Well well well. We have our final line up. All this and we’ve still only lost 13 songs! What a great semi final yesterday: it really showcased some of the stronger songs – Norway, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Israel. I’m so pleased to see these through, although was never in much doubt about their chances. A nervy moment for Israel in the last envelope but the cheering and shouting for them was incredible. Huge support for this song, which along with Norway and Sweden got the biggest reactions by far.
No real surprises: most people seemed to have 8 or 9 called correctly. My own single slip was Ireland instead of Poland, but I could have seen any of 15 songs making the cut. More soul searching for the Irish. The Maltese seemed the most despondent about their non-qualification. The Icelandic seemed to know she wasn’t good enough. The Portuguese knew they hadn’t got a hope in hell the moment she was chosen. The Swiss song was just too incongruent. But congratulations to the Czech Republic on their best ever result. By default. But still, take it where you can.
The line up for Saturday is complete with the running order now published. With so many of the big songs drawing first half it’s a brutal running order for some countries. France’s placing in second seems especially cruel, given the impact she’s had in rehearsals. I fear Israel and Slovenia are on too early (first and third respectively), and the UK could make an early nosedive coming fifth with big hitters still to come. Norway & Sweden battle it out in ninth and tenth. I think it’s quite nice placing for Cyprus, Australia and Belgium coming near the end of the first half in 11 – 13. The second half will have a different feel to it, and an opportunity could open up for one of the songs around 17th – 22nd. By the time we get to Russia in 25th, will there be any energy left in the audience? Will there be any memory left of the earlier songs? It’s a long wait for Italy in 27th, which I reckon has killed its chances as it’s just way too late in the night.
We pored over the running order in the EuroClub, which was quite jolly last night and thankfully cooler. Tonight I think we’re going to sample the scene here, and get a taste of the Viennese gay culture. I’m heading to the hall for the afternoon rehearsal, and will attempt a live blog from there if the wifi works. If not a little summary will follow.