I must say, I was a little underwhelmed with the first semifinal. Too many soundalike ballads and too many songs that sounded like last year’s winner (“Euphoria” by Loreen)–nothing really blew me away. I also didn’t care for all the special effects trickery–like trying to make a live concert look like a music video (for example, having Estonia’s performance begin in black and white). Still, there were a few songs I enjoyed, and I was surprised that my favorite song–“Birds” by Anouk (The Netherlands) made it to the final; it just seemed too alternative a song for Eurovision. Here are my top five choices, in order:

Rank Country Title, Artist
1 The Netherlands “Birds”, Anouk
2 Serbia “Ljubav je Svuda”, Moje 3
3 Croatia “Mižerja”, Klapa s Mora
4 Denmark “Only Teardrops”, Emmilie de Forest
5 Slovenia “Straight Into Love”, Hannah

Denmark also made it to the finals, as did Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Ireland, Belgium, and my two least favorite entries by far, Ukraine and Lithuania.

Watch for my blog entry on Thursday for the second semifinal and on Saturday for the big finale!