Romania qualified for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest to be staged on Saturday night here in the Austrian capital Vienna. Romania were among the 10 qualifiers out of 16 countries that were taking part in Semi Final 1. Another 10 hopefuls will try to qualify from Semi Final 2 plus the 7 countries that have automatically qualified for Saturday night making up a total of 27 countries battling it out for the trophy.
Since the introduction of the “Semi Finals” it was decided that the countries that pay the most money into the European Broadcasting Union should automatically be “Fast Tracked” into the Final. Also going straight into the Final this year are Australia,we ask how much did they pay for the privilege?
Unfortunately world politics plays a part in the Eurovision Song Contest and before the Russian singer was about too take the stage the audience was told not to mix politics with Eurovision and not to Boo the Russian artist. Fortunately the audience took the advice and gave her massive cheers before and after the song which moved her to tears.
Russia did qualify for the Grand Final but sadly the Moldovan singer failed to qualify,also out are the Netherlands, FYR Macedonia, Denmark and Belarus.
One of the surprise qualifiers for Saturday’s show are Belgium,a strange almost robotic style of song but if the rumours are right, scored very highly in the semi final and is now being quoted as one of the favourites to win the show.
This is the 21st year running that Romania have taken part in the Grand Final of Eurovision, and at the winners press conference after the semi final, the lead singer Calin from the Romanian group Voltaj said “I’m so happy that our campaign will carry on into Saturday night”. The band are promoting the fact that over 3 million Romanians are working abroad but sadly have to leave their children behind. Fans of the group noticed that the little boy in their video is here in Vienna and attended the show on Tuesday night, pictured sitting in the green room waving a Romanian flag.
Now that the band have reached the final their profile will go up all over Europe and when asked which international artist they would love to support on tour they replied,”Bono and U2″.
They now hope that all Romanians living and working in Europe will watch and vote for Voltaj on Saturday night, it would be a fitting tribute to there campaign if they could finish in the top 5.
He also went on to mention that it’s not just a Romanian thing, he was told that over 2 million Polish people are working away from their loved ones plus there are many Latvians, Lithuanians, and lots more Eastern Europeans trying to make a better future for there children.
It was pointed out that Calin from Voltaj will celebrate is birthday this Sunday which means that the birthday present he might receive could just be the Eurovision trophy.
What seems like a month, Eurovision actually lasts 13 days, from the very first rehearsal to the winners press conference and trying to keep the delegations, press and fans amused,the organisers ORF have done a pretty good job this year organising various trips around Vienna and all accredited journalists have been given free access to the transport system plus a “Vienna Pass” which allows access to over 60 attractions with either discount or free of charge.
Apart from the Euroclub which is for all accredited guests there is the Eurocafe which is just for the fans and there is the “Euro village” a small square set up outside the town hall with a stage where during their time away from the venue the artists can perform in a very relaxed atmosphere to the locals here in Vienna.
One of the main highlights of this and any Eurovision is the opening ceremony, where all the artists parade down a red carpet and into the town hall for a grand buffet.
It’s a bit like the Oscars but a bit more flamboyant and there is always a rush for the best vantage points to get the best pictures.
After the first semi final it’s always nice to share views with fellow journalists from all over Europe and even Australia, I have even met journalists from Argentina and Brazil,making Eurovision a truly global phenomenon. Various comments included how poor the hosts were, how great last years winner “Conchita” was in hosting the green room, plus all the tears when their country failed to qualify. After all, us journalist are all”experts” in Eurovision, we’ve been doing it for 60 years.
The 60th Eurovision Song Contest takes place at 21.00 CET this Saturday night and over 3 hours later we will see who takes home the trophy, plus they have the unenviable task in telling their TV company they have the pleasure in hosting and paying for the event in 2016.