Well first up Serbia. Neither of us saw it coming - but in the end we were very happy for them to pass to the final on Saturday - scooping up the Balkan votes on 12th May perhaps? Well done to them...
I was a little emotional for Moldova, having followed them from the National final until their arrival in Lisbon and backing them for a top 10 place - I now feel they could go one better and place in the top 5. They would be overjoyed simply to qualify - so this is great for them.
Hungary, again, with it being my favourite song/performance in the whole show, I was totally OTT when they made it through - well done to the AWS, they also announced at th press conference that they are booked for a big metal festival in Berlin later this year. Funnily enough I think they were more excited about this
Ukraine. Possible winner of the televote in this semi, kinda deserved on this performance, even though I am not a huge fan of the song. Why do Ukraine always bring it with their staging?
Sweden. With such a weak song this year I was wondering if they would fail to make it to the final this time - that said he worked the camera like magic and turned it around on the night
Australia. Bad staging, ok vocal, but still they made it. This, apart from Mother Russia, was the big "shock" from last night - I have a feeling they just scraped in in 9th or 10th place
Norway. Again hate this song, such a load of nothing - but he performed the pants of it. And now, despite what the bookies say, he's in a great position to scoop up Eastern Block votes - along with Moldova and Ukraine
Denmark. Well performed, dark and gothic, worked for them. A great bunch of guys and was happy for them to pass - can see this doing a top 10 in the end
Slovenia. Big shock for me. Just do not get this at all. Despite what colleagues on the team say. It really does nothing for me - but it must come across very very well on stage
The Netherlands - Dad Rock did good in the end. I'm sure it was Waylon's eyes that sold this to the TV viewing public
And to all the other participants - you did your countries proud, especially Romania, Montenegro, San Marino and Georgia. I am sure you were all bubbling under the top 10 and did not miss out by that much....
Footnote. Mother Russia. Gone. Probably deserved that they went home. Do we think they will withdraw now? A quick scan of online Russian media today reveals next to nothing of the mood back in Moscow - but who know's - watch this space I guess....
The following ten countries have qualified for the Grand Final (in order of announcement):
Serbia: Nova Deca by Sanja Ilić & Balkanika
Moldova: My Lucky Day by DoReDoS
Hungary: Viszlát Nyár by AWS
Ukraine: Under The Ladder by MELOVIN
Sweden: Dance You Off by Benjamin Ingrosso
Australia: We Got Love by Jessica Mauboy
Norway: That's How You Write A Song by Alexander Rybak
Denmark: Higher Ground by Rasmussen
Slovenia: Hvala, ne! by Lea Sirk
The Netherlands: Outlaw In 'Em by Waylon
Less than 1,5 hours left - here are my 10 qualifiers in random order:
I find this semi so much harder to predict though, not surprised at all if I will get just half of them right now..
First at all - why there are only four hostes and will the number grow to eight for the final?
To be continued on that...
And now back to the important stuff:
As I've missed a lot rehearsals, I'm gonna watch tonight as if I've just switched my TV on without knowing what is going on. I totaly agree with Desirée. Fairytale reloaded and Oslo might come back as Eurovision host.
Oh, those masks are scary. Put your kids away from television if you don't want to get a sleepless night. And again, I'm totaly agree with Desirée. "Goodbye" is a song which could work for Eurovision but the performans kills it. Shame.
Wow. Great, unusual, but with a catchy melodie. Pop meets ethno. Strong voices. I'm afraid it still too unusual for the average national audience, but I really would like to see Albert Einstein with his panpipe in the final again.
04 San Marino
Well. Don't think, it is going through the semi. At least both ladies AND the robots are enjoying themselves on stage, don't they?
Again - agree with Desirée. A solid show, charismatic artist with a good voice and a strong message (too much make up for a viking though ;) ). My colleague was singing along and the press center applauded.
