We've now been awake for about 436 hours, so it's time to call it a night. Thank you for keeping us company this evening, and please join us again for the GRAND FINAL on Saturday, it's going to be IMMENSE.
Here are the final five of Eurovision Song Contest 2021 running order:
Here’s the first half of Eurovision Song Contest 2021 running order:
More to follow…
Senhit will close the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 with Adrenalina
More to follow...
Elena Tsagrinou will open the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 with El Diablo
…more to follow
While we're waiting, here's some backstage photos of Ahmad and Dez from earlier. You're so very welcome.
...now we're just waiting for the final confirmation of the running order for Saturday night. We'll share as soon as we know, so don't go away!
...but they've joined us from their hotel. It was a fun night to watch, but they wish they were there. It's tough to keep their spirits up, and they're making the best out of the situation that they can - it didn't really feel like they were competing in Eurovision, and the whole situation is kind of weird and difficult to process. There is definitely no chance they will be able to perform on Saturday.
Blind Channel from Finland have arrived, and the blast of Dark Side from the speakers has woken us all up.
Eurovision has been an amazing experience and playing again at the Eurovision Grand Final is the second best thing. The audience chanting 'Finland Finland' as they were waiting to be announced was the absolute best thing.
They can't wait to perform in the same half as Italy - it's going to be rock mayhem.
Stefania has swapped her purple catsuit for gold sparkles. She's thrilled to represent Greece in the Netherlands, which is where she lives. Her sister represents Greece at football, and they're hopeful their brother will also excel in some field or other. Poor chap, SO much pressure.
Gjon has swapped his sparkly blouson for a leopard-print top and a dinner jacket, and we couldn't love his post-midnight fashion more. He's making music for people who are touched by it, and he's so grateful for all the messages of support he's had.
He's asked about his dance moves, and he wanted to get away from his piano and express himself differently.
Out comes Senhit and Flo Rida for San Marino, which still feels like the kind of sentence you write when it's late and you're tired and nothing makes sense.
Senhit is happy and her adrenaline is still super-high. Flo Rida is honoured to be here and he loved the energy - the set-up of Eurovision is 'very over the top'. Welcome to our world. Flo.
He's also wearing a jumper with 'Billionaire Boys Club' on it, and we have issues with the missing apostrophe.
Somebody asks if Flo Rida would take part in the American Song Contest, and of course Senhit could perform with him. Can you imagine?
...and they've brought all their instruments, so maybe we'll get some impromptu busking. They're asked about being the first Portuguese act not to sing in Portuguese, and Tatanka explains that they wrote a song that was meaningful to them, and music is a universal language. They're proud to be Portuguese, and they sing in both languages.
Tatanka has now answered three questions, none of which are the question he was actually asked. At least one of your Live Bloggers is doing a tiny swoon.
In contrast, Natalia has brought a very large entourage. She performed the longest note at Eurovision this evening, a full 17 seconds. She's a LOT, like all of Hurricane rolled into one, and clearly thrilled to be in the Grand Final.
Victoria's turned up with no entourage whatsoever, instead bringing the same picture of her dad that she had on stage with her. It was clearly an emotional performance for her, and representing Bulgaria at Eurovision means a lot.
Here comes Hurricane from Serbia, bringing their unique brand of chaotic energy. If they could have brought an extra country into the Grand Final, they'd have chosen Benny Cristo.
Anxhela Peristeri from Albania is first in the press conference room. She feels amazing and grateful and happy, and her karma is good - she'll be a good person for the rest of her life.
We've jogged across Rotterdam Ahoy to the press conference room (note to self: always travel with a sports bra), where our ten new finalists will get the opportunity to share their excitement. Details incoming!
No one is more surprised at how quickly the Grand Final first/second half draw went than us, LET ME TELL YOU!
Stick around... Grand Final Running Order could drop at any moment.... we'll be the first to share it.
We have our second batch 10 Grand Finalists, and we're about to find out what each Finalist will draw from the Magical Bowl of Scrolls to determine whether they will perform in the first or second half on Saturday.
After that, the Eurovision execs will decide the final running order for the Grand Final - we'll be there to EXCLUSIVELY report this news as it happens, even though our warms beds are calling. Stay with us!
