After ac culmination of several months of national finals, and inernal slections the Eurovision Song Contest has finally begun. Last night the first semi final took place at the International Exhibit Centre in Kyiv. The spectacular show hosted by the trip Oleksandr Skichko, Voldymir Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko was a real feast to the eyes and years.
The show began at 21:00 CET with Ukraninan women dresssed in tradtional costume, highlighting this years Slogan, "Celebrate Diversity". They were followed by Monatik who is a famous local Ukraninan singer with his song called "spining". Shortly after it was declared "Let the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 begin". Jamala was also the head line act to who reprised her winning entry as the interval act.
All 18 songs performed, the top ten will join the top ten from semi final 2 on Thursday, along with the Big 5 consisting of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany , Italy and last years winner Ukraine. Although the actual breakdown of jury and tele-votes wont be broken down until after the Grand Final this Saturday, here at Eurovoxx we will look at the statistics of those who qualified, and those who did not.
1) Moldova: "Hey Mamma" by Sunset Project
This is the second time that the boys from the SunSet Project have entrered the contest, it is also the second time they have qualified. Since their first appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, they have participated 13 times, and reached 9 finals. Their best result was that same year of 6th position, and worst was in 2014 when they came last in the semi finals. Currently with the bookies they stand 100/1 to win.
2) Azerbaijan: "Skeletons" by Dihaj
This year marks Azerbaijan's tenth anniversary at the contest, and will last nights progression their tenth final. Dihaj has continued their 100% success qualification record. Russia and Australia are the only other countries to do this. This is no surprise really. Their best result was first in 2011, and worst result was 22nd in 2014. With the bookies Azerbaijan have current odds of 150/1.
3) Greece: "This is Love" by Demmy
Greece have made many appearances at the Eurovision Song Contest. This marks their 38th appearance. Doing well they have a 90% success rate, and have appeared in 37 finals. Too date their best result was in 2005 in Kyiv, when Helena Paparizou won, and their worst was last year in 2016 when they came 16th in their semi final heat. We are in Kyiv again, could it be the Ukrainian double? The bookies currently have Greece at 250/1.
4) Sweden: "I can't Go On" by Robin Bengtsson
No surprise to see Sweden in the final. Their song has been very popular since it won the Melodifestivalen earlier in the year. It has done consistently done well with press polls. The OGAE vote it was in the top 5. Sweden is the most successful Eurovision country of the 21st century, having won the contest twice since the semi finals were introduced. They are the second most successful nation in Eurovision with 6 wins. This year sees Sweden's 57th Eurovision appearance, and Robin's progression has meant they have been in 56 finals. They have won on 6 occasions, and come last twice. Only in 2010 did they fail to progress to the final. The bookies also have good odds on them too. They are currently joint 5th with odds off 40/1.
5) Portugal: "Amar Pelos Dois" By Salvador Sorbel
One of the fans, and bookies favourites. Portugal were expected to qualify easily. Salvadors song is seen as a strong contender to win, and the best chance to knock Italy of the top spot. Indeed with all the hype of Italy's song, attention is now turning to Salvador, especially after his stunning performance in semi final 1. They have made 49 appearances at the contest, and been at the final on 41 of these occasions. Their best result to date was 6th in 1996. Portugal should easily top that this year. They are riding high being second favourite with bookies, with odds of 15/8 to win.
6) Poland: "Flashlight" by Kasia Mos
One of the big surprises this year.... but Poland have indeed qualified. Their first appearance in the contest was in 1994. Meaning that 2017 marks their 20th appearance, whilst being at the final on 14 occasions. In all they have done reasonably well. Their best result was in their debut year of 1994, when they came second, their worst result was in 2011, when they came last in their semi final group. The bookies currently have poland at 250/1.
7) Armenia: "Fly with me" by Artsvik
Again, another of the favourites easily sailed through to the final last night. Armenia although in the contest for a short period, have done reasonably well. They have appeared in the contest 11 times, and have a 90% success rate with 10 finals being achieved. They first were represented in 2006, with their best result being 4th in 2008 and 2014, and worst result was when they achieved 12th position in their semi final in 2011. They are quite popular with the bookies too with odds of 50/1 to win.
8) Australia: "Don't Come Easy" by Isaiah
A shock to many since they first participated in 2015. However, since them Europe has loved, and welcomed them to the contest. This being another fan favourite has easily qualified, and marks Australia's third entry into the contest. Continuing with a 100% success rate. Their best result was 2nd last year in 2016 with Dami Im, and the worst was 5th in their debut year of 2015. Can Isaiah do one better this year? The bookies have them down at 150/1 to win.
