Semi-Final 1 Participants

CountryArtist & SongPointsRank
1Sunstroke Project & Olia TiraMoldovaSunstroke Project & Olia Tira - Runaway (English)
Music/Lyrics: Anton Ragoza, Sergey Stepanov and Alina Galetskaya

The Moldovans kicked off the party with an energetic pop song. The style of the group harked back to the 1980’s, while the use of the saxophone added a quirky touch and succeeded in making Run Away more memorable.
5210
10Tom Dice (c) VRT - Bart MusschootBelgiumTom Dice - Me and my guitar (English)
Music/Lyrics: Tom Dice (Tom Eeckhout), Ashley Hickin, Jeroen Swinnen

Things had been a bit hectic thus far, but Tom calmed everyone down with his semi-autobiographical ballad. Indeed, it was just Tom and his aforementioned guitar on the stage, and they were one of the favourites for victory.
1671
11Thea Garrett {copyright: Ian Fowell, EuroVisionary}MaltaThea Garrett - My Dream (English)
Music/Lyrics: Jason Cassar & Sunny Aquilina

Thea’s at times sweeping ballad was a good enough song to qualify for the final. Unfortunately, someone somewhere had decided that a grey version of Sesame Street’s Big Bird should prance around the stage. It added absolutely nothing and looked daft.
12Juliana Pasha {www.eurovision.tv}AlbaniaJuliana Pasha - It's All About You (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ardit Gjebrea & Pirro Çako

It was good, honest, catch pop from Albania. Mercifully, the presentation was kept simple, focusing mainly on Juliana with an absence of an over elaborate dance routine.
766
13Giorgos Alkaios  {copyright:aeveurovision.com}GreeceGiorgos Alkaios & Friends - OPA (ΟΠΑ) (Greek)
Music/Lyrics: Giorgos Alkaios, Giannis Antoniou & Friends

The verse sounds like Giorgos is trying to creep up on someone and then surprise them with the load and often repeated ‘OPA’ refrain. The performance was as much, if not more about the backing dancers as Giorgos’ vocals. In the spirit of the song, their routine featured a lot of stamping.
1332
14Azevedo.jpgPortugalFilipa Azevedo - Há dias assim (Portuguese)
Music/Lyrics: Agusto Madureira

Portugal has entered many beautiful ballads, and this is certainly one of them. What it lacks in punch, it makes up for in simple grace.
894
15Gjoko Taneski {copyright:eurovision.tv}FYR MacedoniaGjoko Taneski - Jas ja imam silata (Macedonian)
Music/Lyrics: Kristijan Gabrovski & Darko Tasev

The Macedonians have always played it a bit safe with their choice of song. This has given them credible and likeable entries with no chance of winning (with the exception of 2004) or even being a favourite to reach the final. Jas Ja Imam Silata is very much of that ilk. Even the scantily clad dancers were not going to make a difference.
163+2 {copyright: BTRC}Belarus3+2 - Butterflies (English)
Music/Lyrics: Maxim Fadeev & Malka Chaplin

An altogether more relaxed song than the one they originally won the Belarusian national final with. Equipping the ladies with butterfly wings, which were spread as the song started to climax, was a dreadful gimmick! But the song had done enough by then to win viewers over and so no damage was caused.
599
17Hera Björk {copyright: Gudmundur Thor Karason}IcelandHera Björk - Je ne sais quoi (English)
Music/Lyrics: Örlygur Smári and Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir

Hera’s euro anthem was a huge hit with the fans, and with very good reason. There are no concessions; it is an infectious, undemanding, fun and uplifting three minutes.
1233
2Peter Nalitch & Friends {copyright: RTR}RussiaPeter Nalitch & Friends - Lost And Forgotten (English)
Music/Lyrics: Peter Nalitch

It would be fair to say that not many expected the Russian song to qualify. Judging by the rude reaction of certain members of the audience, both in the semi-final and the final, not many wanted it to. The unusual style of the song coupled with Peter’s unique voice make it an acquired taste, however, it has a substance often lacking when trying to make an instant impression.
747
3Malcolm LincolnEstoniaMalcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4 - Siren (English)
Music/Lyrics: Robin Juhkental

Malcolm Lincoln is a group, not just one person. Siren is another song that doesn’t instantly grip, the first impression being one of “uuh?” The zany dancing added to the wacky factor. All in all, it needed too many listens to become comfortable with for it to have had a chance of qualifying.
4Kristína PelakováSlovakiaKristína Pelaková - Horehronie (Slovakian)
Music/Lyrics: Martin Kavulič, Kamil Peteraj

This was the surprise non-qualifier of the first semi-final. The melody flows, the arrangement is beautiful and it stands out from the crowd in a very positive fashion. On reflection, the Slovaks may consider they overplayed the mother earth theme, but the song (which should count more than anything) is very strong.
5KuunkuiskaajatFinlandKuunkuiskaajat - Työlki Ellää (Finnish)
Music/Lyrics: Timo Kiiskinen

The colourful beginning to the contest continued with another song which could be seen as mould-breaking. It is a jolly, fiddle led affair that will get the toes tapping. The two Scandinavian blondes gave their all, but they never sounded a likely contender for the final.
6Aisha {copyright:eurovision.tv}LatviaAija Andrejeva - What for? (Only Mr. God Knows Why) (English)
Music/Lyrics: Jānis Lūsēns and Guntars Račs

After reading the title, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to hear Gospel influences in the song, although these are only present in the chorus. The verses are much slower, plodding affair. Better songs were left behind in the semi-final.
7Milan Stankovic {copyright:rts.rs}SerbiaMilan Stankovic - Ovo je Balkan (Serbian)
Music/Lyrics: Goran Bregovic & Marina Tucakovic

There was no lacking in enthusiasm on the part of Milan! The whole package sounded and looked fresh, but kept the Serbian spirit at the same time. It wasn’t an obvious candidate to reach the final, but Saturday night was better for Serbia’s presence
795
8Vukasin Brajic {copyright:Facebook}Bosnia and HerzegovinaVukašin Brajić - Thunder and Lightning (English)
Music/Lyrics: Edin-Dino Šaran, Ulvija Tanović and Vukašin Brajić

While other nations gave us something that sounded or looked different in order to stand out (regardless of quality), Bosnia provided a standard rock song with a straightforward presentation.
598
9Marcin Mroziński {copyright:wikipedia}PolandMarcin Mroziński - Legenda (Polish/English)
Music/Lyrics: Marcin Nierubiec and Marcin Mroziński

The story of this Romany song was contained in the choreography. It was three minutes of high drama - including a death - which would have pleased some, but probably considered OTT by many others.
 

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