Lesbian kiss, Greek crisis top Eurovision

2013-05-17 09:40
Malmo - A song inspired by the Greek debt crisis, a gay marriage anthem and a male opera singer on Thursday made it through to this weekend's Eurovision Song Contest final.

In the second semifinal, on Thursday, Finland's Lady Gaga flavoured number Marry Me by Krista Siegfrids, popular with the country's gay marriage campaigners, emerged as one of the winners.

That set the stage for the competition's first lesbian kiss on Saturday, which could prove controversial in eastern European countries where authorities in recent years have cracked down on gay rights.

Greek and Turkish newspapers have already reacted negatively towards Siegfrids' kissing one of her female dancers, Swedish media reported on Thursday.

Eurovision revellers could be forgiven for thinking Greece's Alcohol Is Free by Koza Mostra, featuring Agathon Iakovidis, merely describes their dream night in a Corfu beach bar: but the up-tempo song uses metaphors to describe the plight of the crisis-stricken country.

26 countries

Greece had initially said it wouldn't be able to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest this year, citing steep budget cuts at national public broadcaster ERT. A private broadcaster stepped in to finance the production of the country's national final.

Romania's It's My Life by Cezar ensured the camp music fest will feature one of its signature bizarre performances, after the opera disco song - performed in a vampire-like outfit - on Thursday also made it to the final.

The 26 countries competing in Saturday's final are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Ukraine and Britain.

Denmark's Only Teardrops by Emmelie De Forest is the bookmakers' favourite ahead.