Tonight we see six nations take a big step closer to picking their representative for Stockholm.
We’re keeping our eyes on all events, with the key points from the shows, social media reaction, plus the results of which artists are taking a step forward. Plus if there is any #fiasko or #skandal, we’ll let you know!
Ukraine are starting the night off, followed by Hungary at 19:40cet, and then at 20:00cet, Lithuania, Sweden and Finland kick off. Ukrainian results are from 20:30, and Iceland’s national selection kick off at 21:00cet.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:55 pm

And so tonight’s festivities draw to a close.
Italy will keep the Eurovision world feeling teased all week as San Remo begins on Tuesday. We’ll bring detailed coverage of Austria’s selection for Stockholm on Friday, and then follows Super Saturday, including final results for Denmark, Switzerland and Italy. There’s more reaction from the venue in Iceland thanks to our Wiv over on twitter and instagram, but from us, góða nótt!


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:49 pm

(Iceland)
Erna is going absolutely kreisi there. On a sidenote, this also means Kreisi didn’t qualify.


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:48 pm

(Iceland)
Qualifier 3: Hugur Minn Er by Erna & Hjörtur! Hell yeah!


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:47 pm

(Iceland)
Just one more qualifier! I’m hoping for Erna & Hjörtur!


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:46 pm

(Iceland)
Qualifier 2: Óstöðvandi by Karlotta!


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:44 pm

(Iceland)
Qualifier 1: Raddirnar by Greta Salome. No surprises there!


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:43 pm

(Iceland)

We just had an ad break and we’re now back. Can we have some qualifiers now? Takk!


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:34 pm

Hæ Greta!

Greta Salóme says hi!! #12stig #söngvakeppnin #eurovision #rúv #iceland #esc2016

A video posted by escXtra (@escxtra) on Feb 6, 2016 at 1:27pm PST


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:30 pm

(Iceland)
Páll Oskar (1997 – Minn hinsti dans) is the interval act at Söngvakeppnin. A fun performance but the glittery jumpsuit is a bit too much like Kejsi Tola’s gimp for my liking.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:26 pm

(Ukraine)
Watching Jamala’s performance tonight makes me think that we can pencil in third place in Stockholm already.


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20169:25 pm

(Ukraine)

It’s quite surprising what happened there in Ukraine. Yes, we expected Jamala to win it. And The Hardkiss was also an expected qualifier. However, the fact that both Anastasia Pridhodko and Aida Nikolaychuk are out, surprises me.
Anastasia finished below the qualification spots in both votings, so that one was clear. It was however juries that killed Aida’s chances: They placed her 8th out of 9. Televote had her 3rd – would’ve been a qualifying spot.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:17 pm

If you´d like Wiv to take you inside the Söngvakeppnin green room, follow our insta… https://www.instagram.com/escxtra/


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:13 pm

Here´s what got the Ukrainians excited today:


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:12 pm

(Ukraine)
The jury have spoken and their rank order from best to worst is:
Jamala, Brunettes shoot blondes, Hardkiss, Svetlana Tabarova, Tonya Matvikenko, Anastasiya Pryhodko, Vladislav, Aida, Lavika.
The public vote came up with the following order:
Jamala, Aida, Svetlana Tabarova, Brunettes shoot blondes, Vladislav, Anastasiya Pryhodko, Tonya Matvikenko, Lavika.
We therefore have three guaranteed qualifiers to the final in a fortnight, those being Jamala, Hardkiss and Brunettes Shoot Blondes.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20169:04 pm

(Iceland)
Ah, now here´s what we came for! Kreisi is indeed well titled. We open with one of Sigga’s two sidekicks playing pong with a crosshatch pattern in the makeup around her eyes. Quirky electronic pop. This is the point where the standard response would be to say how it evokes memories of Björk’s early playful years. But it actually does. How wonderful to see something definitely not middle-of-the-road. This song is never near the road and its course is unknown, and all the better for it.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:57 pm

(Iceland)
Óstöðvandi by Karlotta Sigurðardóttir is song 5 tonight. An old-ish-fashioned mid-tempo but tempestuous ballad which gets a strong reception in the Háskólabíó venue, but I am really not sure if I trust her vocal to be reliable under pressure. Familiar?..


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:50 pm

(Ukraine)
The results are overdue, but supposedly imminent. You didn’t expect this all to go to schedule did you?


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:49 pm

((Iceland)

Song 4 is a twee folky ballad from a female duet, that translates to “I see you”, courtesy of Hljómsveitin Eva. A genuine song but the campfire and fake rocks staging detracts somewhat to me.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:46 pm

(Iceland) we´re up to song 4 in Reykjavík, and the first participants are hitting the snacks in the green room with our Wiv.


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20168:45 pm

(Hungary)

The final qualifier is Seven Seas, sung by Olivér Berkes & Andi Tóth.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:35 pm

(Iceland)
Song three is Fátækur námsmaður by Ingólfur Þórarinsson. It is another strong change of mood, with old fashioned punk pop, not un-reminiscent of Pollapönk. But however different it is from the previous two, it still feels very,… Söngvakeppnin.


