Well, friends, the second round of semi-finals for Eurovision is on Thursday and I could not be more excited. Watching the first round on Tuesday was super fun. We’ve never watched the semis before, and while the grand final is obviously the main event, there are some really neat things that happen throughout the week and it was great to get to watch everyone perform, not just the ones who made it to the finals. Most of our favorites made it through on Tuesday, so we’re really anxious to see who makes it tomorrow! Here’s my rundown for those contestants.
Lithuania — This Time — Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila — We really like this song. It’s so fun and cute, and has such great energy! The original preview video was really adorable, too. I like this video less, but I’m hoping that the stage show will be more like the first video. They had so much chemistry that we were pretty convinced they were a real couple, although we can’t find anywhere that says they are. Totes. Adorbs.
Ireland — Playing With Numbers — Molly Sterling — It’s not a bad song, it’s got kind of a nice rhythm and parts of it are pretty singable, but I don’t feel like it was a standout in any way. Just kind of a nice performance, no more or less.
San Marino — Chain of Lights — Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola — This entry continues San Marino’s love affair with technology. (See their 2012 Eurovision entry, The Social Network Song, by Valentina Monetta.) These kids (and they are kids, they are YOUNG, y’all) are too cute, and this song is way too cheesy, but I can’t help but smile when I watch it. The only part I object to is that mercifully short rap interlude. No, San Marino. Don’t. Just don’t. (Also the credits are really long, like “list everyone in San Marino” long.)
Montenegro — Adio — Knez — Another song that I completely forgot existed. It always feels like it’s building toward a climax and just never gets there. I don’t understand the women in the video. I really dig the singer’s snakeskin jacket and torn jeans look. That’s ridiculous enough to almost work.
Malta — Warrior — Amber — Warrior song #2! The first one made it through to the finals so I think it’ll be interesting to see if this one does, too. This is my favorite of the warrior woman songs — I actually really like the song — but the video is less great than the others. Amber makes some weird faces when she and the camera are on that tracking dolly. It’s…odd.
Norway — A Monster Like Me — Mørland & Debrah Scarlett — What a confusing and ultimately disappointing video! The song is weird, and the video is even more so. They’re hosting a dinner party? And they maybe poison everyone but with a crazy drug or something? And the chick looks like Ginny Weasley? Usually Norway is one of our favorites but we just aren’t sure what to do with them this year. It’s so strange that…I kind of love it now. But boy is it strange.
Portugal — Há um Mar que nos Separa — Leonor Andrade — This chick thinks the song is way more hardcore rock than it is. It’s a pretty standard easy listening song but she is rocking the HOUSE in her mind. I love her whole look, her whole thing is awesome, but she deserves a much better song for as much passion as she is giving it.
Czech Republic — Hope Never Dies — Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta — My favorite part of this video is when they put the key words on the screen in a burning font. That just cracks me right up. The song itself is pretty good, though, and I do love a duet in Eurovision.
Israel — Golden Boy — Nadav Guedj — I know my husband disagrees with me, but I really enjoy this song. I like the sound, I like the beat, and I really like jamming to it while I’m cooking dinner. It is fun to dance to! As long as the stage show is solid I feel pretty positive about this dude getting into the finals, and I’ll be pretty happy about that.
Latvia — Love Injected — Aminata — This one wins my vote for the absolute craziest song of this year’s show. The style changes so abruptly it kind of gives me whiplash. The original preview video was just her standing there singing, and while I loved her look a whole ton, it made the song seem even more disjointed. The new preview video actually helps with that a little, but still. I am not sure what to do with this crazy thing.
Azerbaijan — Hour of the Wolf — Elnur Huseynov — In my mind I have decided that, because of the title, this song is about the guy waiting to find out if he’s been turned into a werewolf. The video has nothing to do with that — it’s just the guy in an apartment where he is alternately having and not having a party — but I like my head cannon better. I do really enjoy this song, werewolf or no. It has good drama and I find myself singing the chorus pretty frequently.
Iceland — Unbroken — Maria Olafs — My husband likes to say that this is pretty much the same song as “Hour of the Wolf” and it really comes down to whether you prefer a girl or a guy singing it. He’s not wrong. While this is a perfectly fine song I don’t have a fun werewolf-related head cannon for it so I prefer Azerbaijan.
Sweden — Heroes — Måns Zelmerlöw — This one is getting really good press and seems to be a front runner for ultimate winner. I don’t really get it myself. It’s a good song, but I wouldn’t put it ahead of some of the others (SERBIA) and while it’s probably in the top half, it’s pretty solidly in the middle of my top.
Switzerland — Time to Shine — Mélanie René — I have no feelings about this song one way or another. If you played this (no video, just the song) next to Iceland’s entry I’m not sure I could tell the difference?
Cyprus — One Thing I Should Have Done — John Karayiannis — This guy! This guy is so hipster! And this song is so hipster! And it makes me laugh because it’s all so hipster! Look, he’s in black and white while the background is in color! Ahahahaha! ❤
Slovenia — Here For You — Maraaya — I don’t understand why she’s naked in the beginning, or what’s up with the ice bath thing, but I do really love this song. SO catchy, very singable, good energy. Also I love the techno invisible violin thing, that’s pretty sweet.
Poland — In the Name of Love — Monika Kuszyńska — I’m not a huge fan of the song but I found the story of the video really interesting. Look up Monika Kuszyńska, her story is pretty fascinating, and I think it’s really cool they way they presented that in the video. I feel like the song is pretty boring right now but that I’ll warm up to it after playing the album in the car a few times.