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EUROVISION 2015

SEMI-FINAL 1

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By Brent Davidson
20th May 2015
It was a night of tears, of excitement, joy and some sorrow – but mostly the first two as we went live to Europe and Austria... wait we mean Australia. Look guys, it gets very confusing when two countries have almost the same name! Those poor hosts!

SWITCH: EUROVISION 2015 CONCHITA SEMI-FINAL 1 PERFORMANCE
The mood on the ground was electric and the preshow did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd, something not seen on the live broadcasts. But when the moment we’d all been waiting for finally came, it was like a thousand Christmases and birthdays and New Year's Eves rolling into one immaculate moment. What a moment it was.

Conchita, the reigning Queen of Eurovision got the night started with her now iconic 'Rise Like a Phoenix'. For some, this alone might have been enough, pack me up and send me home. But let's not forget we had 16 countries all competing for a spot in the hallowed Grand Final.

I’m not going to go through every performance - that would take far too long! But here are some personal highlights...

LOÏC NOTTET - RHYTHM INSIDE (LIVE)
First up, as some may remember my Top 5 Article, Belgium’s Loïc Nottet delivered a striped-down performance with enough robotic movements to make Dada happy. Not only was this something that stood out, but his vocal performance blew the song out of the stadium. For such a small guy he has a huge voice. Walking out of the stadium, everyone was singing along to his soon-to-be iconic “Rapppabab Rapppabab Tonight” (official spelling).

BOJANA STAMENOV - BEAUTY NEVER SLEEPS (LIVE)
Next highlight was the feel-good disco hit 'Beauty Never Lies' by Serbian entry Bojana Stamenov. The message certainly hit a note with everyone in the stadium, and after what felt like a sea of slower songs and power ballads, the tune brought a dance break that had this reporter jumping in his (rather squishy) area. Her use of Phantom of the Opera-esque masks and sign language (and you know how I feel about that) made the performance sublime – not to mention her shout out to Australia. She was the disco ball this competition had been lacking and I’m sure I speak for the global audience when I say we couldn’t be happier!

UZARI & MAIMUNA - TIME (LIVE)
In what was my biggest upset of the night, Belarus’s Uzari and Maimuna who performed an electric (forgive the pun) performance of their song ‘Time.’ While being one of the most fun and enjoyable songs of the night, the Belarusian entry did not make it through to the grand final, which came as a big shock. It just goes to show you can’t rely on the crowd around you to let you know who will go through (and how political the whole event can be).

There is one other thing I need to talk about and it’s something I very rarely feel. An unbridled sense of patriotism every time Australia was mentioned, followed by some loud cheering by every Australian in the room – trust me, lots of us have made the pilgrimage. I never thought I’d say I ever really wanted to see Guy Sebastian sing, but this is one thing I feel I cannot miss. The patriotism doesn’t extend to chanting the chant I dare not write. But it is there and it is strong.

Qualifiers for the Grand Final

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