Rotterdam, Netherlands (AFP) – After the Covid-19 pandemic stopped last year, the Eurovision Song Contest came back to life on Tuesday, celebrating massively not only the Eurovision rhythms, but also the opportunity for fans to watch the semi-finals live.
“We are back and the boy is feeling great!” Dutch TV channel Chantal Janzen said after Dutch winner Duncan Lawrence opened the show.
Of the 16 performances they achieved, 10 qualified for the Grand Final on Saturday: Norway, Israel, Russia, Azerbaijan, Malta, Lithuania, Cyprus, Sweden, Belgium and Ukraine.
The show featured Eurovision’s signature elements – flowery rhythms, big voices, stories of power, glamorous outfits and revealing dresses.
Russian singer Manisha appeared in a red cauldron dress in a huge traditional dress, while Israeli artist Eden Allen rocked her short white dress to reveal a very tight black outfit.
“Thanks for the support. Love my country. Love everyone. After the semi-finals, Allen said in a message to his nation, which is locked in a conflict with the armed Hamas movement that has killed more than 200 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.”
In Rotterdam, Lithuanian rock group The Roop kicked off their concert at Eurovision with an apt song called “Discoteque” and their opening words: “Well feel the rhythm. Something’s going on here. ”They can now extend that sentiment directly to Saturday’s final.
The competition, which this year included contestants performing 39 songs from countries in Europe as well as Australia and Israel, is one of the biggest events in Europe since the start of the epidemic. This happens when the continent begins to temporarily emerge from lockdowns and infection control restrictions.
A crowd of 3,500 people – who tested positive for coronavirus early – was allowed into Ahoy Square in Rotterdam to watch live performances. The number was a small fraction of the stadium’s capacity.
Some fans are waiting to wave national flags. Others wore the show which is popular with the LGBTQ community.
Geert van den Berg attended a purple dress and white wig adorned with a red feather. Her partner Roberto wore a miniskirt composed of the flags of the participating countries.
“Eurovision is very important to me. We, my partner and I … This is the tenth time that we have gone to Eurovision.” We love it very much because all countries are together. It’s always a party, it’s always fun. “
In the final match, a total of 20 semi-final winners on Tuesday and Thursday will be joined by competitors from the so-called Big Five in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, plus a representative of the host country. , Holland.
Australian lawman Montaigne was the only actor not to attend the event in Rotterdam due to coronavirus restrictions. Instead, he reached the semi-finals with a live recorded performance and was unable to convince the national judges and voters from the crowd.
Another day on stage was one of the bookies’ favorite to win the title, Maltese singer Destiny. Her song, with her gorgeous rhythms and lyrics emphasizing the power of women, showcased the powerful voice of a singer who has named Lizo, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Cardi B and Megan Tay Stallion as her musical idols.
“My song is about empowering women.” She said, “It’s all about you, pretty women.”
The first show to be shown was the Norwegian singer TIX who performed their song “Fallen Angel” wearing huge white wings with dry snow falling around.
Singer Andreas Hawkland uses his stage name as a reference for his youth with Tourette’s syndrome and the tics that the disease can cause.
He said, “I want people to feel better just because it was a really miserable year for a lot of people. And I think it’s time to put mental health on the agenda.”
Favorite bookies who qualified for the semifinals on Tuesday were Italian rock band Manskin and French singer Barbara Bravi. They enter the musical battle in the final on Saturday night.
At the other end of the Destiny’s age scale is the veteran Belgian Hooverphonic group, which includes the oldest artist at this year’s event, Raymond Gertz, 61. Their poor performance also reached Saturday’s final.
Despite a strict testing regime, hygiene and social distancing, organizers have not been able to completely ban the coronavirus. A member of the Polish delegation and a member of the Icelandic team tested positive for the virus in recent days.
The delegations of Malta and Romania were staying in the same hotel, and everyone underwent precautionary tests that came out negative, which allowed them to qualify for the semi-finals on Tuesday.
The winged Norwegian singer really enjoyed performing in front of a live audience.
Well, like, people get together. TIX said, “I had the best time. “
“Food trailblazer. Passionate troublemaker. Coffee fanatic. General analyst. Certified creator. Lifelong music expert. Alcohol specialist.”