Live Stream: Semifinal 1 (2016 Eurovision Song Contest)
May 9, 2016 2:43 PM - Subscribe

The opening round of this year's Eurovision Song Contest is almost upon us! Semifinal 1 begins Tuesday, May 10th, at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm EDT. The live stream will be available via the Eurovision.tv website or directly from YouTube (link TBD). Let's talk fabulous hits and glorious misses!

Semifinal 1 of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest features eighteen countries vying for ten spots in Saturday's Grand Final. This round features Russian representative Sergey Lazarev, who has been the favorite from the beginning, but who has more recently felt several other countries (including Armenia, the Czech Republic, and Malta) creeping up on him. He's already taken a tumble during rehearsals (he wasn't hurt); will one of the aforementioned female soloists topple him from his presumed throne?

Other notes:
-- Maltese representative Ira Losco is six months pregnant. Get 'em, girl! And, damn, can I get you a chair?
-- Greece has never failed to qualify, but the oddsmakers have them sitting in the bottom half of this round. Can they keep their Grand Final appearance streak alive?

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Running Order
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1) Finland
2) Greece
3) Moldova
4) Hungary
5) Croatia
6) Netherlands
7) Armenia
8) San Marino
9) Russia
10) Czech Republic
11) Cyprus
12) Austria
13) Estonia
14) Azerbaijan
15) Montenegro
16) Iceland
17) Bosnia and Herzegovina
18) Malta

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Previously
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-- Good evening, Stockholm!
-- This is not a Drill People-Eurovision comes to the US

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Entry Previews
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-- Official Videos, Semifinal 1
-- First Rehearsals, Semifinal 1
-- Dress Rehearsals, Semifinal 1
posted by zebra to Eurovision Club (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm hoping that the United States of Ame...Netherlands do very well in this one. The Russian one annoys me intensely, because it seems to be heavily derivative of previous recent winners.
posted by Wordshore at 2:59 PM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Russian one annoys me intensely, because it seems to be heavily derivative of previous recent winners.

Yeah, it reeks of Russia being pissed off at how they've been received recently - (especially two years ago with Conchita Wurst's huge win). I felt it last year too with their pandering "here's a song all about peace and love, how can you possibly vote against us with this?" song. This year it seems they've gone with "ok, singing platitudes about peace didn't work, how about we go through the checklist of formulaic Swedish-pop love songs?"

Greece has never failed to qualify, but the oddsmakers have them sitting in the bottom half of this round.

I mean... the English part of their lyrics is so, so bad. It's such a muddled song "dance and sing with us in Utopia! Which should be a happy thing but we're doing it in a minor key which signals sadness, so...um..."

My favorite in this group is Finland. But I also like San Marino, and Cyprus a bit.

Someone explain to me why Austria's song is in French?
posted by dnash at 7:42 PM on May 9, 2016


I like Russia's song, a lot. In fact, when I first heard it, I said out loud (to nobody in particular) "oh crap! I'm not supposed to like Russia! This is bad!" The official music video is also campy and great. What I don't like is just how heavily the live performance leans on the technology, especially when they have as good a dancer as Sergey! He's a fantastic performer, but the current staging pins him down too much. Last year Sweden did a good job of taking breaks away from the screen and just letting Mans sing and move more naturally.

Who I do like from this semifinal: ARMENIA. AR. MEEEN. EEE. YAAAAAAAAAAA. Iveta Mukuchyan's performance is so so great, and the build up over the first 40 seconds is some of the best staging I've ever seen at Eurovision. I've watched the rehearsal footage multiple times, and can't wait to see the fully produced version.

Netherlands' song makes me irrationally angry.

I like Finland's song, but Sandhja's vocal have been spotty this week. San Marino is both delightful and terrible at the same time. I like Cyprus' song, although it's not my favorite, and the performance isn't that interesting from what I have seen. Lots of wolves this year, and that is not a complaint.

French is the third most popular language in Austria (behind German and English), and if France isn't going to sing in French, somebody should. No, I'm not bitter. What makes you say that?
posted by zebra at 10:01 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I haven't watched rehearsal clips. I saw one clip of the Russian guy practicing and falling off a step - but the illusion they're going for is really cool.