There are so many questions on that perfomance I won't never get answered. Why the montain, why the dancer, why an outfit from the grandmom's wardrobe? I was so distracted, I couldn't concentrate on the vocals or the song, which is a shame, as they are quite good. Still, the audience liked it. C'mon, Julia, you can do the Final.
Balcan beat meets Estrada and I must confessed, my slavic soul looooooves it. The performance is maybe a little bit over the top for my taste, but hey, it's Eurovision where sky is the limit. The vocals were fine, dear Desirée :)
08 The Netherlands
Sometimes less is more and that definitely the case of Waylon's performance or rather the performance of his stage entourage. Those break dancers will break your neck in the Semi, hon. However, it is still a cool radio song that I've already added to my spotify playlist. Without the dancers.
A very strong vocal performance, but the dancing seems to be a tribute to "Puppet on a String" and, unfortunately, the camera shots don't flatter Jessica.
One of my favorites this year. The vocal energy rises with every moment. But I'm afraid the music is too sophisticated and the show too classical for the Final.
Agree with Desirée: quite flat vocals even with some noticeable breaks, but a wide voice range isn't required for dance pop. Cool staging, catchy tune, could work.
Again, less is more. Strange cheesy visuals which distract from the song but, unfortunately, not in a good way. She seems to relax and gain confindence during the performance, but will it help?
Can't write - need to handbang now. Finally something authentical came up on the Eurovision horizont. This entry shows that the contest IS open for all genres beyond the limited frames of commercial music. I would love to see them at the Final and I'm sure, I will.
Good vocal performance, but an average performance.
If Justin Timberlake and Justin Biber would merge together, Benjamin Ingrosso will be the result. Absolutely love it. A radio hit, sung by a very very very charismatic artist and supported with a stunning but still very simple stage set. Less is more, as I said.
Smooth, powerful voice, but the entry is too traditional. A modern staging, performance and costumes could have bring it through the Semi, but I'm afraid, he's gonna stuck here.
First up we were delighted with Ireland making it to the final - first time for four years and in our opinion it was totally deserved - well done to the whole team involved and especially Ryan for making Ireland proud
Really the show was great, no technical mishaps that we noticed, so again congratulations to the EBU team for another successful live Eurovision transmission and bringing the music to peoples home's to take part in the longest running and possibly the most popular event on television
So the qualifiers;
Austria. One that I missed but Daniel got. Was happy for them in the end, it seemed to be a great performance and effectively staged. Deserved
Estonia. Both of us saw this. I'm not a fan of the song at all. Verdict probably deserved
Cyprus. Again both of us saw this, and calling her the Eurovision Beyonce maybe a bit premature but possibly the winner of the televote. Verdict Deserved
Lithuania. Daniel missed this, but I saw it from the very beginning of the whole event. Verdict, deserved, but some may disagree
Israel. Again we both got this one, again this is probably deserved, but again the song is starting to grate a little now.
Czech Republic. Fantastic from Mikolas - very very deserved
Bulgaria. This is such a grower of a song, so we both out it through but not sure if it was deserved or not in the end.
Albania. I got this, Daniel missed it. From what we heard yesterday in the media room, the delegation were stressed and a little unhappy - but in the end it all came good. Very deserved
Finland. Well she really pulled it out of the bag at the last minute - faultless performance and very much deserved int he end
Ireland. Kinda made our Eurovision week - perfect!
And shocks for us, both Azerbaijan and Armenia missing out. Thought at least one of them would go through. Sad a little for Croatia, and Greece - both of whom we count as delegations that are friends as well as co-workers. Iceland - again we were sad - but really this is because of Ari himself and not the song. Belgium, she did a great job but in the end the song was a little too clever for Eurovision. Belarus - the staging killed this, really poor showing from the delegation that usually gives us such a great show. Macedonia - even though it possibly one of my favourite songs, it did not translate very well on the live stage - so BOO!
And finally don't forget the Swiss. Great performance and they can be really proud of themselves - I think they just missed out last night