French, Irish singers on the rise at Eurovision

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DUESSELDORF, GERMANY (AP) - Europeans will ditch financial worries to rally behind their favorite performers in the continent’s annual Eurovision Song Contest.

Finalists from 25 countries will take the stage in Duesseldorf later Saturday, seeking to sing, dance and perform their way into the hearts of millions of viewers who cast votes by SMS or phone.

More than 120 million viewers are expected to tune in to see if Germany’s Lena Meyer-Landruth can defend her title against acts such as French tenor Amaury Vassili and Irish twins “Jedward,” both of whom are predicted to have a strong chances at a win.

The contest _ held annually since 1951 _ is known for over-the-top exuberance in costumes, lighting and set design.

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