After the first Eurovision semi-finals, artists from Armenia, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, San Marino, the Netherlands, Montenegro and Hungary will be going through to the final on May 10. But the artists representing Belgium, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Moldova and Portugal were knocked out of the competition.
Dilara Kazimova from Azerbaidjan, who will be singing ‘Start A Fire’, is confident saying: “I think that in the final I will do my best, more than today.”
Sergej Ćetković from Montenegro will perform ‘Moj Svijet’, was over the moon about advancing to the next round: “We didn’t get to the finals for the last five years, so it’s a small step for mankind, but it’s great for Montenegro!”
András Kállay-Saunders from Hungary’s song is called ‘Running’ and it is a style he approves of: “I have no problems with love songs, because I love singing about love, and I do think people have to hear the message that my song has to offer, and there are many kids who will be listening to my song.”
Russia will be represented by 17-year-old twins, the Tolmachevy Sisters, who will sing ‘Shine’. Maria Tolmachevy spoke for both of them: “We are very happy. We are very satisfied with our stage performance, we are so pleased and full of joy.”
The tiny enclave of San Marino also got through to the final. Valentina Monetta has represented them for the last two years, and this year will sing a ditty called ‘Maybe’.
Ukraine will be represented by Mariya Yaremchuck, performing ‘Tick-Tock’, who struck a nationalistic note: “I’m proud that I’m Ukrainian and everything I do here is for the Ukrainian people.”
Sweden will be represented by Sanna Nielsen performing ‘Undo’.
For Holland, the Common Linnets will perform ‘Calm After the Storm’. Their singer Ilse Delangeand was thrilled to get through the semi-finals, but also praised a rival: “I’m just so happy that next to one of my favourites Sweden, which is such a full on pop song with a killer chorus, but I love it that we, with such a pure and emotional song are also in the finals.”
Iceland is sending a punk rock band, Pollapönk, to Eurovision to perform ‘No Prejudice’.
The so-called Big five countries – Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain – as the major financial contributors to the competition automatically go through to the final, as does the host country, which this year is Denmark.