(Please see UPDATE at end)
This year the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Belgrade (Serbia) and for the first time will comprise two (rather than one) semi-finals, before the final takes place next Saturday evening.
The first semi-final takes this evening (Tuesday) and the 19 nations competing will be:
Bosnia & Herzegovina
See the official scoreboard here and the main Eurovision website here.
The second semi-final takes place on Thursday and a further 19 nations will compete:
F Y R Macedonia
Ten countries from each semi-final will go forward to the final next Saturday; they will make up the 25 finalists with the following 5 countries:
- the four 'big' countries (i.e. the ones who pay the most):
- plus last year's winner and this year's host nation:
The BBC Eurovision website is here and from here you can listen to all this year's songs (if you are more of a masochist than me).
Of course I shall be recording and/or watching the two semi-finals and watching (and perhaps recording) the final, but after last year's even more nakedly-partisan cometition than usual, my interest has lessened considerably so I doubt if I will bother 'live-blogging' any of the three evenings of 'entertainment' this year. For me the whole competition is on a sort of probation this year. I still plan to enjoy the fun and 'camp' aspects of the three evenings, but I will be taking the whole spectacle a lot less seriously than in earlier years. If the voting this year is even a little more realistic and objective than last year's nadir then I might just possibly reconsider my even more cynical than usual attitude toward the whole competition. Meantime it is relegated for me to the category of vaudeville, redeemed only by the opportunity the competition affords to ogle my particuar taste in 'eye candy'.
UPDATE: I posted here after this evening's show with my impressions plus the countries which have been selected from the 1st Semi-final to go through to the final on Saturday.