Eurovision: Pop, politics and a dancing ape _ but no Russia

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Lucie Jones is prepared to walk on stage in just her trousers to win the "Eurovision Song Contest".

"It's a great honour for me to be in Sevastopol today, it's very exciting and joyful to perform here on such a day", said Ms Samoylova.

While 18 countries took to the stage to perform during Tuesday night's first live show, only 10 qualified for Saturday's final.

She told the Press Association: "There is this political vote every year that people talk about and, yes, this year is slightly different with the sort of political climate going on, but it is something that I am not concentrating on".

Her win in the semi-final secures Denmark's position in the final; a year ago the country did not make it that far. The next and last live #Hashpoll will take place of course on Saturday, a few hours before the Grand Final and the announcement of the victor! "And I think they need "The Impossible Idea" [from "A Kind Revolution", which he earlier described as "like a German beer hall song but with a sort of French chanson feel to it too"] as their tune". "And this year maybe they've got more to talk about". With Graham Norton commentating and many of us attending Eurovision parties across the country, much fun can be had without rooting for your national entry.

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"It's only fair that each song in the Eurovision Song Contest is judged on its individual merits on the night".

The contest has also notably launched countless European pop hits, including 1964's winning song Ho l'Eta ("I Am Too Young") by Italy's Gigliola Cinquetti and 1967's Puppet on a String, by the UK's Sandie Shaw.

The Eurovision Song Contest, which will air on the Eurovision YouTube channel, consists of musical acts from 42 countries, who will travel this year to Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukraine won the right to host the contest after its 2016 entry came first with a song about Stalin's mass deportation of ethnic Tatars from Crimea during World War Two.

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