Eurovision 2018

Discussion in 'Box Office' started by Jonathan, 18th Apr 2018.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Yup, we've got less than four weeks to go until my favourite event of the year - Gay Christmas Eurovision 2018! :D I know I've created this thread much later than usual, but I've just kept on forgetting. Plus I got prodded about it by @Craig last night. :p This year sees 43 countries taking part, the joint-highest number ever, alongside the 2008 and 2011 contests. Russia make their return following a year out over the whole issue with Julia Samoylova being banned from entering Ukraine.

    This year, I actually watched Melodifestivalen, the Swedish selection show for Eurovision, for the first time, and - if I'm honest - I was a bit disappointed with the overall standard of songs, though I wasn't the only person to believe this to be the case. Trying to predict the Eurovision winner this year is a lot tougher than it has been for a while, but I feel that's a good thing. Makes it a lot more interesting and a lot more competitive. Even after listening to all the entries, I'm still struggling to decide which one I think will win. I'll try to review each one, but keeping it brief (wish me luck :p). To make it slightly more readable, each semi-final will be in a separate post, with the automatic qualifiers having their own collective post. I was going to include links to the videos, but I can only embed five per post. Plus they're all on YouTube anyway. xD

    Semi-Final 1

    01 - Azerbaijan ('X My Heart' by Aisel)
    It's catchy and radio-friendly. A decent way to open the semi-final, and should see Azerbaijan qualify for the final once again. Aisel is normally a jazz singer, but she proves she can do different genres quite well. I feel they should get a decent mid-table finish with this entry.

    02 - Iceland ('Our Choice' by Ari Ólafsson)
    Being given the second position in the running order isn't usually a good sign. Not many songs seem to have qualified from this position in the semis, and I fear this fate will befall Iceland this year. Ari's vocals are good, but sandwiched between Azerbaijan and Albania's arguably better entries, this is just going to be lost. The song is incredibly bland and has nothing really going for it.

    03 - Albania ('Mall' by Eugent Bushpepa)
    Easily the best entry Albania have sent for years. It's powerfully anthemic, and it worries me that I'm singing along to it whenever it's played, despite it being sung entirely in Albanian. :p When translated into English, the lyrics are beautifully poetic. I really, really hope that this makes it to the final and gives Albania its best result since 2012, though my sole concern is that it's on too early in the running order. It should still do well regardless, though.

    04 - Belgium ('A Matter of Time' by Sennek)
    I really like Sennek’s vocals, but the song just doesn’t really do much for me. I do like the chorus, but it just overall feels a bit on the bland side. Good staging will help them, but I have a nagging feeling that they may well miss out on the final, which is a shame, given they’ve had three top 10 finishes in a row.

    05 - Czech Republic ('Lie to Me' by Mikolas Josef)
    Easily the best entry the Czech Republic have sent to Eurovision. It’s a bit different to what is usually seen at Eurovision, it’s edgy, and Mikolas Josef is just really cute. :p The video does include Mikolas riding a camel, but this won’t be replicated in Lisbon. I’m confident that the Czech Republic will bring some good staging to this. This should go through to the final, and subsequently perform better than their 2016 entry did – the only time they’ve so far qualified for the grand final.

    06 - Lithuania ('When We're Old' by Ieva Zasimauskaitė)
    Ieva has a sweet and touching song for Lithuania, but given it’s between two entries with very good odds for the overall win, I just can’t see this qualifying.

    07 - Israel ('Toy' by Netta)
    It’s one of this year’s favourites. It was allegedly born as a result of the ‘#MeToo’ movement, so it’s very current. It even has chicken noises. Yes, really. :p Netta nails this live, which is so important. After a slow ballad from Lithuania, this will definitely perk people up due to it being so upbeat. I can’t see any scenario where this doesn’t go to the final. Almost certainly going to end up in the top 5, and I can see this winning. Here’s a funny thing, though. Israel first won Eurovision in 1978. They also won it 20 years later in 1998. 20 years on, they’re favourites once again. I’m not much of a believer in coincidences, but I’m just sayin’… ;) They did also win it in 1979, but that’s beside the point. :p

    08 - Belarus ('Forever' by Alekseev)
    I don’t know what to make of Belarus’ entry this year. It’s gone through several different versions, but they’ve finally settled on one. It starts off quietly, but builds at the start of the second verse. Just a bit too slow of a build for my liking – I preferred the original versions. There are also some concerns about Alekseev’s abilities to perform this live. Could go either way.

    09 - Estonia ('La forza' by Elina Nechayeva)
    Elina won the Estonian national selection by a landslide with her powerful operatic performance. If Eurovision were judged on vocal skill alone, she would be a very strong favourite for the win. Indeed, she was, but has slipped in the rankings recently, presumably due to issues surrounding a crucial part of the staging. In the national final, her dress was used for projection mapping to stunning effect. The problem is the massive cost of renting these projectors to take to Lisbon, with the Estonian broadcaster really struggling to obtain the funding required. This should still qualify on voice alone, but it needs that projection mapping in order for it to work properly.

