Last night saw the first of two semi finals take place on the spectacular Eurovision stage in Copenhagen’s B & W Hallerne Arena. The show kicked off in style with a performance from last year’s winner Emmelie de Forrest as she sang her winning song ‘Only Teardrops’ accompanied by what has been dubbed ‘The Choir of Europe’ comprised of youtube clips of people performing her song from all over the world.
We then were introduced to our hosts for this year’s proceedings; Lisa Ronne, Pilou Asbaek and Nikolaj Koppel who welcomed Europe to Denmark and promised a great show. The competition was kicked off proper by Armenia’s Aram MP3 who at times sounded a bit flat. We were then treated to performances from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden. By this stage the performances became a bit dreary as it was ballad after ballad and only Iceland’s Pollaponk in slot number 5 could change the tempo.
Next up was Albania who completed a rendition of their song ‘One Night’s Anger’. Russia’s Tolmachevy Twins performed weirdly with their hair intertwined while on a giant see-saw. I felt that the girls gave a good solid performance. Azerbaijan were up next and brought us momentarily back to ballad mode before Ukraine’s Mariya took to the stage accompanied by a giant hamster wheel.
Next up three more dreary ballads from Belgium, Moldova and San Marino followed by a mood changing drum-fest from Portugal. The show finished up with the Common Linnets’ song ‘Calm Before the Storm’, Montengro’s Sergej and finally Andras Kallay Saunders with ‘Running’ for Hungary.
While the votes were being tallied and checked we were treated to a beautiful dance number from ‘The Ugly Duckling’ (based on Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson’s children’s story) and interpreted by Brent Sheridan.
Minutes after the performance and it was time for what we’d all been waiting for: the results. So which ten acts out of the sixteen made it through to saturday’s final?
Armenia Aram Mp3 Not Alone
Sweden Sanna Nielsen Undo
Iceland Polloponk No Prejudice
Russia Tolmachevy Sisters Shine
Azerbaijan Dilara Start a Fire
Ukraine Mariya Tick Tock
San Marino Valentina Monetta Maybe
The Netherlands The Common Linnets Calm Before the Storm
Montenegro Sergej Cetkovic Moj Svijet
Hungary Andras Kallay Saunders Running
Latvia Aarzemnieki Cake to Bake
Estonia Tanja Amazing
Albania Hersi One Night’s Anger
Belgium Axel Hirsoux Mother
Moldova Cristina Scarlat Wild Soul
Portugal Suzy Quero Ser Tua