Oslo 2010: The 1st Semi Final

Welcome to Escdaily’s live report of the 1st Semi Final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, Velkommen til Norge and the kickoff of the 55th edition of the Contest.  Join ESC Daily as we blog along live with the event from the press centre in Oslo.

Starting off the show now with a video clip of people around Norway. We are then welcomed by our hosts, Erik, Haddy and Nadia.  We get the rundown of voting (including the new rule of being able to vote starting at the beginning of the show)

Sunstroke Project and Olia Tira: Run Away

Starting out with the violinist rotating in the middle of the stage, moving to Olia and the rest of the crew.  Futuristic outfits and the saxophone.  People in the press centre are clapping and shaking along to this one.  There’s a lot of energy, it sounds pretty good and is a great opening to the show, who said it was the year of ballads?

Peter Nalitch & Friends: Lost And Forgotten

So Peter’s vocals are strong, staging is low key and the clothing even more so…snow is falling on stage  and we’ve got Russians in the press centre going crazy for this one, but is this too bizarre to go through?

Malcolm Lincoln: Siren

Robin starts out front and center with his pianist before we cut to the Manpower 4, not much has changed from the national final in Estonia and Robin shows off his quirky dancing!  This is very different from many entries and might garner support from the indie kids watching around Europe. People have started clapping along in the press centre.  Could this be a surprise qualifier?

Kristina Pelakova: Horehronie

We start off with the green lighting and cut to Kristina and her backup dancers.  Kristina’s vocals have a bit shaky in rehearsals leading up to tonight, but they seem to be okay for the most part.  The stage is beautiful, but really could be a bit too dark.  Kristina’s vocals seem to be dropping off a bit as song continues, but the staging is great and this should qualify.

Kuunkuiskaajat: Työlki Ellää

Finland is already getting a strong reaction in the press centre before the song begins.  Susan and Johanna are joined onstage by backing singers and dancers and a violinist and they make full use of the center stage.  This is a foot stomper and a hand clapper for sure, and judging by the reaction this song is getting in the press centre, this will surely qualify.

Aisha: What For?

Aisha appears to have wandered onto stage in her dressing gown tonight, and everyone in the press centre seems to be holding their breath over her vocals which have been very strained this week. People in the press centre are audibly mocking her, and this is definitely not going to qualify.

Milan StankovićOvo Je Balkan

Milan emerges on stage in some sort of pod with his dancers and backing singers.  This is the best staging we’ve seen all night and the most polished.  Milan sounds great and this is flowing extremely well and will definitely been seen Saturday in the final, the press centre is going crazy for this one!

Vukašin BrajićThunder And Lightning

The staging for this is dramatic with smoke filling up behind Vukašin and his backing singers. The lights look fantastic and keeps the stage from feeling too washed out.  Vukašin sounds very good, the camera angles are fantastic and this could end up going through, though it can’t be a safe bet…

Marcin MrozińskiLegenda

Marcin appears in the middle of his ladies with the apples very dramatically.  His vocals are very strong but this performance just doesn’t lend itself to making this song work well especially when he starts to apparently choke his backing dancer, although according to our poll, visitors to ESC Daily believe he will qualify!

Tom DiceMe and My Guitar

Tom keeps the performance simple, dressed nicely with just….his guitar! His vocals are good and this is getting a great reception in both the arena and press centre.  This is predicted to qualify quite easily, so will it?

Thea GarrettMy Dream

Thea’s vocals are very strong and she’s dressed in a lovely gown, backed by several singers in the back in the beginning.  The seagull started to appear behind Thea but in all honesty takes away from the simplicity of this song and Thea’s great voice, could it be in trouble just because of the seagull dancing around?

Juliana PashaIt’s All About You

Juliana’s staging is wonderful, and she’s thankfully changed her hair and makeup from yesterday’s first rehearsal!  Her vocals are fantastic, and after a few ballads this should get those that wanted something uptempo voting!

Giorgos Alkaios & FriendsOPA

Another strong contender for best staging tonight, everyone in the press centre appears to be up and dancing to this one! Giorgos and his dancers are helped a lot by interesting camera angles and even Giorgos are sounding better than they had been.  This is a definite qualifier!

Filipa AzevedoHá Dias Assim

Filipa’s vocals are very good here and the stage looks beautiful along with her!  However, following such a strong number as Greece’s might be an issue…and people in the press centre are not giving her a great reception.  There are some wonderful camera shots here but this could get lost in the shuffle easily.

Gjoko TaneskiJas Ja Imam Silata

Gjoko’s vocals are very good, and there might be a good song somewhere in there, but the performance really doesn’t capture anything that could be good about this – the dancing isn’t well choreographed and Billy and Pejcin look like they’re about to fall asleep on stage, honestly.  This probably won’t qualify, but who knows with FYR Macedonia?

3 + 2Butterflies

We appear to have a good amount of the Belarus contingent in the press centre as they were really the only ones cheering this one on as it came up.  The pronunciation still hasn’t really improved, and when the butterfly wings appear from the girls, it all gets to be a little too silly, and everyone in the press centre has jokingly clapped when they’ve appeared.   This probably will not qualify, but the butterfly factor might work for them, who knows?

Hera BjörkJe Ne Sais Quoi

Surprisingly there’s no real reaction to this in the press centre to this.  The staging for this is great and Hera and her singers are sounding excellent.  This is the perfect song to end the semi with, and this is very much expected to qualify. Unusually for Eurovision, it has taken us to song 17 until we have a full-on step-up key change.

As viewers on escdaily.com/live have seen, Emma has been providing our fantastic coverage of the show tonight from the Press Centre in Oslo. She is off to the Press Conference arena to report to us with the interviews of the ten qualifiers tonight. The viewers around Europe are being given a recap of all of tonight’s songs. I (Simon) will guide you through the rest of the show and the rest of the team are in the arena; they’ll report back later on the view from within tonight’s spectacle.

Erik and Haddy give Europe a brief introduction to some of the artists in the Green Room. Erik looks surprisingly good in a Milan Stankovic wig…
A sneak preview of the ‘Big Five’ is given, using the preview videos rather than rehearsal coverage. Haddy and Erik speak briefly to the Finish girls, Kuunkuiskaajat, before flogging the DVD and CD of Eurovision 2010.

The envelopes are ready…
The finalists from semifinal one going forward to the final on Saturday are (in no particular order, and allegedly in random order):
Bosnia and Herzegovina

The show concludes with the qualifiers celebrating on stage.

ESCDaily will bring you similar full coverage of Thursday’s semifinal at 21:00 CET as well as a live report and webcam coverage with live chat of the final on Saturday. See you there!