What a show! The spectacle was hosted by four hosts; Bar Refaeli, Erez Tal, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub. Today’s semifinal showcased seventeen countries plus France, Israel and Spain.

Semifinal 1 RecapLast year’s Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai opened the show with a rearrangement of her victorious song ‘Toy’. With a troop of male and female backing dancers performing in her winning outfit from last year and in red high heeled shoes, she surely got the party started in Tel Aviv. The 1998 winner Dana International appeared for a special interval act. She sang her own version of Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are with images from the Expo Tel Aviv kiss-cam.

Dana International, Interval Act Of The First Semi Final Of Eurovision 2019 (© Thomas Hanses)
Dana International, interval act of the first Semi-Final of Eurovision 2019 (© Thomas Hanses)

The 3 pre-qualified finalists for Saturday’s Grand Final that also vote in the first Semi-Final — France, Spain and host nation Israel — also made an appearance in tonight’s show. Miki, Bilal Hassani and Kobi Marimi were interviewed and clips of their dress rehearsal performances were shown for viewers to get to know the artists and their songs.

Kobi Marimi's (israel 2019) Second Rehearsal For Eurovision 2019 (© Andres Putting)
© Andres Putting

Tonight’s first Semi-Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest saw 10 countries with the highest points totals qualify for the Grand Final, set to take place this Saturday. Here are the countries who qualified tonight:

  1. Greece – Katerine Duska with Better Love
  2. Belarus – ZENA with Like It
  3. Serbia – Nevene Božović with Kruna
  4. Cyprus – Tamta with Replay
  5. Estonia – Victor Crone with Storm
  6. Czech Republic – Lake Malawi with Friend Of A Friend
  7. Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke with Zero Gravity
  8. Iceland – Hatari with Hatrið mun sigra
  9. San Marino – Serhat with Say Na Na Na
  10. Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl with Sebi