'To Sir Terry': Graham Norton urges viewers to drink to the 'legendary voice of Eurovision' as the kitsch fest starts with acts including a Japanese schoolgirl (from Germany), a busty pregnant Maltese Mariah Carey lookalike and a tin foil covered messiah
- Graham made a sweet tribute to Sir Terry as he said it was a 'bittersweet' moment and 'gave thanks' to the legend
- Germany's Jamie-Lee Kriewitz dressed as a Japanese schoolgirl as pregnant Maltese Ira Losco wowed fans
- Croatia's Nina Kraljic looked like a modern-day messiah as she performed in a bonkers tin-foil covered dress
- Russia is tipped to win with You Are The Only One but Australia hopes their power ballad will steal the crown
Commentator Graham Norton made a sweet tribute to the late Sir Terry Wogan at the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden today.
In a touching speech before song nine, he said it was a 'bittersweet' night for him as he urged British viewers to 'raise a cup a mug, a glass' to give thanks to the legendary broadcaster who died in January this year.
Meanwhile the voting has begun, after bonkers and kitsch performances from Germany's Jamie-Lee Kriewitz as a Japanese schoolgirl, Croatia's Nina Kraljic in a tin-foil covered dress and a captivating show from Malta's pregnant Marah Carey lookalike Ira Losco at host country Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena.
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Nina Kraljic representing Croatia with the song Lighthouse performs in a dramatic white feathered strapless gown
Ira Losco wore a plunging bedazzled gown as she represented Malta with the song Walk On Water
The 32-year-old opera singer turned jazz star Jamala representing Ukraine sings 1944 in a visibly emotional performance
Italy's Francesca Michielin performs the song No Degree Of Separation against an other-worldly setting that left viewers in awe at the Eurovision Song Contest
She belted out the tune against a backdrop that resembled an enchanted garden with suspended balloons and flowers behind her
The 18-year-old singer Jamie Lee wore striped thigh-high socks and candy bracelets as she crooned against an eerie full moon backdrop
All that glitters: Samra of Azerbaijan rocks an embellished gold catsuit as she performs her song 'Miracle' at the grand final show
The 21-year-old grinned as she put on an energetic show surrounded by backing dancers in metallic skintight costumes
Graham Norton said: 'Tonight Eurovision is a bittersweet one for many of us, because of course it is the first contest since the death of Sir Terry Wogan.
'Eight years ago when I was lucky enough to get this job of commentating, Sir Terry very kindly, graciously phoned me and the only bit of advice he gave me was, 'don't have a drink before song nine.' Now, this is song nine…
'So whilst the crowd here cheer on their home boy, I would urge you back in the UK at home to raise a cup a mug, a glass, whatever you have in front of you and give thanks for the man who was, and always will be the voice of Eurovision. Sir Terry this is song nine.'
Belgium's Laura Tesoro brought a dash of silver sparkle to Stockholm on Saturday as she kicked off the contest, the continent's annual music extravaganza.
Poli Genova wore a futuristic black and white ensemble as she represented Bulgaria with the song If Love Was A Crime
Hands in the air! The 29-year-old singer put on a fierce show as she entertained the crowds and belted out her tune
Joe and Jake representing United Kingdom put on a respectable performance with the song You're Not Alone
Abs appeal: Freddie, of Hungary, reveals a little more than intended as he lifts up his shirt while performing the song Pioneer
The upbeat performance of 'What's the Pressure' by 19-year-old Tesoro, who bounced on stage in a shiny silver jacket with matching shorts, was followed by the Czech Republic's first-ever appearance in the final with Gabriela Guncikova performing the emotional ballad 'I Stand'.
Poli Genova wore a futuristic black and white ensemble as she represented Bulgaria with the jaunty pop song If Love Was A Crime.
Douwe Bob for the Netherlands failed to impress with a low-key guitar number of the song Slow Down, while Azerbaijan's Samra donned an embellished nude catsuit as she crooned her song Miracle.
Douwe Bob for the Netherlands failed to impress with a low-key guitar number of the song Slow Down
Jamie-Lee Kriewitz representing Germany performs the song Ghost and took inspiration from Japan's Anime culture with her kooky blue dress and headgear
Poland's Michal Szpak performs the song Color Of Your Life and wows the crowd in a red military inspired blazer
Italy - the first of the 'big five' - the countries that make the biggest financial contribution to Eurovision - performed the song No Degree of Separation.
Brunette singer Francesca Michielin belted out the tune against a backdrop that resembled an enchanted garden with suspended balloons and flowers behind her. She finished the performance with the words 'We are precious! Grazie.'
An appearance from US pop star Justin Timberlake made this year's anniversary edition of the love-it-or-hate-it kitsch fest set to be the most-watched in the show's history.
Characterised by critics as a potpourri of bizarre performance antics, special effects and cheese, the contest is being hosted by Swedish public television for the second time in four years.
Frans, who is just 17, representing Sweden, has a great reception with his sweetly understated song If I Were Sorry
Hot favourite Dami Im wore a one-shoulder white dress as she represented Australia performing with the song Sound of Silence
The favourite to win Sergey Lazarev representing Russia performs in a dramatic performance full of shadows and feathered silhouettes
Feeling good? Hosts Mans Zelmerlow and Petra Mede react as they arrive for the Eurovision Song Contest final
Germany's Jamie-Lee performed her song Ghost while wearing a blue minidress with multi-coloured candy bracelets and a bizarre Japanese anime-inspired dress.
