.photo © Alain Douit (EBU)
And the competition has begun! Tonight saw ten countries proceed to the finals, and the hopes and dreams of another nine dashed. Amongst them was the wonderful Stella Mwangi of Norway with Haba Haba - such a pity.
My favourite, a rather nervous Kati Wolf for Hungary with What About My Dreams wasn’t up to her peak vocally but looked amazing in an asymmetrical turquoise mini, and more importantly got through. Alexey Vorobiof from Russia also made the cut. My guilty pleasure Turkey dropped, as did Armenia (a stunning effort). This means the large diaspora vote for both countries will not affect the final unduly.
Azerbaijan as ever had a very popular number. It grew on me in performance - this might actually be a contender. Unless Kati finds her voice sadly I doubt she can win, as storming a tune as What About My Dreams is. And of course the UK holds thumbs for our brave boys Blue with I Can (as one of the big five we are automatically in the final)
And the winners are:
These tweets caught my eye:
Ewan Tonight's Eurovision drinking game is simple (as always). Drink on a pyrotechnic effect (warning, Azerbaijan might kill you)
Con_Dem_Nation why are people watching eurovision when they don't have to?
MrLondonStreet Surely it's crazy that you can vote in #eurovision before you've heard all the songs? Anyone would think people choose on nationality alone.
HotLabour It's no single ladies is it?
squawkbox No number of flames will help her! *drinks Irn Bru* #eurovision
MrLondonStreet This Armenian entry is quite spellbindingly dreadful. Exactly what Eurovision should be about. #eurovision
Daaniellle Turkey, ever heard of a band called The Darkness? #eurovison #turkey
miketd Would I enjoy Eurovision more if I got very very drunk, very very quickly? Desperate times call for desperate measures...
taylorjauk #Eurovison San Marino is this a real country???
KathrineHoegh #eurovision semifinals. The only think worse than the #eurovison finals.
bryanboy BF on Croatia: "I'm suffering!!"
thoroughlygood Look. At the size. Of. That. Rock. #Eurovision #esc2011 #Hungary
nickminers Uh oh. There's a program on the telly that I don't like but loads of people are Tweeting about it.
benlocker Portugal has gone mad. #eurovision
MrLondonStreet Oh dear, Finland. James Blunt meets Zak Goldsmith (and it's even more horrendous than that description suggests). #eurovision
Con_Dem_Nation Does anyone know how much is spent on Eurovision and what the financial benefit of it is? There's a saving right there!
thoroughlygood Somebody's welding. #Azerbaijan
MrDuncanJames So far loving hungry and Azerbaijan and they both got the biggest cheers here in dusseldorf stadium!
stebax Shit. Missing some stellar badness from Portugal in Eurovision! I'm hearing great things about them
Celiaka What's up with all the dresses this evening? They only have one sleeve. Austerity measures? #eurovison
squawkbox I'm in love with CHEW #armenia #eurovision
Bluesilvahalo YAY! #Azerbaijan is trending! I know a good crap eurovision song when I hear it!!
Microphonunlock Norway goodbye ... Europe sucks!!
redexile These are the *top* ten finalists? #eurovision
tiza_ GO BLUE!!! #eurovison
Twitter exploded with hard-core Eurovision tweeting. However, there was some stiff competition, as this tweet attests:
Jason_Cobb #apprentice reminds me that capitalism isn't working, Comrades.