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Just under two months to Eurovision Song Contest: Running order drawn in Helsinki

Just under two months to Eurovision Song Contest: Running order drawn in Helsinki
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Hanna Pakarinen, the representative of Finland in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, will be the fifth performer in the May 12th final. The running orders of the final and the semi-final were established by a draw in a televised event in Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall on Monday.
      Likewise, the order in which the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) countries will announce their points was also drawn. A record number of countries – 42 in all – will take part in this year’s contest. The draw was also Finland’s début as a Eurovision Song Contest host. The televised draw was sent to 20 EBU nations.
Pakarinen had hoped for a performance slot towards the end of the final. "But the number five slot is not too bad either. At least I don’t have to wait nervously for the duration of the show", Pakarinen told the STT news agency after the draw.
      In Helsinki the idea of so-called wildcards was also introduced for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest history. The wildcard idea was devised by the head of the EBU's Song Contests Unit Svante Stockselius of Sweden.
      The countries with a wildcard are allowed to choose when to perform. Five wildcards were alloted to the 28 countries taking part in the May 10th semi-final. Three wildcard spots were allotted to the 14 nations that have been directly selected for the final on May 12th.
The semi-final wildcards went to Austria, Andorra, Latvia, Slovenia, and Turkey, all of which chose to perform towards the end of the show. The wildcards winners for the final were Armenia, Ukraine, and Germany.
      In addition to the 14 pre-selected finalists, another ten nations with the most points from the semi-final will appear in the final.
      The Bulgarian entry will start the semi-final, and a number by Latvia will conclude the evening.
      The first performer of the final comes from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Finland is at number five.
Delegations from all the participating nations were also present in Helsinki to formally hand in their entries, complemented with music videos.
      Thus far only the Israeli song, with its somewhat political lyrics, has raised some discussion. When asked about this, Svante Stockselius’s reply was diplomatic: "No decisions have been made yet, nor will there be a separate meeting regarding this. The entries were only just handed in, and they all will be viewed one by one in the customary fashion. At the same time the appropriateness of the lyrics will be assessed."

  Eurovision Song Contest Helsinki 2007

Helsingin Sanomat

  13.3.2007 - TODAY
 Just under two months to Eurovision Song Contest: Running order drawn in Helsinki

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