Friday, May 12, 2017

2nd Semi Final: Four good and fourteen really quite bad acts

This was not a great night for those of us who try to defend Eurovision and say that it does find some great tracks! Here are the 18 acts, as they appeared, with my comments at the time and updated now I know the results.

Serbia Tijana is a bit frightening and you really will neither need nor want to remember this one at all. All is well with the world - she's gone. The see-through wedding dress might normally be expected to be attractive but not this time.

Austria but Nathan is British. We’re still not going to win though. Ordinary song but it should reach the Final. I can't remember where I read that Nathan was a bus or tube driver in London. I may be wrong but he does sound like one. He scrapes through the Semi Final but I don't think he'll do very well.

Jana has a pretty little dress and dances alone. A modern pop song. I like it but FYRMacedonia seldom get support at #Eurovision And they still fail to get any support. She was about the only girl with any sex appeal this year in a group that may well be remembered for its many excellent but pretty bland female singers whose personality just doesn't come across. Her performance wasn't brilliant, though, to be honest.

Malta Claudia solid performance by a solid woman. One of few to hit the right notes but a bit old style and 1000-1. Those odds proved about right and she will just be in the audience on Saturday. We hear that this is the umpteenth time she has attempted to win for Malta. Maybe it really is time for someone else to have a go?

Romania bring true #Eurovision kitch! Rap and Alex yodelling that is weirdly v popular and Top 5 likely if she gets the notes right The second act to get through and the audience love these two. They genuinely do perform and make people smile. It has stupid things like cannons and some odd dancing routine which they get muddled up in but they'll get plenty of 5s and 6s from juries across the board. Predicted to come 7th. I reckon they might be Top 4.

Netherlands OG3NE unpronounceable but v popular entry. Great singers but crap song goes nowhere. They’ll be back Sat. Yes, they'll be back but they were not that great in this semi at all. The one thing they've been praised for has been their harmonies and singing the right notes in the right places but that wasn't obvious at all. Once at around 20-1 they're now 400-1 and no-one expects to see them make any serious challenge at all.

Hungary Joci is all v traditional stuff which will go down well with the E bloc. Probably gets thru then quickly forgotten. This is in the Final and is one of those that you just cannot tell how it will go. I doubt it'll make the Top 15.

Denmark have Anja from Oz, another big blonde ballad singer screeching at us quite a lot. Popular for some reason. Lots of great expectations for this girl and she sand reasonably enough but I find the song very tedious and she gets screechy too which is annoying. She qualifies but don't expect to hear much more about her this year.

Ireland deserve a place with a good song but poor Brendan seldom hits the important notes Pity, unless can get it right I do feel sorry for Ireland and all the people supporting this guy. He is clearly a talented young fellow but just seemed dwarfed by the whole event. Some people get lifted by these things but not Brendan, despite Louis Walsh's backing and plenty of success at home. The song was well-written too, maybe a bit too plaintive but it had all the right features. This really should have made it through in a field of mostly far worse stuff.

San Marino. Valentino and Jimmie Forgettable disco sort of track from two singers old enough to know better. For a moment I though San Marino might even get through as so many terrible acts were announced as qualifying. But they are in the audience once again. Like Malta, it is time for the country to take a fresh look at who represents them. I know it's a small country but, seriously, they can do better than this rubbish.

Croatia Jacques One bloke two voices. All a bit odd and not exactly sing-a-long. But juries like this sort of thing. They certainly do and Croatia sail through. It'll be talked about and get plenty of jury votes. Not so sure about the public, though.

Norway JOWST has one of few modern tracks this year. OK but seldom performs well and unlikely to do much I did not expect this to qualify but it has. It is pretty awful, to be honest. In fact, i cannot now recall anything about it at all except a male lead who looks like a Russian or Swedish winner from a few years back.

Switzerland Timebelle struggles with notes even in this simple song. Really not very good. Yet another very forgettable entry. This was very poor. No chance of qualifying.

Belarus Great old-style folk rock from Naviband. No-one seems to like it but I do. Hope they get another chance. Yes! The audience loved them and they were totally relaxed on stage and just enjoyed what they were doing. That comes across very well in comparison to the heavily controlled staging that most acts have. Great reaction from the crowd and they sail through quite easily by the seems of things. Whether they'll get much further I am not so sure although I wish them well and would love to see a surprise Top 5 for them.

Bulgaria have a possible winner with Kristian. Definitely Top 5 and certain to qualify although James Arthur may sue. It's the way he pronounces 'impossibull' and the track could have just been taken from James' album. A quality act from a real youngster showing Brendan from Ireland how to do this. I suspect he'll have topped the votes with teh public and this bodes well for a competition at the top on Saturday. This could well be Russia's revenge!

Lithuania Fusedmarc provide what is generally regarded as the worst entry of 2017, maybe even the 21st century. Awful. No further comment necessary.

Estonia Koit & Laura with a classy song. Bit boring but with such poor competition they may well get thru. I did expect Verona to make it. But Estonia have to watch from the sidelines this year.

Israel With a backbeat stolen from 2016 and the main tune stolen from 2015 this is eurostyle glue. OK. That’s all. This really should not have qualified but it did. How? I don't know. I don't expect to see or hear a great deal more though. a challenger with Spain for the lower echelons.

To summarise, therefore, we have Israel, Bulgaria, Belarus, Norway, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania and Austria qualifying.

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