9) Cyprus: "Gravity" by Hovig
The 2017 contest marked Cyprus' 34th appearance at the contest. Another surprise entry that made it to the Grand Final, with Hovig ensuring this is Cyprus' 28 final. They have not really troubled the score board over the years with their best positions being 5th in 1982, 1997 and 2004, their worst was when they came last in the 1986 contest. They are not troubling the bookies either and have odds on at 500/1 to win.
10) Belgium: "City Lights" by Blanche
This years entry has had mix feelings. When it was first released it instantly became one the fan favourites to win, and on occasions top three with the bookies. However, after her semi final performances many doubted she would qualify. She did!!! and completes the line up for the first ten of this years countries to qualify for the final. Blanche makes this Belgium's 59th entry, with her qualification ensuring it is the 51st final they are in. Their best result was in 1986 with Sandra Kim and the song "J'aime La Vie", however they have come last on 9 separate occasions. Not the favourite, but still up there with the bookies they are in 4th position with odds of 20/1.
The Non Qualifiers:
11) Georgia: "Keep the Faith" by Tako Gachiechiladze
Last night marked Georgia's tenth Eurovision appearance. Unfortunately super Diva Tako failed to make it to the Grand final. Nevertheless Georgia have been fairely successful and made seven appearances at the final. Their best result was 9th in 2010 and 2011, with their worst being the 2014 semi final where they came last.
12) Albania: "World" by Lindita
Albania are renowned for being one of the first countires to chose their entries for the contests. Unfortunately for them, last night it was one of the first countries not to qualify. It was a fan favourite. Debuting in 2004, last night marked their 14th appearance at Eurovision. They only have a 50% success rate with only 7 appearances at the Grand final. Their best result to date was 5th in 2012 and worst result was 2007 where they came 17th in their semi final.
13) Montengro: "Space" by Slavko Kaezia
Fun loving Slavko was very popular amongst fans, but he didn't quite hit the right not with the juries and tele-voters last night. He did leave a mark, with many fans being furious he didn't qualify. This is Montenegro's 9th appearance at Eurovision . Unfortunately they have not been very successful only making 2 finals. Their best result to date was 13th in 2015 and worst was 22nd in their semi final in 2007.
14) Finland: "Blackbird" by Norm John
This was a massive upset. Finland were seen as one of the contenders to not only qualify, but win the contest. After their performance, they seemed a dead cert to qualify. They were extremely popular with fans, press and the polls. The first of the Nordic nations not to qualify, they have appeared at Eurovision no less than 51 times. They have also made the finals on 44 occasions. Their best result to date was in 2006 when Lordi won with "Hard Rock Hallelujiah", they have also come last on 10 occasions too.
15) Iceland: "Paper" by SVALA
The second of the Nordic nations to come crashing out. This too was another song that was highly regarded, and expected to qualify. One of Eurovoxx favourites, we are disappointed not to be seeing this in the final. Iceland debuted in 1986 and have appeared in the contest on 30 occasions. They have made 24 finals, with best results being 2nd in 1999 and 2009, they have come last on two occasions 1989 and 2001.
16) Czech Republic: "My Turn" Martina Barta
Not a very successful nation at the contest. The Czech Republic first made an appearance in 2007 being present at 6 contests. They have only made the final once which was last year in 2016. Subsequently it came last but it was their best result. Previously they had come last in their semi finals in 2007 and 2009.
17) Slovenia: "On My Way" by Omar Naber
This is the second time that Omar has appeared at Eurovision. It is also the second time he has sung in Kyiv for Eurovision. It is also his second time that he has failed to qualify for the final. In the contest itself they debuted in 1993, and have been on the Eurovision stage 23 times. They have also made the final on 13 occasions. Their best result was 7th in 1995 and 2001, with their worst being 2013 where they came last in their semi final.
18) Latvia: "Line" by Tirana Park
They have tried on so many occasions to sing at Eurovision, and this year was the one they made it. Unfortunately, they just fell short at the semi finals. Latvia first appeared in 2000, and have been fairly consistent. They have been present 18 times, and made the finals for ten of those. They won in 2008 and have come last on 3 separate national finals 2009, 2010 and 2013. Maybe next year?
The second Semi final will be on Thursday 9th May, stay tuned to Eurovoxx for the results, and analysis when they come in.
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