Second Eurovision Song Contest semi-final to complete 2011 lineup

Posted May 12, 2011 by Mathew Wace Peck
Germany plays host to tonight's second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, completing the final line up for Saturday's final.
The Dress Rehearsals: Have a look! ©
The Dress Rehearsals: Have a look! ©
Alain Douit / EBU
This year's event is being staged in Düsseldorf, Germany, in the city's Düsseldorf Arena.
In total, 25 countries will be taking part in the final. Ten countries, from an initial 19, went through from the first semi-final on Tuesday, while a further five – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – have a guaranteed place by virtue of their funding of the event.
A further 19 countries are competing this evening, but, once again, only ten will go forward to the final. In order of performance, the full list of competitors is as follows:
1. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Dino Merlin – “Love In Rewind”
2. Austria: Nadine Beiler – “The Secret Is Love”
3. The Netherlands: 3JS – “Never Alone”
4. Belgium: Witloof Bay – “With Love Baby”
5. Slovakia: TwiiNS – “Iim Still Alive”
6. Ukraine: Mika Newton – “Angel”
7. Moldova: Zdob și Zdub – “So Lucky”
8. Sweden: Eric Saade – “Popular”
9. Cyprus: Christos Mylordos – “San Aggelos S’Agapisa”
10. Bulgaria: Poli Genova – “Na Inat”
11. F.Y.R Macedonia: Vlatko Ilievski – “Rusinka”
12. Israel: Dana International – “Ding Dong”
13. Slovenia: Maja Keuc – “No One”
14. Romania: Hotel FM – “Change”
15. Estonia: Getter Jaani – “Rockefeller Street”
16. Belarus: Anastasiya Vinnikova – “I Love Belarus”
17. Latvia: Musiqq – “Angel In Disguise”
18. Denmark: A Friend In London – “New Tomorrow”
19. Ireland: Jedward – “Lipstick”
The second semi-final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live this evening at 21:00 CET (Central European Time) from the Düsseldorf Arena. The event will be presented by Judith Rakers, Anke Engelke and Stefan Raab.
For the first time, voting will comprise a 50/50 split between viewer televoting and national expert juries.
According to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisation that stages the event, a panel of expert judges has voted already, on Wednesday, during the dress rehearsal for tonight's event, but the results have not been disclosed. Viewers across Europe will be able to televote during the live show.
On the new voting procedure, the EBU says: "TV viewers from the 19 participating countries as well as those from France, Germany and Italy will have the opportunity to take part in the televoting, with the numbers and details being announced in the live broadcast of the public broadcaster in each country.
"After the voting results have been collected, they are centrally added up, and the countries qualifying for the Final will be announced in random order by opening virtual envelopes."
Viewers from the UK and the 19 countries that took part in Tuesday's first semi-final were able to vote in that heat, but are not allowed a vote tonight. Viewers from all participating countries, including those who haven't gone through from the semi-finals, are allowed to vote during Saturday's final, although not for their own entries.
Of tonight's competitors, Ireland currently holds the record for the most Eurovision wins – seven – and an unprecedented three consecutive victories – 1992, 1993 and 1994 – though they have not done so well in recent years; The Netherlands, meanwhile, has won four times – 1957 (Corry Brokken, with "Net als toen"), 1959 (Teddy Scholten, with "Een beetje"), 1969 (Lenny Kuhr, with "De troubadour", in joint first place with France, Spain and the UK) and 1975 (Teach-In, with "Ding-A-Dong"); and Israel has triumphed on three occasions – its first year of entry, 1978 (Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta, with "A-Ba-Ni-Bi"), 1979 (Gali Atari and Milk and Honey, with "Hallelujah") and 1998 (Dana International, with "Diva").
Ireland - ups and downs
Ireland's first Eurovision win was in 1970 when Dana triumphed with "All Kinds of Everything". The republic's second win was ten years later, in 1980, with Johnny Logan's performance of "What's Another Year?". Logan represented Ireland again in 1987, giving his country their third win with "Hold Me Now". Ireland's next three wins were consecutively in 1992 (Linda Martin, with "Why Me", which was written by Logan), 1993 (Niamh Kavanagh's "In Your Eyes") and 1994 (when Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan sang "Rock 'n' Roll Kids"). Ireland's seventh and, to date, last win was in 1996, when Eimear Quinn sang "The Voice".
Since then, Ireland hasn't faired very well in the music competition. In 2008, the Irish entry, "Irlande Douze Points", was sung by Dustin the Turkey, a puppet television presenter from RTÉ's The Den, but failed to progress beyond the semi-finals. Kavanagh, who'd won in 1993, represented Ireland in the final again in 2010, but this time managed only 23rd out of 25.
This year, Jedward – twin brothers, John and Edward Grimes – have been chosen as Ireland's entry, with "Jedwardmania" already taking Europe by storm.
Four countries have each won the Contest on one previous occasion: Austria – 1966 (Udo Jürgens, with "Merci Chérie"); Belgium – 1986 (Sandra Kim, with "J'aime la vie"); Estonia – 2001 (Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL, with "Everybody"); and Latvia – 2002 (Marie N, with "I Wanna" ).
First semi-final
Of the countries that went through from the first semi-final, five – Finland, Greece, Russia, Serbia, and Switzerland – have won the Contest before.
In 2009, Alexander Rybak won the competition for Norway with "Fairytale". Russia won the event in 2008, with Dima Bilan's "Believe". Serbia's Marija Šerifović was victorious in 2007, with "Molitva"; Lordi triumphed in 2006 with "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Helena Paparizou won for Greece in 2005, with "My Number One"; in 2003, Turkey's Sertab Erener took home the title, with "Everyway That I Can"; while Switzerland has won on two occasions – in 1956 (the first-ever European Song Contest), with "Refrain" by Lys Assia, and then 32 years later, in 1988, when Celine Dion won with "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi".
[Thanks to Thomas Curran.]
The final will be held on Saturday, 14 May.