37 of the 43 participants for the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest showcased their entries at this weekend’s Amsterdam preview concert, making it the biggest ‘Eurovision In Concert’ to date.
Performing in front of a packed crowd of 1,500 fans at the Melkweg Concert Hall allowed the entrants to give the best impression yet of how they might handle the pressure of the live Eurovision show, with seasoned performers like Italy’s Francesco Gabbani and Sweden’s Robin Bengtsson cementing their status as pre-contest favourites with predictably assured performances.
The absentees from this year’s lineup were Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Portugal and Russia. Of these, Australia, Croatia and Russia have yet to give televised live performances of their songs, while Estonia, Iceland and Portugal have yet to be seen outside their national finals.
Iceland didn’t go completely unrepresented though. Two-time participant Selma Björnsdóttir co-hosted the event with longtime Dutch commentator Cornald Maas, delivering energetic performances of her 1999 and 2005 entries for the crowd.