A second batch of competitors moved forward in the Eurovision song contest in Belgrade on Thursday night, with a set of contestants aged 16 to 75 now set to join the other finalists taking the stage on Saturday.


Street performers known as Kings of the Street and a rapping senior who goes by the moniker 75 Cents are representing Croatia at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. ((Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty))

Swedish contestant Charlotte Perrelli, the 1999 Eurovision winner, delighted the audience with her slick performance of a song titled Hero. Ukraine's Ani Lorak also proved a crowd favourite with her energetic performance of the dance-inspired number Shady Lady.

Albania's landmark contestant Olta Boka made the cut with the power ballad Zemren E Lame Peng (Hearts Trapped in Time). Just 16 years old, the mature-sounding Boka is the youngest contestant participating this year, as well as the youngest ever to represent Albania in the annual singing competition.

On the other end of the spectrum is Croatia's entry, Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents, who will return to perform their song Romanca. Their performance combines the music of street band Kraljevi Ulice (Kings of the Street) and rapping by Ladislav Demeterfi Laci, a 75-year-old who goes by the stage name 75 Cents.

Other countries that qualified in the second semi-final on Thursday were Denmark, Georgia, Iceland, Latvia, Portugal and Turkey.

These performers will join others who qualified earlier this week, as well as standard entries from France, the U.K., Germany, Spain and Serbia — which is hosting this year after its contestant won in 2007.

Eurovision will host performances by the 25 finalists and crown its 53rd winner on Saturday.