Australia makes Eurovision history, an almost nude Belarussian, a bain-marie of Baltic beefcake, a smoke frock from Switzerland and a Scandinavian freeze out – yes, it’s the best bits of semi-final 2!
1. Dami does it!
All hail the new Queen of Australian Pop – Dami Im enters the Eurovision history books as the first Australian act to qualify through from the Semi Finals. Im’s controlled performance, the incredibly effective staging, a frock to die for and some small variations in the song resulted in a knock-out three minutes on the Stockholm stage.
On exiting the venue, the talk of the audience turned immediately to “which European City will Australia choose to stage the 2017 contest?” The buzz in Stockholm is so strong for our delicious Diva that all of Europe are asking – could Australia win?
2. Scandinavia frozen
The big shock fall out from Thursday night’s Semi Final came with the realisation that no Scandinavian nation had secured enough votes to qualify for the final with both Norway and Denmark crashing out of the competition. Only Sweden will perform on Saturday night due to its secure place in the Final granted by winning the previous year.
3. The Power & the Passion
The power of song was displayed perfectly throughout this Semi Final. It’s hard to pick who moved the audience the most but Israel’s melancholic “Made of Stars”, the drama of Serbia “Goodbye (Shelter)”and the Ukraine’s compelling “1944” each delivered “moments” on the Stockholm stage.
4. Dancing Naked with Wolves (Sort of)
— SBS Eurovision (@SBSEurovision) May 12, 2016
He promised a flesh-fest and sort of delivered. But virtual wolves and playing with himself holographically was not enough for the big guy from Belarus to fight his way out of this incredibly tough Semi Final. Hats off to Mans Zelmerlow’s nude(ish) post-song cameo.
— Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) May 12, 2016
Eagle-eyed fans would have seen a sneak preview of what was to come on Mans' Instagram account yesterday:
— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 12, 2016
5. Petra and Mans – The Concert
What better way to explain Eurovision to any newcomer than with a camp as Christmas Broadway style showstopper. Mans Zelmerlow and Petra Mede’s opening act will go down as one of the best performances by two hosts in Eurovision history.
6. Blue & Red make Purple
Eurovision lyrics can often be a little “lost in translation”. But Slovenia’s ManuElla’s had obvious issues with the results of colour mixing in “Blue & Red”. Best way to distract anyone from your odd lyrics is to reveal half-way through your entry a ripped shirtless male acrobat and a dash of pyrotechnics.
7. Leaping Lithuanians – it’s the boys from the Baltics
The boys from the Baltics brought their “A” game to the contest making it two from two as both Lithuania and Latvia sailed through to the Grand Final. Both Baltic boys demonstrated that staging gimmicks are not always necessary as each act performed against effective lighting effects leaving their vocals to impress.
Poor Ireland. Poor Nicky. Rougish Nicky Byrne was seen as Ireland’s big chance to reverse its failing fortunes at the contest. The gamble on Nicky did not pay off. Sadly this marks former powerhouse Ireland’s worst ever run in modern Eurovision having missed the cut now three years in a row. #poornicky #bringbackjedward
9. Frock me Part 2!
Who can pick a winner in the Fashion stakes for Semi Final 2? The smoke-frock of the Swiss Canadian?
Bulgaria’s “high-vis” gladiatrix?
Israel’s front perm?
The Polish Musketeer?
Ahhhh - suffice to say we all won Semi Final 2.
10. Saving the Best to Last?
It took a long time for Belgium’s Laura Tesoro to get her shot on the Stockholm stage going up as the very last of the Semi-Finalists. And the little Belgian made sure she owned every second of her 3 minute performance. A little bit of white-girl funk can go a long way.
Relive all the highlights of Semi Final 2, including Dami's ecstatic reaction to her win, and her press conference following the show, in pictures here: