Eurovision 2016: Results of Semifinal 1

eurovision sweden 2016Eurovision 2016 – Tonight we finally saw the second semifinal, with 18 entries participating and 21 countries voting all together chose the 10 finalists! Find out which they are! Comment, discuss and analyze with us!

This was tonight’s running-order:

  1. Finland Finland | Sandhja | Sing It Away
  2. Greece Greece | Argo | Utopian Land
  3. Moldova Moldova | Lidia Isac | Falling Stars
  4. Hungary Hungary | Fehérvári Gábor Alfréd | Pioneer
  5. Croatia Croatia |Nina Kraljić | Lighthouse
  6. Netherlands Netherlands | Douwe Bob | Slow Down
  7. Armenia Armenia | Iveta Mukuchyan | Love Wave
  8. san marino San Marino | Serhat | I Didn’t Know
  9. Russia Russia | Sergey Lazarev | You Are The Only
  10. czech republic 28 Czech Republic Gabriela GunčíkováI Stand
  11. Cyprus Cyprus | Minus OneAlter Ego
  12. Austria Austria | Zoë Straub | Loin d’ici
  13. Estonia Estonia | Jüri Pootsmann | Play
  14. Azerbaijan Azerbaijan | Samra | Miracle
  15. Montenegro Montenegro | Highway | The Real Thing
  16. Iceland Iceland | Greta Salóme | Hear Them Calling
  17. Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia & Herzegovina | Dalal, Deen, Ana Rucner & Jala | Ljubav je
  18. Malta Malta | Ira Losco | Walk On Water

Sweden, Spain and France also voted in this semifinal.

After a 2h show that made us see the stage in action, an opening with Måns Zelmerlöw redoing the reprise of “Heroes” he did in MF with the kids, some good fun moments with Petra Mede, including a candid camera with esc fans (including the guys from Wiwiblogs), an interval act based on the immigration situation in Europe (in a non-political contest, reminder), the ten countries that qualified were finally announced. And they were:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Russia
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Croatia
  • Austria
  • Armenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Malta

Greece and Bosnia fail for the first time, Czech make it for the first time!

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354 comments on “Eurovision 2016: Results of Semifinal 1

  1. My god, The Black Widow was ages ahead of everyone tonight. I can’t recall another show where the top performer had a that big a gap over the other competitors. And it’s a non English song to boot. Great to see that being rewarded.

    And she was sexy without trying too hard. Unlike Armenia. I kept thinking about Amandine (who did the sultry so much better and more naturally) during her performance.

  2. Regarding first semi :
    Some good and some unfair results as always.
    I was very relieved to see the Bosnian vulgar performance staying behind. Weak songs such as the Moldovan, Greek and San Marinese got what they deserved too. Same goes for weak performances like the Finnish one! Still, it’s sad that both a Greek dialect and Bosnian language will not be heard in GF (things look bad for FYROM in semi 2). However and on a positive note it is proven once again that any country can score from #1 to bottom no matter the flag! Finland and Iceland fail for the second year in a row. An omen for Denmark?
    A quite visible and troubling trend remains the favoritism of Swedish productions considering that all of the Swedish songs (CRO/AZE/MLT/CYP) but Moldova made it through…
    Azerbaijan, Czech R. Russia and Malta were the most overrated entries of the night imo.
    Montenegro, Estonia and Iceland definitely deserved more.

    My top 5 of the night :
    Just missing Montenegro and Estonia.
    Overall I got 8/10 predictions-wise, missing CRO and AUS (had ICE and BiH instead). I believe semi 2 is much easier to predict!

    • Oh and Zoe is lovely!

    • Actually Montenegro is at #3

    • I agree that swedish songs were unfairly promoted, probably through jury vote, but Croatia is not one of them. It was actually composed by austrians.

      On that topic, I wrote here a few days ago that Central Europe had the strongest regional contingent in this semi and that this is probably an advantage to them. All 4 of them passed! (Austria, Hungary, Czechia and Croatia). It seems that a regional ESC industry is in the making, led by Austria and Hungary who are becoming quite the pros.