    10 - Bulgaria ('Bones' by Equinox)
    As with Estonia, this is one of the favourites. Unlike Estonia, however, I’m struggling to work out why, though I guess it could partly be based on their performances over the past two years, with them finishing 4th and 2nd. The vocal performances from all of Equinox’s members are very good, but there’s just something about the song which I don’t really get. Regardless, I think this should still qualify and do well for Bulgaria.

    11 - FYR Macedonia ('Lost and Found' by Eye Cue)
    There’s a bit more hype surrounding Macedonia this year, and I can kinda see why. It’s a better song than some they’ve put forward since they last qualified in 2012, but it’s not as good as that entry. The different styles used in the song are decent, but I’m still unsure as to how the reggae section fits in. As for whether it’ll qualify or not, I think it stands a decent chance.

    12 - Croatia ('Crazy' by Franka)
    Croatia are rather hit-and-miss at Eurovision. Whilst I like Franka’s vocal performance, I just don’t feel as though the song has much variation between verse and chorus, which is quite a shame. I suspect another year of non-qualification beckons for them.

    13 - Austria ('Nobody but You' by César Sampson)
    Ever since Conchita won in 2014, Austria have – with the exception of their dire entry in 2015 – sent decent songs. This trend has continued with César Sampson and his smooth vocal performance. I like this song, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely not a winner. Should still qualify and give Austria a good result, though.

    14 - Greece ('Oniro Mou' by Yianna Terzi)
    This is the first time Greece have sent a song entirely in Greek since 1998. It’s got a wonderful ethereal quality to it, and it builds slowly, but in a good way. Yianna’s vocals really add to the feel of the song. This is a song that definitely deserves to qualify for the final, and even if it doesn’t, Greece should be proud of it.

    15 - Finland ('Monsters' by Saara Aalto)
    Saara Aalto was initially rumoured to have been internally selected to represent us this year, but she is instead representing her native Finland. Of the three songs that she could’ve performed, ‘Monsters’ was easily the most popular. I love it, but I was expecting more the drop at the end of the chorus, if I’m honest. The staging at the Finnish national final was a bit OTT, but this seems to have been calmed down for the preview parties, and now works better. I look forward to seeing what they come up with for Lisbon. It deserves to go through, but it’s a question of whether or not it will.

    16 - Armenia ('Qami' by Sevak Khanagyan)
    This is Armenia’s first song to be entirely performed in Armenian. It’s currently about mid-table in the overall betting odds, which I think is about right. I like it, and it builds quite well throughout, but it does seem to build a tad on the slow side for my liking. In that respect, it’s similar to Aram Mp3’s ‘Not Alone’ from 2014, which finished in 4th. I don’t expect the same result from Armenia this time around, but it should still qualify and do well.

    17 - Switzerland ('Stones' by Zibbz)
    A slower rock song isn’t what I was expecting from Switzerland, but it’s much better than what they’ve sent for the past few years, given they haven’t qualified for three years in a row now. The contrast between the constituent parts of the song works well overall, though the staging used in the national final could do with being tweaked a bit. I’m hopeful that Switzerland will qualify this year – they’ll deserve it with an entry like this.

    18 - Ireland ('Together' by Ryan O'Shaugnessy)
    Ireland have won Eurovision seven times, including four wins in the space of five years in the 1990s. Their recent performances, though, have been pretty bad. They finished last in 2013, and haven’t qualified for the final since then. Will this year’s entry help them out at all? Erm…No, not really. Whilst Ryan’s got a nice voice, the song just doesn’t seem to go anywhere or do much, and it just feels a bit too similar to Brendan Murray from last year. I do like the LGBT-themed video, though. Another year of non-qualification beckons.

    19 - Cyprus ('Fuego' by Eleni Foureira)
    And so we come to the end of semi-final 1, with Cyprus closing the show. I initially would’ve preferred for Switzerland to close, but on reflection, I think this is a suitable song to do this. It’s upbeat and cheery, and whilst it’s not my favourite song in this semi, it’s definitely not my least-favourite, either. The last song in a semi usually goes through, and I expect that Cyprus will do the same.

     
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    Posted 18th Apr 2018
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  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Semi-Final 2

    01 – Norway ('That's How You Write a Song' by Alexander Rybak)

    Okay – first of all, HOW THE HELL HAS ALEXANDER RYBAK NOT AGED SINCE HE WON EUROVISION IN 2009?!?! :p He looks just as cute now as he did back then. For some, he was perhaps a surprise winner of Melodi Grand Prix, but he overwhelmingly won the vote. His song this year isn’t quite as good as ‘Fairytale’, but I still like it. It’s cheesy as hell, and something of a pastiche of ‘Love Love Peace Peace’, but I don’t really care. I’m just glad he’s back at Eurovision, frankly. Opening the second semi-final won’t be easy for him, but he’s a professional. He’ll be fine. I’m sure Norway will qualify for the final this year based purely on Rybak’s popularity.

