The qualifiers from Semi Final One are as follows:
Nine of my 10 predicted qualifiers got through – Estonia failed to qualify. Shame. That was my absolute favourite of the night.
Finland turned out to be just as I feared it would be: shouty and challenging vocals. Bosnia and Herzegovina looked cheap and ponderous, and my theory that the creepiness of San Marino might actually make it an unexpected qualifier turned out to be wrong too. In short the voters and the juries appeared to wheedle out the crap in the first semi-final (with the exception of Estonia).
I think Azerbaijan is the weakest of the bunch – the vocals weren’t, to my mind, totally secure. Russia confuses me visually. What I’m fascinated by is getting a sense of how much my issues with the presentation and the song will be reflected in the voting by the mainstream audiences on Saturday night. I fear they won’t and they’ll go on their instinct and vote Russia.
There was a rather beautiful and incredibly moving choreographed number as part of the interval act which was the most compelling piece of entertainment of the entire night. The dance sequence reflected the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.