      Re Azerbaijan: last year only three countries with small televoting pools gave them 8-12 in the final: Czech R., Malta and Montenegro. All three of them were present in this semi. Is it any wonder they unfairly qualified for the third year on a row?

      • I was telling Dino the other day about the fishy high points AZE got last year. When predicting them in yesterday I took into consideration the fact MLT/CZ.R/S.MAR etc were in the same semi. Plus Sweden!

      • Ohhh come on! What is your difference from those saying Greece qualifies no matter what?
        Azerbaijan is in,fair and square…The whole act was very televote friendly,so was Samra herself
        So believe me even your country voted for it or are you still suspicious they bought your country as well? LOL

        Let’s get real

        • You can tell that to Iceland who was probably screwed out of the final this year. Just like the czechs last year and the portoguese the year before. Let’s wait until Saturday to see how many televotes Azerbaijan actually got. My bet is not a whole a lot. At my little house gathering people were laughing at both Samra and Ira.

          By the wa,y Greece never qualified marginally thanks to juries like Azerbaijan in both 2014 and 2015. Not even once.

          • Your and your friends taste is not superior darling…Although I think this is the weakest Azerbaijani entry to date,I can see a lot of ppl voting /liking this kind of pop tunes in Eurovision …No need to be an oracle to see that..Greece qualified so many times with similiar songs and performances before but you were not around complaining…
            I think your attention is only for Azerbaijan 😜

          • I believe AZR did well with televoting.

          • Iceland screwed? No, reward for a copy cat sorry…

  3. Greta’s message after the results <3
    What a night! It´s a unique feeling knowing you had the performance of your life and a whole stadium shouting out for your country when they were announcing the finalists and still not make it into the finals. I can honestly say that I feel like a winner after tonight´s show and there is nothing I could have done better. And of course my team has been the best I could ever have had. I´ve seen the twitter and Facebook discussions and I am beyond grateful for the support I´ve been getting. I´m just as surprised as you all are, but maybe just not as disappointed, simply for the fact that I am so happy with the performance. I am also so grateful for the great comments we got from the commentators and of course Nickey Byrne (From Westlife saying it was the best performance of the night) The message about the song has been spreading like fire for the last few days and we will take that message and make it ours. I am not sad tonight…..surprised yes but overall grateful especially for all of those messages I´ve been getting from you across Europe and most but not least the people in Iceland.

  4. btw, did no one notice that the greek and swedish “let’s hide our backings” has been generalized this year?

    ALL of them have gone missing for EVERY country :'(

    they’re still pushing that no more than 6 vocals and somewhere in the stage hidden for now, but playback is next guys…

    • I did. And unfortunately you are probably right. It’s a very disturbing trend.

    • Not really. The backing vocalists were quite prominent in a lot of performances (Azerbaijan, Croatia, Finland, Spain, Hungary, San Marino, Holland). They were nowhere to be seen in some others (Russia, Armenia, France, Iceland, Estonia). It didn’t do any good for the last two who betted too much on their performers’ doubtful ability to pull on a “show”.

      On the other hand I can’t remember a single edition with so many cases of terrible backing vocals like Croatia, Spain and Hungary. Especially Hungary – if I was Freddie I would stop the performance just to slap all three of them.

      • What?! You seriously didnt hear them in Czech or Malta? And so on. It was like there werent anyone who didnt hide them this year…

        • I totally agree with the czech choir, those were the worst of the night imo, she should have just sung by herself and that would have been much better

  5. About last night,I only feel bad about Estonia…Even if he was not as good as before,his song deserved a final…

    As for Thursday I really want to see Belgium and Norway in

    Ukraine,Serbia are already in the final and
    I believe Macedonia and Belarus will qualify too 😊

  6. My ranking of Semi 1:

    1. Estonia
    2. The Netherlands
    3. Montenegro
    4. Austria
    5. Armenia
    6. Hungary
    7. Iceland
    8. Cyprus
    9. Azerbaijan
    10. Croatia

    11. Greece
    12. San Marino
    13. Malta
    14. Russia
    15. Bosnia & Herzegovina
    16. Czech Republic
    17. Finland
    18. Moldova

  7. I downloaded this image yesterday of the press voting just before the semi started and Iceland (and Croatia) was the only country the press was wrong about. They were right about the other qualifiers.