    02 – Romania ('Goodbye' by The Humans')
    Apart from their unfortunate disqualification in 2016, Romania has always qualified for the final since the introduction of the semis in 2004. I think, however, that this streak may possibly end this year. Whilst the song is good, it just gets going a bit too late, and it’s a tad forgettable. I suspect that it might be forgotten about, given it follows on from Norway’s very good entry.

    03 – Serbia ('Nova Deca' by Sanja Ilić and Balkanaika)
    Serbia is an interesting one. There are hardly any vocals for the first half of their entry this year, and if I’m honest, the song does nothing for me. Wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t qualify.

    04 – San Marino ('Who We Are' by Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening)
    Ah, San Marino. Only ever qualified for the final once, and never seem to do terribly well. With their entry this year, I just don’t like it very much, if I’m honest. The rap parts just don’t fit very well, in my view. If they’re going to stand any chance of qualifying, then they’ll need some superb staging.

    05 – Denmark ('Higher Ground' by Rasmussen)
    I’m not the only person to think this, but Rasmussen looks so much like Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones. Whoever would’ve thought that the Wildlings would enter Eurovision? :p Joking aside, I really like Denmark’s entry this year. Much better than what they’ve sent since 2015, for starters. It’s catchy, and has a decent hook. There are a couple of dead spots, however, which should hopefully be covered by a bit of staging. After a few not-so-great songs in the running order, I have a feeling that Denmark should qualify for the final this year.

    06 – Russia ('I Won't Break' by Julia Samoylova')
    After Russia withdrew from last year’s Contest, it was stated that Julia Samoylova would enter Eurovision again for Russia in 2018, but it took them quite a while to confirm that this would be happening. True to Russia’s word, they did indeed go ahead with what they had said all those months ago. This song is better than ‘Flame Is Burning’, for starters, which can only be a good thing. Furthermore, in the music video, there is no sight of Julia’s wheelchair at all. Her diction in ‘I Won’t Break’ is better than it was in ‘Flame Is Burning’, so that also counts in her favour. This is by far the weaker semi-final of the two, so I think Russia stand a good chance of going through.

    07 – Moldova ('My Lucky Day' by DoReDos)
    After last year’s triumphant return for SunStroke Project, Moldova have come with yet another upbeat entry this year. DoReDos’ vocals all work together very well, and I love the song to bits. The staging used in the national final, with the moving mirrors, was just really bad, and added nothing to the song at all. They’ve been much better at preview parties when it’s just been the three singers on stage together having fun. I’d love to see Moldova in the final once again, and this should go through.

    08 – The Netherlands ('Outlaw In 'Em' by Waylon)
    Waylon returns this year, following a wonderful second-place finish in 2014 as part of The Common Linnets. Whilst ‘Outlaw In ’Em’ doesn’t have the sweet charm of ‘Calm After the Storm’, it’s still a cracking country-rock song, with a very good chorus. This will surely qualify for the final.

    09 – Australia ('We Got Love' by Jessica Mauboy)
    Once again, Australia are competing, despite not being in Europe itself. However, given they’ve finished in the top 10 every time they’ve entered, that’s an incredibly impressive performance record. Jessica Mauboy has of course performed at Eurovision before as the interval act in 2014’s second semi-final, which many saw as a test to see if Australia would be welcomed as competitors. It worked! How does ‘We Got Love’ compare to previous entries? It’s on a par with them. Jessica’s vocal performance is excellent. ‘We Got Love’ is another of these slow building songs, but in a good way. This will surely qualify easily. I think Australia are on for another top 10 finish, potentially hitting the top 5. Dare I say it, but the more I’ve listened to it, the more I think it could actually win.

    10 – Georgia ('Only You' by Iriao)
    When Iriao were first announced as Georgia’s artist for 2018, I was quite sceptical as to how they’d do, going off their other songs. They just didn’t seem like a terribly good fit. However, when ‘Only You’ was released, I was pleasantly surprised. The harmonies between all the singers are wonderful, and the song feels really uplifting. It’s been compared to another male group – Klapa s mora, who represented Croatia in 2013 – but this song is better than that. I don’t think Georgia will qualify this year, but this is still a good song regardless.

    11 – Poland ('Light Me Up' by Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer)
    I can’t quite put my finger on Poland this year. I expected more variation between the verse and the chorus, but it’s still a good song overall. It’s light and upbeat, for starters, and it is still somewhat catchy. Given the standard of entries in this semi-final, I would expect Poland to qualify.

    12 – Malta ('Taboo' by Christabelle)
    Ah, Malta. I’ve got a soft spot for them, I really do. But will their entry this year get them to the final? I’m not sure. I like it, and the message behind it is regarding mental health, which is so incredibly important and topical. Christabelle gives a good performance on the studio cut, but I don’t recall seeing anything of her at any of the preview parties, which is unfortunate, as she’ll need to sell this live. I do look forward to seeing what they come up with in terms of staging, though.

    13 – Hungary ('Viszlát nyár' by AWS)
    Hungary have a good qualification record in recent years, having qualified for the final every year since 2011, and I think they’re set to continue that trend with AWS’ ‘Viszlát nyár’. Hardcore rock songs don’t tend to do well at Eurovision, but this stands out in this semi-final due to the lack of quality entries from the other countries. If you look at the lyrics, they’re about the lead singer’s struggle with the death of his father, so it’s quite emotive. This will certainly wake people up a bit, and I reckon it’ll qualify partly because of that.

