And so it came, the day of the actual broadcast of Semifinal 2; a day of anticipation, nervousness and mainly waiting around. Spending twelve hours at the arena, for 3+3 minutes of performance and the rest eagerly waiting for the final result of the voting, can really take the life out of you…
The 3rd dress rehearsal, aka the Family Show, started at 3pm meaning we got picked up at the hotel just after 1pm. Dami went out on stage as number 10, just under an hour into the show, and after this it was just a lot of waiting around until everybody’s supposed to be back in the dressing room area again for the evening show, the live broadcast, starting at 9pm.
Our backstage crew had fewer obligations today, and our commentators usually choose not to watch the afternoon shows, so Mia and I just had the artist crew to look after for a large portion of the day.
Between the two shows our artist crew went over to their room at the hotel next door to relax and energize for the evening. Meanwhile, I tried to get some information regarding the schedule for the remaining days in case we qualify. We still only got rough times and no details since we’re still eagerly waiting for the running order of the final to be revealed, and this isn’t decided until late tonight or early in the morning after the press conference following the show, presenting all the qualifying finalists.
Not feeling 100% today – due to long working days, less than enough sleep and standing outside in chilly winds the other day – I really appreciated having some down time in the delegations’ lounge, relaxing and preparing this blog post.
And even though the waiting was long and exhausting, it was well worth it. When it was time for the lovely hosts Måns and Petra to announce the qualifiers and Australia was called out as no 4 the relief and happiness was overwhelming. I had expected this reaction of course – what I hadn’t expected though was the great feeling of loss for the songs and delegations that didn’t make it through. We’ve seen each other so much for the last couple of weeks we’re practically a family by now and having to leave some family members out at this point, so close to the end almost feel cruel… In the past I’ve always favored some songs above others not thinking over it twice, but this year you’ve learned to love all songs and feel connected to the artists and delegations enough to really appreciate all the work, time and effort put into each act by all involved. As for the sweet family of us Delegation Hosts I can’t imagine having to leave anybody behind, and yet I know we have to, already have actually…
But back to today’s recap. Directly after the show the qualifying artists were escorted back to their dressing rooms for a quick change before going over to the press conference where all ten finalists participate, answering questions from national and international press before draw lots to decide who’s going to perform in the 1st and the 2nd half of the Grand Final.
As Dami and our Head of Delegation, Paul, entered the stage for the press conference our two commentators were simultaneously engaged in a bunch of live interviews with the morning shows of different TV and radio stations back in Australia.
Being a qualifier from the second semifinal is definitely less favorable since you don’t get any time to celebrate or re-energize before the rehearsals of the Grand Final starts. The qualifiers from the first semifinal have had two whole days off from all the action in the arena while we’ll get none. Tomorrow morning all artists of the Grand Final are to be at the arena with their HoDs at 11.45am for the rehearsal of the opening act and then follows the first two dress rehearsals of the Grand Final, of which the second one tomorrow evening is the important Jury Show. So no party or celebrations planned tonight, but a good night’s sleep before starting all over again tomorrow.
On my way home I catched up on the latest news, predictions and odds and was amazed to find out not only did Dami deliver a brilliant performance tonight but she’s actually rising in the lists after tonight’s broadcast and is right now placed second after Russia, passing both Sweden, France and Ukraine in the last couple of hours. Saturday’s Grand Final is really going to be a total nerve-wrecker! But that’s a sweet problem for another day…
The finalists who qualified from Semifinal 2 are:
Dami Im (Australia) Sound Of Silence | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Laura Tesoro (Belgium) What’s the Pressure | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Poli Genova (Bulgaria) If Love Was a Crime | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz (Georgia) Midnight Gold | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Hovi Star (Israel) Made of Stars | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Justs (Latvia) Heartbeat | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Donny Montell (Lithuania) I’ve Been Waiting For This Night | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Michał Szpak (Poland) Color Of Your Life | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Sanja Vučić ZAA (Serbia) Goodbye (Shelter) | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm
Jamala (Ukraine) 1944 | Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm