Watched by an audience of 38,000 in the Düsseldorf Arena and more than 120 million TV viewers in front of their TV sets in over 45 countries, the Final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will be held tonight, starting at 21:00 CET.
25 countries will be represented in tonight's Final, 20 of which have qualified in one of the Semi-Finals, held on May 10th and 12th, and 5 being directly qualified for the show: the host country, Germany, as well as the rest of the so-called "Big Five", The United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy.
Just like last year, the Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted by a trio: Stefan Raab, Anke Engelke and Judith Rakers will guide you through the show.
You will be able to cast your vote right from the beginning of the show by SMS or phone in all 43 participating countries. The televote will account for 50% of each national vote, with the remaining 50% being determined by 5-member expert juries in each participating country. The combined vote of each nation will be transformed to the Eurovision scheme, with 12 points to the first placed entry, 10 to the second placed one, and then from 8 down to 1 point from the 3rd to the 10th place, and then they will be announced live on air by spokespersons from each country.
The national expert jurys consist only of music experts and professional artists.
The order in which the countries will announce their votes tonight changed from last year. The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest commented on it: "This year we are doing the voting sequence a little differently. For the viewers at home it will look the same, but we are actually calculating, how, based on the juries votes given the day before the Final. We are calculating the order of the spokespersons and this is done to create more suspense."
Among the spokespersons are some familiar faces and real stars: Dima Bilan, who won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, will announce the Russian points, while Ruslana, who was the winner in 2004, will announce the points from Ukraine. Other known names in the line-up for the spokespersons are Mandy Huydts (part of the Dutch group Frizzle Sizzle who participated in 1986), Safura (last year's Azerbaijani entry), Sofia Nizharadze (the Georgian entry from last year), Geta Burlacu (Moldova's singer in 2008) and Italian superstar Raffaella Carrà.
Watch the Grand Final live online on Eurovision.tv's own ESCTV player! Be sure to try out its new feature Live Pause And Rewind (DVR), too. It allows you to enjoy parts of the show again by rewinding the webcast to any desired position within 30 minutes and go on watching the live webstream whenever the part you wanted to see again is over. Of course, the whole Grand Final will be available on-demand when it has finished.
Have fun tonight, and don't forget to vote!