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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Swiss make shock Eurovision exit
Switzerland's DJ Bobo staged a mini rock opera

DJ Bobo from Switzerland, one of the favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest, has failed to qualify for Saturday's final in Helsinki.

His song Vampires Are Alive was knocked out of Thursday's semi-final, while competition newcomers Serbia and Georgia were among the 10 qualifiers.

Bulgaria and Belarus have also reached the main event for the first time.

FYR Macedonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Latvia, Turkey, Moldova will also join 14 countries already in the final.

The top 10 acts from last year's contest in Athens automatically qualify for this year's final.

They are joined by the UK, Germany, France and Spain - the four biggest financial contributors to the annual contest.

Bookies' favourite

The final 24 will compete in Helsinki's Hartwall Arena on Saturday, with some 100 milion viewers across Europe expected to tune into the live broadcast.

Most bookmakers currently have Ukraine as favourites to win, followed by Serbia, Belarus and Sweden.

However, a recent panel by the BBC News website favoured the German entry, performed by Roger Cicero.

Last year the contest was won by Finnish monster rock group Lordi with their song Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Ireland is the most successful nation since the competition began in 1956, with seven wins.

France, Luxembourg and the UK have each won five times.


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