Yeah, yeah. I’m bad at this. Let’s get straight into it…
19. Latvia: Justs – ‘Heartbeat’
This contemporary pop song starts abysmally but thanks to Justs finally cutting loose in the final third of this music video and displaying his actual (and surprisingly considerable) talent, it actually works.
Maybe Doom will succeed this year? We’ll see. Justs will have to nail the live show twice.
20. Poland: Michal Szpak – ‘Colour of Your life’
I’ll admit, Michal Szpak hhas the kind of hair that is just begging for the wind machine to get cranked up.
Unfortunately, the song itself is a bit too soft on the soft rock side for me. I doubt this will progress.
21. Switzerland: Rykka – ‘The Last of Our Kind’
Ah. The Nordic Ice Queen entrant for this year’s contest. Made even more surprising because Rykka hails from Canadian.
This is a surprisingly sweet song that may make it to the final depending on the quality of the surrounding entrants.
22. Israel: Hovi Star – ‘Made of Stars’
A rare ballad for this year’s contest. “Made of Stars” is actually a good song made all the better by Israeli singer Hovi Star’s excellent voice.
This is good enough to be a lock for the final, and I’d suggest a Top 10 position in that. However, given a homophobic incident against him in Moscow during a promotional tour for Eurovision, I suspect some Bloc Voting will help as well.
23. Belarus: Ivan – ‘Help You Fly’
Another werewolf entrant. Huh. Guess that’s becoming a thing at Eurovision. Well, someone has to challenge the vampires…
Belarusian Ivan apparently plans to perform this song naked with two wolves on stage, which is a violation of at least two Song Contest rules. Or it could be a publicity stunt. Either way, it’s grabbed attention.
I suspect it’s a ruse, but the song is good enough not to need it. Ivan is a contender for the final with this.
24. Serbia: Snja Vučić ZAA – ‘Goodbye (Shelter)’
So this is interesting. Ms Vučić’s clear talent is overshadowing the fact that the song is a kinda samey power ballad. But her stage presence is kinda distracting in this music video as well.
If she nails the stage performance, she’s a lock for the Final, but she’s got a few detriments against her.
25. Ireland: Nicky Byrne – ‘Sunlight’
Former Westlife boy band member Nicky Byrne can clearly sing, but he’s another male soloist in a contest glutted with them this year.
Unless others fumble spectacularly, I don’t see him making the Final.
26. Macedonia: Kaliopi – ‘Dona’ (Дона)
Kaliopi was a finalist in the 2012 contest in Baku and she kicked ass with her Chrissy Amphlett stylings. I expect her to achieve a final slot again this contest.
27. Lithuania: Donny Montell – ‘I’ve Been Waiting for This Night’
Another 2012 contest alumni. Huh. I remember calling this kid Tuxedo Mask back then…
He’s good. The song isn’t. Maybe he’ll carry it, but it’ll be a near thing. Next.
28. Australia: Dami Im – ‘Sound of Silence’
My response when my friends excitedly told me that Dami Im was Australia’s Eurovision Entrant for 2016 was a baffled “Who?”
I don’t watch The X Factor, okay?
Despite being on the back foot here, she can clearly belt out a song, and “Sound of Silence” is actually pretty good too. I reckon that combination is good enough to get her to the final. How she’ll fair there, I don’t know. But I wish her the best of luck.
29. Slovenia: ManuElla – “Blue and Red’
Another kinda pop-country song hybrid. I’m liking that more that I would’ve thought,
ManuElla seems like the beautiful love child of Taylor Swift and LeAnne Rimes. I reckon she’ll make the final.
30. Bulgaria: Poli Genova – ‘If Love Was a Crime’
Ms Genova has competed previously in 2011 (though I can’t recall her performance) and was the host of last year’s Junior Eurovision, so she’s got some serious pedigree for this year’s comp.
“If Love Was a Crime” is catchy, so I reckon this will do well in the final, easily.
31. Denmark: Lighthouse X – ‘Soldiers of Love’
Denmark seems to have gone with the thinking that why send one hunk when they could overwhelm the contest with three.
Pretty? Yes. But ultimately bland, I don’t think this will make it past this semi.
32. Ukraine: Jamala – ‘1944’
Well this is surprising. Given the strict rules against political messages in Eurovision entries, I’m amazed this got it. It skirts the line hard. The fact it’s the first entry in the Crimean Tartar language is also kinda telling.
Jamala can sing. I reckon this plus sympathy for Ukraine after last year’s absence will carry it to the final.
33. Norway: Agnete – ‘Icebreaker’
Nordic Ice Queen by way of fem punk rocker? I am so down with this.
“Icebreaker” is a weird song; feels like they almost mashed two together between the mainline and the chorus. But it works surprisingly well, and with the proper stage presence, could easily do well in the final.
34. Georgia: Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz – ‘Midnight Gold’
A Georgian indie rock outfit that reminds me how much of Eurovision is stuck in the ‘80s, to my eternal enjoyment.
This smacks of early ‘80s Split Endz/Mental As Anything, so I’m inclined to love it. I doubt the audience will though, sadly.
35. Albania: Eneda Tarifa – ‘Fairytale’
I suspect Ms Tarifa will know how to make an entrance on the night, given her presence in the music video. Beyond that, I don’t think this song is enough to get to the final, but I’ve been wrong plenty of times before.
36. Belgium: Laura Tesoro – ‘What’s the Pressure’
Hey, a pseudo funk entry! We don’t see enough funk at Eurovision…at least from a genre perspective.
This is fun and I hope the audience feels the same way. I reckon this could surprise a lot of folks and do some serious damage to the voting expectations in the final.
Okay. I suspect another last minute post before the final, but maybe I’ll get enough sleep and finish it earlier than that.
Yeah, I don’t think so either.
Be seeing you.