    • We almost all wanted Austria in (fans in general not the forum necessarily) but it screamed fan favourite flop thats why most people had her out of their prediction.

      The weird thing for me is that if I had let my personal taste guide me to a prediction (apart from the RUS & ARM top 2) I would have got a 9/10 right instead of 8/10.

  8. Its the day after and I have to say despite being happy for many countries with no good Q records making it and others with good Q records but undeserving songs not making it, the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth especially due to the attitudes of the armenian and russian representatives and their provocations. These people ruin the spirit of the contest and have no place in it. I will try my best to ignore them and focus on actual artists.

    On the show itself :

    The taxi video and the video about how Sweden came to be good in music were hilarious and so well made. Swedes have a good sense of humour and know how to make fun of themselves which shows a really cool attitude. Petra and Mans were good. Mans was a tad too anxious but I expect him to be more relaxed for semi 2.
    The stage was surprisingly dark ! And I mean really dark ! This worked for some songs but not for others (e.g. Austria even though they did their best to make it brighter).
    I am not sure I like the new intro graphics for each song. I loved seeing the flag of the country about to perform, not a hint of it as a big flashy name of the country is shown. Same for the qualifiers announcment graphics.

    And this will be a long comment but some thoughts on the competing entries :

    Finland : I had forgotten about it by song 3 or so. Sandhja has charisma but she did not show it last night. All over the place, hideous outfit.
    Greece : Surprisingly I liked it when it was on but with everything thay came after it paled in comparison. Big time. Worthy first NQ for Greece.
    Moldova : It was very esc 2000s and poor in general. Lidia was good vocally but this was going nowhere it was obvious. 3rd consecutive NQ for Moldova !
    Hungary : He brought the stadium down with these vocals. It was his best performance to date imo. Great presentation as well.
    Croatia : The 2nd dress remains super not elegant and I thought it would detract from what was Nina’s best performance imo. It didnt and I am very happy she will be in the final, she fully deserved it.
    Netherlands : I cant even imagine what Douwe could do with a better song – possibly win the whole thing. He oozes charisma, confidence and personality on stage. He will do well but he deserves better than what he will do.
    Armenia : Even before her disgusting provocations I thought this was unremarkable and kind of tasteless and shouty. The song is nowhere to be seen in digital sales which shows this is not really about the song but about the performance.
    San Marino : I mean bless him, he tried his best, the audience clapped and a weird friend of mine loved it.
    Russia : He comes accross as smug and arrogant. And given all his dangerous nonsense in the press conference this has to be prevented from winning. It does not deserve it anyway.
    Czech Republic : Checked the video a couple of times and while Gabriela sounds amazing she does not look good. This dress is goddamn awful, has to go, and she looked very tired as well. They must take care of the whole look for the final imo.
    Cyprus : I was very spooked by the way the lead singer looked at the camera gosh ! Very good vocal delivery, the cages are still tacky but overall this works quite well on stage and brings the needed energy. Worthy Q.
    Austria : She was among the best of the night. A-game vocals, she looked stunning and this constant smile and positivity she emits are so contagious. Zoe embodies in terms of personality and what she experiences in esc, the true spirit of the contest and stands in stark contrast to the vulgarity of Armenia and Russia.
    Azerbaijan : The biggest fail of the night musically that she qualified. This is so..old and cliched and she cant even sing that good to begin with ! This was bottom 4 material but hey..I hope it crushes and burns in the final. All that said props to Samra for her stance in the press conference.
    Estonia : He was stunning and should have sailed through. The contest lost a great song and a unique performer. Thank you Juri.
    Montenegro : The camera work was good and the dark stage worked for them. Other than that this was really bad, like REALLY bad and imo deserved the last place in the semi last night.
    Iceland : She was a bit poorly synchronized with the graphics but thats not a good enough excuse on why she missed the final..After seeing this performance I thought Iceland could do top 10 honestly even if I am no fan of Greta or the song. I am shocked and the only explanation I have is that Russia sucked out some of its voting base as the impression factor was kind of lost.
    Bosnia : Yessss..This was cringeworthy, opportunistic and not tasteful at all. The fact that it failed restores some of my faith in the contest.
    Malta : Ira did not look that good or that comfortable on stage but I do understand the lack of too much movement given her pregnancy. She eas vocally good but the whole package eas kind of underwhelming.

