It’s time for the jury to have their say in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, kicking off with the first semi-final of the competition. A total of 50% of the vote will be determined this evening, which will be added later on to the public vote.
This evening sees the first 19 participating countries competing in the first semi-final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest! Well, not the official semi-final, but the jury will have their say in the semi-final and final results, determining 50% of the final vote.
This year’s postcards features Eurovision artists embarking on adventures across numerous Portuguese locations, taking part in the various activities available across the country!
Aisel kicks off tonight’s show with her performance on X my heart. Aisel begins her performance lying down on one of the triangular podiums, looking directly into the camera before the choreography begins alongside her backing dancers and vocalists.
Aisel has a few moments during the performance where it feels that her maximum vocal potential isn’t being reached, but generally Aisel sings well throughout. A clever moment happens with Aisel and her backing vocalists, which involved graphics which form on the screen to create a lunar moon, fitting in with the lyrics of the song.
It’s a nice opening song to kick off events, but whether the song may become lost amongst some of the strong entries throughout will be seen in due course.
Ari Olafsson is next onstage tonight with his entry Our choice. The Icelandic takes to the stage with a huge smile on his face, infectious for all to see! Ari wears his usual outfit which we have seen throughout the rehearsals performances, along with his backing vocalists.
Ari has great connection throughout the performance, both with his backing artists as well as the cameras. As usual vocally, Ari is strong throughout with a pretty much flawless performance. Now it’s down to whether it will appeal to the jury members.
Eugent Bushpepa is onstage with his entry Mall tonight, performing with his backing artists as usual. All black is a big feature in Eugent’s performance, with reds on the staging lights at moments in the performance.
Eugent always pushes his vocal ability during his performances, and tonight was no exception! Eugent provides an outstanding performance, always pushing himself when he can. Albania may very well impress the jury members this year with that performance!
Next up is Belgium’s Sennek and her entry A matter of time. Clever lighting and shading effects open the performance with the singer, covering part of her face before a full face reveal. The singer is onstage alone throughout her song, making full use of the stage in mass when she can.
Sennek vocally sounds stronger than from her rehearsals, however there were moments in the performance where notes were potentially not hit to the best of Sennek’s ability. The Bond-style theme will surely appeal to the juries.
05 Czech Republic
It’s a huge roar of applauds from the audience for the Czech Republic’s Mikolas Josef, who takes to the stage with his song Lie to me. Due to his injury last week, the Czech Republic’s performance has been slightly changed, however to first time viewers you wouldn’t notice. It’s a great performance with the dancers, who bring so much energy to the arena.
Mikolas still performs part of his routine with the backing dancers, with backing vocalists being heard in the background of the Czech performance. As a package feature something fresh and modern, this could appeal to the juries. However, it’s more likely to get more points from the public.
Ieva is next onstage today with her song When we’re old, bringing plenty of emotion to the stage and throughout her performance. The singer begins her performance along onstage, before being joined later on by her husband to add to the beauty of the song’s message.
One moment created so much emotion that one of Ieva’s notes went higher than expected, but it’s a sweet and beautiful performance from Lithuania at the 2018 competition. The jury will enjoy this.
A break follows the first 6 performance, with the hosts going to talk to the artists in the green room as well as mentioning their social media.
The current betting odd favourite takes to the stage next with Netta and her song Toy. A huge crowd reaction in the arena tonight, adding to the energy of the performance. Netta starts her performance with her “looper” onstage, but not as we expect. The singer’s looping effects are recreated by the backing vocalists, not having the same effect as that from the studio version.
It’s a fun performance as a whole from Israel, with the backing dancers and their emotions really adding to the performance as a whole. Netta began to run out of breath towards the end of her performance, however the singer was still able to hit all the notes needed. Israel will not struggle to qualify to the final.
It’s time for the theatrical performance from Belarus tonight, featuring Alekseev and his song Forever. It’s purely the Belarusian representative and his backing dancer onstage today, with the main element of the staging being the rose.
It’s an extremely theatrical performance, which at times does come across more comedic than emotional unfortunately. Whether the performance works with the song or not is another matter, but the staging itself is surely a stand out. Is it a stand out in the right way though?
Here we are with Elina Nechayeva and her entry La forza, taking to the stage wearing her usual extravagant gown with visual effects to die for. Elina commands attention to the stage, standing on the podium in her long flowing dress. The effects work beautifully with the song.
Vocally, Elina can do no wrong with yet another flawless performance from the Estonian singer. She doesn’t hit a wrong not at all during her performance, which can only add to the already grand staging for Estonia. As with Israel, another sure qualifier tomorrow night.
Equinox from Bulgaria is up next with their entry Bones. All 5 band members are on stage, standing one-by-one next to each other. The performance perhaps starts off a little shaky at the beginning, but soon picks up once all of the singers perform together.
The performance as a whole, other than beginning few seconds, was well performed as a group, with Zhana hitting a difficult note at the end of the song with almost no struggles. It’s another strong entry from Bulgaria for 2018, with little doubt in their success.
11 FYR Macedonia
Eye Cue of FYR Macedonia are onstage next tonight with their entry Lost and found. The performance begins with everyone onstage, the focus being on the lead female singer throughout. The performance starts off vocally strong, before the choreography kicks in and the dress change happens.
