We’re in the home stretch now with bare hours to go before the first semifinal is shown live here in Australia for the first time.
You cannot conceive how much coffee I’m going to mainline once I’m done here. Anyway:
The opening act for the second semi is cute and preppy, and while Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila clearly work well together, “This Time” has an awkwardness about it that detracts from the overall experience. I don’t see this going beyond the night.
Ireland has stripped it right back to basics with their entry “Playing With Numbers”, which can be a surprisingly effective choice. And while its within the style of what she’s attempting to do, Molly Sterling (great name) seems to be all over the place with her vocals. But, if she sticks it on the night, she could be in with a chance.
25. San Marino
San Marino has been steadily improving with their entries over the last few years, getting into the final in 2014, This year, they’ve sent the youngest duo in the contest’s history; 16 year olds Anita Simoncini and Michele Perniola.
“Chain of Lights” is not a bad song by any stretch; not a lot of baroque pop these days after all. But I think it will be lost in the songs around it.
Given they got to the final with a similar strategy last year, Knez’s “Adio” (“Goodbye”) is very much a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I get the feeling that Knez will be able to own the stage on the night, and should be a lock for the final.
Wait, wasn’t there already a song called “Warrior” on the docket??
Well. This could get awkward. Has this ever happened before?
Well Amber puts in an excellent effort, I don’t see this beating out the other song with the same title. Then again, it could be fun if both got in…
A surprisingly dark ballad from Norway with “A Monster Like Me”. Eurovision needs more Villain Songs, and this one is a great contender.
Of all the duets this contest (and good lord, there are a lot of them this year) Mørland & Debrah Scarlett are the pair that have impressed me the most so far. I’m looking forward to this.
Leonor Andrade looks angry in this film clip, and “Há um mar que nos separa” (“There’s a sea that separates us”. Great title.) feels like it should be a much angrier rock song. The problem here isn’t Andrade’s singing; the musical arrangement is failing her, making this feel bland overall. It’s a pity, but this won’t go further.
30. Czech Republic
It’s been six years since the Czech Republic fielded an entrant to Eurovision; I don’t think I was examining the songs back then. The country’s track record has also been pretty dismal. However, Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta put in a solid effort with “Hope Never Dies” and hopefully will retain some lost honour.
Well, “Golden Boy” is surprisingly catchy. French-Israeli singer Nadav Guedj is the youngest entrant this year, with a surprisingly mature voice. But while he can sing, I found his charisma and stage presence lacking in this clip. We’ll see how well he manages to work the stage on the night, as that will make a huge difference. The end is cute though.
From the land of Doctor Doom, possibly their most striking entrant in some time. Aminata is belting it out during the chorus of “Love Injected”, making a fascinating contrast to the minimalism of the song proper. This will be one to watch out for.
“Hour of the wolf”, huh? Well I love the title at least.
And it’s not just a good name either; singer Elnur Huseynov brings it with this ballad. Azerbaijan is no stranger to the final at Eurovision, and I reckon this song is a lock.
Icelandic singer Maria Olafs has an impressive voice, and the song “Unbroken” benefits from her powerful performance. I expect this will probably make it to the final at least.
It initially doesn’t sound like this song should work; there’s a strange undercurrent to the sound initially, but Måns Zelmerlöw blows all doubt away in the chorus of “Heroes” with powerful vocals and great presence. This will do very well on both nights.
This oddly feels like a bit of a mess. Mélanie René has got a good voice, and “Time to Shine” suits her well. But it seems to lose itself as it goes along. This will probably make the middle of the hunt.
I have a soft spot for guitar ballads at Eurovision, and “One Thing I Should Have Done” is a good entry for that. John Karayiannis displays some incredible levels of talent here, and for that alone I hope he advances.
Oh, what does this remind me of? Regardless, it’s good. Duo Maraaya have fronted up an excellent song with “Here For You”, and I expect this to do very well.
Oh thank Buddha, this is a huge improvement over Poland’s entry from last year.
Monika Kuszyńska sings an impressive ballad with “In The Name Of Love”, and it’s a great way to finish the second semi.
And done, with mere hours to spare. I’ll be live tweeting all the Eurovision broadcasts this year, follow my inane sleep deprived commentary via @Darcrider. And as always, thanks for indulging me.
Be seeing you…