Live Stream: Semifinal 1 (2021 Eurovision Song Contest)
May 18, 2021 7:39 AM - Subscribe

And we're back! Last year’s contest may have been cancelled, but this year, it is on. It’s Eurovision Week, and we’re going to have ourselves a semifinal! Semifinal 1 begins Tuesday May 18th (today!), at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm EDT. Come on in to chat about the first round of performances and conjecture about who's good, bad, and so-bad-it's-good.

HOW TO WATCH LIVE:

Viewers outside of Australia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, United States and the United Kingdom can watch via the official livestream for Semifinal 1 from the Eurovision YouTube Channel.

For those of us unlucky enough to be geoblocked, and without an official national broadcaster, you've got several options available to you: this thread on the Eurovision subreddit goes into further details, but the Swedish National Broadcaster (SVT)’s official stream is always a fairly reliable option. American viewers can finally watch it live via Peacock, NPC’s online streaming channel (free account required).

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RUNNING ORDER:
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1. Lithuania: The Roop – “Discoteque”
2. Slovenia: Ana Soklič – “Amen”
3. Russia: Manizha – “Russian Woman”
4. Sweden: Tusse – “Voices”
5. Australia: Montaigne – “Technicolour”
6. North Macedonia: Vasil – “Here I Stand”
7. Ireland: Lesley Roy – “Maps”
8. Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou – “El diablo”
9. Norway: Tix – “Fallen Angel”
10. Croatia: Albina – “Tick-Tock”
11. Belgium: Hooverphonic – “The Wrong Place”
12. Israel: Eden Alene – “Set Me Free”
13. Romania: Roxen – “Amnesia”
14. Azerbaijan: Efendi – “Mata Hari”
15. Ukraine: Go_A – “SHUM”
16. Malta: Destiny – “Je me casse”

Official Eurovision YouTube Channel
Official Playlist of all songs from the first Semifinal
Official Rehearsal clips from the first Semifinal.
posted by PearlRose (69 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm really hoping to develop a favorite after the semifinals -- I've watched all the clips and videos and my reaction so far has been meh. Which is NOT in the proper Eurovision spirit!
posted by JanetLand at 11:35 AM on May 18


I'm getting a little emotional here. I missed this soooooo much.
posted by PearlRose at 12:05 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Just the opening number and I'm weepy. It's back, baby!
posted by dnash at 12:06 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Lithuania was a favorite of mine last year. I like this one too.
posted by PearlRose at 12:12 PM on May 18


I really like this Lithuanian song! And the dancing! Especially the wonderfully ridiculous dancing!

HOW I MISSED YOU EUROVISION
posted by Kattullus at 12:12 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Oh I'm so happy it's back!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:13 PM on May 18


The postcards are kind of cute! I like the idea. And the cats. Definitely the cats.
posted by PearlRose at 12:15 PM on May 18


Slovenia's song is nothing special, but I love the singer's voice.
posted by May Kasahara at 12:16 PM on May 18


Both acts so far seem really emotional, and it's got to be ...extra feelings, experiences? ...extra extra, realizing it's finally happening.
posted by PearlRose at 12:19 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I love her giant dress.
posted by Akhu at 12:19 PM on May 18


This is my favorite Russian submission in forever. It's so very Russian, but fun. And confident!
posted by PearlRose at 12:21 PM on May 18


Russia's staging was awesome.
posted by JanetLand at 12:21 PM on May 18


I like how Russia hired their country’s finest Netta impersonator to perform.
posted by Kattullus at 12:22 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


It’s unfair to the rest of us when the Swedes actually try to win.
posted by Kattullus at 12:24 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Can the backing singers be prerecorded now?
posted by JanetLand at 12:26 PM on May 18


I don't know, but this entry from Sweden just sounds ...off. Technically speaking. The staging is lovely, though.
posted by PearlRose at 12:26 PM on May 18


JanetLand - yes! Prerecorded backing singers are allowed this year, as a Covid precaution to limit the number of singers onstage. We'll see if it sticks for future contests.
posted by PearlRose at 12:27 PM on May 18


Australia's definitely my favorite so far. Everything about their performance is just doing it for me.
posted by May Kasahara at 12:27 PM on May 18


Australia's is not live, but using the Live on Tape backup recording. I think they incorporated it fairly well, honestly. I still don't care for the song, unfortunately.
posted by PearlRose at 12:29 PM on May 18


In case you’re wondering why the Australian staging was so weird, they had to send a prerecorded song because the Australian broadcaster didn’t want to risk a Covid incident.

