Eurovision 2017: Semi Finals 2 Reviewed

The second of the two semi-finals for Eurovision kicks off in Kyev, with the other half of the 36 countries competing to make it to Saturday’s Grand Final. 

Eurovision’s second night commences in Kyev with the second round of 18 acts who are competing to get into Saturday’s Grand Final. Like the first round, Eurovision seems to be rather determined to keep the live acts off of YouTube. (If you note, Tuesday’s performances were never uploaded, which is a complete about-face from last year.) We assume this is due to having the semi-final performances and the Grand Final performances being nearly the same, and so having them up twice is redundant. I am curious if those who don’t get through will eventually find themselves uploaded for our viewing pleasure? We’ll have to wait and see.

For those looking for the results of Tuesday’s Semi Final Round 1, here’s our rundown.

Once again, we’ll be running down the acts performances and my snarky opinions, and–unless the missing live performances all decide to show up–we’ll be posting them along with the official music videos. So who is getting on through to Saturday? And who failed? Let’s hit the list.

The 10 Making it to Saturday’s Grand Final

1. Bulgaria “Beautiful Mess” Kristian Kostov 

A boybander, who looks to be just a little older than Ireland’s competitor. But he’s clearly dressed like a follower of Kylo Ren, which is unacceptable. Also, where I was expecting the song to take off and drop the beat, nothing happened. And they had the first camera effect I deemed “utterly unacceptable”. I am disappointed I’ll have to sit through this again on Saturday.

2. Belarus “Story of My Life” Naviband 

I was half expecting a cover of the One Direction song, but no dice. Instead we got a song sung in their native tongue. The lace appliques all over everything, including her forehead were wonderful, but not enough of a distraction for me to stop worrying her wedding gown might get stuck in one of the giant fans.

3. Croatia “My Friend” Jacques Houdek 

Croatia wins for weirdest conceptual act. The singer turned to the right, he’s a leather jacket wearing falsetto English singer. He turns to the left, he’s a tux wearing baritone opera singer. This is a man who cannot decide who he is, and we’re all very confused.  I think we need to see him do this again on Saturday.

4. Hungary “Origo” Joci Pápai

Hungary wins immediate points for not singing in English. Most countries that aren’t part of the “big Five” sing in English as a matter of course, and it’s really frustrating. it takes nerve for a smaller country to do the same and add rap violin folk-dancing to boot. He gets  bonus points for wearing a Sgt Pepper knock off costume well.

5. Denmark “Where I Am” Anja 

A mid tempo ballad that doesn’t even get a sequined gown, just a plain red one. Boring. Try harder Denmark. I can’t believe this made it in over Lithuania.

6. Israel “I Feel Alive” IMRI

The final song of the semis! And being Israel, it’s a male dominated sausage dance fest with some very fine backup dancers. I’d be shocked if this doesn’t make the Grand Final on Saturday–and it did.

7. Romania “Yodel It!” Ilinca ft. Alex Florea

YODEL YODEL YODEL YODEL YOUR WAY TO THE GRAND FINAL! YODEL IT! WITH PATENTED WHITE BOY RAP BREAKDOWNS IN THE PLACE OF VERSES! (The projections on the back screen with the rainbow birds weren’t bad either. But really. it’s all about the yodeling and we know it.)

8. Norway “Grab The Moment” JOWST

The DJ is wearing an LED studded mask that looks stole from Daftpunk. It’s a choice. Or wait…is he the keyboardist? or the drummer? The 1980s style camera work makes it very confusing how many hooded figures are on stage besides the singer.

9. The Netherlands “Lights and Shadows” OG3NE

I wasn’t expecting this to turn out to be a Third Harmony knock off, but here we are. it’s a pretty good Third Harmony song, for what it’s worth, even if the smallest girl managed to score the most fabric in her outfit and got a full sequined pantsuit instead of a minidress.

10. Austria “Running On Air” Nathan Trent

This tune is too light and breezy for Eurovision. It’s also is really incongruous with the “Don’t want to live on the moon” setting. There’s just a lack of commitment and investment. Like he just showed up, sang a bit and is happy to go right back where he came from when done. This had no business making the Grand Final. None.

Those Who Failed To Qualify

Serbia “In Too Deep” Tijana Bogićević

The song is a Katy Perry reject–it sounds a *lot* like “Fireworks.”So of course the singer wore a Britney Spears style wedding dress and had a single random male dancer who joined her 3/4 of the way through.

 

F.Y.R. Macedonia “Dance Alone” Jana Burčeska

Jana apparently found out she was pregnant between landing the spot in Eurovision, and the performance and her opening video made sure to play this up–it also means she can’t be called “fat” by any of the commentators. It’s their only hope of votes–she doesn’t even seem to be singing, or even fully lipsyncing.

Malta “Breathlessly” Claudia Faniello

A sleepy ballad in a pretty dress. Try harder Malta.

 

 

 

 

Ireland “Dying to Try” Brendan Murray

They’re trying to bill this one as “Harry Potter without the Glasses”, but Ireland can’t really afford to win, so let’s all do them a favor and put this small child–and his painfully stationary balloon–out of their misery and not vote for them.

San Marino “Spirit of the Night” Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson 

This is Valentina’s FOURTH trip to Eurovision. She’s only made the Grand Final once before, and you can tell she wants this so bad she can taste it. if they make it through it will be due to Jimmie more than her though.

 

 

Switzerland “Apollo” Timebelle 

I don’t normally hold with yellow, especially yellow that looks like a bad prom gown from the 1990s, but this mid tempo song isn’t that bad. It helps that her backup band are in millennial pink behind her, so they all match the digital backdrop.

 

 

Lithuania “Rain Of Revolution” Fusedmarc 

The singer’s long red dress made me expect a ballad. I was pleasantly surprised to have a serious beat kick in, even though it was mostly muted in the mix. And that her dress was actually billowy pants. And that her nails looked like they could murder someone. TOTALLY ROBBED.

Estonia “Verona” Koit Toome & Laura

Yet another wedding dress type costume on the female vocalist. The male vocalist was dressed like a sequin studded groom. The problem was how they had them stand on stage–it literally looked like they were doing two different performances on two different stages that were then interspliced together. No wonder she looked so startled when he walked up to her.

 

Prequalified Previews:

As Eurovision followers know, the five richest countries in Europe, plus the home country holding the event, are “Prequalified” to make the Grand Final. Here are the sneak previews of three of those acts:

France “Requiem” Alma

Not bad, but not exciting either.

Germany “Perfect Life” Levina

Catchy tune, but blandly staged.

Ukraine “Time” O.Torvald

The only hard rock act in the whole damn competition–and they get a pass to the Grand Final!

The Grand Final will air 3pm on May 13th. We’ll be recapping it right here!

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2 thoughts

  1. Switzerland got robbed. Would boot Austria to add them. Bulgaria my fave, working some serious pipes on lots of key changes. Liked France best of “the samplers”.

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