due to changes in the rules. Poland, who missed last year due to Euro 2012 football tournament, have decided not to return. Armenia, however, are back in the mix.

Swedish comedian Petra Mede is hosting the show solo this year, but rest assured that BBC commentator Graham Norton will talk over her with his witty asides, and doing his best to follow in the footsteps of Eurovision master Terry Wogan.

Bonnie Tyler is representing the UK with the song ‘Believe In Me’.

The first semi-final is tonight (14 May), starting at 8pm British time, and is broadcast on BBC Three.

UK viewers can vote by phone, once all countries have performed. They are:

Austria: Natália Kelly – ‘Shine’ (English)
Estonia: Birgit – ‘Et uus saaks alguse’ (Estonian)
Slovenia: Hannah – ‘Straight Into Love’ (English)
Croatia: Klapa s Mora – ‘Mižerja’ (Croatian)
Denmark: Emmelie de Forest – ‘Only Teardrops’ (English)
Russia: Dina Garipova – ‘What If’ (English)
Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich – ‘Gravity’ (English)
Netherlands: Anouk – ‘Birds’ (English)
Montenegro: Who See – ‘Igranka’ (Montenegrin)
Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis – ‘Something’ (English)
Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya – ‘Solayoh’ (English)
Moldova: Aliona Moon – ‘O mie’ (Romanian)
Ireland: Ryan Dolan – ‘Only Love Survives’ (English)
Cyprus: Despina Olympiou – ‘An me thimasai’ (Greek)
Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa – ‘Love Kills’ (English)
Serbia: Moje 3 – ‘Ljubav je svuda’ (Serbian)

The second semi-final is on Thursday (16 May), starting at 8pm British time, and is broadcast on BBC Three.

UK viewers cannot vote in this round.

Latvia: PeR – ‘Here We Go’ (English)
San Marino: Valentina Monetta – ‘Crisalide (Vola)’ (Italian)
Macedonia: Esma and Lozano – ‘If I Could Change the World’ (English, Romani, Macedonian)
Azerbaijan: Farid Mammadov – ‘Hold Me’ (English)
Finland: Krista Siegfrids – ‘Marry Me’ (English)
Malta: Gianluca – ‘Tomorrow’ (English)
Bulgaria: Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov – ‘Samo shampioni’ (Bulgarian)
Iceland: Eythor Ingi – ‘Ég á líf’ (Icelandic)
Greece: Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis – ‘Alcohol Is Free’
Israel: Moran Mazor – ‘Rak bishvilo’ (Hebrew)
Armenia: Dorian – ‘Lonely Planet’ (English)
Hungary: ByeAlex – ‘Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)’ (Hungarian)
Norway: Margaret Berger – ‘I Feed You My Love’ (English)
Albania: Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko – ‘Identitet’ (Albanian)
Georgia: Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani – ‘Waterfall’ (English)
Switzerland: Takasa – ‘You and Me’ (English)
Romania: Cezar – ‘It’s My Life’ (English)

The grand final is on Saturday (18 May), starting at 8pm British time, and is broadcast on BBC One /BBC One HD.

UK viewers can vote for any country except the UK.

Sweden: Robin Stjernberg – ‘You’ (English)
France: Amandine Bourgeois – ‘L’enfer et moi’ (French)
Germany: Cascada – ‘Glorious’ (English)
Italy: Marco Mengoni – ‘L’essenziale’ (Italian)
Spain: ESDM – ‘Contigo hasta el final’ (Spanish)
United Kingdom: Bonnie Tyler – ‘Believe in Me’ (English)

Who do you want to win this year’s Eurovision?

Tell us in the comments below (just register first), on Twitter with #wow247 or on our Facebook page

Listen to our Eurovision 2013 Spotify playlist:

• Entries from Ukraine (Zlata Ognevich), Serbia (Moje 3), Germany (Cascada) and Spain (ESDM) are not available on Spotify

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Nick is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor, covering music, pop culture and comedy.