    14 – Latvia ('Funny Girl' by Laura Rizzotto)
    I like Laura’s vocals. They add a bit of a sultry quality to an otherwise lacklustre song. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad song, but it’s just not great, and I don’t think I can realistically see it qualifying, especially when it’s position between Hungary and Sweden in the running order.

    15 – Sweden ('Dance You Off' by Benjamin Ingrosso)
    I wish I could say ‘Sweden always qualifies for the final’, but they failed in 2010, and only managed to get through in 2008 thanks to the juries selecting it as the wildcard entry from their semi-final. Benjamin Ingrosso’s performance of ‘Dance You Off’ at Melodifestivalen was incredibly slick. With the tight camera angles, it was so easy to forget that you were watching a stage performance. It honestly felt like a music video for most of it! I’m certain that this will carry over to Lisbon, and I’m certain that once again, Sweden will qualify for the final. It’s not the best song Sweden have sent, but compared to what else is in this semi-final, it’s pretty good! Sweden will surely qualify partly because of that, but also partly because of their strong reputation in previous year, with six top 5 finishes since 2011.

    16 – Montenegro ('Inje' by Vanja Radovanović)
    Montenegro don’t do well at Eurovision, having only qualified for the final twice since they first competed as a nation in their own right. I hate to say this, but this trend looks set to continue. Vanja gives a good vocal performance, but it just comes across as another boring Balkan ballad that does nothing for me, despite the well-times key change. I don’t see this qualifying.

    17 – Slovenia ('Hvala ne' by Lea Sirk)
    Slovenia haven’t got the best Eurovision record, having finished in the top 10 only three times, with the last occasion this happened being back in 2001. Since the introduction of the semi-finals, they’ve only qualified four times, and I just feel that this is set to continue this year. Lea is a decent singer – let me be clear about this – but the chorus just feels lacking, for starters, and I’m not at all keen on the beat that it has.

    18 – Ukraine ('Under the Ladder' by Mélovin)
    As ever, you would want a show to end on a good note, and Ukraine once again delivers that following the disappointing result from O.Torvald in the final last year. I did expect them to do better than finish 24th. Mélovin’s diction was initially a problem, but this does seem to be improving as time goes on. The song itself is upbeat and has an anthemic feel to it, especially in the chorus. The staging in the national final was very good, with scaffolding appearing to set on fire, on top of which was Mélovin playing the piano. This is surely going through. I can’t foresee a scenario where this won’t go through, and Ukraine have always taken part in the final whenever they’ve participated at Eurovision. This will surely still be the case this year.
     
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    Posted 18th Apr 2018
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  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Automatic Qualifiers

    Portugal ('O jardim' by Cláudia Pascoal) N.B. features uncredited vocals from Isaura

    The host country this year, Portugal have once again sent an entry entirely in Portuguese. Apart from the UK and Australia, Portugal is the only country to use its native language every single year they’ve taken part, though Portugal have included some lyrics in other languages. Cláudia Pascoal’s ‘O jardim’ is different to Salvador Sobral’s entry last year, but seemingly in a good way. The songs are very different, but they contrast well. The one similarity they do share is that there’s not much backing at all, and they’re both very vocal-led. With ‘O jardim’, there’s not much contrast between verse and chorus, but in this case, that’s not much of a bad thing. It’s a decent song overall, and if Portugal can get into the top half, then they can consider it a job well done.

    France ('Mercy' by Madame Monsieur)
    France went back to a national selection for Eurovision this year, and the chosen song was one with a theme around the refugee crisis, so – like a few others this year – it’s quite a topical entry. Whilst I do like the song overall, I can’t help but feel that it’s been a bit overhyped by some portions of the media. Having said that, I think it should finish in the top half once again for France, with the potential of it cracking the top 10.

    Germany ('You Let Me Walk Alone' by Michael Schulte)
    Germany have had a rotten few years, and last year, only just managed to avoid finishing last for a third consecutive year thanks to Spain being utterly diabolical. Michael Schulte delivers a good performance in a song about dealing with the loss of his father when he was young, but I just don’t feel as though it goes anywhere. It’s sweet, don’t get me wrong, but I just feel as though it’ll be lost amongst the other entries this year.

    Italy ('Non mi avete fatto niente' by Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro)
    A song about terrorism at Eurovision? Surely this can’t work. And yet somehow, it does. It’s also quite unusual for a Eurovision entry to be a male duet, and Ermal & Fabrizio deliver the message powerfully. The message I get from the song is that they’re saying terrorist attacks won’t affect them at all, which goes along with the translated title of ‘You haven’t done anything to me’. It’s essentially saying that terrorist attacks are just futile, really. I’ve seen some people say that it’s a bit too aggressive, but I actually think this is a good thing when terrorists try to be as loud as possible in order to spread their hateful ideologies. The anti-terrorism message needs to be louder. This should be a good entry for Italy.

