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Eurovision Semi Final 1: The Netherlands join the Top 10 and Sweden become favourites

I got 9 of the 10 qualifiers in the first Semi Final. To be honest, it wasn't that difficult. My single error was to think that the big opera guy from Belgium, singing about mother, would make it and I was quite surprised that he didn't but Iceland, with a dreadful politically correct requirement that we respect differences or something, did.

Nice to see San Marino making their first final. A pleasant enough song, Maybe, but not one to watch out for.

The two favourites are Armenia and Sweden and Sweden have now overtaken Armenia to take the lead after a quite impressive performance. Armenia did well too, though, and are still very much out there.

Next come Ukraine and UK with Hungary just behind. I am surprised that Ukraine are still as hot after a pretty poor and tuneless performance. Hungary was good but not quite as professionally delivered as in the video. We are spared the scary illustrations of the lyrics, though, thank goodness and Hungary are in with a chance.

Azerbaijan put on a good show but stay out at over 40-1. Russia are in but the twins were not very impressive with some strange and pointless hair thing on a seesaw. The audience were not happy when Russia's qualification was announced - a clear sign of disapproval amongst this group of people of actions on the edges of Europe. The song is poor this year so I would say they're lucky to be qualifying, although they were still better than those that didn't!

The nice and warm moment was to see all the compliments doled out to The Netherlands and their excellent entry. Once over 600-1, they are now 7th favourite, tying with the home country, Denmark who, in my view, could have the most commercial track of all and who, with a good performance could steal this and keep the competition there. It would be a dream to see The Netherlands win. I'd also make about £600!

So here's the list of qualifiers so far:

Armenia | Azerbaijan | Hungary | Iceland | Montenegro | Netherlands | Russia | San Marino | Sweden | Ukraine


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