Eurovision Song Contest 2007 Semi-Final
Finland was the proud host for the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final. The country had tried to win the contest since 1961 and only 45 years later, Finland was filled with joy when Lordi won with Hard Rock Hallelujah in Athens. Helsinki 2007 became a 'True Fantasy', which was the theme of the competition.
A long Semi-Final
Finland welcomed a new record of participating countries in its capital Helsinki: 42 delegations took part, of which 28 took part in the Semi-Final . Austria came back to the contest after dropping out voluntarily in 2006. Same happened with its neighbour Hungary, and also Serbia (as independent country), Georgia, Montenegro and the Czech Republic took part for the first time.
The competition saw a mix of experienced singers and newcomers. Edsilia from the Netherlands had already participated in the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest and achieved an excellent 4th place back then. Olivia Lewis had tried to win the Maltese national final with more than ten songs over the years and she finally with able to win it with the pop-ethno song Vertigo. Karolina had already represented FYR Macedonia before in 2002. Dance-pop star DJ Bobo from Switzerland, who had already sold millions of CDs in his career, and wanted to give it another push on the Eurovision Song Contest stage singing Vampires Are Alive. However, the Semi-Final also saw lots of newcomers like the pop-punk band Anonymous from Andorra, who had decided to sing their song Salvem El Món in Catalan and in English.
The results of the Semi-Final caused quite a stir when the representatives of the 10 countries were announced that qualified for the Final: Serbia, Hungary, Turkey, Belarus, Latvia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Georgia, FYR Macedonia and Moldova. Western European newspapers were upset that not even one 'traditional country' from Western Europe managed to qualify - but admitting at the same time that the quality of the songs from Eastern Europe was higher.