French is the third most popular language in Austria (behind German and English), and if France isn't going to sing in French, somebody should.

Heh. But France's song is in French - the verses, at least! I really like it, too, actually, glad to hear it's right up there against Russia as a favorite to win.
posted by dnash at 11:33 AM on May 10, 2016


Uh oh, I'm getting "The uploader has not made this video available in your country" on the YouTube channel for the live stream. I tuned in early, but that doesn't look like an error that's going to change in 20 minutes.

The Eurovision.tv site seems to be working, but it's with that annoying plugin.
posted by dnash at 11:38 AM on May 10, 2016


Yeah, I can't get youtube to work either, just eurovision.tv.
posted by JanetLand at 12:04 PM on May 10, 2016


Goddammit, I was afraid they would ruin everything. And what's worse, VPN services are blocked in my workplace, so I can't tunnel out in order to access the stream.

Fucking LOGO.
posted by zebra at 12:05 PM on May 10, 2016


US TV ruins everything, even other TV.
posted by JanetLand at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2016


Definitely looking into connecting my laptop to my TV and getting a VPN for Saturday.

I wasn't planning to watch live today anyway. (at work.) I hope they unlock the YouTube version after the live broadcast is over, then I can watch it tonight at home.
posted by dnash at 12:17 PM on May 10, 2016


Another option (that I'm currently using) is SVT, the home broadcaster. Their stream is better quality than whatever's on the Eurovision site.
posted by zebra at 12:51 PM on May 10, 2016


I sweartagod. I hauled ass on the bike to get home from my Dutch class, which ended at 9, and got home 5 minutes faster than I usually did and my FREAKING CABLE IS OUT. I'm now stuck watching the crappy pixelated NPO 1 stream like a plebe. How am I supposed to appreciate the fireworks and wind machines like this?

I was rather unimpressed with Russia's "oh hey, this worked for that one guy last year, let's steal it" performance. But I did enjoy San Marino's Happy Leonard Cohen.
posted by sldownard at 1:01 PM on May 10, 2016


Netherlands' song makes me irrationally angry.

No, dude, that's a totally healthy and rational response. Despite what the Volkskrant keeps trying to tell me, it's not a good song.
posted by sldownard at 1:14 PM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


SPOILER ALERT, BELOW BE QUALIFIERS


SERIOUSLY THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW


And the ten qualifying countries (in random order) are:

Azerbaijan
Russia
Netherlands
Hungary
Croatia
Austria
Armenia
Czech Republic (first Grand Final appearance ever!)
Cyprus
Malta
posted by zebra at 2:03 PM on May 10, 2016


Disappointed that Bosnia and Herzegovina didn't get through, I guess that's what happens when you sing in your native language. Other than that, I think those are a decent 10 to get through.
posted by hobgadling at 4:52 PM on May 10, 2016


But France's song is in French - the verses, at least!

There is no acceptable amount of poop in a milkshake.
posted by zebra at 5:58 PM on May 10, 2016


I wanted Finland and San Marino. Did not like Czech's song at all, bleh.

Re: the streaming situation. I had hoped they would unblock the YouTube version by the time I got home from work. They hadn't. So I thought fine, I'll bite it and watch on my iMac from Eurovision.tv. That looked even worse than I remembered. So I bought a month of VPN and used that to get good quality from YouTube on my computer. I'm looking to buy the right connector cable to go from a computer to HDMI so I can do the same live on Saturday.

Also - someone needs to explain to me how the live effects of Russia's performance work. I'm baffled. It's pretty spiffy, even if I absolutely do not want them anywhere near actually winning.
posted by dnash at 7:41 PM on May 10, 2016


...someone needs to explain to me how the live effects of Russia's performance work.

It's actually very cleverly analog ... the screen isn't completely flat, it has little steps and handholds that stick out towards the audience. The covering is relatively loose, so there's some give for when Sergey needs to step or grab. Last but not least, the screen doesn't stand straight up, it's tilted slightly backwards so he can lean on it for better balance.
posted by zebra at 8:47 PM on May 10, 2016


(There's a split-second in one of the Russian rehearsal videos when the screen is backlit and you can see the steps. They show up as dark areas on the left side of the projection screen in this screencap.)
posted by zebra at 9:24 PM on May 10, 2016


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