    Spain ('Tu canción' by Amaia and Alfred)
    Alfred and Amaia won the right to represent Spain through the revived ‘Operación Triunfo’, which – if you can remember – is basically what ‘Fame Academy’ was in the UK all those years ago. They met on the show and fell for each other, which is a really sweet back story, and I can see them trying to appeal to televoters on that. The song itself is a lovely and sweet duet, and the revamp from OT has improved it. Despite this, I do think this has been slightly overhyped, but it should still be better for Spain than their entry last year was, and the previous couple of years weren’t great, either. If they can finish outside the bottom 5 – and I’m sure they will – then I think Spain can consider this to be a success.

    United Kingdom ('Storm' by SuRie)
    SuRie wasn’t the entry I wanted to win our national selection, but on reflection, I do think she was the best performer on the night. The song has had a slight revamp since then, but I just don’t feel that very much has changed. It just feels a bit more dated now than it did initially, which is a crying shame, especially when Lucie Jones did so well last year in getting us to 15th place. I like our entry this year – it’s quite anthemic – but stacked against the others, this won’t get out of the bottom half. As with Spain, if we can finish outside the bottom 5, then I’d consider that to be a success, which – given our past in Eurovision – is not a good thing to be saying.
     
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    Posted 18th Apr 2018
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  4. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Good to know I'm not the only one with too much time on my hands when it comes to writing posts. ;)

    Sadly I'm working a night shift on EV night this year. And if I try and put it on at work I'll get lynched. Should be around for the semis though.
     
    Posted 18th Apr 2018
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  5. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Hey - I started this last night, and if I'd done what I did last year, I would've probably still been writing up to the end of the final! :p
     
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  6. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    Anyone fancy a sweepstake?
     
    Posted 19th Apr 2018
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  7. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    If you're happy to run it, then yeah. :)
     
    Posted 19th Apr 2018
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  8. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    So I’ve decided to wait a little for my reviews since I’m normally ranting on with my views long before the contestants actually get to the venue! We’re now a fair while into rehearsals, with everyone (aside from the big 6 who perform for the first time tonight) having performed their first and in some cases second rehearsal slots. I must admit my views have changed a fair bit since my first listening of the songs based on seeing glimpses of the staging. So without further ado…..

    Semi Final One

    01 - Azerbaijan ('X My Heart' by Aisel)
    Bog standard Eurovision pop. Nothing amazing, but it’ll no doubt be in the final. Staging is a bit bizarre, running onto slanty things around the stage.


    02 - Iceland ('Our Choice' by Ari Ólafsson)
    Being given the second position in the running order Iceland these days isn't usually a good sign (Greta and Maria you woz robbed!). Utter yawnfest, blander than bland but to be slightly kind, the guy can hit some ridiculously high notes though.

    03 - Albania ('Mall' by Eugent Bushpepa)
    Another one hitting the high notes! Many were impressed with their rehearsal, and the song is ok but I can’t see it reaching the final.

    04 - Belgium ('A Matter of Time' by Sennek)
    This has got an absolute slating after rehearsals, but I think that’s a tad harsh based on other’s performances. The song is fine, but nothing amazing. Like others, I’m unsure of this making it through based on how strong the rest of the pack is.

    05 - Czech Republic ('Lie to Me' by Mikolas Josef)
    Awful lyrics aside (“By the way she moved, got me making a puddle” and “Plenty mother***ers wanna eat my spaghetti”), there’s no denying it’s a catchy song but it annoys the hell out of me. Staging wise there’s a really annoying backpack featured, and the previous somersaults have been taken out on account of the singer waking basically paralysed after first rehearsals (he’s ok now but still looked in pain during yesterday’s rehearsals). It’s tipped to do well, and can certainly see it in the final. Top 15 maybe?

    06 - Lithuania ('When We're Old' by Ieva Zasimauskaitė)
    The rehearsal for this came across really really well, and I must admit this song had previously passed me by. I can see the possibility of this sneaking through the semis into the final. I don’t have high hopes for it past that stage, but it’s a lovely song and performance all the same.

    07 - Israel ('Toy' by Netta)
    It’s a difficult one this, I loved it when it first came out. That said, I’ve grown tired of it - it’s whether first time voters or the jury will on performance day. It’ll certainly qualify, but from what I’ve seen of the performance so far, in comparison with others I’m sure of a top 10 finish but not sure if it’s the winner that everyone is raving about…

    08 - Belarus ('Forever' by Alekseev)
    Feeling for this is that it’s trying too hard to be over dramatic from a performance point of view. On one hand it’ll be memorable, but on the other hand it may distract from the song itself too. I can see it missing out

    09 - Estonia ('La forza' by Elina Nechayeva)
    A tough one to judge again this one - the projection mapping made it to Lisbon! Will people tire of the whole projection mapped dress thing though and not be all that bothered by it? Is opera something people really want to hear at Eurovision? Whilst I’m sure it’ll qualify, it’s another one where they may try too hard and find themselves outside the top 5. It’s not my sort of thing, so personally - not a fan.