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20168:30 pm

(Hungary)

We have five qualifiers in Hungary:
Petruska – Trouble In My Mind
Szilvia Agárdi – It Is Love
Parno Graszt – Mar Nem Szedülök
B The First – You Told Me That You Loved Me
Nika – Emlékkép
The sixth one will come from televoting!


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:28 pm

(Finland)
Meanwhile, Krista Siegfrids has presided over the first semifinal of UMK.
Six acts were looking for three qualification spots.
Q: Stella Christine: Ain’t got time for boys
Q: Eini: Draamaa
Q: Saara Aalto: No fear
DNQ: Paa-Aijat, Miko Herranen, Clemso


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:28 pm

(Sweden)
The second song to the final is… Robin Bengtsson!

So tonights results are:
To the final: Robin Bengtsson and Ace Wilder
To Andra Chansen: Samir&Viktor and Albin&Mattias
5th place: Mimi Werner
6th place: Pernilla Andersson.

And let’s not forget Anna Book disqualified. I don’t know why I keep repeating it. Thank you Sweden! See you next week!


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:26 pm

(Sweden)

Reminding everyone that 8 songs are in Andra Chansen and 4 of them go to the final, with another year of a 12 songs final.
The two songs to Andra Chansen are… Albin & Mattias and Samir & Viktor!


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:25 pm

(Iceland)
Song two is from Hjortur and Erna, who change the tempo with one of those earnest stare-into-each-others’ eyes ballads, that might squeeze a spine tingle or two out of you, but then if it gets to ESC you realise there is many a song that presses the same buttons and it gets lost.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:20 pm

(Sweden)
Seems that tonight the televoting has broken all the records. The first song to go to the final is… Ace Wilder. shocker.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:19 pm

(Iceland)
The return of Greta Salome starts off the proceedings in Iceland. It´s a graphic screen concept with which Greta interacts; it comes across well, but is this the year to be going for that kind of visual, bearing in mind why we’re heading to Stockholm?


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:17 pm

(Sweden)
LET’S PARTY LIKE IT’S 2002.

And Las Ketchup are on stage. In playback. Good God, Sweden, I love you and I fear you at the same time.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:15 pm

(Sweden)
SVT has just stolen my idea of dramatic reading. Stina Ekblad (a drama actress) is reading Groupie from Samir&Viktor with a grave tone.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:11 pm

(Sweden)

This is the moment where you all open the player and watch Anna Book with a lit up heart behind her performing her disqualified song.
Like a phoenix from the ashes: she went from “dead last” to “dreadfully disqualified” to “number one in the digital download charts because she is two days ahead in the release so no one is against her”.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:11 pm

(Iceland)
A montage of previous Icelandic Eurovision entries reminds us how rarely this nation strays from the middle of the road when picking its representatives. But it is usually to their credit and benefit when they do. I never feel like the Icelanders quite learn that lesson though…


Nathan Waddell
February 6, 20168:04 pm

Nobody is surprised, are they Matteo, with Pernilla coming last.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:04 pm

(Sweden)
First results: seen that only 6 songs were in the semifinal, all but one go to the second round of voting. So it’s quicker for me to say that Pernilla Andersson hasn’t gone through to the second round. Start voting again, Sweden!


Simon Wells
February 6, 20168:02 pm

(Iceland)
Söngvakeppnin time at the Háskólabíó, that´s the University Theatre, Reykjavík. As usual, twelve songs are split over two semis taking place tonight and next Saturday, aiming to qualify for the final the following week.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20168:00 pm

(Sweden)
The interval act is quite fun. Gina Dirawi is basically saying that due to Måns winning everything went shit at SVT: no money for the olympic games, no champagne in the green room… this also because a lot of money goes into Petra’s dresses for the “Globenkalaset”.


Nathan Waddell
February 6, 20167:55 pm

Our escXtra team of editors has predicted that Ace Wilder will go through to the Final alongside Samir & Viktor… let’s see if there’s a surprise to come.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:51 pm

(Sweden)

7. Ace Wilder – Don’t worry
Not the strongest vocal performance. Nice stage, nice idea, but the song is basically a toned down version of “Busy doin’ nothing” and she clearly would need all five backing vocalists in an eventual participation at Eurovision. Direkt till finalen – but not because of merit.


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20167:48 pm

Hungary

The first result has come through. After six entries have performed, we can conclude that Parno Graszt have qualified for the semifinals. Oh dear.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:47 pm

(Sweden)
The best audience of Sweden, the one in Gothenburg. They say. Ace Wilder is back – and they are reminding everyone that Sanna came first in 2014 with only 2 points and now it’s time for REVENGE.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:45 pm

(Sweden)

6. Robin Bengtsson – Constellation prize
It is a rather nice song. Sounds a bit like Years&Years in the mood (with a more manly voice), but the title. Seriously. Who thought of that? Best song of the semifinal, but good God, Swedes. No more puns on titles.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:42 pm

(Sweden)
You cannot vote for “Melodi nummer fem” – Anna Book’s situation, remember. But the class and the elegance with which Gina Dirawi announced it… marvellous.
Jonas Gardell (that has written lyrics for Ulrik Munther’s last album – stream it on Spotify, is perfection) will present bits and pieces about the last 15 years of Melodifestivalen.
Now. Let’s go to that HANDSOME HANDSOME guy that is Robin Bengtsson.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:37 pm