The singing is done, so now it’s time to find out who our second batch of Grand Finalists will be. This contest has been two years in the making, but sadly we have to say goodbye to 7 of tonight’s acts.
The votes have been checked and verified, and Martin Österdahl has confirmed that...WE’RE GOOD TO GO.
There are six countries who automatically for qualify the Grand Final - the host nation and the Big Five, namely France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Tonight we’ll get a preview of the performances from France, United Kingdom and Spain. Every country has brought their best performances this year, and the Big Five are no exception.
Up first is Barbara Pravi from France, singing Voilà. It’s an Edith Piaf-style classic French chanson, but with flair and attitude that’s all Barbara’s.
Next up it’s James Newman from the UK, whose song Embers is about all of us rising out of the ashes of the past year and lighting up the room. It’s an absolute BOP.
And finally from the Big Five it’s Blas Canto from Spain, whose romantic ballad Voy A Quedarme features the biggest prop in Eurovision history - a six metre wide moon.
...we love you. But we don't have Netflix's permission, so it's complicated.
It’s part two of the Eurovision trip down memory lane, this time presented by Duncan Laurence, who we hope recovers from COVID-19 very soon.
We meet Izhar Cohen, Teach-In, Ruslana, Nicole, Niamh Kavanagh and of course Duncan Laurence himself. So great to see so many Eurovision memories.
More Eurovision Tutorials with Nikkie, teaching us how to win. It’s all about teamwork - whether that's hot dancers or ass-whooping backing vocals and splashing out on being your best self. We love Nikkie, she’s a superstar.
That’s it, your time’s up! If you didn't vote, you're entirely to blame if we end up going somewhere really expensive and/or cold next year.
The official Eurovision DVD and CD are now available to buy in the eurovision.tv shop! Along with other merch that you definitely need.
...of a contemporary dance kind. It's time for an interval performance, featuring Ahmad combining classical ballet, contemporary dance and Sufi whirling to deliver a powerful message of acceptance and diversity. He's joined by Dez Maarsen, a professional BMX Flatland rider with ten Dutch titles and a World Championship appearance under his belt.
Honestly, watch this. It's STUNNING. Notwithstanding Ahmad being incredibly beautiful and wearing the silver skirt that fell off everyone else's dress.
We’ve seen all 17 performances, but only 10 can make it through to the Grand Final. Voting is about to open, so get ready to vote for your favourite! Enjoy the quick reminder, because after tonight 7 of these songs will assigned to Eurovision history.
It’s another VERY strong Semi-Final, we do not envy you all having to pick your ten favourites. Obviously we are entirely impartial and love them all equally 😒.
Our final song of the evening is Fyr Og Flamme from Denmark singing Øve Os På Hinanden.
It’s a throwback to the Eurovision classics of the mid-80s and at one point Jesper even has a jog around the stage in a purple jacket like he’s in Bobbysocks. The pink neon grid is BACK, with a little flurry of fireworks at the end. Excellent closing song energy.
Fyr Og Flamme
Gjon’s blouson definitely has a nod to silver sparkles, so we’ll induct him into the Eurovision Silver Sequin hall of fame. This has elements of contemporary dance and some impressive camerawork, all held together by Gjon’s incredible vocal range. It’s one of two songs sung entirely in French this year - the other being actual France.
OK fact fans, Latvia's Samanta Tīna has travelled a long and winding road to Eurovision, but she’s persevered across two countries, a dozen songs, and 10 years:
Latvian National Finals:
2012: For Father 7th place in the Semi-Final.
I Want You Back, a duet with Dāvids Kalandija, 2nd place.
2013: I Need a Hero, 2nd place.
2014: Stay, 3rd place
2016: The Love is Forever, withdrawn after qualifying for the Semifinal.
We Live for Love, 5th place in the semifinal.
2019: Cutting the Wire”, 7th place.
Lithuanian National Finals:
2013: Hey Chiki-Mama, a duet with Vudis, 4th place in its heat.
2017: Tavo oda, a duet with Tadas Rimgalia, 7th place in its heat.
(...and, of course, her 2020 entry Still Breathing)
Check out more fascinating facts.
