TURIN, Italy (Fwrd Axis) — Belgium, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Australia, Sweden, Romania, and Serbia completed the lineup for Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest final after advancing from Thursday’s second semi-final at the PalaOlimpico in Turin.
Finland opened the night with the rock number Jezebel and the voters responded. Israel kept the energy up with the camp dance number I.M. that fell short vocally.
Serbia brought back the religious imagery of Finland’s song with In corpore sano had the audience clapping along. Azerbaijan tried to bring back normality with Fade to Black. Circus Mircus from Georgia erased that normality with a flamboyant performance.
The next two songs had plenty of support in Italy but it wasn’t enough to advance for the two. Malta’s I Am What I Am made full use of the smoke machine before she sung on top of her grand piano. San Marino’s Stripper brought a dramatic staging including the first same-sex kiss of the year which got the crowd going.
Australia’s Not the Same was a heart-felt ballad that the audience really engaged with and pushed to the final. Cyprus’ mix of ethnic and contemporary slightly missed the mark.
Ireland’s position in the running order may have helped as That’s Rich up-tempo really stood out and energized the crowd. North Macedonia’s Andrea has had a difficult week after her broadcaster threatened to withdraw her and put it behind her with a strong performance.
Estonia’s country-inspired Hope was shot as an old western and became the latest in a long line of country songs to reach the final. Romania brought a surprise Spanish language banger in Llamame which the crowd sang along with and pushed into the final.
Poland took the audience back to a soulful ballad with River and needed to nail it vocally and he did to advance. While Montenegro’s Breathe was an emotional song about her mother’s death to COVID that used the small stage to great effect.
Belgium’s Miss You used his full vocal range to make the vocals the star and advanced to the final. Next Sweden came in with high hopes and advanced to the final. Finally, Czech Republic’s Light’s Off finished off with a high-energy rock number that stood out.