Sweden, Ukraine, and other strong contenders Malta, along with the United Kingdom and Germany, advanced to Saturday’s final.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest has officially begun, with the first semi-final taking place on Tuesday night in Rotterdam.
Eurovision resumed in front of a crowd of 3,500 people. Picture credit: Soeren Stache/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
After being cancelled entirely in 2020, the competition has returned with a reduced crowd of 3,500 people in Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena.
In Tuesday’s semi-final, 16 countries competed for a spot in Saturday’s set-piece grand final, with Sweden, Ukraine, and big favourites Malta all making it through.
Lesley Roy of Ireland performed in the arena with vigour and whimsy. Andres is pictured putting.
Montaigne of Australia was eliminated from the competition after failing to impress Europe. Jess Gleeson is pictured.
Despite an energetic and whimsical performance by Lesley Roy, Ireland, the most decorated country in Eurovision history, did not make it through.
Australia, which participates due to its membership in the European Broadcasting Union, also failed to qualify, breaking the country’s previous record of 100 percent qualification.
Due to the difficulties flying the delegation into Europe during the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the country’s act, Montaigne, was pre-recorded in Australia.
Norway, Israel, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cyprus, and Lithuania were among the other acts to make the cut.
Norway’s Tix sang with a tennis-style headband on, wearing sunglasses while strapped to a pair of angel wings, and Russia’s Manizha breaking out of a comically oversized dress, into a red boiler suit, reminiscent of the We Can Do It! Second World War posters, in classic Eurovision fashion.
Meanwhile, San Marino, a tiny microstate in northern Italy, will add some star power to its Thursday night success with the inclusion of rapper Flo Rida.
The rapper flew out to Rotterdam in an unexpected move to join Senhit on stage in the second semi-final and perform Adrenalina on the Rotterdam stage.
Fans had previously called for the Low singer to travel to The Netherlands and perform on the song’s original version, and fans had urged him to do so.
All of the acts that advance to Saturday’s main event will be joined by The Netherlands, which is the automatic host, as well as the Big Five countries (those that contribute the most financially to the competition), the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
James Newman, a Brit Award-winning singer-songwriter, is representing the United Kingdom with the energetic dance track Embers, which he describes as a “banger.”
Chantal Janzen, a Dutch presenter, will host the competition, which will also feature previous contestants Edsilia Rombley, singer Jan Smit, and YouTube royalty Nikkie de Jager, best known as NikkieTutorials.