Tonight is the night! It's the first semi final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest! The excitement is building and it's shaping up to be a great show!
It's been an interesting few days here in Baku. There was an unsanctioned protest in the city centre yesterday which was very swifly controlled by the police and several arrests were made. It serves as a reminder that some people feel aggreived with life here in Azerbaijan.
The people of Baku continue to be warm, friendly and helpful. A few of us called into McDonald's the other night for a quick burger (terrible I know!) and a group of young Azeri lads sat down and started to chat to us. They were so nice and really interested in hearing where we were from and what we thought of Baku. I get the feeling here that people seem more excited by all these visitors to their country rather than the contest specifically. Somehow I don't think you would a group teenagers in Birmingham or Bristol pulling up a chair and asking about Eurovision!
The security outside the arena is very strict, there are police everywhere and warships on the horizon! It's unclear whether that's just the way things are done here or if the authorities are a aware of a specific threat. Eurovision is a large international event after all.
As for the qualifiers tonight, I am increasingly clueless! I've heard the songs too many times. With so many strong entries this year, we could be in for some surprises! I'm due to be interviewed on BBC3 tonight after the songs, fingers crossed all goes well!