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Ten through to final after flashy Eurovision semi in Moscow


MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - Some 12,000 spectators danced into the early hours on Wednesday as the first of two glitzy Eurovision semifinals was held at Moscow's Olimpiyskiy Arena.

Moscow won the right to host the event for the first time when Russian pop singer Dima Bilan took first place in last year's Eurovision, held in Belgrade, with his song Believe. A total of 42 countries are taking part in the competition, which officially opened on Sunday, with 25 of them going through to the final.

With nine countries being selected in an SMS vote and one by a jury, Turkey, Sweden, Israel, Portugal, Malta, Finland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Armenia and Iceland all successfully booked their place in Saturday's final.

Russia along with the so called Big Four - Germany, Britain, France and Spain - have already qualified.

Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Belarus, Andorra, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Macedonia failed to qualify.

This year Russia will be represented by Ukrainian singer Anastasia Prikhodko.

The second semifinal goes ahead on Thursday with Croatia, Ireland. Latvia, Serbia, Poland, Norway, Cyprus, Slovakia, Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Greece, Moldova, Ukraine, Estonia, the Netherlands taking part.

Over 8,500 police and security officers will be on duty at the venue during the competition.

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