The first show of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen is over. As the three Danish presenters – Nikolaj Koppel, Pilou Asbæk and Lise Rønne – announced in the very beginning, the first semi-final was a party! Surrounded by a touching choir performance of last year’s winning song “Only Teardrops” as well as a contemporary dance interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Ugly Duckling”, the candidates gave their very best on stage. In between the candidate’s performances Ireland’s representatives of 2011 – Jedward – were told to hold the record for both the highest hair and the biggest shoulder pads in Eurovision history.
Even though the Albanian representative Hersi got the national flag tattooed on her back (magically, it was not to be seen during the rehearsals before), all the efford was not rewarded – this night’s anger is probably pretty tough on her. Portugal and Suzy didn’t make it to the final either despite all of her enchanting cries. Cristina Scarlat from Moldova expressed her wild soul by a spectacular performance and an outfit that seem to come directly from the set of Game of Thrones. Still, her appearance wasn’t quite as popular as the series. Finally, Aarzemnieki from Latvia has to leave the contest already as well. They will have to keep learning how to bake a cake at home.
While Armenia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Montenegro, and Sweden were already pretty much expected to go to the grand final, there were also some surprises. The Russian performance was rather disturbing than shining – there were weird hair arrangements, sword-like sticks and a seesaw. Still the audience seemed to like the Tolmachevy Twins and sent them to the final. However, when this message was announced there was some booing to be heard in the room. Also Mariya Yaremchuk from Ukraine and the human hamster she brought with her on stage didn’t count as one of the favorites. Still, the clock keeps on ticking for her and time hasn’t run out yet. With Iceland a very colorful and vivid entry joins the final, which might have appeared to be too childish and alternative to make it through the semi-final. Instead, Pollapönk will be able to rock the stage again on Saturday. One of tonight’s biggest surprises are The Netherlands. “Calm After The Storm” actually seems to be a little too calm and too monotonous for Eurovision, but still it’s a very powerful song and was perfectly presented on stage. Maybe it was also helpful that the Dutch performance directly followed Portugal. After Suzy the audience was ready and in need of a calming pause. An even bigger surprise came with Valentina Monetta. For her, the third time really was the charm – I most certainly doubt that it was due to Ralph Siegel being on stage that San Marino made it to the Eurovision final for the very first time.
All in all, it was a brilliant show tonight – not only because of the tension and the element of surprise but first and foremost thanks to the funny and entertaining Danish hosts. We all can be looking forward to the second semi-final on Thursday as well as the grand final on Saturday – and we most certainly are!