The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Israel tonight, with 26 international acts preparing to perform at Tel Aviv’s Expo venue.

Artists tipped to win the annual competition, known for its flamboyant outfits and quirky songs, include Dutch singer Duncan Laurence, Iceland’s fetish-punk group Hatari and Australia’s operatic pop star Kate Miller-Heidke.

The UK’s entry Michael Rice is seeking to become the first British Eurovision winner since 1997, although he is considered a rank outsider by bookmakers. The 21-year-old singer, whose song is titled “Bigger than Us”, has been given odds of just 100/1.

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Israel was chosen to host the contest after local singer Netta Barzilai won the 2018 title in Portugal with “Toy”, propelling her to international stardom.

How does the Eurovision voting system work?

Eurovision’s notoriously confusing douze points voting system was introduced in 1975 before being overhauled in 2016.

Public votes will make up 50 per cent of the total vote, with the other half determined by a professional jury in each participating country.

After voting has closed, a national spokesperson from each country will present the points of their jury. The UK’s spokesperson this year is former X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Rylan Clark-Neal.

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The public points from every country will then be combined and the ceremony’s hosts, Bar Refaeli and Erez Tal, will announce the final results.

The country with the highest number of votes will win Eurovision 2019 and get the opportunity to host the competition next year.

How can I vote in Eurovision 2019?

Fans can vote over the phone or via the Eurovision app, which is available on iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Each person can vote up to 20 times but voters will be unable to select their own country’s entry. UK-based viewers cannot vote by text.

The BBC’s Eurovision website includes a detailed guide on how to vote by phone.

Additional reporting by agencies

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