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Eurovision Song Contest: Australia through to final

By Neil Smith
Entertainment reporter

image copyrightReuters
image captionIsaiah Firebrace scored Australia a place in the final

Australia will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest final for the third year running after making it through the first semi-final in Kiev.

Isaiah Firebrace progressed despite failing to hit a high note during his performance of Don't Come Easy.

Poland, Sweden and hotly tipped Portugal also made it through along with six other countries.

But Montenegro's hair-twirling Slavko Kalezic exited the competition along with seven other acts.

  • Bluff your way through this year's Eurovision

The fates of the 18 countries involved were decided by a combination of votes from national juries and viewers.

Another 18 countries will take part in the second semi-final on Thursday ahead of the grand final on Saturday night.

image copyrightReuters
image captionGreece's Demy triumphed with This is Love
  • Armenia: Artsvik - Fly With Me
  • Australia: Isaiah - Don't Come Easy
  • Azerbaijan: Dihaj - Skeletons
  • Belgium: Blanche - City Lights
  • Cyprus: Hovig - Gravity
  • Greece: Demy - This Is Love
  • Moldova: Sunstroke Project - Hey, Mamma!
  • Portugal: Salvador Sobral - Amar Pelos Dois
  • Poland: Kasia Mos - Flashlight
  • Sweden: Robin Bengtsson - I Can't Go On
image copyrightEPA
image captionPortugal's Salvador Sobral got a warm reception from the audience

Isaiah's vocal hiccup occurred near the end of his performance of his swooning ballad, the third competing song to be heard on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old indigenous Australian was one of the youngest performers on an evening that featured the usual Eurovision mix of kitsch, spectacle and questionable fashion choices.

Azerbaijan's Dihaj was joined on stage by a man on a ladder wearing a horse's head, while Moldovan trio Sunstroke Project were supported by three female singers in wedding gowns.

One of the warmest receptions of the night went to Portugal's Salvador Sobral, whose arrival in Ukraine this month was delayed by health problems.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionSlavko Kalezic's ponytail wasn't enough to get Montenegro through
  • Albania: Lindita - World
  • Czech Republic: Martina Barta - My Turn
  • Finland: Norma John - Blackbird
  • Georgia: Tamara Gachechiladze - Keep the Faith
  • Iceland: Svala - Paper
  • Montenegro: Slavko Kalezic - Space
  • Slovenia: Omar Naber - On My Way
  • Latvia: Triana Park - Line

Among the unsuccessful semi-finalists was Montenegro's Slavko Kalezic, whose four-foot man-braid had made him a favourite with many Eurovision fans.

Slovenia's Omar Naber, who represented his country the last time the contest was held in Kiev in 2005, was also sent packing.

The UK's hopes this year rest on Welsh singer Lucie Jones, who will perform her ballad Never Give Up on You during Saturday's final.

As one of the so-called "big five", the UK get an automatic pass through to the final along with four other countries and host nation Ukraine.

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