Eurovision 2021: Vital Statistics
...and there’s definitely some hand dancing. We all agreed during rehearsals last week that Samanta Tīna’s The Moon Is Rising is a classic example of Eurovision Art and should be hung in the Eurovision Gallery immediately. If there isn't a Eurovision gallery, there should be. 100% would pay.
Nap time is over guys, get ready for some classic Finnish rock from Blind Channel singing Dark Side. They have ALL the pyro - watching this in the arena during rehearsals left us a little hot and bothered.
Blind Channel honed their head-banging on the Finnish underground scene, but the band feels the time has come for them to bring their 'violent pop' to the Eurovision stage. We are here for it.
Relax onto Victoria’s spinning rock against a starry backdrop and enjoy the calming nature of her falling funnel of sand. According to Victoria, the song is a journey to self-improvement by revisiting your roots and the places you feel safe. It's definitely one of the more introspective and emotional songs this year.
That's 12 of tonight's songs done, but we still have 5 to go! Chantal is having a chat with Eurovision legend Helena Paparizou, who won for Greece in 2005.
She's wearing a sparkly dress on a freezing Rotterdam rooftop, because former Eurovision winners are HARDCORE.
It’s another chance of pace and style now, with The Black Mamba taking us by the hand (metaphorically, there's a pandemic on) and leading us into the coolest blues bar in Lisbon.
It’s also our first hat of 2021, unless you count Senhit’s gold headdress, which we don't. Stay tuned for Tatanka's epic guitar solo at the end.
The Black Mamba
Albania’s up next with Anxhela Peristeri singing Karma. She’s also gone with clouds and smoke for her digital backdrop, and the wind machine is back. This is a proper Albanian mega-ballad, and Anxhela's sparkly silver outfit is as fabulous as her vocals.
We’re taking things down several thousand notches now, with Tornike Kipiani singing You. It’s a haunting and powerful ballad, with clever use of lighting projecting Georgian phrases onto the stormy backdrop and Tornike himself. He's a man of many words.
If you looked up ‘Eurovision party banger’ in the dictionary, there would just be a picture of Hurricane swinging their hair to Loco Loco. We have no idea what the Serbian for ‘this totally slaps’ is, but it's currently blowing the roof off Rotterdam Ahoy.
Sadly for Iceland Jóhann from Daði og Gagnamagnið has tested positive for COVID-19, which means they can’t actually be on stage tonight. This performance is from their rehearsal last week, when the audience was basically two Live Bloggers and a handful of crew. It’s still joyous and charming, but we’re gutted for them that they can’t perform in front of a packed arena.
We love these guys so much.
Daði og Gagnamagnið
...but there’s definitely something’s going on. Next up it’s Natalia Gordienko from Moldova singing Sugar. Another sparkly silver dress, more pink neon, accompanied by four dancers in sunbed goggles.
Natalia is a brilliant dancer and this is undeniably a bop. Like Rafal’s The Ride, we suspect this song is actually about having some personal grown-up time, and not actually about Natalia wanting to borrow some sugar. All the signs are there.
...our social channels for all the backstage gossip.
Like this, from Senhit and Flo Rida:
...let's have a Nikkie Tutorials Interlude. There's still time for you to take part in Nikkie's #EurovisionChallenge - simply take a video of you performing your favourite Eurovision song and share it on TikTok or Instagram with #EurovisionChallenge.
What a lovely message from Oscar nominee Molly Sanden wishing all the contestants the best of luck. Husavik was definitely robbed.
Also highly recommend Nikkie’s LookLab videos, they’re really fun. We shared Nikkie hanging out with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands earlier, but please also enjoy Rafal from Poland.
You can tell from Rafal’s postcard that he’s an aviator, and this theme continues into the song, which is an extended flying metaphor that we think is about...personal relations, but might actually be an invitation to go flying. Who can tell at this stage?
The Ride is an 80s throwback in the best possible way, with another dose of pink neon and dancers guiding us to Rafal’s private landing strip with torches. Get ready for a BOP.
It’s the second Amen of the year, this time from Austria’s Vincent Bueno. This heartfelt power-ballad showcases Vincent’s impressive vocal range - can his Amen make it the Grand Final? Sadly Slovenia’s didn’t, so it’s all on Austria’s shoulders now. Absolutely no pressure, Vincent.
