Andres Putting

Rehearsals are over and tonight the Eurovision 2018 acts hit primetime. Semi-Final 1 unfolds inside Lisbon’s Altice Arena with 19 acts competing for just ten spots in the final. Grab your painkillers and your tissues — it’s going to be a long and emotional night!

Semi-final 1 can be described in one word: bloodbath. Several acts in the first semi final are strong favourites among fans and the press, and many are, in fact, in contention to win the whole competition, according to bookmakers.

There’s a considerable mix of genres and tempos. Classic ballad fans may like Iceland and Armenia, whilst drama comes via Belgium‘s Sennek. She’s serving avant-garde magic in a sea of black and dark blue.

But that darkness is balanced by plenty of colour and light. Classic Europop enters the frame with FinlandAzerbaijan and others, whilst Greece and Albania serve the native language realness. What’s more, four of the bookies’ favourites all take part in this semi-final: IsraelEstoniaBulgaria and Czech Republic.

On Monday afternoon we gave our readers 24 hours to make up their minds about who should win tonight’s showdown in Portugal. After counting 12,586 votes the results are in: Eleni Foureira from Cyprus is headed straight to the top.

 

The “Fuego” singer won the poll with 1,967 votes, or around 16% of the ballot. Her Beyoncé-like moves and on-point vocals have endeared her to tens of thousands, and she’s now in pole position to take the trophy home, according to the bookies.

Pre-contest favourite Israel, who won our pre-rehearsal poll, remains a contender. She’s snatched 1,487 votes or around 12% of the vote.

According to our readers, the ten qualifiers are: Cyprus, Israel, Finland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Czech Republic, Belgium and Lithuania.

Our readers think that Croatia, Austria, FYR Macedonia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Iceland are going home.

  1. CYPRUS — ELENI FOUREIRA, “FUEGO” 15.63% (1,967 VOTES)
  2. ISRAEL — NETTA, “TOY” 11.81% (1,487 VOTES)
  3. FINLAND — SAARA AALTO, “MONSTERS” 9.61% (1,210 VOTES)
  4. ESTONIA — ELINA NECHAYEVA, “LA FORZA” 9.27% (1,167 VOTES)
  5. BULGARIA — EQUINOX, “BONES” 6.55% (824 VOTES)
  6. ALBANIA — EUGENT BUSHPEPA, “MALL” 6.41% (807 VOTES)
  7. GREECE — GIANNA TERZI, “ONEIRO MOU” 5.78% (727 VOTES)
  8. CZECH REPUBLIC — MIKOLAS JOSEF, “LIE TO ME” 5.6% (705 VOTES)
  9. BELGIUM — SENNEK, “A MATTER OF TIME” 4.26% (536 VOTES)
  10. LITHUANIA — IEVA ZASIMAUSKAITE, “WHEN WE’RE OLD” 3.8% (478 VOTES)
  11. CROATIA — FRANKA, “CRAZY” 3.54% (446 VOTES)
  12. AUSTRIA — CESAR SAMPSON, “NOBODY BUT YOU” 2.95% (371 VOTES)
  13. FYR MACEDONIA — EYE CUE, “LOST AND FOUND” 2.91% (366 VOTES)
  14. IRELAND — RYAN O’SHAUGHNESSY, “TOGETHER” 2.89% (364 VOTES)
  15. SWITZERLAND — ZIBBZ, “STONES” 2.89% (364 VOTES)
  16. BELARUS — ALEKSEEV, “FOREVER” 2.09% (263 VOTES)
  17. AZERBAIJAN — AISEL, “X MY HEART” 1.88% (236 VOTES)
  18. ARMENIA — SEVAK KHANAGYAN, “QAMI” 1.51% (190 VOTES)
  19. ICELAND — ARI OLAFSSON, “OUR CHOICE” 0.62% (78 VOTES)

Total Votes: 12,586

PHOTO: THOMAS HANSES (EBU)

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Stanzhel
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Stanzhel

Those who havent seen Eleni’s nipple, here you go…

Thierry
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Thierry

Fuego is the most overhyped song ever. Bad voice, regular commercial song, decent staging, but not impressive. The only thing that stands out is in dance and physical aspect of the singer.

Reality
Guest
Reality

Why Cyprus???? She’s just a b**** half naked with a crappy song acting like Beyoncé…. !

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

No. She is a very lovable and inteligent girl with a crappy song acting like Beyonce (on stage)

I liked her very much since I saw interviews and press conferences -and you could do that too rather than calling her a bit**

David
Guest
David

Sweden will likely win

Klara
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Klara

Norway is now betting favourite to win

johnny
Guest
johnny

No it’s not!! check again the leading board! Cyprus is 1st

ango
Guest
ango

Super happy for Ireland and glad to see how wrong almost all of you were for weeks.