(Sweden)
4. Albin & Mattias – Rik

Clearly here they tried to replicate the success of “Soldat”, the breakthrough song that made Albin very rich (it was supposed to be a pun. The title means Rich. Kill me now). As of now it seems – excluding Pernilla that has LAST PLACE written all over – the most together song. Wouldn’t mind seeing them in FINALEN.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:33 pm

(Sweden)

Mattias Andreasson has already been on this stage – Albin only as a composer. I always forget that Spotify in Swedish is pronounce Spottiffy with long consonants. It always sounds weird. (I’m sorry if this live blog is going nowhere, but that was a pretty boring introduction, SVT).


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:31 pm

(Sweden)

3. Mimi Werner – Ain’t no good.
The dukes of hazzard. Country dance song like “Timber” by Kesha. Not bad the show – even though a bit confusing – but really, honey, whomever told you that that brown outfit was a nice touch was joking.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:29 pm

(Sweden)
Petra and Gina laugh about “The ketchup song” by Las Ketchup. It was out the same summer as the first Melodifestivalen tournée – and Petra plays the old crone that doesn’t know anything about it. BUT NOW. Mimi Werner is on stage.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:27 pm

(Sweden)
2. Pernilla Andersson – Mitt guld

The perfect song for a wedding playlist. A soft country ballad with a gigantic harp on stage. The heart that represents the people voting through app was basically dead. Unfortunately for me this will probably come last.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:23 pm

(Sweden)
It is rather difficult to translate half of the stuff they are joking about because they are referred to stuff happening in Sweden in the last few years. But we are swiftly going towards song number 2: Pernilla Andersson.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:21 pm

(Sweden)
1. Samir & Viktor – Bada nakna
It starts off like a Shania Twain song. There is also an instrumental piece that sounds alike to “I’m an albatroz” (I hope you get the reference). The song is basically a stadium choir that turns into porn for women. Good for them.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:17 pm

(Sweden)
Samir and Viktor have “swept the nation” with last year’s “groupie” and now they are back. Gina says so, not sure what will happen today.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:14 pm

(Sweden)
This is the running order:

1. Samir & Viktor – “Bada nakna”
2. Pernilla Andersson – “Mitt guld”
3. Mimi Werner – “Ain’t No Good”
4. Albin & Mattias – “Rik”
6. Robin Bengtsson – “Constellation Price”
7. Ace Wilder – “Don’t Worry”


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:13 pm

(Sweden)
This is the 15th year that Melodifestivalen has been on a tournée. I don’t understand why no one has started singing yet – but I guess it’s just to cover the minutes dedicated to Anna Book.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:10 pm

(Sweden)

The season has started in a more dramatic way than the final episode of Game of Thrones (as Petra Mede reminded everyone). We are still processing the Anna Book and Charlotte Perrelli skandal.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:08 pm

This is the party for the whole of Sweden: welcome to Melodifestivalen 2016!


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:06 pm

…but clearly, February gets here and Melodifestivalen starts – and everything gets better.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:05 pm

(Sweden)
The worst things happening in Sweden: 300 days of dark, Zlatan that moves to Paris, the iPhone that dies out easily…


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:03 pm

(Sweden)
What happened last year? Well. They won Eurovision, it seems.


Nathan Waddell
February 6, 20167:03 pm

Matteo is right, I actually laughed out loud quite heavily at Molly turning up to advertise the app vote. We’ve also been promised a new way of announcing the results this year too so stay tuned for that tonight. I’ll be tweeting along with Sophie about all the highlights from our Eurovision hosts.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20167:02 pm

(Sweden)
Ok that was quite fun. They used Molly Pettersson Hammar to remind everyone to download the app to vote. And she was really mad about it – as she didn’t qualify because of it last year.


Matteo Manta
February 6, 20166:53 pm

Matteo here ready (with Nathan) to comment on Melodifestivalen. Seven minutes to gooo!


Nick van Lith
February 6, 20166:53 pm

Meanwhile, we’re also live in Hungary! I’ll be guiding you through tonight’s show on Twitter.


Simon Wells
February 6, 20166:37 pm

Our Wivian is in Reykjavik and is tweeting and instagramming from inside the venue for the first semifinal of Songvakeppnin Sjonvarpsins, so keep your eyes open for her on-the-ground coverage!


Simon Wells
February 6, 20166:25 pm

I hope you’re well set for a busy night!
If you’re trying keep abreast of the action in Ukraine but the language barrier is tripping you up, our Yassia is tweeting all you need to know, including the judgements from the star-studded jury that includes Ruslana and Andriy Danylko, better known as Verka Serduchka.
https://twitter.com/escXtra

Chief Editor: A non-schlager Europhile who's been doing this ESC writing malarkey since 2008, usually championing Eurovision's alternative or quirky offerings. My role at Xtra isn't too dissimilar from my previous life as a school teacher, but they're a well behaved class. Also responsible for dropping bum notes on a piano.

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