Ten acts out of 17 competing in the first semi-final have made it through to the Eurovision Song Contest Final in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
Greece’s entry “Better Love,” performed by Katerine Duska, ranked first among the top 10 following tele-voting and jury selection in the semi-final round.
Duska, a Greek Canadian singer-songwriter who was born in Montreal and moved to Greece when she was 16, gave a stunning live performance.
Her vocals captured the media’s attention, according an interview with Yasmin Merlin, a member of the press delegation who attended the semi-final.
“Everyone was talking in the press room, adjusting their cameras, preparing their notes and all of the sudden, silence, as the first note came out of Duska’s mouth,” Merlin said in an exclusive interview with The Pappas Post from Tel Aviv.
Billboard Magazine ranked Duska as a top contender in the contest, following her semifinal performance on Tuesday that was watched by an estimated 200 million people.
“Better Love,” an upbeat pop song, was written by David Sneddon and Leon of Athens.
Cyprus also qualified, ranking second in the semi-final voting with the electric pop song “Replay,” performed by Tamta, a native of Georgia who emigrated to Greece as a child and became a pop sensation with numerous dance hits.
Belarus, Serbia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia also passed to the final, which will take place on Saturday, May 18.
Greece and Cyprus ranked number one and three, respectively, in a reader’s poll on the popular Eurovision website ESC United.
Following a second round of semi-final voting on Thursday, 10 more countries will advance, joining five default nations — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, who are the original founders of the competition.
As host nation and winner of the previous year, Israel is already guaranteed a place in the final.
Featured image credit / Martin Fjellanger, Eurovision Norway, EuroVisionary
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