Semifinal shock in European press

by Richard West-Soley 58 views

The sun has set on another Eurovision Song Contest semifinal, and Europe has had a chance to ponder the successes and failures of this year's artists, ranging from surprise, to shock and dismay.

Naturally, the Maltese press reflects the stunned disappointment the islanders feel after failing to make the final after the predicted success and extensive promotion of Olivia Lewis. Maltamedia.com reports on a "speechless" Olivia leaving the semifinal after a "Eurovision Song Contest nightmare", with MaltaSong chairperson Robert Abela refusing to comment. Olivia herself spent this morning relaxing at her hotel, and will now use Saturday to take a trip to Tallinn with her family.

Reaction in the Nordic countries has ranged from resigned acceptance to anger at the apparent deafness that the Western countries' entries fell upon, and esctoday.com colleague Tom Espen Hansen will shortly bring a more detailed report on the reaction there. But on broadcaster DR's website, Danish hopeful DQ sums up the results as "catastrophic", and admits "I will never be able to understand it. I firmly believe that Drama Queen was amongst the ten best entries in the semifinal."

Similarly, in Norway the argument rages after Guri Schanke's failure to reach the final. But former commentator Jostein Pedersen adds a more tempered voice to the debate: "Why shouldn't the Eastern European countries vote for each other, when it's completely fine for Norway and Sweden to exchange the twelve points?"

DJ Gogo?
Big Four countries Germany and UK are immune from the direct fallout of semifinal failure, but both draw attention to the Easten European question in the national press. German tabloid Bild and the BBC both express surprise that big favourite DJ Bobo has exited the contest, the former running the tongue-in-cheek headline "DJ Gogo already out!", while the BBC scratches its head after its expert panel predicted a top five placing for the Swiss artist this week. German portal site msn.de also expressed shock at the Swiss failure, but more positively pointed out that the ten qualifiers were largely "of high quality".

Israeli newspaper Haaretz focuses on the technical problems that marred the Teapacks' rehearsals, although these seemed to have been sorted in the live transmission. On ynetnews.com, the band admit to being disappointed, but add "we have no complaints, we had fun, it was awesome!"

Positive attitude
The coverage was not all shock horror, however; understandably, in the qualifying countries, the mood is jubilant. Especially in Slovenia, a country which would probably prefer to class itself as Central, rather than Eastern European,there is absolute joy and celebrationat Alenka's success at the semifinal after three years of failure for the country.

The Finnish press toohave had nothing but positive comments about the show itself, but also draw attention to the dominance of Eastern European countries in the top ten.

Radio Netherlands also drew attention to the lack of Western countries in the top ten, although stressed Edisilia's positive attitude in dealing with the blow. The star came to the press centre after the show to talk to journalists, and whilst aknowledging her disappointment and the "incomprehensible" result like many other artists, she declared her intention to go out and party the night away "to Eurovision music". She was in no rush to leave the Finnish capital either, making the most of the week, win or no win: a positive attitude that many disappointed fans might want to adopt to help them through a difficult week of fallen favourites.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.

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