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Watch again: Contestants for Eurovision 2019 walk the orange carpet in opening ceremony

Watch again: Contestants for Eurovision 2019 walk the orange carpet in opening ceremony
REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Contestants representing 41 countries walked an orange carpet to inagurate the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Instead of the traditional red carpet, an orange carpet, matching the logo of the company sponsoring the festival, was rolled out at the Tel Aviv square, which houses Israel's Habima national theatre and the Israel Philharmonic.

The grand final of the 64th Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Saturday, 18 May in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the semi-finals held on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 May.

Of the 41 competing countries, the current favourite is the Netherlands, at odds of 2/1, with Duncan Laurence looking to bag the Dutch a fifth win with his song Arcade. The country last won in 1975. Second favourite this year is, according to odds, Russia.

Bulgaria and Ukraine will not participate in this year's contest for the first time since 2015 – Bulgaria for financial reasons, while Ukraine could not get the winner of a very controversial national selection competition to sign the contract, and their second and third choices refused to go to Tel Aviv.

There has been much controversy this year around the location, with various musical artists urging contestants to boycott the event over Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the violence there, and Israel retaliating with a PR campaign in response.

READ MORE: Eurovision 2019 preview: What are your country's chances?