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Eurovision Song Contest, Semi Final Night 2 Recap

They brought the Classic Eurovision Nonsense Tonight!


Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed Tuesday night’s celebration of Celtic witchcraft at Night One of Eurovision. (#CrownTheWitch) We’ve got another 16 countries vying for the final ten spots tonight, along with three more previews from the pre-qualified countries (Italy, France, and Spain).

Let’s get into it!

  1. Malta: “Loop,” Sarah Bonnici

A young woman in a sparkly one-piece does a fun club jam, although the way she repeatedly says “Oh my gawd” in the song is extremely irritating. Good choreography, especially a part where her baggy-pantsed backup boys dance blindfolded.

2. Albania: “Titan,” Besa

I like this power ballad. Her metallic headdress is cool, the lighting is very effective, and the lyrics are good. They have these giant hands on the video wall, though, and I’m not into those.

3. Greece: “Zari,” Mariana Satti

Ok, I do not like this framing device of the TikTok video, and her voice is too high and squeaky at the start. Ha! All a fake-out about how she’s going to do it her way with a funky Mediterranean beat. Eh, this Greek rap still isn’t doing it for me.

4. Switzerland: “The Code,” Nemo

Ok, now this is my jam. I love everything about this: Nemo’s puffy coat made of red and orange feathers, the uptempo rap break, the dramatic lighting, the driving hook, the round teeter-totter thing he’s balancing on. That chorus is going to be lodged in my head all night. Easily my favorite so far.

5. Czechia: “Pedestal,” Aiko

Is something wrong with her mic? She sounds terrible in the live performance. Ah well, there’s always some country who sends an entry who can’t actually sing. Her clone backup dancers are neat looking, though.

Pre-Qualified: France: “Mon Amour,” Slimane

France brings a big romantic ballad. It’s too bad Slimane’s voice is a bit raspy at the start because the tune is nice. He’s warmed up by the end enough to hit those sustained notes, though.

6. Austria: “We Will Rave,” Kaleen

“We will rave,” huh? I wonder what this song is going to be about? Laser lights, techno beat, S&M silver one-piece costume… yep. Title is accurate. Her hair is making me think of a more severe and germanic Ariana Grande.

7. Denmark: “Sand,” Saba

This performance starts with the singer dramatically pouring sand on the stage. Which is pretty literal staging with lyrics about “sand slipping through my hands.” Still, it’s effective and the song is very good.

8. Armenia: “Jako,” Ladaniva

It’s always fun when countries incorporate their traditional music into the song rather than do a generic Eurobop club song. It certainly makes them stand out from the crowd. I liked it! It was fun.

9. Latvia: “Hollow,” Dons

How do you have a giant wheel as your set piece and not run around in it? How can you have a guy in a blue rubber suit sing such a snooze of a song? This is a bit of a dirge and not one of my favorites.

Pre-Qualified: Spain:  “Zorra,” Nebulossa

One of the pre-qualified entries. This is an ok club tune, more notable for the light show and the bearded backup boys in corsets than the musicality.

10. San Marino: “11:11,” Megara

This is a nice jolt of energy! It looks like a weird take on Alice in Wonderland, with the singer looking like Harley Quinn changed her color scheme to pink and black. She is backed up by dancing skeletons and killer bunnies and some very cool animation. The band looks like they went to Gene Simmons’s yard sale for costumes. All around classic Eurovision stuff. Love it!

11. Georgia: “Firefighter,” Nutsa Buzaladze

Catchy dance tune with a lot of fire. Sometimes you don’t need to overthink things. Just dance and enjoy it.

12. Belgium: “Before the Party’s Over,” Mustii

The singer stole Dan Stevens’s costume from the Eurovision Song Contest movie. And his ballad is only ok, and not terribly memorable.

13. Estonia: “(nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi,” 5MIINUST x Puuluup

Now these guys have some energy! I like the look of the one singer wearing an overcoat with one sleeve missing. They’re working the crowd, and the crowd is into it.

Pre-Qualified: Italy: “La noia,” Angelina Mango

Ok, can’t deny that I love Ms. Mango’s sparkly red corset and the dancers in body suits covered with thorn patterns. And the song is a bop.

14. Israel: “Hurricane,” Eden Golan

Time for a dramatic power ballad. And it’s fine. The singer has a great voice, but the song is extremely generic. (This seems like a good time to note that Eurovision explicitly forbids any kind of political statement song. Keep it light and fun!)

15. Norway: “Ulveham,” Gåte

Another rocking number. The lighting and costumes really make this number work, plus the band seems to be having a great time.

16. Netherlands: “Europapa,” Joost Klein

Time for some classic Eurovision nonsense! Joost is wearing shoulder pads that David Byrne would’ve called over the top. And the performance opens with his giant face on the video screen on the floor. Oh, and there’s a giant bluebird playing keyboard. I have literally no idea what is going on, but I’m enjoying it. And if that isn’t the mission statement for Eurovision, I don’t know what is.

Favorites: Switzerland! What a great song! Also loved the energy San Marino’s deranged Alice in Wonderland song brought.

Least Favorite: Czechia was pretty bad, and Latvia’s snooze fest didn’t impress me. Neither did the rapping Greek.

The Winners: What the hell? The lame entries from Greece and Latvia made it in but San Marino didn’t? Boo, Europe, boo! RECOUNT! (For real, I’m mad about this.)

Joining these two unworthy finalists are Armenia, Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, and Switzerland (yay).

Will any of these beat my witchy monarch, Bambie Thug, on Saturday? We’ll find out in 48 hours!

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