Sorry, my posts this year on Eurovision will be brief as I'm currently working on my final project for my undergraduate degree. But here goes anyway.
Having spent two hours watching the first semifinals, my heart dropped. Supposedly the stronger of the two semi-finals I failed to find many songs that I could truly cheer for. Here's a short review on each song. On a side note I love the stage.
I have no problem with Armenia, it's a decent song. But I call into question when it's being billed as the favourite. There really isn't much in this for it to be labelled as the favourite and it seems like the bookies have caught onto this as Sweden have now overtaken it to the top.
I liked the staging and it's a solid performance but it lacks the "hook" which arguably Sweden had. I'm comparing them as their style of performance and song are actually quite similar.
Aarzemnieki - Cake to Bake
Eurovision has been taking on a more serious tone for the past few years so a song like this just doesn't draw sympathy votes as much as it once did. It's a simple track which might have benefited from the absurd lyrics but next to the more serious contenders it feels like too much of a joke.
P.S. I absolutely hate the shaggy haired singer who sings "A piece of cake".
Tanja - Amazing
I came to like this performance on the night because of its eurodance sound, uplifting beat and the simple staging. I was impressed that the lead singer sang and danced quite well (though it did effect her vocals slightly).
I was disappointed that it failed to make the finals. I thought they did a decent job but I expect the early, slightly low key, performance might have lost it some votes.
Sanna Nielsen - Undo
In such a short span of time we have already seen the two favourites but don't you think they are awfully similar? However I prefer Sweden as it's more catchy though I feel the vocals are a bit rough, but by the finals I might have had sufficient listens to this to be truly captured. The staging was also quite nice, actually I liked the staging for quite a few performances tonight. I can see this winning, sending Eurovision back to Sweden again.
Pollapönk - No Prejudice
I wouldn't call myself a fan but there is something in this craziness to like and it was a dark horse for me to make it to the finals. If you remove the gimmicks from this track there are some solid moments and I guess it is this that managed to see them through to the finals.
Hersi - One Night's Anger
Sadly for me this was one of the weakest of the night. The song didn't capture my attention and the vocals were off, on top of that the singer made some very odd expressions throughout the performance.
Tolmachevy Sisters - Shine
I'm not keen on the Russian entry and its gimmicks. It's also rather "low-key" for a Russian entry. However they did ok and deserved to make the finals, it's a shame that the audience felt the need to boo them when they made it through.
Dilara Kazimova - Start a Fire
I was slightly disappointed as the singer didn't have enough power in her vocals to truly deliver this moving ballad to its true potential. However I still love the track, the staging was quite strong and, on a side note, she looked beautiful. Though Dilara might find it hard to maintain Azerbaijan's stellar track record.
Mariya Yaremchuk - Tick-Tock
I'm not a huge fan of this though I can definitely see it doing well with its Eurovisionness! The hamster wheel definitely added much needed drama and slightly diverts the attention away from her somewhat wavering vocals. Either way it deserved its placement.
Axel Hirsoux - Mother
I'm sorry to say but I never saw the love for this and correctly predicted that it would be one of the supposedly safer bets not to make the cut. He has a good voice but that's just not enough when the song is bland and he never really truly shows his potential in this track.
Cristina Scarlat - Wild Soul
I can't really conjure up any musical recognition for Moldova besides the rather odd staging. All I remember was it being rather messy with the random pulling of hair.
Valentina Monetta - Maybe
Whilst I congratulate her for making the finals, finally, I wouldn't say this left a lasting impression. I preferred her track last year over this.
Suzy - Quero Ser Tua
I knew this had very little chance of making it through but I enjoyed the change of pace and the performance was more entertaining than some others. Either way I hope Portugal continue to send acts to Eurovision as they sometimes come up with some beautiful songstresses.
The Common Linnets - Calm After the Storm
My favourite of the night, it might be slightly low key and country but it's a beautifully simple track with good vocals and beautiful staging. What more can you ask for? I'm glad the bookies are finally seeing its true worth as it has slowly climbed the odds. However I hope it manages to maintain its charm for the finals as many of these types of tracks get lost within the big performances.
Sergej Cetkovic - Moj Svijet
I was somewhat distracted from this performance. It never really captured me though his vocals were good enough and I guess there weren't any major quips from me that it made the finals.
Andras Kallay-Saunders - Running
Andras was surprisingly not as strong vocally as I expected, especially towards the end. It's an ok track though a bit overhyped I think. There are some catchy bits to it though and it deserves a spot in the Top 10.
Overall a rather predictable Top 10 though I was disappointed that Estonia didn't make it.
Besides San Marino I predicted that the other 9 would make the finals.
For tonight this is what I found out!
FAVOURITES - Netherlands, Sweden
Waiting to hear more - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Hungary
In it for the ride - Russia, Montenegro, Iceland
Toilet Break - San Marino
I won't be able to watch the 2nd semifinals live so there'll probably be a delay with my post on Thursday.
My top 2 there are Norway and Romania.
See you on Thursday