The first semifinal of Eurovision 2009: El Retorno is about to kick off. Ten participants will compete tonight for a place in the national final, to be held on March 7th. Only three of them will qualify directly for the final evening, while the fourth placed will have a second chance by the end of the month. The 5th member of the jury will be selected today as well.
The national broadcaster, TVE, is airing the show on its main channel TVE1 and on TVE International as well. A webcast to follow the show is available on rtve.es. Once the show concludes, it will be available on demand on the broadcaster's website here .
IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE NOT IN SPAIN, YOU MIGHT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE TVE WEBCAST.
This year's series of programmes to choose the Spanish representative in Moscow are held in Barcelona, at the Casino de la Aliança de Poblenou. Alaska and Miguel Serrano Olivares are the hosts of the shows.
Participants translation of song titles in brackets, if needed :
- Yulia Valentayn – Uh la la
- Noelia Cano – Cruza los dedos Cross your fingers
- Melody y Los Vivancos – Amante de la Luna Lover of the Moon
- La Red de San Luis – Gracias, madre Tierra Thank you, mother Earth
- La la love you – Dame un beso Give me a kiss
- Carlos Ferrer Eai – El patito The little duck
- Atalis – Retrato frontal Frontal portrait
- Gran Baobab – Despedida de soltero Stag night
- Vicente Casal – Tú me complementas You supplement me
- Normativa Vigente – Alejandría the new generation Alexandria…
You can vote for your favourite act in the poll that esctoday.com is running here .
The show starts showing with Miguel welcoming the audience from the streets of Barcelona. People is cheering outside the venue and Alaska arrives to the casino in a carriage.
The group Tequila is now on stage. They are covering Waterloo, by Abba.
Alaska is now welcoming the audience and presenting the members of the jury.
A video containing images from the auditions day is now being shown.
The five hopefuls to become the 5th member of the jury are now on stage. Alaska asks them to 'sell' their candidacy for the jury. One of the contestants fells down from stage.
The 10 candidates of tonight are now being presented by Alaska.
Back from commercials, Alaska reminds viewers that the lines to vote for the jury candidates are already open.
The performances start!
1. Yulia Valentayn – Uh la la (poll result: 35.5%)
Yulia Valentayn appears on stage dressing a simple grey outfit. The image of this lady has changed a lot since her performance in Eurocanción 2005. Uh la la is a mild and soft tune, far away from Yulia's previous style. This is a song sung mostly in English, which could make a big difference from all the previous Spanish entries. Nontheless, Yulia's vocals don't seem to be very strong tonight. The singer is accompanied on stage by two dancers who actually don't dance much and wear two Chinese umbrellas.
After the performance, Yulia says that she feels relieved by singing first tonight.
2. La Red de San Luis – Gracias, madre Tierra (poll result: 2.2%)
Gracias, madre Tierra was initially placed in the Spanish song category, although the tune is clearly a ballad. The message of the song deals with ecology, forests, mountains etc. The group is thanking our planet for everything it gives to us. Part of the song is in English. Vocals are quite good and the three boys deliver a memorable performance.
3. Vicente Casal – Tú me complementas (poll result: 3.8%)
Sorry, but Vicente's vocals need more training. The song is a mid-tempo ballad that speeds up after the first minute. The performance can't be called natural because the guy is clearly screaming. This is a candidate not to qualify tonight.
4. Noelia Cano – Cruza los dedos (poll result: 6.6%)
Strong start for Noelia's song. The beat is quite catchy and it is in the line of the dance music. The chorus of the song is sung in English, while the rest of the track is in Spanish. The style of this entry fits Noelia's vocal quality, although she seems to be unable to hit some notes. This act currently is placed 3rd in our poll, could it be a qualifier?
