Eurovision Milestone Set For Tonight

The Eurovision Song Contest reached a milestone last year when the 50th running of the Pan-European competition took place in Kiev, Ukraine. Tonight (May 18), the veteran song contest will reach anoth

The Eurovision Song Contest reached a milestone last year when the 50th running of the Pan-European competition took place in Kiev, Ukraine. Tonight (May 18), the veteran song contest will reach another.

Since the first Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in 1956, some 992 songs have fought for first place. That means the eighth tune to be performed at tonight's live contest in Athens will be the 1000th Eurovision song.

That honor falls to Ireland's representative, Brian Kennedy, who will perform his own composition, "Every Song Is a Cry for Love." It's appropriate that Ireland's entry is the 1000th song to compete in Eurovision, as Ireland has won the contest more times than any other country -- seven in all. The running order is selected by random draw, so it's the luck of the Irish that put them in eighth position.

This is the third year that the annual competition has held a semi-final. With 37 countries entered, there are too many songs to be performed in one three-hour telecast. The 10 highest-scoring countries from the previous year are pre-qualified for the final, to be broadcast on Saturday. The "big four" -- Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom -- are also pre-qualified, as they contribute the most to the budget of the TV show and the rest of Europe couldn't afford to stage the contest without funding from those four nations.

Here is the running order of tonight's semi-final, to be broadcast live at 7 p.m. GMT. The 10 countries with the highest number of votes phoned in by viewers will advance to the final.

1. "Without Your Love," Andre (Armenia)
2. "Let Me Cry," Mariana Popova (Bulgaria)
3. "Mr. Nobody," Anzej Dezan (Slovenia)
4. "Sense Tu," Jenny (Andorra)
5. "Mum," Polina Smolova (Belarus)
6. "Zjarr e Ftohte," Luiz Ejlli (Albania)
7. "Je T'Adore," Kate Ryan (Belgium)
8. "Every Song Is a Cry for Love," Brian Kennedy (Ireland)
9. "Why Angels Cry," Annet Artani (Cyprus)
10. "The 'Coco-Dance'," Severine Ferrer (Monaco)
11. "Ninanajna," Elena Risteska (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
12. "Follow My Heart," Ich Troje featuring Real McCoy (Poland)
13. "Never Let You Go," Dima Bilan (Russia)
14. "Superstar," Sibel Tuzun (Turkey)
15. "Show Me Your Love," Tina Karol (Ukraine)
16. "Hard Rock Hallelujah," Lordi (Finland)
17. "Amambanda," Treble (The Netherlands)
18. "We Are the Winners," LT United (Lithuania)
19. "Gonna Make You Dance," Nonstop (Portugal)
20. "Invincible," Carola (Sweden)
21. "Through My Window," Sandra (Estonia)
22. "Lejla," Hari Mata Hari (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
23. "Congratulations," Silvia Night (Iceland)