    • Even though I found her song boring and I think she looks a little matronly for her age, I beg to differ on Gabriella. This is what a naturally beautiful woman really looks like. I loved the fact that she dared to let her hair down without paying for two metres of extensions to make them look longer. A valuable lesson for all the plastic ladies in yesterday’s semi (I am looking at you Ivetta and Ira).

      I found what Cyprus did on the stage not just tacky but outright hateful. The Eurovision stage has been transformed into many things over the years; nobody made it look like a prison before. That plus his creepy crazy druggie looks (a shame because he really is a beautiful man) and all the weird close up camera shots (his chin, his ear etc) and I wouldn’t have been surprised if it didn’t qualify at all.

      And this is an image of Sergey looking happy and relaxed through all his exertions:

  9. The trend continues of songs that don’t sound like plastic pop being pushed aside.Nicely or poorly performed,good or bad songs,Iceland,Estonia,B&H and Greece were distinct unlike the entries from Malta and Azerbaijan.I admit that it’s a trend that worries me.With the exception of Ukraine all qualifiers from the second semi will be maistream pop songs too and the final may end up being a big bland English dominated pop soup.

    • Never believed I would see you support the greek entry on any grounds lol !

      Look I can sense your biterness about Iceland and I sympathize cause I feel the same way about Estonia. But arguably they are both pop songs in a general way as well. And also allow me to say that your argument loses strength when you pile them together with Greece and Bosnia which were worse im every aspect imo at least compared to Malta and at many aspects worse than Azerbaijan as well (I ll give it to the bosnian group that their vocals were better than Samra’s but that’s all).

      You know I am not a fan of Greta and her effort this year but I do believe she deserved the final. But I dont think there are worrying musical trends for the contest becase of an NQ. Be that Estonia as I think or Iceland as you think. That’s the contest it has upsides and downsides. Austria qualified with virtually no pre-set support and while nobody expected it for example.

      The worrying trend in the contest is the growing political tension and the fact that some countries sent PR propaganda machines and acts instead of singers. This is truly worrying and its time for EBU to break some eggs by disqualifying Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

      • I used the word trend carefully because i didn’t want to talk about a fact at this point.
        I don’t support the Greek entry in any way and i don’t think they deserved qualification.I mentioned all these entries together because they don’t sound like your average plastic pop like Malta or Azerbaijan.I note that Cyprus wasn’t much better in terms of the song’s quality.
        Bosnia has a solid ethno entry.The rap part was unfortunate but it was a solid song and performance.The presenation was admittedly hideous but i don’t know if it really played a role in their flop.

        • There are many things I would call the bosnian song but solid is not one. It’s a musical fusion very typical in esc and it’s messy at best imo. And I did not even get to the stage presentation which was hideous.

      • The most political and cynically calculated entry this year is Ukraine. The cause is plausible, but it doesn’t change the fact that it really shouidn’t be here.

    • Greece was a very bad entry. Crap organic is crap and should be treated as such.
      Estonia messed it’s entry. It was borderline Mark Ronson circa -12 pastische and they pushed it into a retro pop. Jüri underperformed big time. No need to qualify, they messed it.
      Same goes to Iceland.
      Do fantastic organic and you will servive. Crap will be punished no matter what material it’s made of.

