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  • Writer's pictureFord Carter

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 - Semi Final 1 Preview

The Eurovision Song Contest is back after a two long years to bring us the 65th edition of Europe’s favourite music show!

The first semi-final kicks off at 5:00am in Australia (AEST) and here's a recap of who the entries are, how you can vote and their odds of getting through.

There are 16 entries in this semi-final and you'll find them below in the order they will appear in the show, with 10 qualifying for this weekend's Grand Final.

1 – Lithuania

The Roop – ‘Discoteque’

Odds to qualify: $1.03 (4th)

Due to open the Eurovision Song Contest after it’s two-year hiatus, The Roop won the Lithuanian national final earlier this year with more than 86% of the televote. The band have attempted to represent the country twice beforehand, and were intended to represent Lithuania at last year’s contest.

2 – Slovenia

Ana Soklič – ‘Amen’

Odds to qualify: $4.00 (15th)

Ana Soklič is also returning to the contest after being intended to represent Slovenia at last years contest. She has competed in the Slovenian national final three times in the past, including in 2020 when she won with the song ‘Voda’.

3 – Russia

Manizha – ‘Russian Woman’

Odds to qualify: $1.07 (5th)

Manizha competed in many singing competitions as a child after fleeing to Moscow from Tajikistan in 1994 with her family due to the Tajikistani Civil War, and has been a member of many bands in her adult life.

4 – Sweden

Tusse – ‘Voices’

Odds to qualify: $1.14 (6th)

19-year-old Tusse came to fame in Sweden after competing in the Swedish version of ‘Got Talent’ in 2018 and then winning ‘Swedish Idol’ in 2019, where he was offered a placed in the Swedish national final by famed Melodifestivalen producer Christer Björkman.

5 – Australia

Montaigne – ‘Technicolour’

Odds to qualify: $3.50 (13th)

Performing fifth in the first semifinal, it’s our very own Montaigne! Montaigne was a semi-professional soccer player who chose her passion for music over her love of soccer, and was internally selected by SBS to compete this year following her win at Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020 with the song ‘Don’t Break Me’, and will be the only artist taking part using their live-on-tape performance filmed in March.

6 – North Macedonia

Vasil – ‘Here I Stand’

Odds to qualify: $5.50 (16th)

Vasil is competing this year with a song that was written in the wake of the cancellation of the 2020 contest, and was internally selected to represent North Macedonia again after his internal selection last year.

7 – Ireland

Lesley Roy – ‘Maps’

Odds to qualify: $4.00 (14th)

Originally from Ireland but now spending much of her time in New York with her wife Lauren, Lesley Roy has been a songwriter for famous names such as Adam Lambert, Miss Montreal, and Marlee Scott.

8 – Cyprus

Elena Tsagrinou – ‘El diablo’

Odds to qualify: $1.01 (2nd)

Elena Tsagrinou began her professional music career as the lead singer of the Greek band OtherView, and has worked as a voice actress in the movies ‘Free Birds’ and ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’. Elena replaces Sandro from 2020, who was competing with an entry written by Australia’s own Alfie Arcuri.

9 – Norway

TIX – ‘Fallen Angel’

Odds to qualify: $1.25 (7th)

TIX is one of the biggest names in the Norwegian music scene, with his domestic popularity having him beat out 2019 representative KEiiNO during the Norwegian national final earlier this year. TIX’s stage name comes from the involuntary tics he has due to his Tourette syndrome, for he was bullied for his condition at school.

10 – Croatia

Albina – ‘Tick-Tock’

Odds to qualify: $1.28 (8th)

Albina came to fame in Croatia through her participation in the third season of ‘The Voice Hrvatska’, after which she signed a record deal with Universal Music Croatia.

11 – Belgium

Hooverphonic – ‘The Wrong Place’

Odds to qualify: $1.83 (11th)

Hooverphonic are one of the biggest musical exports from Belgium, who came to global fame following the release of their song ‘Mad About You’. Much of their music has been used in music, television shows, and commercials around the world.

12 – Israel

Eden Alene – ‘Set Me Free’

Odds to qualify: $2.20 (12th)

20-year-old Eden Alene is of Ethiopian-Jewish heritage, did ballet classes in her childhood, and idolizes the queen of pop Beyonce, as well as serving in the army band in the Israeli Defence Force.

13 – Romania

Roxen – ‘Amnesia’

Odds to qualify: $1.90 (10th)

21-year-old Roxen has been singing since the age of 7, and entered a number of children’s talent competition during her childhood. She was internally selected to represent Romania again following the cancellation of last years contest.

14 – Azerbaijan

Efendi – ‘Mata Hari’

Odds to qualify: $1.53 (9th)

Pop and jazz singer Efendi has competed in a number of singing competitions in the past, even attempting to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision by competing in their national final in 2014 and being shortlisted as a potential artist in 2019.

15 – Ukraine

Go_A – ‘Shum’

Odds to qualify: $1.02 (3rd)

Go_A is yet another returning group in this year’s field of competitors. The four-piece electro-pop band have a common interest in folklore, which inspired their Eurovision entry, and can be felt across the rest of their discography.

16 – Malta

Destiny – ‘Je me casse’

Odds to qualify: $1.01 (1st)

Destiny is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest or its fans, having won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 representing Malta with the song ‘Not My Soul’. Her song this year, ‘Je me casse’, is an ode to female empowerment, telling the story of a woman who rejects the unwelcome advances of a man.

How can I watch?

You can tune into SBS from 5:00am AEST with the show also available on SBS On Demand.

Montaigne is fifth in the running order and with a quick show on the cards, she'll be on early in the show, so don't sleep in!

SBS will also be airing a primetime repeat of the broadcast at 8:30pm AEST on Friday.

How can I vote?

Australian viewers are eligible to vote in this semi final. The voting window opens after the last song has been performed, and ends 15 minutes later, and can only be cast during the live 5:00am broadcast.

To vote for your favourite entry, text the act number to 1991 3773 during the 15-minute voting window.

Note: Limit of 20 votes per mobile number. Charge is 55c per vote.


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