The Latest: Belgian singer kicks off Eurovision Song Contest - InfoNews

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The Latest: Belgian singer kicks off Eurovision Song Contest

May 14, 2016 - 12:25 PM

STOCKHOLM - The Latest on the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Belgium's Laura Tesoro is the first competitor to take the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Dressed in a glittery silver outfit, the 19-year-old Belgian opened the contest with "What's the Pressure," a funky tune with a bass riff reminiscent of Queen's "Another one Bites the Dust."

The contestants for the 26 countries taking part in the final entered Stockholm's Globe Arena on a cat walk to wild cheers from the enthusiastic audience.

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9 p.m.

The director of the TV alliance that produces the Eurovision Song Contest says the show's message of unity is particularly significant at a time when Europe is seeing its internal borders returning.

European Broadcasting Union Director-General Ingrid Deltenre told The Associated Press before Saturday's final that the togetherness the event brings is important for a continent in the midst of a refugee crisis and talk of Britain's possible withdrawal from the European Union.

She says "you have reactions in Europe which are very polarizing ... we are sending out a signal. It's a signal about tolerance, about openness, about diversity."

The EBU is an alliance of public service broadcasters in Europe that produces the show. This year's event is being held in Stockholm's Globe Arena and will be broadcast live to an estimated 200 million people in Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States.

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8 p.m.

It's got kitsch, international intrigue and an array of eclectic musical performances from Belgium to Armenia.

The winner of the 61st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be crowned at the end of a live show Saturday night that is being broadcast to an estimated 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond.

The competition among European nations and, oddly, Australia, will take place in Stockholm's Globe arena.

Russia, Australia, Ukraine, France and host nation Sweden are the bookmakers' favourites among the 26 countries competing for the title, which comes with the obligation to host the competition next year.

Those rules are a bit different for Australia, which if it wins would co-host next year's show somewhere in Europe.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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