On Monday I ran through my choice cuts from entries that could have been chosen for semi final one. The songs that could have, if all had gone to plan, formed my ideal Tuesday night in May. Today it’s time to rake over semi final two and plot my would-be perfect Thursday.
Out – Love is Forever In – League of Light
Of all the successfully qualified entries heading to Tel Aviv the Danish song is probably the one that has grown on me most. At first I felt it sounded like an advert for a low calorie spread but over the last weeks I have come to see it’s appeal. However, League of Light not only offered a dramatic & ethereal charm but also a catchy chorus and little bit of Greenlandic into the mix. If I’m honest I think both songs have their merits but much like the Danish televote I’d favour Julie & Nina.
Out – Stay In – Co Adriano Celenano
A travesty of justice. To use the modern vernacular this is the reason why Moldova is ‘cancelled’. When Moldova succeed at Eurovision it’s when they bring something rather off piste, a song or a stage show that other ‘safer’ countries would see as a risk. And yet, in 2019 when Moldova had an entry exactly in this vein not only did they not pick it, they didn’t even let it get past the live audition stage. I was more irate at Lume’s rejection than I was at any other point this season. Truly unfathomable.
Out – On a Sunday In – Destin
On first listen I straight away placed ‘On a Sunday’ on my national final playlist. I was instantly beguiled by Ester’s vocal and the dark, mysterious song. Given the alternatives in Romania it was a good choice. It wasn’t, however, my first choice. That place was taken by Trooper’s Destin. If a country turns down the chance to send what sounds like a drink-along sea shanty featuring an operatic vocal I’m always going to be disappointed. If only they’d had the pyro it would have been perfect.
Out – Too Late For Love In – Ashes to Ashes
Here we have another entry that I don’t really mind, it just wasn’t my first choice. John Ludvik was a shoo in for Melfest and stands every chance of winning in Tel Aviv. It does not, however, have the upbeat singalong value of Anna Bergandahl’s Ashes to Ashes. How this song had to go through Andra Chansen to the final only to be widely ignored by international juries is a national and intercontinental disgrace. For the second time this decade, Bergendahl deserved better.
Out – The Dream In – Tower of Babylon
Netherlands. Russia. Even the United Kingdom. All better solo male ballads than The Dream. There aren’t many entries in this year’s Contest that sound as tired and dated as Croatia’s. All the more deflating when when one considers they had Tower of Babylon in their grasp. I don’t deny that you could throw ‘dated’ towards this one as well but it did at least have some energy and life about it. A little bit more of that Eastern sound, so popular in the 2000s, injected into a late 2010s radio friendly Contest would’ve been no bad thing.
Out – Run With the Lions In – Mažulė
This was a genuinely difficult choice given Lithuania not only had my favourite vocal from all the selections but also my favourite live performance. Whilst both of Monika Marija’s entries would’ve been worthy choices for Tel Aviv I couldn’t not pick Mažulė. To me Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys had the look of Goldie Lookin’ Chain with a song worthy of 90s era Vic & Bob. I still have no idea what Mažulė is about and I don’t think I ever want to find out. Catchy song, distinctive outfits, odd facial hair and a delightful dance routine. That’s does it for me.
Out – Spirit in the Sky In – Fake it
To be fair I don’t really want to ditch Spirit in the Sky, given that it’s firmly placed in my top 3 for the overall Contest. However, if any national selection brings forth such excellently executed glam rock then I’ll have no choice but to root for it. The song itself is a fairly soft and straightforward affair but like our lads from Lithuania it’s the stage show that elevates this entry. Literally.
So that’s all our semi-finalists, I’ll turn my attention to the Big 5 later this week.