Eurovision 2016 — Semifinal 2

After the fairly decent first semifinal, here’s my review of the 2nd one, to air on May 12, 2016. Read the first post for more information about how I score and categorize the songs.

Semifinal 2

#1. Australia – Sound of Silence – Pop

I love that Australia — still the outsider even though this is their second year — gets to be the first one out in this semifinal! The song is good and had this been a year or two ago it would probably have done quite well as a westernized pop song competing with mediocre eastern songs. Unfortunately for Australia, this year there were a lot of average western-style pop songs (by west I mean the typical music style of the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, France, etc. as opposed to for example Bulgaria, Bosnia, Greece and Armenia) in the first semifinal. This song simply isn’t unique enough to be a winner. It could be saved by a brilliant live show, but unfortunately we won’t know if the singer is just going to ”stand there” on stage or actually incorporate an artistic stage presence until the actual day of the competition.

  • Personal Score: 3,5
  • Eurovision Score: 3,5

#2. Belarus – Help You Fly – Pop

For some reason, before the light showed the mans face, I thought he would have long hair, a big beard and a very deep voice. Not quite. And though I am surprised to say that this still isn’t as bad as many songs from previous years, this is definitely not a Eurovision winner.

  • Personal Score: 2
  • Eurovision Score: 1,5

#3. Ireland – Sunlight – Pop

On one hand: catchy Eurovision-style pop song. On the other: barf! And not catchy enough. No sorry.

  • Personal Score: 2,5
  • Eurovision Score: 2

#4. Israel – Made of Stars – Pop

Israel is often one of my favorite Eurovision countires! I really enjoyed them last year with their golden boy song!  This year, not as much.

  • Personal Score: 2,5
  • Eurovision Score: 2,5

#5. Latvia – Heartbeat – PopElectronic

A lot of straight out pop this semifinal. This is not a bad one at all. But seriously, the guy is just standing there! Where’s the show? Where’s the entertainment?

  • Personal Score: 4
  • Eurovision Score: 2,5

#6. Lithuania – I’ve Been Waiting For This Night – Pop

Hello 90’s boy band! I’d like to compare this song to the previous one, with the difference that this guy has a better stage show.

  • Personal Score: 3,5
  • Eurovision Score: 3

#7. Macedonia – Dona – BalladSlow Pop

First slower song in this round. Not really my cup of tea, but if they bring those violinists on stage they could rock it.

  • Personal Score: 2
  • Eurovision Score: 2

#8. Poland – Color Of Your Life – Power BalladSlow Pop

For some reason I find this song very hard to judge. In the end, I’ve chosen a lower score. I don’t think it will do very well, but if there are no other/better ballad contenders, it could get some extra votes…

  • Personal Score: 2
  • Eurovision Score: 2

#9. Serbia – Goodbye (Shelter) – Power BalladSlow Pop

I love this woman on stage! Drag-queen wannabe with the facial expressions to go with it. The song is just average. Her moves are half the score for me!

  • Personal Score: 2
  • Eurovision Score: 3

#10. Switzerland – The Last Of Our Kind – Slow Pop

Beautiful girl sits on the floor wearing an equally beautiful white dress. Then she stands up. Simple but pretty. Too bad she can’t sing and that she has a boring song.

  • Personal Score: 1,5
  • Eurovision Score: 2

#11. Albania – Fairytale – Slow Pop

They’ve definitely saved the slower songs for the mid section of this semifinal. Because here’s yet another one. The song is actually in English, but I can’t find a live performance of the English version, so I’ve chosen to link to this Albanian version instead, just to see her on stage rather than just hear her. I’m guessing that her Eurovision version will be the English one. The song itself? Average. Boring.

  • Personal Score: 2
  • Eurovision Score: 1,5

#12. Belgium – What’s The Preassure – Pop

”Yes! Love it! Groovy!” Those were my initial thoughts. But then half way through, I’m already snoring. This could have been so great, but the song doesn’t quite make it. Too bad, because I really felt it was going somewhere. Oh well.

  • Personal Score: 4
  • Eurovision Score: 3

#13. Bulgaria – If Love Was A Crime

I honestly can’t find this song anywhere. It’s not on Youtube or Spotify, possibly because it was one of the very last songs to be selected a few days ago. Knowing Bulgaria I have doubts, but then again, they may surprise!

  • Personal Score: ?
  • Eurovision Score: ?

#14. Denmark – Soldiers Of Love – Pop

Danish English accent has always annoyed me for some silly reason. Of the Scandinavian countries, Danes speaking English are the easiest to guess where they’re actually from. These three guys have a very average pop song — not bad at all but it doesn’t stand out either — and if I was to take their Danishness into account I would give them a 2,5. But I’ll be less judgmental than that and imagine them as a British pop group.

  • Personal Score: 3
  • Eurovision Score: 3

#15. Georgia – Midnight Gold – Rock, Electronic

Style-wise, this is sort of a modern version of The Beatles. Of course far from as great as the actual Beatles. And on top of that, I’ve never really liked The Beatles, and I can’t imagine The Beatles scoring well in Eurovision. So, ehm, no Beatles.

  • Personal Score: 2
  • Eurovision Score: 1,5

#16. Norway – Icebreaker – Slow PopPop

I’m scoring this song in comparison to the other songs. Normally, I would say ”average”. But hey, there’s been so much ”average” in this semifinal that this one is actually quite good. Big plus for the stage show. Not quite as good as Iceland’s, but far better than most of what we’ve seen so far.

  • Personal Score: 3,5
  • Eurovision Score: 4

#17. Romania – Moment of Silence – Power BalladSlow PopRock

Normally I would say no to this song, but of the bunch it stands out enough to actually stand a chance. I might be generous with my Eurovision Score of 4, but their stage presence, unique style and Eurovision-friendly song means that they’re pulling enough elements together to possibly even grab the win!

  • Personal Score: 3
  • Eurovision Score: 4,5

#18. Slovenia – Blue and Red – Pop

Another average pop song.

  • Personal Score: 3
  • Eurovision Score: 3

#19. Ukraine – 1944 – Slow Pop

I really like the theme of this song. The title is ”1944” and she’s singing about strangers coming to your house. Unique reference in a show like this. Towards the end it’s like she’s crying when breathing in, quite emotional. I really like it in a strange way!

  • Personal Score: 4
  • Eurovision Score: 3

Summary of Semifinal 2

Semifinal 1 had a great average level of quality! Semifinal 2, not so much. But still, there aren’t any super weird or super bad songs like there usually are. Overall, a good Eurovision year!

The problem is, there’s no clear winner in this semifinal either. Unless the six predetermined finalists (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK because they pay a lot of money, and Sweden because they won last year) have a hidden gem to show us, I’m still thinking Iceland will win.

Tomorrow I’ll post my reviews of the six songs already in the final.

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