With Sweden as yet again the last country to pick its entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, all 43 participating nations have made their minds up upon their representatives in Düsseldorf next May. The countdown is already on – it's only 58 days until the first semifinal of the 2011 Eurovision takes place and 62 till the grand finale!
It's been a crazy national selections season, with a gazillion of live shows to follow and two 'Super Saturdays' that have challenged the attention capacity of every sleepless Eurovision fan. But it's been all worth it – here we are, with all 43 entries selected and almost all of them already released.
Despite the fact that most of the countries have selected their songs via televised selection series, the main headlines have come from countries that have gone internal this year. There are several examples: Slovakia was determined to withdraw from the contest, but finally decided to stick around as the costs of withdrawal would be higher than staying in. They will be represented by the duo TWiiNS with the song I'm still alive.
It is remarkable to mention that four countries are returning to the contest this year: Austria, Hungary, San Marino and Italy. Of these four, only Austria decided to hold an open selection. Hungarian broadcaster MTV is back with Kati Wolf and What about my dreams? But the main news have come from the Italian peninsula: Italy is back after a 13-year-long absence, fulfilling the dreams of many fans. The country will be represented by Rafael Gualazzi with the song Madness of love. He participated in the Sanremo Festival, being selected by a special jury. San Marino, the republic landlocked within Italy, is returning after its debut in 2008. Senit with Stand by will defend the Sammarinese colours on the Düsseldorf stage.
Also, several national selections have resulted in the big favourites not being chosen to represent their countries or knocked out before expected. Maybe the best example for this is Iceland – Yohanna was strongly tipped to represent the island this year after her successful debut in 2009, but failed to win the competition, losing out to Sjonni's friends singing Aftur heim as a tribute to Sigurjón Brink, who died days before his participation in the Icelandic selection. Something alike happened in Lithuania with Ruta Sciogolevaite, Latvia with Lauris Reiniks or Greece with Nikki Ponte. Ukraine is a different case, given that the hot favourite Jamala withdrew to show her disagreement with the latest developments in the country's selection.
The list of the 43 participants in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest is as follows:
Semifinal 1, May 10th
|1||Albania||Aurela Gaçe||Feel the passion|
|1||Finland||Paradise Oskar||Da da dam|
|1||Georgia||Eldrine||One more day|
|1||Norway||Stella Mwangi||Haba haba|
|1||Russia||Alexey Vorobyov||Get you|
|1||Switzerland||Anna Rossinelli||In love for a while|
|1||Turkey||Yüksek Sadakat||Live it up|
|2||Greece||Loukas Yiorkas ft. Stereo Mike||Watch my dance|
|2||Hungary||Kati Wolf||What about my dreams?|
|2||Iceland||Sigurjón's Friends||Aftur heim|
|2||Lithuania||Evelina Sasenko||C'est ma vie|
|2||Malta||Glen Vella||One life|
|2||Portugal||Homens da Luta||A luta é alegria|
|2||San Marino||Senit||Stand by|
Semifinal 2, May 12th
|1||Austria||Nadine Beiler||The secret is love|
|1||Belgium||Witloof Bay||With love baby|
|1||Bosnia & Herzegovina||Dino Merlin||Love in rewind|
|1||Cyprus||Christos Mylordou||San angelos s'agapisa|
|1||Moldova||Zdob si Zdub||So lucky|
|1||The Netherlands||3JS||Never alone|
|1||Slovakia||TWiiNS||I'm still alive|
|2||Belarus||Anastasiya Vinnikova||I love Belarus|
|2||Bulgaria||Poly Genova||Na inat|
|2||Denmark||A friend in London||New tomorrow|
|2||Estonia||Getter Jaani||Rockefeller Street|
|2||Israel||Dana International||Ding dong|
|2||Latvia||Musiqq||Angel in disguise|
|2||FYR Macedonia||Vlatko Ilievski||Rusinka|
Final, May 14th
|Germany||Lena||Taken by a stranger|
|Italy||Rafael Gualazzi||Madness of love|
|Spain||Lucía Pérez||Que me quiten lo bailao|
|United Kingdom||Blue||I can|
On March 15th, the draw for the running order of the semifinals will take place.