Romania Fails to qualify for Eurovision Grand Final

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by Kevin Sherwin

For the second year in a row Romania failed to qualify for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest. 10 counties from Semi Final 2 join the 10 qualifiers from Tuesday’s Semi Final 1 along with UK,France, Italy, Germany, & Spain plus host country Israel, to make up the 26 acts for the 64th contest here in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

Just this week the Romanian head of delegation was quoted as saying they might look at an internal selection next year and I’m sure there will be a lot of disappointed fans wanting changes to how Romania will choose their next Eurovision representatives. These are questions that will be addressed in the weeks and months to come.

So let’s look back to the two Semi Finals and let’s talk San Marino. I think the whole audience were surprised but delighted that they qualified from Tuesday’s Semi Final. It appears that every Turkish kebab shop in Europe voted for San Marino due to the fact the singer is actually from Turkey but is representing San Marino.

Apart from that it was pretty much as predicted with Australia getting the biggest cheer in the hall and must be up there as a contender to lift the trophy. With both Greece and Cyprus qualifying we will wait to see if they both give each other 12 points, after all why change the habit of a lifetime.

Israeli TV company KAN put on a great show and we were entertained by 2 former Israeli Eurovision winners, Netta from last year and Dana International who won the contest in Birmingham in 1998 and still looks great 20 years later.

Hungary and Georgia did not qualify and have now said their 2020 participating is in doubt.

Slovenia  however did qualify but at the winners press conference criticised the press about the quality of the questions and said “ They’re boring, I don’t know why we’re taking part”.

Let’s see what kind of reception they get from the fans on Saturday night.

Executive Producer of the contest Jon Ola Sand tweeted that only 2 points separated the countries in 10th and 11th place, it was that close between qualifying and going home.

So 7 counties leave the show  and we moved to Thursday’s Semi Final 2.

Another great production from KAN and right at the beginning of the show answered the question on everyone’s lips, Will Madonna perform on Saturday night?

Yes the contract has been signed and the 60 year old Diva will sing 2 songs during Saturday night’s interval and is expected to receive over 1 million dollars for the privilege.

She will perform a new song from her current Album plus her song that was a hit 30 years ago, “Like a Prayer”.

Many of the press have been quoted as saying that Semi Final 2 is a tough group where 14 out  of the 18 artists deserve to qualify.

Pre- contest favourites The Netherlands, Russia, and Switzerland progressed along with Sweden  who seemed very popular in the hall. We actually have something unusual about the Swedish singer this year, John Lundvik. Not only did he write his own entry he also wrote the United Kingdom entry which is performed by Michael Rice so he gets 2 chances to win Eurovision 2019.

The Swedes have won the contest 6 times and are desperate to equal Ireland’s record of 7 wins and unfortunately they won’t make it 8 this year as they too failed to qualify. So we’re all set for Saturday night and we had a teaser of what to expect. Former winners Conchita Wurst and Mans Zelmerlow are to sing their favourite Eurovision songs. Mans is to sing the Cypriot song  from last year Fuego while Conchita will perform Mans 2015 winner “Heroes”.

We’re promised more surprises including the 26 artists apparently arriving by aeroplane.

It’s now becoming quite normal to have 4 hosts at Eurovision and I must say they did a great job over the 2 semi finals and as far as I could see were the perfect hosts.

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