2013 Eurovision Song Contest is under way in the Swedish city of Malmö as 26 countries compete in front of millions of TV viewers.
Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest is the favorite to win with Only Teardrops.
Veteran singer Bonnie Tyler, best known for her 1983 hit Total Eclipse of the Heart, performed the UK entry Believe in Me half way through the contest.
France’s Amandine Bourgeois was the first act to take the stage.
Also among favorites is Cezar, who is representing Romania and is considered as one of the most talented contratenors of his generation, due to his ambitious and special vocal techniques. Cezar’s unmistakable sound led his fans add The Voice to his name. He represents Romania in Eurovision Song Contest 2013, in Malmö, with the song It’s My Life, music and lyrics by Cristian Faur.
Bonnie Tyler claims she has “a fighting chance” of becoming the first British winner in 16 years, but bookmakers William Hill revealed her current odds stand at 50/1.
Denmark has odds of 4/6 to win the contest, with its closest competition coming from Norway and Ukraine.
“Emmelie looks very hard to beat and she could spark the biggest payout in the Eurovision’s long and distinguished history,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.
“Normally we see a patriotic punt on the Eurovision, but it looks like the public have given up on our chances and Bonnie is simply friendless,” he added.
Welsh star Bonnie Tyler, 61, performed in 15th place, midway through the show – giving her a clear advantage over Engelbert Humperdinck, who opened the contest last year in Azerbaijan, and ultimately finished in penultimate place.
Newcomer Ryan Dolan performs Ireland’s entry, Only Love Survives, in the coveted final slot, after qualifying from the semi-finals in Malmö earlier in the week.
The UK is one of the “big five” countries along with Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which automatically qualify for the final.
The remaining 21 spots were filled by the highest scoring countries from two semi-final heats held this week.
A number of countries have withdrawn from the competition citing financial woes. Bosnia-Hercegovina, Portugal and Slovakia pulled out over money, while Turkey withdrew after complaining about the automatic inclusion of the big five.