      • Greece was a dijointed entry first and foremost.Throw in some nice ethno parts mix them with hip-hop and add a lame propaganda chorus in English.Estonia was a nice song and Juri is charismatic but i agree that he underperformed and the presentation was rather poor.I disagree on Iceland.Greta’s performance was nice,the graphics were very effective and the people in the arena went crazy about it.It’s one of those inexplicable cases,imo.I really want to see how they juries treated her.
        And i don’t think it’s unrelated to how the juries vote the fact that ethno songs are gradually out of the picture in esc.

        • If good ethno songs dq, it’s of course sad. When they are like GRE and BiH, I really couldn’t care less. Same goes with plastic. When it’s bad and luke warm like Malta it’s totally unfair that we have to watch it one more time.

          • Well,plastic songs tend to do better than underwhelming ethno,imo.Plus,they’re super boring.I prefer to watch an average ethno like Bosnia in the final than WOW.

            • There surely has been a swift and I hear you. I like wow and I like ethno. I think BiH fell on that horrendous tableau. Mediocre Balkan ethno for sure, but I would swap it with Malta or Azerbaijan without the blink of the eye.
              And there are way too many boring Swedish songs this year. Maybe there should be ethnic cleansing. You come to ESC with your own products.
              It’s funny that with all these swedomania the front runners are made in Greece, Ukraine and France. In top 10 we find Sweden and one of their export Malta. In top 15 we have one more Swedish export Malta. They are not doing too well. If I was broadcaster in need of good ESC entry I would stick to my own guns. Or I would call Athens 😃 If I was very rich broadcaster that is.

  10. Important anouncement alert: Zoë means “Life” in greek!

    • Do the right thing! Vote for Austria in the final :)

    • She is lovely and talented :-) I am so glad people like her and Amir are in the contest standing in stark comparison to people like the armenian or russian representative. It keeps my faith to thr contest alive :-)

      • And Freddie too. Such a modest, thoughtful and down-to-earth person, such a killer combination of looks and talent, the best representative any country could hope for. He does not seem to possess any kind of cockiness, which is definitely the most off-putting thing and least arousing thing in a handsome man.

        I hope they all do great on Saturday. They deserve it!

        • Freddie is amazing.So modest and sensitive.I was shocked when he revealed he was bullied at highschool because he didn’t look the way he looks today.

        • Freddie is more introverted and I can’t really connect with him as I do with Zoe or Amir. He seems like a good guy though.

  11. Meanwhile the greek press is having a field day making parallels between Greece’s Eurovision exit and Grexit. Polling my colleagues at the office, most people didn’t even know there was a semi-final yesterday. Only a couple of years ago that would have been completely unthinkable.

    This is how the new ERT treats the most succesful product they ever had. Letting it die from barely concealed disdain while keeping their fatcat, secure public sector jobs. They are not just spectacularly misguided, they are utterly disgusting.

  12. Devastated that Estonia and Iceland are out, I didn’t anticipate Malta getting in at all but I had my suspicions that Austria would qualify. Glad that Croatia (my number 1) qualified although I was worried that she wouldn’t qualify based upon her voice. It didn’t feel right imo

  13. I was expecting some really remarkable surprise Qs and NQs, but after all everything went according to betting odds, right? So, no big surprises.

    Biggest let downs: Greece, Finland.
    Biggest pleasant surprise: Austria

    Best performance of the night: Montenegro.

  14. 24 hours have gone by after the 1 st semi and the most striking conclusions are the following:
    – some countries have to try very little to reach the final, Azerbaijan being the most obvious case after yesterday’s performance;
    – plastic acts and songs reign supreme (waiting to see how the juries and televoters voted)
    – the level of the songs was below average, wheras the vocals were above average (Finland and Azerbaijan were clearly the worst in this department)
    – excellent vocal renditions still managed to survive – Austria and Croatia.
    – I liked the stage; yes, it was very dark, perhaps a bit too much, but it showed flexibility and versatility in creating several different moods successfully.
    – the host were discreet and I support that attitude; they did not joke too much and led the show efficiently.

