Updated at 10.20pm
Teenage singer Michela Pace was the first singer to perform at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday evening, appearing unfazed by the occasion as she strutted energetically on the Tel Aviv stage.
The 18-year-old Gozitan put on an assured performance as she sang her track Chameleon, kicking off the evening's contest in style.
She will be hoping her performance sticks in viewers’ minds, as they will sit through 25 more performances before the votes start being tallied up.
Michela entered the final night in high spirits, having made it through Thursday’s semi-final in a nerve-wracking manner, as the last qualifying contestant to be called out.
“I never felt that good on stage before,” she told Times of Malta on Friday.
“Seeing all those people actually calmed my nerves. On that night, I felt very comfortable because I saw people having fun and singing along to the song,” she added.
Why did Michela perform first?
The running order is decided by contest organisers, who try and ensure there is a mix of tempos, genres and acts throughout the long show.
“It’s all about making a good TV show. You don’t want people to get bored,” producer Christer Björkman told Eurovision TV.
Statistically, winning entries tend to peform in the second half of the show – which does not bode well for Malta’s chances this year.
However, it is all about standing out, reckons Mr Björkman .
“What matters is that you manage to stand out from the performers before and after you. That you manage to make an impact in your three minutes on stage”.
How will the results unfold?
Michela and the other participants will be judged by both the voting public as well as panels of expert jurors, with the vote weighting split evenly, 50/50.
Each of the 26 competing countries, as well as the 15 countries eliminated in the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals, will have a five-member jury. Judges will watch the show via an internal broadcast over the Eurovision Network and will not be allowed to vote for the country they represent.
Jurors are instructed to judge contestants on four key criteria: the singer’s voice; performance; the song’s composition and originality; and their overall impression of the act.
What about televoting?
People voting from their homes will make up the other 50 per cent of the vote.
Once televoting is closed, data from both the public and the jurors is collated and verified. Supervisors in Germany, accompanied by an auditor, will keep an eye on the process.
Organisers estimate it will take 35 to 40 minutes after voting closes before the results can be verified and made public.