In Iceland we vaccinated our contestants.
posted by Kattullus at 12:30 PM on May 18


North Macedonia is so Broadway. (I mean that in a good way.)
posted by JanetLand at 12:31 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


OMG THE MIRROR BALL SHIRT FROM MACEDONIA!! YASS!
posted by dnash at 12:33 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


North Macedonia is precious. I love his jacket.
posted by PearlRose at 12:33 PM on May 18


Awkward hosts, a continuing Eurovision tradition.
posted by PearlRose at 12:39 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Oh, dear, this poor host. She was not PREPARED for a technical delay.

...oh God. Ireland. I love the song, but ...that sound. Issues. Oh no.
posted by PearlRose at 12:41 PM on May 18


I love the paper cut out aesthetic of the Irish staging. I have already forgotten the song however, and she’s still singing.
posted by Kattullus at 12:41 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I guess Ireland was searching for so long that her shoes wore out.
posted by JanetLand at 12:43 PM on May 18


Cyprus. I get that Elena did so well with Fuego a few years ago. You keep trying to repeat it but... just I'm not sure it's the way to go.
posted by PearlRose at 12:46 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I swear to Lordi that Cyprus send the same song every year. They’re the AC/DC of Eurovision.
posted by Kattullus at 12:46 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Oh good. I was afraid that Cyprus thought that using fire in a song called El Diablo would be too much. I'm glad they used the pyrotechnics anyway.
posted by PearlRose at 12:48 PM on May 18


Having a song called "El Diablo" right before one called "Fallen Angel" was intentional, wasn't it?
posted by May Kasahara at 12:49 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Norway, thank you for the ridiculous staging that I've come to appreciate in a Eurovision entry. Subtlety is overrated.
posted by PearlRose at 12:50 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Considering how much oil wealth Norway has, they surely could’ve afforded costumes that didn’t look like they were borrowed from a high school stage production.
posted by Kattullus at 12:52 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Ouchy Croatia that long note was flaaaaaaaat.
posted by JanetLand at 12:54 PM on May 18


Can douze points be given to Croatia's backup dancers?
posted by May Kasahara at 12:54 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


They look like hip hop astronauts.
posted by JanetLand at 12:56 PM on May 18


...The backup dancers remind me of Hatari, if those costumes crashed into a Disco ball on the way to Croatia.
posted by PearlRose at 12:56 PM on May 18


I'm getting the impression that Belgium is not used to being so sparkly.
posted by PearlRose at 12:59 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I liked Israel's 2020 song so much better. But that whistle note, though.
posted by PearlRose at 1:05 PM on May 18


Dry ice! Yay!
posted by JanetLand at 1:07 PM on May 18


(I know it probably isn't dry ice but I like to pretend it is.)
posted by JanetLand at 1:08 PM on May 18


Romania maybe didn't think about how hard that number was going to be to sing in tune in the moment. Oof.
posted by fedward at 1:09 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Azerbaijan's song seems like the type that doesn't sound as good live as it would recorded in a studio. (I like it, though.)
posted by May Kasahara at 1:12 PM on May 18


Azerbaijan is weird, but I like it. I was concerned about how it would sound live. I think it went well.
posted by PearlRose at 1:14 PM on May 18


I don't understand Ukraine's song at all but I like it. Very Eurovision.
posted by JanetLand at 1:17 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Ukraine's performance is a certified banger.
posted by May Kasahara at 1:18 PM on May 18


Ukraine is a work of performance art that just happens to have been sent to Eurovision. We should be so lucky every year.
posted by Kattullus at 1:18 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I very much disliked Ukraine's song last year. This is much more interesting. The quirky staging is working for me. Although I'm not sure about the glowing astronaut collar frisbees.
posted by PearlRose at 1:18 PM on May 18


See, I hear they're trying to do an American Song Contest, I think next year. But it will suck cuz there's just no way anything will be as wacky as Ukraine just was.
posted by dnash at 1:18 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]


Oh. Malta. Oh.