  15. Youtube videos from the official channel:
    Most watched:
    1 Russia
    2 Armenia
    3 Azerbaijan

    Most liked:
    1 Hungary
    2 Czechia
    3 Cyprus

    Most disliked:
    1 Greece
    2 Finland
    3 Azerbaijan

    Most liked NQ is Iceland
    Most watched NQ is Greece (more views than Austria, Cyprus and Malta

    • ISL and GRE did well with televoting; CZR and MLT with juries? I see BiH doing well with the juries as well.

      • I also think that Iceland and Greece did well with televoting, I just don’t understand why juries wouldn’t support Iceland. I also think Hungary did better with the juries.

  16. The BEST performances of the night
    4.Austria !
    *BIH should be included for excellent vocals but cheap stage presentation.

    The ones that let me down :
    Azerbaijan : Embarassing vocals, poor show (minus 2p)
    Estonia : Why the overconfident, playboy look? Ewwww! (minus 1p)
    Cyprus : Bad camera work, the whole performance was like from inside an asyllum and I don’t approve neither the looks nor the vocals.
    Croatia : Terrible outfits, shaky vocals (at parts)

    Most Overrated entries :

    Everyone else gave us exactly what we expected although Moldova was slightly better and Finland worse!

    • I disagree almost vastly on Estonia and somehow (the cages) on Cyprus.

    • And here are my scores re semi 1 :
      ARM 9.5/10
      EST 9/10
      ΙCE 9/10
      MONT 8+/10
      NETH 8+/10
      HUN 8/10
      ΑUS 7/10
      CRO 7/10
      ΑZE 7/10
      CZ R 6.5/10
      CYP 6.5/10
      RUS 6/10
      MLT 6/10
      BiH 5/10
      FIN 5/10
      ΜLD 4.5/10
      GRE 4/10
      SAN M 4/10

      • Estonia 2nd?

        • yes ! Started from 10/10 and ended up minus one cause it was not THAT a travesty. At least stage and vocals were ok

      • My ranking for last night with changes to my pre-May list:

        1. Estonia: 9.4 (=)
        2. Hungary: 8.3 +2)
        3. the Netherlands: 8.1 (+3)
        4. Cyprus: 7.7 (-2)
        5. Croatia: 7.5 (-2)
        6. the Czech Republic: 7.1 (+1)
        7. Austria: 6.4 (+1)
        8. Russia: 6.2 (+1)
        9. Malta: 6.2 (+1) I wanted to put it down but she comes across as fine lukewarm act.
        10. Iceland: 6 (+4) The copy cat element doesn’t allow me to advance it further!
        11. Armenia: 6 (+1)
        12. Montenegro: 6 (+3)
        13. Azerbaijan: 5.8 (-8) Visual mess and tacky staging! Nice song though.
        14. Finland: 5.5 (-3) Lost in comparison.
        15. San Marino: 5.3 (=) Bring back the ballad.
        16. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 5 Adios!
        17. Greece: 4.5 (-4) Almost a parody act…
        18. Moldova: 3.8 (=)

    • I agree with almost everything. I would add to those 6 best performances Czech Republic too. The most overrated entries for me were Malta and Azerbaijan and the most underrated Iceland and Montenegro.

      Here’s my ranking for the 1st semifinal along with my ratings (in brackets there are my rankings before the semifinal):

      1. (3) Russia 8.3/10
      2. (1) Czech Republic 8.1/10
      3. (4) Armenia 8.1/10
      4. (11) Netherlands 8/10
      5. (12) Hungary 7.8/10
      6. (6) Austria 7.6/10
      7. (7) Iceland 7.4/10
      8. (13) Montenegro 7.2/10
      9. (10) Cyprus 7.1/10
      10. (2) Estonia 7/10

      11. (5) Croatia 6.8/10
      12. (14) Bosnia & Herzegovina 6.7/10
      13. (8) Malta 6.5/10
      14. (9) Azerbaijan 6.2/10
      15. (15) Finland 5/10
      16. (16) Greece 4/10
      17. (17) Moldova 3/10
      18. (18) San Marino 3/10

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