Next up it’s Greece, with Stefania singing her song Last Dance. This is undoubtedly the most ambitious staging of this year’s contest, with clever use of green screen graphics and dancers in green bodysuits so they look like dancing hats and suits.
It’s not something that’s been done on Eurovision before, and it’s definitely a performance that people will remember. If you suffer from vertigo, look away.
Next up it’s Czech Republic’s Benny Cristo, singing Omaga. This is such a cool and laid-back performance - Benny is a brilliant dancer, and can absolutely rock a sparkly gold jacket. He's also brought ALL the neon.
...who gets to follow San Marino's big opener? It’s Uku Suviste from Estonia, singing his beautiful ballad The Lucky One. He’s artfully dishevelled in a white shirt and a dangly bow tie, like he’s just fallen out of a taxi after a big night out. Remember those? Yeah, us too.
Remember we talked about graphics themes on Tuesday? Tonight you’ll see lots more pink neon, but also weather. So much weather.
Kicking off tonight’s show with a HUGE bang is San Marino’s Senhit with her megabanger Adrenalina. Get ready for a giant gold crown, some more hand-dancing and a rap interlude from none other than rap legend Flo Rida. It’s been quite the week on planet Eurovision, we're not going to lie.
Ooh, Senhit’s got a new gold headdress since the rehearsals last week, it's definitely an upgrade. Perhaps Flo Rida picked up a new one in Duty Free.
We're sad to report that the tailored alien costumes worn in the early rehearsals have also gone, replaced by frilly soft furnishings and welding masks.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for this year's Eurovision themes:
Sparkly silver outfits, although a smattering of gold also creeps in tonight
Digital graphics featuring either a) pink neon or b) weather
🔥 PYRO PYRO PYRO 🔥
Let's say another hello to Edsilia, Chantal, Jan and Nikkie, who have gone all out on the glamorous outfits this evening. Which begs the question, what they've saved to wear on Saturday? Where do they go from here, fashion-wise?
You can find out more about all of them here.
Tonight's show opens with a performance from award-winning breakdancer Redouan Ait Chitt (better known as Redo) and acclaimed singer Eefje de Visser.
The duo have worked together on an inspiring showpiece in which Redo relays his life story through dance, as singer Eefje adds musical layers with her infamously bittersweet lyrics and melodies. It's an extraordinary start to tonight's show.
The Eurovision Official Drone is BACK, as are the tiny houses. If you missed Tuesday’s first Semi-Final and have no idea what’s going on, you can find out here.
The latest episode of Nikkie Tutorials' LookLab is really quite special - she met Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. We squealed.
The last-minute distribution of promo goodies is going on backstage. So far this evening we've had a Benny Cristo kaleidoscope and a tote bag from Poland featuring shades and a USB stick. Not sure what's on it, but reasonably sure it will be the ride of our lives.
Here are some useful ways to pass the time before the show starts:
Follow @Eurovision on Twitter, they're absolute legends.
We're going to miss our two little fishy friends when we leave Rotterdam Ahoy - tonight they have their fins crossed for Samanta Tuna from Latvia.
Eurovissie and Eurofishion First Rehearsal 2021
The closed door to Iceland's dressing room at Rotterdam Ahoy has given us all the sad feels. We miss you guys, and hope Jóhann gets better soon.
It's also a really good opportunity to learn 17 of the flags of Europe. Who knows when that knowledge might come in useful? We know Austria and Latvia LOOK a bit the same, but they're totally not.
Iceland will perform using their rehearsal performance recorded on 13 May. Find out more here.
It's Eurovision Week: here's all you need to know
Welcome to the Live Blog for the second Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final!
Earlier this week Europe chose the first 10 finalists for Saturday’s Grand Final, and tonight the juries and public votes will determine the second 10. We already know about 6 guaranteed finalists - the Big Five and the host nation - so by the time we all go to bed we’ll have our final line-up of 26 acts.
We’ll also know the order they’ll be performing in on Saturday - the final running order for the Grand Final is agreed in the early hours of Friday morning, and we’re planning to still be awake so we can share this news as it happens.
In the meantime, sit back and enjoy tonight’s show. 17 performances, but only 10 spaces in the Grand Final. Who will qualify, and who’s going home? Get ready to #OpenUp...