    10 - Bulgaria ('Bones' by Equinox)
    The song is ok, the camera work in the actual performance is god awful though. It’ll make it through, middle of the road for final.

    11 - FYR Macedonia ('Lost and Found' by Eye Cue)
    FYI Macedon’t. It just sounds messy.

    12 - Croatia ('Crazy' by Franka)
    The song reminds me of something that I still can’t think of the name of, but it’s and ok song. I think it may just miss out on making it through the final, but she’s hot, so there is that…

    13 - Austria ('Nobody but You' by César Sampson)
    Another one to possibly scrape through. Performance wise, he sounds great and seems to work well on this year’s stage. The effects make it look like I’ve thrown something at the TV though!

    14 - Greece ('Oniro Mou' by Yianna Terzi)
    I’m really not a fan, it bores me if I’m honest. It hasn’t exactly attracted a lot off hype off the rehearsals either and she’s missing some of the big notes. I think it’s one to potentially miss out if I’m honest.

    15 - Finland ('Monsters' by Saara Aalto)
    So, despite being burnt by Iceland twice, I always have a Scandi/Nordic hype country and this year Finland is it. However, I’m torn with just how well it’ll end up doing. From a vocal perspective she’s nothing short of utterly superb, but I do fear staging wise it might put some people off. She’s a very confident, out there performer and I fear some may be annoyed by that. Funnily enough, Brian Friedman of X Factor creative director fame has been involved in this - hence the OTT’ness in the national finals and to an extent the performance for the finals. I think it’ll get through into the finals, but I’ll await to see how its received in the semis before wondering how it’ll fare in the final.

    16 - Armenia ('Qami' by Sevak Khanagyan)
    Armehnia - not keen, we’ll see it in the semis but no further.

    17 - Switzerland ('Stones' by Zibbz)
    When I first heard it I was quite keen on this, despite it being a bit middle of the road. It’s one of my favourites from Switzerland in recent years, and from what I’ve seen of the performance so far they look like brilliant performers. Another one for the final I think.

    18 - Ireland ('Together' by Ryan O'Shaugnessy)
    Going for the soppy vote….again. It doesn't work Ireland, I'd prefer Dustin the Turkey over this. It’s blander than bland, I just can’t see it going any further.

    19 - Cyprus ('Fuego' by Eleni Foureira)
    So the song….I like it, but these damn dancehall style beat songs are annoying the hell out of me at the same time. That said it hasn't stopped me humming it all afternoon since watching rehearsal clips. There’s a lot of hype around this song and performance, and it’s been top in unofficial polls at the press centre with each rehearsal this week. The performance is a bit wannabe Beyonce, but it looks great and probably the most high energy of this semi. A definite 100% qualifier and probable winner for the semi. I’m torn between it doing a 6th or 7th a la Armenia in 2016, or absolutely storming it to a top 5 or even a win.

    Predictions....
    This semi is an incredibly difficult one to predict, but I’m gonna give it a go with a ten to make it through. In no particular order:

    Azerbaijan
    Czech Republic
    Lithuania
    Israel
    Estonia
    Bulgaria
    Switzerland
    Austria

    Finland
    Cyprus

    Gut feeling is those in bold - Bulgaria, Switzerland and Austria could potentially easily be swapped about for others such as Croatia. Such a damn tight final!

    More from me with Semi Final Two later tonight!
     
    Jonathan likes this.
    Posted 4th May 2018
    #8
  9. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    Semi Final Two Time

    01 – Norway ('That's How You Write a Song' by Alexander Rybak)

    I’m gonna be honest, this song really does my head in. It feels far too similar to Love Love Peace Peace. It’ll go through due to it being Alexander Rybak, but I’m really not a fan.

    02 – Romania ('Goodbye' by The Humans')
    Both the performance and her voice is very 80’s rock ballad. It could potentially qualify and knock one of my ten off their perch, but not for the moment.

    03 – Serbia ('Nova Deca' by Sanja Ilić and Balkanaika)
    Featuring an old bloke on a flute thing, this will no doubt do well with the eastern bloc countries, but I don’t think it’s quite enough to go through to the finals.

    04 – San Marino ('Who We Are' by Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening)
    They’ve embraced the fact that they’re always the underdogs and I bloody love it. That said, it’s just a standard upbeat cheese number with a Misteeq-esque rap (remember them?!), which against the other stuff this year will be instantly forgettable despite the additional props in their performance. Back to the early 00’s you go San Marino.

    05 – Denmark ('Higher Ground' by Rasmussen)
    Definitely one of their best in recent years, although it initially didn’t grab me. I’ve grown to really like it though, and had it down as a bit of a dark horse for this year. That said though, the performance feels a little flat for me and I can see it maybe just being outside the top ten. Definitely qualifying for me though.

    06 – Russia ('I Won't Break' by Julia Samoylova')
    I know many will see Russia as a dead cert for the final, but I think they’ll really really struggle this year. Vocally from the rehearsals it sounded awful, and ultimately the song goes nowhere. Top it off with some ridiculous staging and the complete and utter boring-ness of the song - I can see this being a massive flop.

