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Motorcycles These Kid-Powered Balance Bikes Are Essential Summertime Fun

22:36  18 may  2021
22:36  18 may  2021 Source:   bestproducts.com

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Lithuanian pop-rock band The Roop gets the Eurovision Song Contest party started Tuesday night with the fittingly titled song “Discoteque" and its opening lines: “OK, I feel the rhythm. Something’s going on here.”

Geert van den Berg, right, queues to attend the show in a purple dress and white wig accessorized with a red feather with his partner Roberto, left, ahead of the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The competition featuring 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the global pandemic began and comes as the continent begins to tentatively ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A crowd of 3,500, tested ahead of time, will be allowed into the Ahoy arena. The number represents a fraction of its capacity to watch the performances live. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Geert van den Berg, right, queues to attend the show in a purple dress and white wig accessorized with a red feather with his partner Roberto, left, ahead of the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The competition featuring 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the global pandemic began and comes as the continent begins to tentatively ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A crowd of 3,500, tested ahead of time, will be allowed into the Ahoy arena. The number represents a fraction of its capacity to watch the performances live. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

After missing a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the immensely popular contest opens in the Netherlands with the first semifinal, featuring 16 acts vying for 10 places up for grabs in Saturday's grand final.

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A woman wearing a garment with a TV test card pattern shows her electronic ticket to to hostess as she queues for admission to the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 18, 2021.The competition featuring 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the global pandemic began and comes as the continent begins to tentatively ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A crowd of 3,500, tested ahead of time, will be allowed into the Ahoy arena. The number represents a fraction of its capacity to watch the performances live. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press A woman wearing a garment with a TV test card pattern shows her electronic ticket to to hostess as she queues for admission to the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 18, 2021.The competition featuring 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the global pandemic began and comes as the continent begins to tentatively ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A crowd of 3,500, tested ahead of time, will be allowed into the Ahoy arena. The number represents a fraction of its capacity to watch the performances live. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The competition, which this year will spotlight contestants performing 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel, is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the pandemic began. It is taking place as the continent begins to tentatively emerge from lockdowns and infection-control restrictions.

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A man wearing the Australian flag talks to police officers ahead of the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 18, 2021.The competition featuring 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the global pandemic began and comes as the continent begins to tentatively ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A crowd of 3,500, tested ahead of time, will be allowed into the Ahoy arena. The number represents a fraction of its capacity to watch the performances live. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press A man wearing the Australian flag talks to police officers ahead of the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, May 18, 2021.The competition featuring 39 national songs from nations across Europe as well as Australia and Israel is one of the largest events staged in Europe since the global pandemic began and comes as the continent begins to tentatively ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A crowd of 3,500, tested ahead of time, will be allowed into the Ahoy arena. The number represents a fraction of its capacity to watch the performances live. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

A crowd of 3,500 — tested for the virus ahead of time — was allowed into Rotterdam's Ahoy arena to watch the performances live. The number represents a fraction of arena's capacity.

Some fans waiting to get in waved Dutch national flags. Others dressed up for the show known for its popularity among the LGBTQ community.

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Geert van den Berg was attending in a purple dress and white wig accessorized with a red feather. His partner, Roberto, wore a short skirt made up of the flags of the participating nations.

“Eurovision is very important for me. We, my partner and me,...this is the 10th time we are going to Eurovision," he said. “We like it so much because all countries are together. It’s always a party, it’s always fun.”

Musical group The Roop from Lithuania perform during rehearsals at the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Musical group The Roop from Lithuania perform during rehearsals at the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

For Saturday's final, a total of 20 winners from the semifinals on Tuesday and Thursday will join contestants from the so-called big five of Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, along with the representative of host nation the Netherlands.

Australia's act, Montaigne, is the only performer not attending the event in Rotterdam because of coronavirus restrictions. Instead, she is participating in the semifinal with a recorded live performance.

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Last on stage Tuesday is one of the bookmakers' favorites for the title, 18-year-old Maltese singer Destiny. Other acts showing strongly in the bookies' odds were Italian rock band Maneskin and French singer Barbara Pravi. They enter the musical fray in Saturday night's final.

Musical group The Roop from Lithuania pose for photographers upon arrival at the Turquoise Carpet event of the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Musical group The Roop from Lithuania pose for photographers upon arrival at the Turquoise Carpet event of the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

At the other end of the age scale from Destiny is veteran Belgian band Hooverphonic, featuring the oldest performer at this year's event, 61-year-old Raymond Geerts.

Despite a tight regime of testing, hygiene and social distancing, organizers didn't manage to completely keep COVID-19 out. A member of Poland's delegation and one from the Iceland team tested positive in recent days.

Delegations from Malta and Romania were staying in the same hotel, and all underwent precautionary testing that came back negative, allowing them to take part in Tuesday's semifinal.

Musical group The Roop from Lithuania perform during rehearsals at the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) © Provided by Associated Press Musical group The Roop from Lithuania perform during rehearsals at the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

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