EUROVISION: Semi Final 2 Review

8pm (BST), 9pm (CET) and all will be revealed in Semi Final Two!

8pm (BST), 9pm (CET) and all will be revealed in Semi Final Two!

Well, this is it! Tonight another set of entries will compete for the ten places that are available in Saturday night’s grand Eurovision final. Following the excitement of Tuesday night where Russia, Greece, Armenia, Albania, Belgium, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Estonia and Georgia all qualified for Saturday night’s final we’re doing it all over again with another seventeen countries. As usual on Tuesday nutleyone.co.uk had some highs and lows – having predicted Serbia and Hungary to make it through against the odds (yay!) but also having predicted Denmark and Netherlands to qualify (boo!) – the success rate was 7/10. Here’s hoping to go 3 better tonight and get 10/10 – though if you see how we’ve awarded our points this maybe unlikely. Anyway without further ado, here’s the review of semi final two!!

Lithuania

With a nice folky vibe this has a nice pleasant melody that pushes the tempo along for a polite upbeat duet that should work well on stage. It’ll open Semi Final 2 with a good uplift and should get the crowd clapping along. 7/10

Ireland

Ireland has lost its way in Eurovision. Twenty years ago their ballads were original and had a certain sparkle whereas this sounds like a run of the mill track with an Irish lilt. Nice enough, but nothing special. 5/10

San Marino

For the first time in four years San Marino aren’t represented by Valentina. Instead we have a duo that almost has a musical theatre vibe about it. This is a song that wouldn’t look amiss on any West End stage – with a punctuated rhythm that adds mystery to the track this could see them qualify for the final second year running! 6.5/10

Montenegro

Unless it’s Norway 1995, a thirty-five second intro isn’t the best way to start a song. It’s nice enough – along with many countries this year they’re clearly going down the non-offensive route. However, at the end of the day this is nothing special. 4/10

Malta

It’s a song with the same name as another entry! Warrior for Malta tries to be a bit more anthemic than it’s Georgian counterpart. It’s another one for the nothing special. Should qualify though. 6/10.

Norway

OK Norway, I’ll be honest I don’t get it. I didn’t get Silent Storm last year and to begin with I don’t get this one either. It’s an improvement on last year’s offering and should do very well. It stands out – falling under the category of ‘ballad worth listening to’. The lyrics are good, and knowing the Norwegians the staging should be good. It’s a grower. 8/10.

Portugal

Portugal, how gutted was I when you failed to qualify with last year’s upbeat sunshine, happy latino number. Instead we’ve gone down the traditional route. Coming after Norway’s rather different track even a key change won’t make this stand out very well. I throwing it on the ‘nothing special’ pile again…. 5/10

Czech Republic

You’ve guessed it. Another ballad. This one is a sway your hands in the air as they reach a dramatic key change and conclusion. I like it – but can’t see how it will stand out from anything else. 7/10

Israel

A hint of traditional Israeli chord progression, a groovy hip-hop-esque vibe throughout. I like this, and it’s certainly one that could stand out. If it was based purely on song then this would qualify hands down. 7/10.

Latvia

Now this is how to do a slow-tempo song. Strong urban beat, big voice and a hint of 1980s US ballad chord progressions in the chorus. It’s a fusion of styles that hopefully will see it rewarded. It’ll be a borderline qualifier, but there’s a fan here! 8.5/10

Azerbaijan

I’m not a fan. This has a nice chorus that builds beautifully. However there are just too many slow songs this year and this is just adding another one to the pile. Anthemic, likeable – possibly a little more ‘special’ than some of the other offerings. 7.5/10

Iceland

One step at a time and letting go sings the opening lines. Mid-tempo and Radio 2 in nature it reminds me of the music that was popular around fifteen years ago. Borderline qualifier. 7/10

Sweden

Sweden are a modern day United Kingdom in that they always seem to start this contest as ‘favourites’. Much publicity is earned in Sweden’s lavish pre-selection process and to be fair the quality of entries is generally very high. Heroes will do well – for a start it’s more up-tempo with a strong modern beat. However, I’ll stake my claim that this is not a winner. 8/10.

Switzerland

A dark drum beat opens the Swiss entry which has an anthemic beat, but alas, not the lyrics to back it up. There’s a nice electric guitar mini-solo mid-song to watch out for, but at the end of the day for this song performance will be everything. 7/10

Cyprus

There is an element of fragility that surrounds this song. It reminds me of a cross between ‘More Than Words’ and a ‘Westlife’ track that doesn’t have the key change. Unfortunately I don’t think this is going to make enough of a statement of intent to qualify but if there was going to be a surprise breakout qualifier from SF2 then this is it! 7.5/10

Slovenia

The artist on this track sounds just like Macy Gray at the start. Beginning like a ballad this quickly finds an indie-pop beat and with the right presentation it’s going to do very well in this semi final. Repetitive, but likeable. 8/10

Poland

This is quite a change from the Polish milkmaids that generated so much publicity last year. This is a(nother) ballad that flows quite nicely. It’s a likeable track, but I think the tempo of it is too fast for it to stand out. It’s another song where performance will be key. For me, this is nothing special. 6/10.

And the points from the nutleyone jury are:

12 points: Latvia

10 points: Norway

08 points: Slovenia

07 points: Sweden

06 points: Lithuania

05 points: Cyprus

04 points: Azerbaijan

03 points: Switzerland

02 points: Czech Republic

01 points: Malta

The second semi-final in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Three, tonight, 8pm. Commentary will be provided by Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc. 

Also – don’t forget we’ll be live blogging our thoughts and opinions on the semi final live on this blog from 7.50pm and thoughts live on twitter @nutleyone !