Shock exit as Russia fails to make Eurovision final
Russia has failed to qualify for the Eurovision final for the first time in 20 years after a shock elimination in Thursday’s second semi-final.
Russian contestant Yulia Samoylova failed to win enough votes with her song “I Won’t Break”, which she performed from the top of a mountain built on the stage in Lisbon.
Samoylova’s semi-final exit comes a year after 2017 host nation Ukraine banned her from taking part because she had previously performed in Russian-annexed Crimea.
In response, Russian state TV dropped Eurovision from its schedule.
Ten of the 18 countries competing in the second round of this year’s semi-finals made it into the last 26.
Russia lost out to Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia and the Netherlands.
Moldova’s entry proved popular with viewers, with their performance featuring opening and closing doors.
The Moldovan trio DoReDos performed “My Lucky Day” in brightly coloured outfits.
One fan wrote on Twitter: “Love it that #Moldova got through, if they don’t win I’m going to eat five white Lego bricks.”
Another wrote: “Moldova for the win. I said it.”
Also popular was Australian entry Jessica Mauboy, who sang We Got Love and delivered some enthusiastic dance moves.
Australia were first given entry to the competition in 2015 in what was intended to be a one-off.
They have taken part every year since.
The UK, represented by solo singer SuRie, was automatically entered into the final as one of the “Big Five” countries, along with Germany, Italy, Spain and France.
Ireland have made it into the final for the first time since 2013.
Former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy carried them there after impressing in Tuesday night’s first semi-final.
O’Shaughnessy has welcomed a decision by the competition’s organisers to ban a Chinese TV station from airing this year’s final, after it censored LGBT content featured in the semi-final.
Mango TV blurred rainbow flags shown in the crowd, something the European Broadcasting Union said contravened its “values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity”.
Saturday’s Eurovision 2018 finalists: