It was first-time qualifier for Montenegro and San Marino, and for two contestants it was a ”Here at Last!” moment – San Marino’s Valentina Monetta (after 3 times trying) and Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen (after 7 times trying).
Before the start of the qualifiers press conference last night the organisers had placed Armenia and Azerbaijan side-by-side on dais, but a last-minute change about put Russia next to Armenia, so the creeping presence of politics is obviously unescapable at Eurovision (Armenia and Azerbaijan had fought a war in the early 1990s).
But the mood on the dais among the qualifiers were more positive – Andras Kallay-Saunders (Hungary) said, ”The world can take an example from us – the contestants – because if we can get along then anybody can get along..”.
And they certainly did. Only two representatives per country were allowed, so the inseparable Tolmachevy Twins attended for Russia, and although their English language skills were clearly limited they were helped along by the Armenian team who translated for them.
Valentina Monetta’s (San Marino) ecstatic mood was so obvious that when Mariya Yaremchuk (Ukraine) was asked how she felt about qualifying, she replied that she wasn’t sure whether her happiness was for herself or for San Marino.
A good example from the contestants for the fans of Eurovision – let’s hope that nasty behaviour (such as the booing heard when Russia was announced as a qualifier last night) would stop and for such silly people to realise that Eurovision is after all a celebration of music and joy.
Read more about the Semifinal 1 qualifiers press conference here: