Semi-finals last night at Eurovision Song Contest put ten bands through to the finals (Belarus, Macedonia, Slovenia, Hungary, Georgia, Latvia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Moldava). It's quite an interesting process. Unlike the hours of voting that goes on a la American Idol, the participating countries have 15 minutes to vote via phone or SMS, so the audience stays in the arena, and the finalists are announced on site. The ten finalists from last night join 14 pre-qualified finalists that automatically get to the finals...so another 24 acts play tomorrow night.
Just a few road cases in storage at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki for Eurovision Song Contest 2007. Sort of reminds me of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The after party last night was a fun scene. All of the winners and many of the production staff headed over the EuroClub around 1:30am...late to be sure, but that's what happens when the production wraps at 12:30, and everyone needs to blow off a little post-show steam. And anyway, they had food!
Here's a shot of the set from last night. (Copyright: Alain Douit, Eurovision.tv)
Now just sitting through dress rehearsals for the finals. Second dress rehearsal is tonight. Thankfully, everything is running smoothly. Nothing has crashed, and the crew seems pretty relaxed. Interestingly, they sell tickets to the dress rehearsals, so the arena is packed for each rehearsal. There's a great interval act at the break, but it's a big secret, so I can't give that away, or they'll put me on the next flight back to New York. Check out the finals tomorrow afternoon, streaming live at eurovision.tv. More later...