Monday, 6 June 2016

Eurovision 2016: The sensational second semi-final


 Now I've given you my thoughts on the first semi-final, I'll share with you my views on the second one, which I feel was definitely the stronger of the two.

 To begin with, the hosts Måns and Petra's "That's Eurovision" performance was brilliant! When they first began I thought, "Oh no, they're going all Broadway to please the Americans even more" (with them having already announced that Justin Timberlake would perform during the final). 

 However, they weren't afraid to mock themselves and the contest and it ended up being really funny and enjoyable. Petra, as I've said before, can pull off pretty much anything.

 Now to the competing songs. I'll be using the same scoring system I did for the first semi, ie, each country will receive a mark out of 20 for the song, as well as comments regarding staging, voice and performance. Let's go!

 1) Latvia - I found the song dull but he had good stage presence. It kind of sounded like a slowed-down version of last year's Aussie entry, "Tonight Again". 10/20

 2) Poland - The lighting was nice. I don't have that much else to say about it! It was okay. I don't really get why it's a favourite. 10/20

 3) Switzerland - This was quite nice and reminded me of "Running Scared", which won for Azerbaijan a few years ago. 11/20

 4) Israel - I was pleasantly surprised by this; the singer came across as a character in interviews I'd seen but the performance was understated and quite calm. I liked the simplistic staging, along with his sparkly shirt and gloves! 12/20

 5) Belarus - Ah, the infamous wolf performance! I found there was way too much going on, making it hard to really appreciate the song. 12/20

 6) Serbia - This song had a good message, against domestic violence, but musically it was very average. 8/20

 7) Ireland - The song was okay; rather clichéd even for Eurovision. Nicky Byrne looked awkward, like he wasn't really comfortable performing it. 11/20

 8) FYR Macedonia - This was one of my favourites. The singer has a great voice - and she also seemed very tall! - and the performance was solid. The song sounded like a lot of others strung together but she pulled it off. The drummer was intense! 17/20

 9) Lithuania - Ah, the return of Donny Montell - this time without a blindfold. 

 This year's song from him - "I've been waiting for this night" - was one of the ones I felt had most potential - it's very One Direction and quite catchy - but I think this performance let it down. 16/20

 10) Australia - This is undoubtedly one of the best songs and vocalists but again, I felt something was missing from this performance. I liked the staging - minimalist but effective. 18/20

 11) Slovenia - This was very Taylor Swift; it veered between country and Europop rather oddly but kind of worked, aided by a confident, impassioned performance. 15/20

 12) Bulgaria - The grammar! "If love was a crime..." At least Frans for Sweden got the subjunctive right with "If I were sorry." This was rather boring and run-of-the-mill Eurovision but she certainly performed it with gusto. 12/20

 13) Denmark - The 15-to-1 style podia were interesting. Otherwise this was pretty clichéd; they seemed to be trying a bit too hard to be A-ha or Herreys. 10/20

 14) Ukraine - As I've said before, I'm not getting into the politics of songs. On a musical level, I found this rather slow and repetitive; however her voice is incredible and her performance was assured. 10/20

 15) Norway - Dry ice alert! People seem generally far less obsessed with dry ice these days than they were for a while a few years ago. This performance, however, had all the dry ice anyone could ever desire. The lyrics of the song are appalling - "I'll be your ice-breaker when you're stuck in frozen water"? 8/20

 16) Georgia - This had a lot of weird trippy stuff going on with the graphics and was generally quite dull. 10/20

 17) Albania - An odd but nice dress couldn't salvage a boring song. 9/20

 18) Belgium - This was like a cross between Fleur East and Kylie, transported into the 70s. The song was very enjoyable (though it sounds like so many we've heard before) and her performance was impressive, especially all the dancing. 14/20

 As mentioned earlier, I found this the better semi-final, with a good range of musical styles and some solid songs and performances. Watch this space for my blog posts about the Big 5 and Sweden, and about the grand final.

 Thanks for reading!

 Liz x

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