ESC Semi 1: My Night in Eurovision Heaven

So this is what makes all the scrimping and saving worthwhile.  Even more fun than seeing the arena show last night, and as much fun as hanging in the Euro Fan Cafe as an officially accredited fan–tonight I hung out, drank a few beers, laughed, cheered and screamed with a couple hundred disorderly Euro-gays at the extremely wonderful Heaven Club in the center of downtown København.  Watching the show on all the big screens around the club with cheering sections from Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, and especially all the fantastic Danes cheering on Emmelie and “Only Teardrops”, that is what the magic of Eurovision is all about!

I waved my Danish flag and yelled like there is no tomorrow every time Denmark was onscreen, and for this week I feel like Europe opened its arms and made me one of them.  On top of everything else, with my Danish mobile phone I was able to do the one thing an American eurofan is not allowed to do at home– I VOTED!!  I know it sounds quite ridiculous but tonight my heart is so full of excitement and happiness I feel like it might burst.MGP

Eurovision is a spectacle designed, made and optimized for television, and I would like to thank the pitfalls at ticnet that prevented me from ordering tickets for all the televised semis and finals.  This way I get to experience the show one time live on stage, and then the next night see it on a tv screen with a bunch of people who love it.

As to the show itself, it looked even more beautiful and impressive on the tv screen where it belongs.  All the competitors brought their A-games tonight, but only ten of these first sixteen could make it to the finals.  As usual there were some BIG surprises.  Most shocking is that perennial powerhouses from the former Yugoslav republics in the Balkans ALL cancelled each other out and NONE qualified for the Saturday finals.  Meanwhile all four big superstar female singers from tonight made it through, plus some that were evidently underestimated.  The biggest shocker was that Lithuania qualified tonight, and borderline entries (according to most) Estonia and Belgium both sailed through.  I think it says something positive about the viewership, since the young and fresh faces qualified over such predicted votegetters as Croatia (whose target audience must have been strictly 55+).  Here is the full list of tonight’s qualifying entries.

Moldova
Estonia
Lithuania
Ireland
Belarus
Denmark
Russia
Ukraine
Belgium
the Netherlands

For Belgium and the Netherlands, this is more than just qualifying.  Neither country as had much luck in making it out of the semis for years, so practically speaking, they have already won this year.  I am SOO looking forward to tomorrow’s semi 2 jury rehearsal and then watching the show again Thursday with my new friends at Heaven.  Heja Danmark! and yayyy for Europe!

(ps.  All four entries that I thought could use my votes and SMS’ed for–Estonia, BBelgium, Moldova and the Netherlands–made it through to Saturday!)

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