I love your song, and your voice, but the staging is so dissonant from the song. I'm not sure it's working for me. But you are clearly having the best time with it. That's the important part.

I think I like it. Her charisma is incredible.
posted by PearlRose at 1:23 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


The instrumental bits are goofy as hell, but the rest of Malta's performance has the marks of a winner.
posted by May Kasahara at 1:24 PM on May 18


Well, I get why everybody likes Destiny so much, but I don't know, I feel like we saw this song already with Netta in 2018. Still, if it wins I won't complain.
posted by JanetLand at 1:25 PM on May 18


I feel so bad for Montaigne whenever they cut to Australia's "green room". It must suck, being there but not really being there.
posted by PearlRose at 1:30 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]


Johnny Logan! I love him!
posted by JanetLand at 1:42 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I like this look back on past winners. The history of the contest is so rich and fascinating.
posted by PearlRose at 1:43 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


You can tell the contest means so much to these contestants. I'm getting choked up listening to them.

...and the act changed. Done being sentimental now. Talk about a sudden shift in tone.
posted by PearlRose at 1:46 PM on May 18


The German artist is so precious, and that clip screams Peak Eurovision.
posted by PearlRose at 1:53 PM on May 18


Yes! Lithuania!
posted by Kattullus at 1:59 PM on May 18


YES UKRAINE!
posted by Kattullus at 2:02 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I'm coming late to this--I recorded it and I'm watching it about an hour behind--but I said to Mrs. Example that "Ireland's song is like the OK Go video you get on Wish".

Also:

I'm getting choked up listening to them.

I actually for-real got tearful at seeing the audience. For a while there it felt like that kind of thing was never going to happen again, you know?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:03 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


Semifinal 1 Qualifications:
1. Norway
2. Israel
3. Russia
4. Azerbaijan
5. Malta
6. Lithuania
7. Cyprus
8. Sweden
9. Belgium
10. Ukraine
posted by PearlRose at 2:03 PM on May 18


My personal top two (Ukraine and Malta) got in. I'm okay with that.
posted by May Kasahara at 2:04 PM on May 18


I wanted Macedonia, just cuz I want to see the mirror tunic reveal again and again and again.

But... Belgium? Really? WTF was that, even?
posted by dnash at 2:06 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


I actually for-real got tearful at seeing the audience. For a while there it felt like that kind of thing was never going to happen again, you know?

When Eurovision 2020 was canceled, I knew things were getting real. I loved the 2020 songs so much.

I wasn't sure it would ever come back, and I hadn't realized how much this contest means to me, and how afraid I was it would get canceled again.

Then I saw the crowd, heard Lithuania start singing, and it finally felt right again.
posted by PearlRose at 2:06 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I didn't love Ireland's song, but the stagecraft was cool. I'd have voted that in over Norway or Cyprus.
posted by fedward at 2:28 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


“In Iceland we vaccinated our contestants.”

I apologize to the nation of Iceland for jinxing us.
posted by Kattullus at 4:07 AM on May 19 [7 favorites]


[...] Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason has stated that the infection despite the vaccination does not surprise him, it occurred only 10 days after the individual in question received his shot of the Jansen [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine but it takes two or three weeks for the vaccine to reach full efficacy.
Poor guys.
posted by trig at 6:42 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]


Duncan Laurence has tested positive for Covid-19. Oh no.
posted by PearlRose at 5:31 AM on May 20




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