ESC2017: the douze and don’ts for the second semi-final…

Tonight it’s the second sem-final of ESC2017. Last night it was the jury semi-final, where the international juries cast their votes. Here’s a clip of the action from yesterday…

It’s the usual pick and mix of music and performances, so let’s have a look …

  1. Serbia

As you would expect with the carefully planned draw for both semi-finals, we start with an up-tempo number. Another mainstream pop record – probably the most pop entry that Serbia have competed with. Coupled with a whiff of traditional instrumentation it’s a good pop song. A bit reminiscent on the chorus, with the melody of Katy Perry’s “Firework”, and The Sugababes “About You Now” on the verse. I’d like to see it progress to the final.

  1. Austria

You would expect the musical influences from the charts are often an influence on Eurovision entries. In the first semi Rag’n’Bone Man was an influence on the Cypriot entry, and Austria’s song has the Ed Sheeran effect. “Walking On Air” is a breezy feel-good pop song, and at least one song per year sounds a wee bit like this. I like it very much…

  1. FYR Macedonia

One of the more electropop songs of the contest. Reminds me of some of the scandipop artists, such as Annie and Robyn. I love it. I like me a bit of a cheeky double hand clap on a song, and they are peppered throughout. Nice bit of punchy pop. FYROM are nowhere in the betting, but I would be surprised if this didn’t get to the final. It’s got my vote! 🙂

  1. Malta

It’s time for the first ballad of the evening. It’s an old school ballad, with a bejewelled frock to underline this fact. A rather plodding song, it feels longer than the three short minutes that it is. I think it’s taxi for Malta… but then again there aren’t many ballads tonight…

  1. Romania

All kinds of cuckoo-crazy going on here! If you are not a fan of yodelling, this song isn’t for you. Romania will progress, because it’s a bit of a novelty song, and the diaspora will ensure that it does. For me it’s like the scene in the Movie Mars Attacks! when the sound of the yodelling explodes the alien’s heads. Yup, me too…

  1. The Netherlands

Fantastic harmonies for this song. Very reminiscent of Wilson Phillips (remember them from the 1990s). This is very catchy, if a little dated. From what I have seen the sisters are also styled in rather dated in costumes – they are more than bedazzled! Great to see that it has jumped up in the betting odds since rehearsals began. With a clap along bit and one of the big key changes in the Contest this year, I think it will progress. For the love of key changes, I hope it does…

  1. Hungary

As we celebrate diversity at the ESC this year it seems a little odd that only a handful of songs are sung in a language other than English. Hungary stands out for not doing so. Also, one of the few songs to have that indigenous flair to the music. I like it.

  1. Denmark

Denmark had a purple patch in the contest a few years back, particularly around Alexander Rybaks’s victory in 2009. Remember his “Fairytale”? Great, wasn’t it. Well, Denmark didn’t qualify last year. Singer Anja certainly has a great set of pipes on her, but for me the vocal gets a bit ‘shouty’. It’s growing on me, and it’s well liked in the betting. 50/50 for me…

  1. Ireland

Young Brendan Murray has a really interesting vocal, and great range. Louis Walsh is Brendan’s manager, and selected this song for him. Does it, or does it not, sound like something Westlife would have recorded! It even has a key change! Let’s hope Brendan gets to the final…

  1. San Marino

San Marino have a habit of sending songs that are a bit bonkers, and a bit dated. 2017 is no different…

Doesn’t quite work for me, even though there was that cheeky key change. Like busses, these key changes this year! Bless ‘em for the effort…

  1. Croatia

Listen to the lyrics of this song and have life affirmed. A bit of a popera crossover song. Cracking vocals from Jacques. If a song gets to the final with a bit of welly, then this will.

  1. Norway

Back in 2010 Norway hosted the ESC, and their host theme was “Share The Moment”. This year their song is “Grab The Moment”. You may very well grab the moment to do what needs doing around the house…

It’s a song with an identity, crisis, right? And the stylings feel rather cheekily nabbed from Daft Punk, et al. Not for me…

  1. Switzerland

This is rather derivative of Rihanna, but I love it. Sure, it’s one of the many “female vocal with drums” songs, but in this draw it stands out for me. It’s nowhere in the betting, so I’ll be interested to see it on the Eurovision stage. It’ll make it or break it…

  1. Belarus

This is charming…

… and a song that, during the first listen, you will be singing along with before the end – which is a bonus for songs in this competition. A finalist, surely?

  1. Bulgaria

Last year I just didn’t get the Australian entry until after the competition, even though it was one of the hot faves. I’m the same with this song from Bulgaria this year. It’s top three in the betting odds. I came to love the Australian entry last year, but I’m not quite there with this song… so far…

  1. Lithuania

A bit of a hot mess, vocally, musically and visually. The draw might kill it off? Last year the UK public voted Lithuania their favourite song. I can’t see that happening this year. Taxi for Lithuania…

  1. Estonia

Koit Toome and Laura duet for Estonia, and it seems they are lost in Verona. Nice vocals. But I’m a little bored with the song. Is it going to be lost in the draw?

  1. Israel

And finally, we turn to Israel to do what Israel have a habit of doing with their Eurovision formula: an uptempo pop song performed by an attractive man. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That said, the formula needs a more interesting song this year. Much like the Greek song, this is dated europop/EDM. But the formula usually get’s Israel to the final… The running order has probably helped it get to the final…

I think that this semi-final is the harder of the two to predict, as is usually the case every year. As on Tuesday night I’m going to decide my napkin of death top ten qualifiers during the show, and I’ll post it in the comments section below. See what you think later tonight.

My next review will be of the ‘Big Five’ and host country Ukraine. I’ll drop that tomorrow, but in the meantime remember that Eurovision is a marathon and not a sprint. Go grab your sneakers… and enjoy the show tonight! (BBC4 at 8pm in the UK, or live streamed on YouTube)

🙂

 

 

2 thoughts on “ESC2017: the douze and don’ts for the second semi-final…

  1. FYROM or Estonia? FYROM or Estonia??…

    Here’s my napkin for tonight…

    Austria
    Belarus
    Bulgaria
    Denmark
    FYRO Macedonia
    Hungary
    Israel
    Netherlands
    Romania
    Serbia

    Eeek

    🙂 xx

  2. Well, you did better than me, Phil, choosing 8 out of the 10 tonight. I chose 6 (my worst prediction yet!). I did slightly better on Tuesday night, choosing 7. Should be interesting on Saturday night. Enjoy!! 🙂 x

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