Countdown to the final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest

Thirty-nine countries participated in this year's contest. Photo: Eurovision/EBU

The second of two semi-finals will take place today ahead of this year's Eurovision Song Contest final on Saturday.

  • The event will be broadcast live at 20:00BST on BBC Three and online here.

On Tuesday, ten countries including Russia, Ireland and Denmark made it through to the final in Malmö in Sweden.

They were:

The first ten finalists who made it through after the first semi-final. Credit: Dennis Stachel (EBU)

The voting process

Viewers and professional juries featuring six members in each country will have a 50 percent stake in the outcome.

In addition to the participating countries, the UK, Sweden and Italy voted in the first semi-final, with Spain, Germany and France joining in the second semi-final voting.

Semi-Final Two

The second semi-final will take place on Thursday and 17 countries will participate this time round.

The contenders include :

2011 winners Azerbaijan are pinning their hopes on Farid Mammadov who will be singing the romantic ballad "Hold Me".

  • Finland: Krista Siegfrids - Marry Me

Krista Siegfrids is representing Finland with "Marry Me", a song which she says is a protest against a decision by the country's government to vote against gay marriage legislation.

She told the Independent: "I don't think 'Marry Me' is political, it's about love and tolerance. But gay marriage is not allowed in Finland and that's wrong. I wanted to make a statement about that."

Organisers of the contest, have forbidden "lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature", but it seems this song has flown under their radar.

Will a song called "Alcohol is Free", get Greece through to the final?

  • Israel: Moran Mazor - Rak Bishvilo
  • Armenia: Dorians - Lonely Planet

Black Sabbath guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi wrote Armenia's entry "Lonely Planet".

A free pass through to the final for the UK?

Six countries will automatically go through to the Grand Final. The hosts Sweden, and the "Big Five" countries France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom

This year, Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler - who had a huge 80s hit with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - will represent the UK with "Believe in Me".

In March, Tyler told ITV News that her entry was written at the dinner table with a friend in Nashville.

She also said it was "very exciting" to be taking part in the contest.