Live Stream: Semifinal 1 (2017 Eurovision Song Contest)
May 8, 2017 8:36 PM - Subscribe

Live from Kyiv, Semifinal 1 begins Tuesday, May 9th, at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm EDT. Come on in for performance previews and conjecture about who's good, bad, and so-bad-it's-good. Viewers outside the US can watch via the main Eurovision YouTube channel. For fans located in the US: LOGO is broadcasting the Grand Final again this year (with Ross Mathews and Michelle Visage of Drag Race fame. Yay!) which means we get to deal with geoblocking again. (Boo.) Get a VPN with endpoints outside the US to access the stream YouTube, or try the Swedish broadcaster's high-quality (and usually commentary-free) live stream.

Semifinal 1 of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest features eighteen countries vying for ten spots in Saturday's Grand Final. Sweden has long been expected to compete for the Grand Final trophy, but they may not even win their qualifying round, with dark horses Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Portugal also jockeying for first position. Meanwhile, Belgium is struggling with a serious case of the jitters, and Epic Sax Guy is back for Moldova. This is gonna be good.

Running Order

1) Sweden
2) Georgia
3) Australia
4) Albania
5) Belgium
6) Montenegro
7) Finland
8) Azerbaijan
9) Portugal
10) Greece
11) Poland
12) Moldova
13) Iceland
14) Czech Republic
15) Cyprus
16) Armenia
17) Slovenia
18) Latvia

Entry Previews

Official Music Videos, Semifinal 1
Exclusive Rehearsal Footage (includes broadcast camera angles)
Dress Rehearsals, Semifinal 1 (recorded from the audience during dress rehearsal / jury performances, does not include broadcast camera angles)


There's always Eurovision
Eurovision 2017: harmony, unity, diversity, international conflict
The crisis with Russia deepens
posted by zebra (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm so excited for this! Can't watch live, though. (stupid work.) Will fire up the VPN when I get home.

(I'm behind on my party planning for Saturday. I know I'm going to make pierogies for Ukrainian food. Thinking an infused vodka would be fun, perhaps for drinking game shots, but can't decide what flavor to make.)
posted by dnash at 9:37 AM on May 9, 2017

As usual, all in for Moldova.
posted by delfin at 9:44 AM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really, really, really love Armenia this year -- they might be my favorite of the whole contest. AramMP3 in 2014, Iveta Mukuchyan in 2016, and this year Artsvik have brought great songs AND great performances to the stage. I'm also pretty excited about Azerbaijan's performance, and can't wait to see the broadcast version.
posted by zebra at 10:28 AM on May 9, 2017

Update: geoblocking will affect the US, Canada, and Brazil.
posted by zebra at 10:43 AM on May 9, 2017

I have already fallen in love with Portugal's Salvador Sobral. While searching for more info/songs, I found this interview, more or less subtitled, from Portuguese TV, where he talks a lot about his approach to music and entertaining.

(And, at 9:29, those of you who are old-school mefites will be delighted to hear a quote from Miguel Esteves Cardoso! Still miss you Migs!)
posted by JanetLand at 11:15 AM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, and Moldova are my top picks today. Though Albania and Azerbaijan are pretty good too.

Since I can't watch live I'm debating whether or not I should check the winners before I watch.

I took Thursday afternoon off work so I can watch live, as I think it has the better batch of songs.
posted by zinon at 11:34 AM on May 9, 2017

I was listening to old Eurovision entries this morning in anticipation! I was afraid I was going to have to miss it because of my honeymoon, but this is not the case! So, I'm super-excited. This is the best.
posted by PearlRose at 11:43 AM on May 9, 2017

YESSSSSSSSS It is the best time of the year again! Nog 6 minuten! Songfestivaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!

p.s. I am SO STOKED for Moldova.
posted by sldownard at 11:54 AM on May 9, 2017

I gave Georgia basically no chance to qualify in my pre-show rankings. I might have been wrong about that.
posted by zebra at 12:19 PM on May 9, 2017

