Guess what? It’s May! Which means, it’s Eurovision time!
Welcome to the 62nd edition of Eurovision Song Contest. This year, Europe and Australia will select Eurovision’s 65th winner. Why? Read more about the contest’s history here and here to find out. To get a taste of Eurovision winners throughout the years, check out this video. It’s incredible to see how the standards have changed from 1956 to 2016.
The semifinal starts at 9pm CEST, 3pm EDT, 12pm PDT
You can watch the event through your local EBU member European broadcaster, LOGO TV in the USA or SBS in Australia. Beware of the local commentary, though! You can also watch the live stream on the official Eurovision website or on YouTube (click the links above).
Last May in Stockholm, Jamala won Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine with her song ‘1944’. The winning tune didn’t prove to be very popular outside of the contest. On the radio, streaming services and iTunes songs from Sweden, France, Australia and Russia did better. Swedish entry ‘If I Were Sorry’ by Frans easily outperformed everyone.
Anyway, Ukraine is hosting Eurovision Song Contest this year in it’s capital Kyiv. Ukraine hosted Eurovision Song Contest once before – in 2005, after Ruslana won Eurovision Song Contest 2004 with ‘Wild Dances’.
Initially, 43 countries confirmed their Eurovision participation for 2017 and started selecting their entries. But then, the big scandal of ESC 2017 happened. Russian broadcaster revealed their entry, ‘Flame Is Burning’, by Julia Samoylova. The song turned out to be really, really poor by Russia’s usual Eurovision standards – remember, this country tried hard to win in 2015 and 2016 and it achieved high placings. Sure, everyone felt sorry for the severily disabled singer, but her song and her singing left a lot to be desired. Soon after, Ukraine issued a travel ban for the Russian singer because she performed in Crimea in 2015 and she didn’t enter the peninsula through Ukraine’s mainland and with the permission of Ukraine’s government. Basically, Russian Eurovision entry was the perfect provocation for Ukraine: a severely disabled singer that sings poorly with a terrible song. And she entered the Crimea from Russia in 2015 and thus broke Ukraine’s laws. The EBU offered the Russian singer to perform her entry live via satellite from Moscow, but then the Russian broadcaster decided to drop out of this year’s competition. They plan to send Julia to Eurovision again next year with the same song, but that might not happen. The EBU will deal with the scandal after the 2017 Eurovision and both Russia and Ukraine could be banned from Eurovision participation for the next three years.
It really sucks when countries decide to drop out of the contest like that. Turkey, another Eurovision powerhouse in the 2000’s (due to strong Turkish dispora in western Europe) stopped sending their entries to Eurovision after 2012 because the national juries were added to the voting system and this cut the power of televoting by 50%. Slovakia, Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg and Bosnia & Herzegovina are also not participating. Portugal is returning to Eurovision this year with a strong entry.
Here is tonight’s line up. 10 out of 18 countries will qualify for Saturday’s finale. I will add the videos here once they are uploaded to YouTube.
Monatik – Spinning – LIVE – Opening Act – Eurovision Song Contest 2017 first semi-final
- Sweden – Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
- Georgia – Tamara Gachechiladze – Keep The Faith
- Australia – Isaiah – Don’t Come Easy
- Albania – Lindita – World
- Belgium – Blanche – City Lights
- Montenegro – Slavko Kalezic – Space
- Finland – Norma John – Blackbird
- Azerbaijan – Dihaj – Skeletons
- Portugal – Salvador Sobral – Amar Pelos Dois
- Greece – Demy – This is Love
- Poland – Kasia Mos – Flashlight
- Moldova – Sunstroke Project – Hey Mamma
- Iceland – Svala – Paper
- Czech Republic – Martina Bárta – My Turn
- Cyprus – Hovig – Gravity
- Armenia – Artsvik – Fly With Me
- Slovenia – Omar Naber – On My Way
- Latvia – Triana Park – Line
Jamala – 1944 – Live at the first Semi-Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest
Jamala – Zamanyly – Interval Act – First Semi-Final – 2017 Eurovision Song Contest
Verka Serduchka at the first semi-final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest
Manel Navarro – Do It For Your Lover (Spain) at the first Semi-Final
Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma (Italy) at the first Semi-Final
Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You (United Kingdom) at the first Semi-Final
Qualified for Saturday’s final:
The qualifiers announcement of the first Semi-Final