5. Carlos Ferrer EAI – El patito (poll result: 1.1%)
El patito is the small duck on Carlos' guitar. If last year Rodolfo Chikilicuatre was the mock entry in the Spanish Eurovision selection and went on to win the competition, this year's joke could be this song. Its beat reminds of the country-style compositions of the Western USA. Qué bonito es mi patito (My little duck is so beautiful). Judge by yourselves.
Just after crossing the equator of tonight's performances, Miguel Serrano is reporting from the Chillout room (a sort of Green Room) and reminding viewers to vote for the jury candidates. Yulia Valentayn greets her fellow Russian citizens and reveals that she won the Russian championship of salsa dance.
6. La la love you – Dame un beso (poll result: 6%)
La la love you is the most 'indie' act tonight. The beat is actually really catchy and original. The vocals' quality is not very high but… who cares? This is not opera. The public has welcomed this entry with a 6% in our poll, which means the 4th place. If the final results agree with the poll, La la love you would compete at the Second Chance round. So far, Dame un beso is one of the strongest candidates to proceed to the final.
7. Normativa Vigente – Alejandría the new generation (poll result: 1.1%)
Alejandría is the most rock-styled entry tonight. And yet again we have a song that mixes English and Spanish in it. Despite the vocals of the leading singer, the instrumentation is quite good. Nevertheless, the tune sounds repetitive and it is not one of the strongest competitors this evening, as our poll shows.
8. Atalis – Retrato frontal (poll result: 0.5%)
Atalis has been the least voted act in our poll. Our public is wise, and there must be one or more reasons to support this. The song is somehow catchy, but that rap in the middle of a supposedly electronic track is quite misleading, isn't it? Let's wait for the final result, but Atalis are not very likely to make it to the final tonight.
9. Melody y Los Vivancos – Amante de la Luna (poll result: 42.1%)
The song starts with difficulties involving Melody's microphone. This is an Azúcar Moreno déjà vu!
Melody y Los Vivancos have topped our poll since the moment it was opened and so did they in the online stage of the Spanish selection. This is the most typical Spanish tune tonight and the seven Vivancos brothers dancing next to her deliver a powerful performance. Amante de la Luna is definitely the hot favourite tonight. Should they win, two of the Vivancos must step out, because the EBU rules state that the maximum of people on stage is 6. And… would a typical Spanish entry do well in eurovision at last?
10. Gran Baobab – Despedida de soltero (poll result: 1.1%)
The last song is difficult to allocate in any category… It reminds of some songs by Los Rodríguez or Tequila (Spanish readers know). The lyrics are quite strange, don't make much sense and the vocals of the leading singer are not what we would call powerful. Gran Baobab is third last in our poll, and they are not likely to make it to the final tonight.
We have already watched all 10 performances and Alaska announces that the phone lines to choose the 5th member of the jury are now closed. The winner of the competition is Víctor Escudero, who has won the jury voting and placed high also in the public voting. Víctor now becomes the 5th member of the jury.
Lines re-open now. Viewers within Spain can vote for their favourite act
It's time for the interval act. Fangoria (Alaska) is now performing her latest single.
After a commercial break, Alaska and the jurors are discussing the introduction of the juries in the Eurovision Song Contest. They think it will balance the final results and will reduce the effect of the bloc voting. Another discussion topic is Dima Bilan's winning performance last year. All of them agree on its quality.
The debate goes on. A few minutes left until phone lines close.
Back from commercials, lines are now closed. We expect the results to come out soon.
The jury are now announcing their points. The voting procedure is the same as in Eurovision: 1-8, 10 and 12 points. After the jury vote, Melody y Los Vivancos are in the lead. They have gathered all the 12's from the jury members. La la love you are second and La Red de San Luis, third.
Miguel opens the envelope containing the results of the televote. Melody gets the 12 points from the public, and La La Love You and Noelia Cano complete the podium.
Therefore, we alrady have the first three finalists: Melody y los Vivancos, La La Love You and Noelia Cano proceed to the final. Fourth place for Gran Baobab, who will have another chance to make it to the final in the Second Chance Round.