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What a great second semi final! We now have all our finalists and a great line up for tomorrow night. We’re in the press centre for the last big 5 press conferences and the first rehearsal run through. A few words about last night: I predicted 8. Lithuania being first out of the envelopes took many by surprise, and I was also somewhat surprised to see Bosnia & Herzegovina qualify with what I thought was poor staging, but no surprises with the others. There’s a huge amount of disappointment for Joan not going through though there are many saying it was poor on TV. Biggest thrills for me, aside from the big-hitters we knew would get through, are Malta and Macedonia, both very lovely and engaging people. Biggest surprise for me was Slovenia, who I had as a top 10 for the final. Maybe that appliqué was just a bit too much after all?

It was a quiet EuroClub for us only arriving at 3am, though outstaying our welcome until 6am and into the bright sunlight for the journey home. Filipa form Portugal was in fine spirits, telling us her flight is so early on Sunday it’s possibly better they now won’t have to rush from the arena! I also had a lovely moment when the Romanian squeezebox player, who regular readers will know I have taken a bit of a shine to, stopped ME to chat! I have to admit to coming over a bit unnecessary!

So to tomorrow: looking good for Serbia and Ukraine with killer draws, and whilst we have a bit of a slow start it really picks up as the show goes on. I still think it’s between Sweden, Italy, Russia and Serbia with Italy’s draw not looking quite so favourable. It’s a great placing for Ireland too, and Ukraine could scoop up a lot of points and be in the final mix.

Energy levels are flagging today all over the press centre; the late nights are really catching up with everybody, but I expect the buzz to be back tomorrow. There’s another video blog from the EuroClub to come from last night but Rigi is still being so mysterious (and Estonian) we don’t know what he’s done with it.

Monty x