Thursday 19 July 2018

Russia fails to qualify for Eurovision Song Contest for first time

Julia Samoylova failed to make it past the semi-final.

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Russia has failed to qualify for the Eurovision final for the first time.

The exclusion is a significant upset for the country, particularly because it withdrew from last year’s contest after the host nation Ukraine banned Russia’s representative from appearing.

The same contestant that was due to take part last year, Julia Samoylova, performed in the second semi-final on Thursday night – but failed to win enough votes to make the final.

She performed her song  I Won’t Break from the top of a mountain built on the stage, which concealed her wheelchair.

Ten countries out of 18 competing in the second semi-final won places in the competition.

Russia lost out to Serbia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia and the Netherlands.

The snub comes as the build-up to the contest has been overshadowed by the poisoning in Salisbury of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Moldova’s entry proved particularly popular with viewers, who enjoyed the performance that featured opening and closing doors.

DoReDos performed My Lucky Day in brightly coloured outfits, with half the group dressed as doppelgangers of the others.

One fan watching on television 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.

One viewer wrote: “GLITTER! NEON! FIRE! KEY CHANGE! I LOVE YOU @jessicamauboy.”

Another wrote: “Australia is giving me the first song of the night that sounds radio-ready! I could see this playing while the credits roll in a romcom about a woman who finds love against all odds while working at a magazine.”

The Eurovision Song Contest will air on BBC One on Saturday at 8pm.

Press Association

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