Go Belgium!!! She looks terrified up there but sounds great. Respect.
posted by sldownard at 12:27 PM on May 9, 2017

I hate it when Sweden hosts, because they set a standard for production quality that basically no other country can match. These hosts are particularly bad, though.
posted by zebra at 12:35 PM on May 9, 2017

I Will get a dog and I will name him Slatko. He will be as beautiful as the real Slatko
posted by uandt at 12:38 PM on May 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Azerbaijan, I am so confused but I love you.
posted by sldownard at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2017

Azerbaijan’s staging is… interesting.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:42 PM on May 9, 2017

"dark horse of the competition" the swedish host said about azerbadjan
posted by uandt at 12:45 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Portugal is very cute. Can't remember them being this good
posted by uandt at 12:47 PM on May 9, 2017

Halfway done already. I always want it to just go on and on. . . .
posted by JanetLand at 12:49 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mmmm. Greece has mas male water nymphs. It's like moist beefcake
posted by uandt at 12:52 PM on May 9, 2017

JanetLand, right there with you!
posted by sldownard at 12:54 PM on May 9, 2017

Greece's nymphs look like they're playing pitty-patty in the water, which made me giggle.
posted by zebra at 12:55 PM on May 9, 2017

Moldova, that was just great, fish-flopping feet and all.
posted by JanetLand at 1:01 PM on May 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

If Moldavia qualifies I'll try to learn the dance moves for the party on Saturday.
posted by uandt at 1:01 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Loved the flower toss at the end of Moldova's "Hey Mamma!"
posted by mbrubeck at 1:03 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Sunstroke Project (Moldova) need to be in every Eurovision forever.

Is Iceland trying to be every Spice Girl at once?
posted by sldownard at 1:03 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I could have sworn he said "I autotune the show", but I suspect it was "are you enjoying the show."
posted by stonepharisee at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Due to bad internet the last year has been pretty bad media vise and I wasn't really prepared for this but God do I Love Eurovision. Cyprus pretty boring though
posted by uandt at 1:16 PM on May 9, 2017

Wow. Slovenia is a Disney ballad generated by a markow chain
posted by uandt at 1:24 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is Latvia wearing a costume primarily made from banana clips? I feel like she is...and if I could vote tonight I would give her one just for that.
posted by sldownard at 1:27 PM on May 9, 2017

Voting is open. I'm saying Sweden, Albania, Belgium, Montenegro, Finland, Azerbaijan, Portugal (mad props for the bowls balanced on your heads for the glamour shot in the green room, btw, you are too adorable for words), Cyprus, Moldova, and Latvia go through. Only a few minutes left to see how wrong I am!
posted by sldownard at 1:44 PM on May 9, 2017

My pre-show top ten was Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Moldova, Portugal, Sweden. I still feel pretty comfortable with seven of those. Australia, Belgium, and Greece are looking pretty iffy.
posted by zebra at 1:45 PM on May 9, 2017

I generally have 5 or 6 favorites and then the rest of the songs, I mostly can't see much difference between them (goofy staging like horsieheads notwithstanding).
posted by JanetLand at 1:47 PM on May 9, 2017

I did really enjoy Jamala's reprise. Such a good song, it still gives me chills.
posted by sldownard at 1:48 PM on May 9, 2017

And the qualifiers are:


I ended up 8/10.
posted by zebra at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2017

Latvia was robbed. ROBBED, I say. 6/10, which is not terrible although I really am at a complete loss to explain why Greece and Poland made it through. (Greece maybe based on the hot men in kiddie pools?)
posted by sldownard at 2:13 PM on May 9, 2017

Greece has a HUGE and reliable diaspora across Europe; that they did not qualify last year (for the first time ever) was, frankly, kind of shocking.
posted by zebra at 2:16 PM on May 9, 2017

There is some quality aftercommentary on Dutch tv. I think the mezzosoprano and this other dude were about to come to blows over Belgium.

Everyone is united about Azerbaijan though.
posted by sldownard at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2017

zebra, yeah but diaspora aside, it was not a good song.

Maybe I'm just mad about Latvia not going through.
posted by sldownard at 2:33 PM on May 9, 2017

but diaspora aside

There's your mistake. I totally agree that "This is Love" is not a good song, and her/their total inability to hit that high note in the chorus is cringeworthy. Their advantage is that many expats will vote Greece because Greece, regardless of the song or performance thereof, so you can't put the diaspora aside. For what it's worth, Russia usually benefits from the same phenomenon. If Julia Samoylova had been allowed to perform, I would have expected her not-good song to qualify for the exact same reason.
posted by zebra at 3:10 PM on May 9, 2017

I really want to like Sweden, it's a damn catchy tune, but sheesh the guy cannot sell the song. His vocals are lackluster, he's got no energy or pizazz to his body and movement. Hell I even get the sense that the backup dancers are reigning themselves in so as not to outshine him. Just try to imagine what Justin Timberlake would look like doing this song - it would be killer.

Looking at Facebook, my UK friends were all in for Belgium, which I gotta say I don't quite get. It's an ok song, but her vocals were terrible, weak, off...she looked scared and out of her depth. And the staging itself was beyond boring, even among several boring stagings. (Most seem to have defaulted to "singer stands dead center, lots of video stuff behind them.")

Moldova was definitely a high point for being so fun and energetic.

In the last thread on the blue someone described the Portugal guy as having "a bad case of Singer Hands" - yeah, totally! The song is pretty, I love it for being so unlike all the others but yeah, wish he could keep his body still and just sing it. He's overdoing the "quirky" and it's distracting.
posted by dnash at 7:25 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

By the way, thank you for the link to the Swedish stream -- I use a vpn at home, but this way I could watch at work. Well, I mean, OCCASIONALLY CHECK ON THINGS WHILE STILL CAREFULLY PAYING ATTENTION TO MY JOB, yes that's what I mean.
posted by JanetLand at 7:45 AM on May 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

How long is the Eurovision finale? I'm trying to plan a party here in the Midwest ... I think I have the start time (21:00 central european time?), but I don't have any idea how long it runs.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 7:35 PM on May 10, 2017

You're welcome, JanetLand! SVT is my standard backup for when other stuff isn't working. Thank goodness for the Swedes, I'm not sure what we'd do without them.

The Grand Final usually runs ~3.5 hours, with the last 45-60 mins being voting, interval acts, and score announcements. The show starts at 3pm Eastern / 2pm Central and should be done around 6:30pm Eastern / 5:30pm Central.
posted by zebra at 8:23 PM on May 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

I 'm so disappointed that Finland didn't make it, she was easily my favorite singer of the night and I thought it was a lovely song-- one of the few good songs of the night. On the other hand at least ponytail boy did not make the cut because he was monsterously bad.

Greece was a waste of space.

Australia was fine, a very pretty boy singing a nice song but one I don't remember even though we watched last night.

Speaking of pretty boys, Sweden reminded me of an ad for cologne. Nice to watch, thoroughly forgettable.

Azerbaijan was a disappointment: So gimmicky. Usually I like their entry. Unlike "Blackbirds" I could not tell what the song was about except she kept singing "I am a skeleton" which sounded like "I am Skeletor." It was bad as "Paper" At least Paper didn't make it through.

Moldavia, I agree, is a fun entry. It the only act of the night that was worthy of a rewind so that we could see how the girls managed their costume adjustments. I get that their skirts were let down but how did they turn black hats into white veils?

Portugal has a chance at winning but his hand movements and facial expressions were off-putting to me. Still I look forward to hearing it again (unlike Skeleton) so that's a good sign.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:43 PM on May 13, 2017

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