    07 – Moldova ('My Lucky Day' by DoReDos)
    Absolute LEGENDS of the contest last year, and the reason I won a lovely chunk of money. This is a really really fun little song, and the staging is a right laugh too - a complete change from the national finals and loved in the press room. I love an entry that doesn’t take itself seriously, and this will be immensely noticeable following on from the dross that Russia have served up. A qualifier I reckon!

    08 – The Netherlands ('Outlaw In 'Em' by Waylon)
    The Netherlands AKA Europe’s Nashville decide to go all country yet again but with a bit more rock chucked in for good measure. It’s good enough for qualifying I think, and as a song it’s a nice change from the norm at this final. Ultimately it’s just another country rock song though, forgettable come the final.

    09 – Australia ('We Got Love' by Jessica Mauboy)
    It’s a nice upbeat song I guess, which will probably end up scraping into the top 10. I don’t think their rehearsal sounded all that great to be honest, but good enough come final night I think.

    10 – Georgia ('Only You' by Iriao)
    To use their ridiculous full band title ‘Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao’. Not much to say really, I’ll be heading for a pee when this comes on...

    11 – Poland ('Light Me Up' by Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer)
    Ah I love a good piano hook. The staging looks completely ridiculous for the final, but the song will take it through. Some nice upbeat dance to cheer everyone up after the previous snooze-fest. Off to the final.

    12 – Malta ('Taboo' by Christabelle)
    I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but it builds to a nice dance number and it’s got the all important message within it too. Should qualify, might just scrape it though.

    13 – Hungary ('Viszlát nyár' by AWS)
    I thought this was just your usual random rock song at first, but nope I’m completely obsessed with it now. Maybe the screamo bit towards the end might not be to everyone’s taste, but performance wise it’s been beyond superb. The lead singer sounds exactly like the studio version every single time, yet still runs around the whole of the stage like a complete and utter lunatic. Don’t get me started on the staging either, it’s like they received an order form for effects and ticked every. Single. Box. This one will shock, and will do better than many think. I’m expecting it to shoot up the odds following the second rehearsal tomorrow where camera angles are seen. Definite qualifier and one to watch!

    14 – Latvia ('Funny Girl' by Laura Rizzotto)
    Overall I quite like the song, it’s got a nice bassy beat behind it. Whether it does so well on first listen with most televoters is another matter though!

    15 – Sweden ('Dance You Off' by Benjamin Ingrosso)
    Urrrrrggggghhhhh this is bland as hell from Sweden, but that’s probably due to Melodifestivalen being equally bland this year. The song is pretty forgettable for me, but it’ll still get through. I do think that it may not be as successful in the final as people think though.

    16 – Montenegro ('Inje' by Vanja Radovanović)
    Nah. Balkans-by-numbers.

    17 – Slovenia ('Hvala ne' by Lea Sirk)
    I quite like this one! It’s a bit of a weird one to get your head/ears around at first but it’s catchy! I think it’s another one potentially in contention for the top ten but gut feeling is I don't think it'll make it.

    18 – Ukraine ('Under the Ladder' by Mélovin)
    Crazy dance moves from the backing singers aside, this one is a really nice song to finish on. Upbeat and a pretty impressive performance to watch. Should do well and get through. Grand Final wise it’ll probably be second half of the table but for these semis it’ll do fine.

    And finally my top 10 I think will make it through:

    Norway
    Denmark
    Australia
    Poland
    Hungary
    Sweden
    Malta
    Moldova
    Netherlands
    Ukraine

    Possible to replace those in bold - Slovenia, Romania, Latvia
     
    Jonathan likes this.
    Posted 4th May 2018
    #9
  10. Sir Queer Llama

    Sir Queer Llama TowersStreet Member Team Member

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    So yeah, let's face it the year runs from May - May and its that time of year again and I am literally the most excited :D Myself and fellow resident EurovisonStreet Team Memeber @Craig have only been talking about this for roughly 6 months now (Religiously over the last two weeks I might add).

    Anyway, here is my brief run down of the songs, yes that's right BRIEF. I'm also talking what should go through and what should most categorically NOT, because lets face it... Some of it is absolutely dreadful. So yes this shall be brief and in the most part brutal, in true Eurovision fashion! I must add this is all just my personal opinion, I know some of my choices are very radical and will absolutely never happen, but some things just don't deserve stage space.

    First 10 to go through! (None of this is in any particular order... Well aside from the first couple of places! And the last.)

    Semi Final One

    1. Finland - Saara Aalto, 'Monsters': Just has Eurovion written all over it. I mean how could you not absolutely love it! A fantastically catchy song with probably this years strongest vocalist behind the reigns! :D

    2. Israel - Netta, 'Toy': YASSSSSSS. This is just madness, harking back to some of the more crazy entries of the early 00's for me!

    3. Azerbaijan - Aisel, 'X My Heart': That bridge/chorus! It may not be the most out there, but for me there is something about it that I just love :D

    4. Switzerland - Zibbz, 'Stones': Moody with a great beat! Seriously good and a little bit different.

    5. Belgium - Sennek, 'A Matter Of Time': A slow and quiet number until what could well be a very powerful chorus, not Belgium's best, but it should qualify for sure.