Russia is hotly tipped to win Eurovison in today's final but Australia is hoping a power ballad and spectacular light show might just help them steal the crown.
Despite the distance from home, Australia's flag was among the most commonly waved outside the stadium.
But the betting odds favour Russian former child star Sergey Lazarev, whose breezy Europop number You Are The Only One shares some elements with last year's winner, Mans Zelmerlow.
29-year-old singer Hovi Star representing Israel puts on an intense performance with the song Made of Stars
Amir representing France performs with the song J'ai cherche during the Eurovision Song Contest final
Russia started competing in the contest in 1994 and won in 2008. Australia is attending for the second time at the invitation of the organisers.
Pop duo Joe and Jake invited viewers to be part of the staging for their Eurovision Song Contest performance in Sweden via selfies.
Joe Woolford and Jake Shakeshaft, represented the United Kingdom with their track You're Not Alone.
Graham Norton gave the seal of approval for their performance, and noted afterwards: 'Heads held high, well done boys. Whatever happens tonight they can be very proud of their performance tonight.'
Jostling with Australia's Dami Im's performance Sound of Silence - a James Bond theme-song style ballad - is hot favourite Ukraine's song about war.
Fans from England arrive in ful Union Jack gear at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm
Fans Andreas and Thorsten from Germany pose in a fetching pink onesie and a futuristic silver space suit
Pucker up! Two female fans from Sweden shared a kiss as they showed their support for the song contest's host country
Singer Jamala will belt out a lament entitled '1944' featuring the harrowing words: 'When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say, 'we're not guilty, not guilty'.'
The 32-year-old opera singer turned Ukranian jazz star's lyrics refer to the tragedy that befell her great-grandmother near the end of World War II, when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin deported 240,000 Tatars - almost the entire community - to barren Central Asia and other far-flung lands.
The song's status as one of the favourites along with the Russian entry brings unavoidable political and diplomatic undertones to the competition between two nations whose relations have been effectively frozen for two years.
Bit of all-white: Enthusiastic supporters from Spain wearing silver platforms embrace a British fan emblazoned with Union Jacks
Patriotic! British supporters beamed as they posed in a flurry of Union Jack emblazoned top hats and shirts
Packed-out stadium: Members of the audience warm up for the Grand Final of the 61st annual Eurovision Song Contest
The svelte brunette said that she wanted to make her song 'about my great-grandmother Nazalkhan and thousands of Crimean Tatars who never had a chance to return to Crimea again.'
Croatia's entry features a giant dress and Germany's offering takes inspiration from Japan's anime culture.
Host Stockholm has flags flying all over the city.
While pedestrians wait to cross the streets, traffic lights play Sweden's 2012 winner 'Euphoria' by Loreen and last year's champion Mans Zelmerlow's 'Heroes'.
Betting odds put host Sweden's Frans at number four and France's Amir, who sings 'J'ai cherchÃ©' in English and French, at number five.
Frans, a 17-year-old who still attends high school, sings 'If I Were Sorry', about a break-up.
Amir was born in France to a Tunisian father and a Moroccan-Spanish mother.
Optimistic! Fans from Sweden wore horned helmets and bore the cheeky sign '12 points' as they grinned at the camera
Suits you! A fan from the Netherlands rocked a bold orange suit (left) as another spectator went technicolour with his graphic two-piece
A preliminary count of votes by representatives for fans and press put Russia's Lazarev first, followed by France and Australia.
Fans and press put Italy's Francesca Michielin's flowery performance number five, despite odds suggesting a mid-table finish.
The show is being broadcast to an estimated 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond.
The competition among European nations and, oddly, Australia, will take place in Stockholm's Globe arena.
Russia, Australia, Ukraine, France and host nation Sweden are the bookmakers' favorites among the 26 countries competing for the title, which comes with the obligation to host the competition next year.
Those rules are a bit different for Australia, which if it wins would co-host next year's show somewhere in Europe.
Fans dressed as ABBA arrives at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final
Hair today, gone tomorrow: One gentleman sported some unsightly pigtails as he strode confidently into the arena
Sergey Lazarev, a former child star with a hipster quiff who has spoken out against his country's climate of homophobia, has an unexpected sideline making cakes for dogs.
Lazarev came to fame at the age of 12 as a squeaky-voiced pre-teen with a group called Neposedy (Scamps) before going on to form boyband Smash!!
Offstage, he runs an online bakery making savoury cakes for dogs - called Poodle-Strudel.
The 33-year-old singer has been chasing his Eurovision dream since 2008, when he lost in the national heat to rival teen idol Dima Bilan - who went on to win the contest.
Enthusiastic British supporters rocking Union Jack emblazoned top hats and blazers jostled with German fans in pink onesies and Spanish spectators in teetering, vertiginous silver platforms.
Two blonde female fans from Sweden shared a kiss for the camera as others beamed and waved their flags in a show of patriotism.
Fans from the Netherlands arrive dressed with bicycles and orange tracksuit bottoms and mirrored sunglasses
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