Those semi-finals are always bloodbaths. You can probably pick a semi-final winner, but ten get through so there are often surprises. Surprises in that a fancied song misses the cut, or something you don’t expect makes it.
Even with semi-finals, someone has to do badly. In 2006, Belarus were still finding their feet, and sent today’s birthday girl Паліна Смолава/Polina Smolova. Her country hadn’t had the easiest of runs in two previous attempts, but they could still be in with a chance. Remember, anyone can win. Sometimes. As it happened, Polina scored from three countries. Not enough to qualify, but enough to not finish last in her semi-final. Them’s the breaks. Polina may not have succeeded, but she laid the groundwork for what happened in 2007…
Polina is 41 today.
З днём нараджэння, Паліна!