    6. Bulgaria - Equinox, 'Bones': I really quite like this, another moody one but I have a feeling it could do well.

    7. Belarus - Alekseev, 'Forever': I really really adore this guys vocals, there's just something about it that I cant put my finger on!

    8. Cyprus - Eleni Foureira, 'Fuego': Craig is absolutely right in that it's got the Beyonce Wannabe vibe, however it's an incredibly strong song that deserves to go far!

    9. Lithuania - Leva Zasimauskaite, 'When We're Old': Just a beautiful song, so quaint and emotional, a real tear jerker, always good to have one!

    10. Greece - Yianna Terzi, 'Oniro Mou': It's also great to have the odd few none English songs in there, so this native language number from Greece is most welcome.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    11. Croatia - Franka, 'Crazy': A decent song, but just doesn't ever really seem to get anywhere

    12. Estonia - Elina Nechayeva, 'La Forza': There's some terrific high notes in there, the staging is impressive to say the least, but I just feel it's all a bit old hat now! I'm still bitter the projection mapped costume got cut from Serbia's 2015 entry. (Christ how is that so long ago!)

    13. Czech Republic - Mikolas Josef, 'Lie To Me': Clearly this will actually qualify however it is just such a try hard knock off... And not even a knock off of a good song! And the whole thing surrounding it with the 'Backpack Reveal' is just so annoying, literally attention seeking at it's finest. The Eurovision equivalent of the X Factor sob story!

    14. F.Y.R Macedonia - Eye Cue, 'Lost And Found': It's okay... But that's about as far as it goes.

    15. Austria - Cesar Sampson, 'Nobody But You': Another one that I feel is a bit knock off, in terms of sound and vibe it is just so Hungary 2016. Nope.

    16. Ireland - Ryan O'Shaugnessy, 'Together': It's sweet, but just a bit boring really... I can see the vote they are going for, but as a song it's just bland!

    17. Armenia - Sevak Khanagyan, 'Qami': Nahhhhhhhh

    18. Albania - Eugent Bushpepa, 'Mall': Nope.

    19. Iceland - Ari Ólafsson, Our Choice: Wonderful, I have a choice and it isn't you! Next.

    Overall, let's be honest here, this semi is much tougher to call than the second! There is always one that is tougher than the other but this year I feel it is more prevalent than ever. I think there could be some serious shocks and upsets when some songs do not qualify, think Iceland 2016... The most robbed song in history! (Just to be clear, that is Iceland 2016, not 18. That g*** ain't going anywhere!)
     
    Jonathan and Craig like this.
    Posted 4th May 2018
    #10
  11. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    I'm so confused by this :tearsofjoy:

     
    Posted 5th May 2018
    #11
  12. Jonathan

    Jonathan TowersStreet Member

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    Just a quick reminder that the first semi-final is tomorrow night at 8pm on BBC Four, with the second semi-final at 8pm on BBC Four on Thursday evening. The final itself is on BBC One at 8pm on Saturday evening. Hopefully, chat will be taking place on Slack during the semis and the final if anybody is interested. And if anyone can remember their login details for it, I suppose. :p
     
    Posted 7th May 2018
    #12
  13. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    This will be the 2nd year in a row that I miss Eurovision, this time due to work.

    I could watch the semis, but I only care about the final.
     
    Skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 7th May 2018
    #13
  14. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    8/10 predicted ain't bad going :p. That said, I'm gutted Switzerland didn't nab a spot, Ireland shouldn't have got through and I'm indifferent about Azerbaijan if I'm being honest.
     
    Posted 8th May 2018
    #14
  15. CGM

    CGM TowersStreet Member

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    I thoroughly enjoyed Eurovision this year. Lots of quirky, energetic acts and for once I actually backed a winner.

    I didn't particularly like Portugal as hosts. I felt they revelled in last year's victory a bit too much. Plus I found the introductory and interval acts pretty dull.

    Stage invasions seem to be happening far too often as well. Security really needs to be stepped up a bit. I don't think it really affected our chances though. I thought our song was weak even by our standards.

    However, all of the downsides were eclipsed by the quality of the acts. It felt like a real step up from last year and we avoided the potential dirge of acoustic ballads that we could have suffered as a result of last year's winner.
     
  16. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Weeellll..... That was a thing that happened, wasn't it?
     
  17. Ryan B

    Ryan B TowersStreet Member

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    Filomena Cautela was the best thing about this year's eurovision by far :hearteyes:
     
  18. MattyH

    MattyH TowersStreet Member

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    Saddened that Maldova and Austria didn't win.
     
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  19. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Can't say I was a fan of the winning song, and I agree that Portugal weren't great hosts; their introductions and inverval acts were so boring!

    There were plenty of good songs though so it made for an enjoyable evening!

    :)
     
    DiogoJ42 likes this.
  20. Error

    Error TowersStreet Member

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    The metal act should of won...would of been rebellious like the time Lordi won it.
     

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