During the choreography, the vocals throughout seem to drop over time, becoming lost at moments in the performance. Some parts are stronger than others, but whether that will be enough to take the band through? Not sure.
Up next is Franka and her entry Crazy, appearing onstage along as the focal point throughout. However, backing vocalists can occasionally be heard in the background. Vocally a strong performance from Franka tonight, really grabbing the audience throughout.
Lighting plays a big part in Croatia’s staging, appearing at the exact right moments in the performance during the chorus and in other parts of the song. The jury should like this performance from Croatia.
Another break following the next 6 performances, with the host taking to the green room to talk to the artists once again.
Cesar Sampson takes to the stage next with his song Nobody but you. Cesar appears alone at the start of the performance, with backing vocals being heard later on during the first chorus. Cesar is on a podium with a light shining directly on him, with additional lights flashing around the arena.
Cesar and his backing vocalists’ vocals work beautifully together, sounding like velvet in tonight’s jury show performance! Cesar’s walking around onstage doesn’t affect his vocals once tonight, remaining steady throughout. The high notes end the song, sure to grab the votes of the jury tomorrow night.
Yianna Terzi takes to the stage next for her jury performance with her entry Oniro mou. The singer performs centre stage in her flowing white gown, with blue paint covering her left hand as in previous rehearsals.
During the later part of the performance, pyrotechnics play a role in the instrumental section of the song, with the singer instructing the actions with her arms and hands. Smoke rises up around the stage, with lights building up ahead of the big ending. It’s a good performance, but whether it’s enough to keep the attention of the public throughout is another matter.
Saara Aalto from Finland is next onstage with her song Monsters. It’s a prop-enthusiasts’ dream with Finland’s staging, with stairs and stars appearing centre stage tonight. Saara performs alongside 4 backing dancers and vocalists, all dressed in grey suits.
Saara is a great performer which shows in tonight’s jury show, with her vocals remaining consistent throughout. At times, the backing vocalists seem to mismatch with Saara’s voice, sound off in certain moments. Looking at the package as a whole, Saara could do well tomorrow.
Sevak is next onstage tonight with his entry Qami, with yet another power performance on the stage tonight. Sevak is along onstage tonight, surrounded by pillars in a circular position all around the stage and singer.
Sevak cannot be faulted vocally tonight, always putting his all into every performance and sure to get the message of his song across emotionally tomorrow evening. The juries will like Armenia’s performance based on vocals alone.
Zibbz is up next tonight with their song Stones. Their performance starts off with no backing music, just some drum effects to build up to the start of the song. As the song builds, the duo perform together with great connection onstage, adding to the performance.
A great moment is when the female vocalists walks across the stage and asks the audience to raise their hands, with shots panning out to the crowd who then interact with the duo throughout the latter half of the performance. This could do better than many originally predicted.
Ryan takes to the stage for the penultimate performance of the night, competing with his entry Together. Ryan starts his performance alone, just him and his guitar, before the 2 male backing dancers take to the stage (receiving huge applause from the audience!).
Snow also closes the final part of the performance, with the focus being on the 2 backing dancers onstage. The story of the song comes across beautifully onstage and is sure to also get a great reaction tomorrow night too. The staging is going to play a big part in the outcome of Ireland’s result, which could see the nation back in the final once again.
Bringing the Fuego to the stage in Cyprus’s Eleni Foureira, who takes to the stage alongside her 4 backing dancers. It’s a high energy power performance from the Cypriot singer, creating roars across the arena from the audience tonight.
Whilst Eleni may not provided the most powerful vocals of the night (due to the energy seen in the choreography), the performance as a whole is a total stand out and a great close to the first semi-final. A easy qualification for Cyprus tomorrow night.
The hosts open the voting for the evening, introducing the official recap to allow viewers to vote.
A medley will feature as the interval act, featuring former Eurovision artists performing a version of last year’s winning entry, Amar pelos dois. This will be followed by another recap.
Voting closes with a comedy skit on David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, followed by a plug on the new Eurovision board game.
First half of the Big 5 and host introduction
Next up sees the hosts introducing the 3 automatic finalists, whose countries will vote in the first semi-final tomorrow night: Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Each of the artists will take to the stage tonight to perform, with part of their performance to be shown during tomorrow’s show.
Claudia is onstage tonight for her performance of her song, O jardim. Claudia begins her performance onstage, with lights illuminating in the background onstage behind the Portuguese singer. She is joined by her backing vocalists and songwriter, who performs alongside Claudia through the rest of the song. Sweet vocals as always.
Alfred and Amaia are onstage next for their performance with their song Tu cancion. Alfred opens the performance followed by Amaia, walking towards each other from opposite ends of the stage before joining each other in the centre. The duo save their vocals for the final moments of the song, beautifully blending together.
Finally today is the performance from SuRie, who will compete with her entry Storm. SuRie is alone onstage, with vocalists being heard in the background throughout. The artist is surrounded by a diamond shape with lights enhancing the performance. SuRie performs arm choreography throughout, walking through the diamond lights towards the end.