Last night in Stockholm 10 countries qualified for this week's Eurovision Grand Final writes Karl Fradgley - Eurovision Fan, Cork Man with front row tickets!
We had a fabulous view of the stage and all the camera guys literally dangling from the ceiling! Mans and the amazing Petra were within touching distance! Petra should host Eurovision forever by the way!
Armenian's 3d holographic performance was just phenomenal. The Armenian Beyonce as she is know has made a play for the title and I cna see Armenia as a serious contender now.
Czech republic finally makes the final. Gabrielle gave a super classy performance of her song written by Irish man Aidan O Connor. Fantastic result for Czech Republic making the final for the very first time. Now we all know who to vote for on Saturday.
So what about the qualifiers?
We all knew it was going to be a tough fight with only 10 spots open and easily 13 or 14 songs in contention. Only San Marino and Finland seemed destined to fail.
Inside the Globen, reaction from fans to the songs qualifying was predictably mixed. Icelanders were all pretty much devastated. Some crying Finns told me they "were really upset that Iceland didn't qualify" .... all very hush hush about Finland's own failure though. The Maltese fan's in front of us nearly exploded with delight when Malta was the last country called out.
The only one people were unsure of was Azerbaijan. It was 50/50 on should she or shouldn't she but it is good to have some classic Europop in the final. Believe it or not that is in very short supply this year.
Austria got the biggest cheer of the night. peaches and cream, rainbows, dancing flowers .... what is not to love about this one? Russia went all out as expected and we didn't here any booing around us among the fans .... for a change. But last night was really all about Armenia! Iveta Mukuychan literally blew the contest wide open with her performance of "Lovewave". I hadn't rated the entry until now. Her use of 3d holograms was perfect and man can that woman sing.
The Armenian team were mad for a bit of sh*t stirring too! After the results the artists came out onto the stage for the traditional winners parade, the Azeri's were first on ... Iveta from Armenia decided to steal their thunder and came right out in front and stood in front of them waving a huge Armenian flag! The two countries are technically at war and that was a Eurovision bitchslap of epic proportions.
The Armenia/Azerbaijan tit for tat continue during the show with the Armenian singer waving the flag of Nagoro Karabach, the territory both countries are fighting over. At the press conference afterwards Iveta said that she "justs want peace on borders ... she wrote LoveWave for that reason" and that she "justs wants everyone to feel the love wave". Azerbaijani singer Samra refused to be drawn on the issue stating "Eurovision is a song contest and is all about music" However the head of the Azeri delegation has demanded action from the EBU.
It all sets the tone for an even more eventful Semi Two. We already have our Irish Czech song through and now we are on a mission to get our actual Irish entry through too. Come on Nicky - Bring it on!