James odada
Guest
James odada

Its anyones now- those who vote on saturday are additional audience who dont really watch the semi finals./
this is really open competition and the refugee crisis and syria particularly with give FRANCE a huge vote.

InTheNavy
Guest
InTheNavy

I absolutely loved the first semi final of Eurovision 2018.

My top 10 after seeing all the countries perform were:

Azerbaijan ??
Belgium ??
Israel ?? ?
Estonia ?? ?
Bulgaria ?? ?
Austria ?? ?
Finland ?? ?
Switzerland ??
Ireland ?? ?
Cyprus ?? ?

I’m so pleased 7 of my 10 favouties qualified but I am absolutely gutted for Azerbaijan, Belgium and Switzerland not making the cut and it’s even worse that some of my least favourite songs took their place! Roll on Semi Final 2!

shark
Guest
shark

My heart is in pain for Belgium and Switzerland. Azerbaijan was also great tonight. But, well, this was inevitable with such strong selection 🙁

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

The performance was far from the expectations…. Just like Blanche’s last year.

There is something wrong in Belgian delegations going on with directing the presentation and it may not be just the artist’s fault.

Pera
Guest
Pera

For me surprise Ireland, Lithuania , Albania
Surprise to not see in final Swtizerland (they deserved place in final) and Belgium than Armenia. instead Ireland, Lithuania i would put Switzerland and Belgium.
For me Finland is better then Cyprus, Czech Republic in upop and uptempo song.
Without boys on bridge Ireland wili be out of TOP 10.

James odada
Guest
James odada

albania wont be a surprise- they have widespread support in europe-albanians everywhere
lithuania is the same.
Ireland stood out tonight- lots negative press on this website directed against ireland and I am glad the opinions of those that direct that negative criticism was not heard.
compared to european eurovision blog websites some of the views here dont actually match at all!!

James odada
Guest
James odada

I agree Susan people are tired of listening to the usual eurovision rubbish _ ireland really stood out tonite as something totally unique about the mess of sardines.
Bloc voting goes on – lithuania through due to the large number lithuanians dispersed throughout europe
song not even memorable.

Ananas
Guest
Ananas

I’m in a huuuuge shock! 9 of the qualifiers I really liked! The only thing I would’ve swapped would be Austria with Croatia. The rest was perfect. So happy for Saara and Ryan! They deserved it! Also really glad that Belgium, and Azerbaijan didn’t make the cut. Now I expect the open contest and an unexpected result in SF2.

Rom
Guest

OMFG THIS WAS SO INSANE IM SO SHOCKED!!
Also predicted 9 of the 10 wtf…did not expect Ireland in there.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Yeah, I got 9/10 as well. I predicted Greece instead of Ireland, but I was somehow waiting for them to call Armenia to fill the last spot.

Davve
Guest
Davve

Cyprus is in pole position now…. Goo Eleni

Davve
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Davve

How could Albania qualify. He sings great but his song is just bland… And boring.

Jo.
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Jo.

That’s just your opinion. Mine says it’s the best song of the year. bye.

susan burke
Guest
susan burke

ha how wrong you all are!!
i reckon Ireland are well up that leaderboard.. the last country announced in the results is usually high up there..
Finland being another.

Mateo
Guest
Mateo

The Irish performance worked. Bringing the male dancers had an effect on the audience in the Arena and that always translates in good results with the televoters. A smart move of Ryan.

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

LIVE part 5

Than I have to say in the end -I’m surprised.
No Azerbaijan… for the first time. Wow (Running order)
Albania. Wow (Juries)
Finland.. Wow (Televoting)

Sorry for Belgium and Iceland but a fail was somehow in the air… even if undeserved.
Anyway. Tel Aviw 2019. SHALOM.

Pera
Guest
Pera

Aisel didn t sound great live and running order is ruinder her chance to final (similar happened to Serbia last year draw ruinned chance to final).

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

HE MADE IT
I’M FREAKING CRYING!!!
YAASSS EUGENT!!

M_K
Guest
M_K

YES!!! Ireland is in!!!

M_K
Guest
M_K

YES!!! Finland is in!!!

M_K
Guest
M_K

YES!!! Albania is in!!!

