In the first semi-final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, Cyprus secured a spot in the grand final, while Australia faced elimination.

Silia Kapsis, representing Cyprus, impressed the audience with her performance of the song “Liar.”

Another standout was Croatian contestant Baby Lasagna with the song “Rim Tim Tagi Dim,” considered a frontrunner this year.

Out of the 15 countries competing in the first semi-final, the following 10 advanced to the final:

1. Serbia – Teya Dora with “Ramonda”

2. Portugal – Iolanda with “Grito”

3. Slovenia – Raiven with “Veronika”

4. Ukraine – a. alyona & J. Heil with “Teresa & Maria”

5. Lithuania – Silvester Belt with “Luktelk”

6. Finland – Windows95man with “No Rules!”

7. Cyprus – Silia Kapsis with “Liar”

8. Croatia – Baby Lasagna with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim”

9. Ireland – Bambie Thug with “Doomsday Blue”

10. Luxembourg – Tali with “Fighter”

The following five countries did not qualify for the final:

Poland – Luna with “The Tower”

Iceland – Hera Björk with “Scared of Heights”

Azerbaijan – Fahree & I. Dovlatov with “Özünlə Apar”

Australia – Electric Fields with “One Milkali”

Moldova – Natalia Barbu with “In the Middle”

The previous year’s winner (Sweden) and the Big-5 countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) automatically qualify for the grand final on May 11.

The second semi-final, featuring Marina Satti representing Greece with the song “Zari,” will take place on Thursday, May 9.

“Zari”, has received high praise from international media, particularly the BBC. Despite its reputation for harsh criticism, the BBC has lauded the Greek entry and Marina Satti’s performance.

Mark Savatz, a music expert, included “Zari” in the category of “Ethnomusical Fusion songs.” According to him, this year’s contest features a refreshing trend, with several countries drawing inspiration from ancient musical traditions. Marina Satti’s avant-garde composition blends traditional Greek melodies with reggaeton rhythms, creating a unique and captivating sound. Her declaration, “I will do it my way,” in one of the song’s most poignant lyrics, encapsulates the spirit of her performance.

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