The wait is finally over and the first Eurovision semi-final competition has taken place. 18 countries competed for the coveted 10 spots that will continue the competition in the grand finale.
The entire show ran a little over two hours. After all 18 countries performed, there was a 15-minute voting period. Only the 18 countries represented, plus three of the predetermined finalist countries, could vote. Votes are phoned or texted in, and you cannot vote for your own country. During the voting, viewers were entertained by an Azerbaijan folk dance and music troupe. At the end of 15 minutes, voting ended and the results were announced live. Why isn’t American Idol like this? It’s so much better! And, yes, I do mean the Azerbaijan folk troupe. So much better than watching Ryan Seacrest blather on and on.
Here are the results. This is the order in which they were announced, but this doesn’t reflect the number of votes, which will remain unknown until the finals. Special thanks to Markku, again, for keeping me in the know.
All three semi-finalists who were on my top 10 list made it through: Iceland, Denmark and Cyprus. I have to say, I was really impressed by the performances of Hungary and Romania and am glad they made it into the finals. Check ’em out:
Mandinga, representing Romania with the song, Zaleilah
She was having technical difficulties, but continued like a pro. This was a catchy, infectious number that I really enjoyed.
Compact Disco, representing Hungary with the song, Sound Of Our Hearts
I liked this so much better than their original video. Great performance, with lots of passion and power given to the lyrics.
My favorite performance of the evening, though was Iceland.
Greta Salóme & Jónsi, representing Iceland with the song, Never Forget
What a great performance. So dramatic and beautiful. Greta and Jonsi have much better chemistry here than their rehearsal video. I think this is a contender. If they can keep this up in the finals, I think they have a strong chance of winning.
Two more things to add. It turns out that rotating thing in the Russian Babushki’s original video is an oven. The grannies were “baking” what looks like cookies. Dang, they are adorable! And speaking of adorable, I have to admit that the Jedward twins were mighty cute when they celebrated winning the tenth spot by turning cartwheels down the aisles.
The second semi-finals will be streamed live on Eurovision.tv on May 24, 21:00 CET (Central Europe Time). That’s 1:00 p.m. in Colorado. You can also watch a repeat performance of the first semi-finals.