So - here we are. After months of preparation, the annual kitsch-fest of sequins, divas and shrill voices (and that's just the fans) has kicked off in Baku, the oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan. Below are my tips for the top in this Saturday's final.
The first Eurovision semi-final kicks off on May 22. To help you decide which country deserves your televote, I'm previewing some of this year's most talked-about contestants. Today's acts include Nina Zilli--Italy's answer to Amy Winehouse--and Mandinga--a Cuban-Romanian funk group that mixes bag pipes with leather hot pants with electronic accordions.