Before getting to my initial thoughts on the entrants in the Second Semi-Final, I’ve got a bit of a gripe.
A lot of Eurovision fans are writing blog posts or presenting lists titled “My Top 40”. In previous years, it’s been “My Top 37” or something similar. As it happens, this year there are 40 entrants in the contest. So picking a “Top 40” is telling us absolutely nothing. Picking a “Top X” out of a list with X items in it is pointless. You are basically saying that you like all of the songs. Instead, call your list what it is: “My Eurovision Rankings”. And why not go a step further? Be like the judges, and pick your ten favorites from each semi-final, and then do a ranking of those 20 songs plus the ones with an automatic spot in the final round.
Anyway… here’s the YouTube playlist for the second semi-final, then my notes.
Elnur Huseynov – “Hour of the wolf” (Azerbaijan): Big and loud, but meh.
John Karayiannis – “One Thing I Should Have Done” (Cyprus): Quiet and intimate. Very nice. He’s not wearing those fake nose glasses, is he…
Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta – “Hope Never Dies” (Czech Republic): Here we go again with the B&W… oh, wait! Someone remembered to turn the color on!
Maria Olafs – “Unbroken” (Iceland): Dancing girls in nightgowns.
Molly Sterling – “Playing With Numbers” (Ireland): She can sing AND play the keyboard! Woo, I suppose.
Nadav Guedj – “Golden Boy” (Israel): OK! Finally, something with a danceable beat! And some nationalistic rhythms! And the gold tinting in the video actually works! Nice reference to the 3 min song limit, too!
Aminata – “Love Injected” (Latvia): Modern techno stuff in the background doesn’t hide that it’s still a basic power ballad.
Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila – “This Time” (Lithuania): Nice duet, the singers work well together.
Amber – “Warrior” (Malta): Did anyone tell them there are two songs with the same title? “I had no choice but to become a Warrior” – Sounds like something John Hurt’s Doctor would say. Nice orchestration.
Knez – “Adio” (Montenegro): Finally, a song NOT in English! Other than that, and that odd stringed instrument, nothing else to really recommend it, though.
Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – “A Monster Like Me” (Norway): The strangest video this year.
Monika Kuszyńska – “In The Name Of Love” (Poland): Oh, she’s paralyzed. She’ll be fighting Finland for the sympathy vote. Nothing else to note here.
Leonor Andrade – “Há um Mar que nos Separa” (Portugal): Well, it’s better than last year’s entry.
Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola – “Chain of Lights” (San Marino): Wow! Someone other than Valentina Monetta! The song may be cheesy, but at least they’re trying something different with the rhymes and rhythms.
Måns Zelmerlöw – “Heroes” (Sweden): Nice stage production. Will it work in Vienna?
Mélanie René – “Time to Shine” (Switzerland): I have nothing whatsoever to say about this.
Maraaya – “Here For You” (Slovenia): Interesting voice. Reminds me of some American pop singer, though I can’t figure out who.