Saturday, 10 June 2017

Eurovision 2017: The second semi-final


 I hope you enjoyed my blog post about Eurovision 2017's first semi-final. Here are my thoughts on the second.

1) Serbia - This was one that stuck in my head. It isn't amazing, but it's catchy in its own way. It has some cheesy lyrics - "High off the ground, I'm not coming down" - but is otherwise tolerable.

2) Austria - This was one of my stand-out songs from this semi. It is remarkable how through the lovely staging they managed to transform a fun folksy song with a mountain-y video into an epic Eurovision ballad. It reminds me of Frans's "If I Were Sorry" from last year: laid-back and adaptable.

3) F.Y.R Macedonia - This was another average song that managed to stick itself in my head. The singer looks a bit like Celine Dion but her voice and style are more like Madonna. 

 A lot of techno-themed staging would get too much, but one song's worth is okay and makes for an interesting change.

4) Malta - This one actually does sound like Celine Dion! I feel like this could be a very standard ballad sung by another person, but this singer lifts it with her personality and with her obvious passion for being there and for the song.

5) Romania - I thought this was just okay at first, but I'm coming to really like it. It is a great hybrid of rap and yodelling, bringing the two together effortlessly. It is nice and cheerful and utterly Eurovision.

6) The Netherlands - This was the stand-out song for me. The harmonies were perfect; very Wilson-Phillips. The song is lovely. It is by far the Eurovision entry I've listened to most this year. I've been really impressed by The Netherlands' entries the last few years.

7) Hungary - This isn't one of my favourites, but isn't bad, and I was caught by surprise when he burst out rapping. I liked the simple but colourful presentation.

8) Denmark - I found the song very ordinary, but the performance quite enthusiastic and fun.

9) Ireland - His voice really surprised me. The song is quite nice and the staging is minimal but works. The balloon is unusual and it all seems to tie together neatly. However, it is missing some Eurovision pizazz.

10) San Marino - Valentina again! Is she really the only singer in San Marino? Jimmie is a good complement for her, though, and the song is pure Eurovision: upbeat and catchy, with a colourful background, disco theme and great outfits. This should have had a chance.

11) Croatia - This was even odder this time around than when I first heard it - I don't think I had realised one guy was singing everything. Switching between pop and opera literally every line is really remarkable. 

 The song is quite pleasant but think it could be better staged, and he could have benefitted from making it more about the song and less about him.

12) Norway - I really didn't think much of this at first. My mother likes it, however, and it has grown on me slightly. Normally Norway turn out decent if not great songs, and this was a disappointment in comparison.

13) Switzerland - This reminds me a lot of the UK's song this year. It's passable. Some of the lyrics are cheesy to say the least. The yellow and purple theme is quirky and different but might get annoying after a while. This is another song my mother likes.

14) Belarus - I really enjoyed this at first. I still like it, but I think I'm losing my love for it. It is well-performed and I love hearing an own-language song. I just don't feel the song itself is as good as other folk songs we've heard on Eurovision recently.

15) Bulgaria - This was another surprising voice - it sounds older than a seventeen-year-old's. The song is an ear-worm and could easily be in the UK charts sung by Bieber or Mendes, though this guy's voice is perhaps superior to both. 

 I could do without the strobing and weird jerky camera effects, but both song and performance are very good.

16) Lithuania - This is a funny one because I like the verses but the chorus feels rather run-of-the-mill Euro-ballad-y. The singer is very intense, but if you like her style then the song can be quite an interesting journey to take with her.

17) Estonia - Another male-female duet from Estonia, and this wasn't as good for me as 2015's "Goodbye to Yesterday". It really reminds me of another dance track. I can't think which. 

 While it didn't live up to Estonia's track record, the song was pretty decent and well-performed. The guy's intense staring to the music was a bit much, however.

18) Israel - This was an average upbeat Eurovision song - he performed it okay, but the song itself wasn't very memorable.

My top ten (just in performance order): Austria, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Malta, Romania, The Netherlands, Ireland, San Marino, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia.

My top five (starting with the best): The Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, San Marino, Romania.

 Look out for my views on the final, coming soon!

 Feel free to check out my posts from last year's contest, too:

 First semi-final
 Second semi-final
 Big Five and Sweden

 Thanks for reading!

 Liz x

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