Anita
Guest
Anita

I have seen it now – and I don’t understand the hype of Cyprus – it’s a guilty pleasure song and men might feel sexually attracted – but it’t not a winner at all – and Estonia isn’t the winner too. My only hope is that Hungary will fullfil my expectations. And please – let Albania qualify because there aren’t many exciting songs in SF1 as everybody said so.

pooky1001
Guest
pooky1001

My biggest surprises of the night, Lithuania and Armenia, neither were my favourites before but tonight i thought they were amazing, my biggest disappoint tonight, sorry people, Israel, it just didnt work for me live.

roman
Guest
roman

If its Toy vs Fuego, Toy needs to win. Again, only if its Toy vs Fuego.

Davve
Guest
Davve

My favourites tonight are Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Israel and Cyprus.

drag kvinna
Guest

Helena Paparizou feat. Eleni Foureira – Mambo

Mateo
Guest
Mateo

My impressions of tonight: impressed by both Ireland and Finland. Their performances worked well. Also thought that Armenia and Switzerland did well. I wasn’t as impressed by Bulgaria and i really cannot put my finger on why. They were intense and on key and no false note. I hope they will be through as I do like their song. I had just hoped/expected more. Estonia’s dress and song left me underwhelmed. I don’t think they need to go through. I’d prefer the smaller song ending with her husband. Cyprus did very well I’m just wondering if there is a sixth… Read more »

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

There’s a backing vocalist for Cyprus called Teddy Sky, evidently he’s amazing.

Aisling
Guest
Aisling

Really hopeful Ireland can qualify!!!

Pera
Guest
Pera

I don t see chance to Cyprus, Israel, Czech win Eurovision and be in TOP 3. Estonia (better dress projector was in EstiLaul , on Eurovision stage dress projector look ktichy ). After watch live tonight performance My TOP 19 1.Swtizerland ( I was very surprise how they sound and look good on stage tonight ) 2.Estonia 3.Bulgaria 4.Belgium 5.Armenia 6.Finland 7.Austria 8.Belarus 9.Cyprus 10.Israel 11.Greece 12.Croatia 13.Ireland 14.F.Y.R Macedonia (most dissapointed for me in this semi, then Czech and Israel) 15.Albania 16.Lithuania( very nervious tonight for me) 17.Czech Republic 18.Iceland 19.Azerbaijan I think countries in final in order on… Read more »

M_K
Guest
M_K

This was my prediction from this morning:

Qualifiers: Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Israel, Estonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Finland, Ireland, Cyprus

After the live performances I must say I’m a little worried about Belgium and Greece while I think Switzerland and Lithuania are back in the game. It’s really, really exciting.

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

LIVE part 4
Live broadcast changes a lot for me.
So, for me it is now Iceland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Israel, Austria, Ireland… -those got my votes.

Azerbaijan, Croatia, Finland, Cyprus -no vote, but still -I’ll cross my fingers for those.
——–
And the rest… Albania, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, FYRMacedonia, Greece, Armenia, Switzerland …not this year 😉

Paul
Guest
Paul

Finland? Really?

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

LIVE part 3
Austria -Well deserved vote (did he loose his microport?)
Greece -I was not convinced before… nothing changed.
Finland -Dissapointing outfit, staging… Ych. Maybe she wanted too much, too fast… I feel sorry for her…
Armenia -Just as I thought -average, not enough for me.
Switzerland -Very proper staging -class. Ok. Well. Ok…
Ireland -Very Eurovision …in a good way. Got my vote.
Cyprus -Ok. I get why she climbed up in the betting odds 😉 For me it’s too much.

Milla
Guest
Milla

Cyprus- Too much hair!

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

LIVE part 2
Israel -So far, she won it! Got my vote.
Belarus -Very pretencious. Bad idea for staging.
Estonia -I hate the dress. Copying never good. No vote.
Bulgaria -Surprise. But still I’m not a fan. Too much for me.
FYRMacedonia -Very Eurovision… in a bad way.
Croatia -Eaten by stage. I’ll vote, …if I’ll remember 😛

Euphoric
Guest
Euphoric

LIVE part 1.
Azerbaijan -As I thought -nothing interesting, but catchy.
Iceland -Very honest, likeable guy. Got my vote.
Albania -Professional, though …boring and… painfull.
Belgium -This riddiculous stage ate her. But got my Vote.
Czech Republic -It’s not Prague 2019. Still -has my vote.
Lithuania -That annoying “Haaa-aaa”… I’m ambivalent.

nauportus
Guest
nauportus

Fuego is as overhyped as was Israel in the last few months. There’s no way any of these two songs are gonna win.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Nice joke you guys dont have a taste

Alexanderr
Guest
Alexanderr

“Fuego” is a nice song, but nothing compares to “Toy”. Israel would win by far. Anyway, good luck to all from Norway <3