Natalia is a very sympathetic singer with a very positive attitude. Her song “Shine” is a solid number, a good opener for the 58th Eurovision Song Contest. This song has a key change and a memorable melody, a good radio song though. But due to the more striking performances of the other contestants this song might get forgotten – even the wind mashine doesn’t help. So Austria may struggle with the qualification.
What a lovely ballad, sung by an even lovelier Birgit. Estonia is often sending beautiful ladies with dark hair and blue eyes, this has something really fascinating. In the first seconds the Estonian team has decided to only show black and white colours. This song has changed a lot to the better; there is a key change and a real climax now. Coming back to her looks, she is wearing a wide white dress which seems to fly over the clouds. Birgit is pregnant, that the reason for the unusual shape. This one must go to the final – well deserved!
A lot of people were discussing the Slovenian entry here in Malmö. Is this song strong enough? What about the choreography? The Slovenian team has made the most of it. They were the first having the “dub step” elements in the song, but the song has some boring parts as well, no matter what the three background dancers do, wearing silver masks or other gimmicks. Hannah is very pretty and has a real cool, a bit dark outfit. The major problem is that Hannah was not to hear sometimes in the arena, or even missed the tones. Very very difficult for Slovenia this year.
This is not a song for first time liking. The six guys from Klapa se Mora are wearing traditional outfits from Dalmatia and look a bit like gawky tin soldiers. The song is very old fashioned, but the elderly people will probably not sending sms or voting by Ipad. That’s not final song this year!
Emmelie has been so much favourized over the past weeks that she probably can’t believe it anymore. Being a favourite is not an easy part, especially when there are less points coming as expected. But this won’t happen to Emmelie, hopefully, but nobody knows yet. The show is similar like here winning performance in the Danish national final. But you can easily see that the Danish broadcaster DR has put everything on the card this year, there is golden rain and a terrific show with drums and pipes and gold and the barefoot Emmelie. They can’t do more!
Dina is so popular in Russia that everybody knows her there. Now it’s here time to show it to the rest of Europe. Dina is wearing an antique pink dress; everything is made in this creamy colour for this act, but very old fashioned. The lamps from the ceiling going down deep to the audience heads. It’s a bit overdue but impressing. This is one of the strongest songs of the night and a mighty winner. Russia wants to win the ESC again, so they will be in the Grand Final for sure!
The Ukrainian entries are known for their extravagant stage shows and elements – a bit over the top .This year the second tallest man on earth is carrying Zlata on his arms, like King Kong. It looks like a fairy tale or a musical with these kitschy elements. Zlata has an enormous voice and is very beautiful; this is enough for reaching the final. The Ukraine always qualifies for the final.
The most difficult song of the night comes from the land of the windmills. Due to the fact that the Netherlands have been in the Grand Finals in 2004 for the last time, it would be great to have them back. This would also increase the interest in the ESC in the Netherlands. Anouk normally sings rock songs; this song is a surprise for people who know her music. After all the actions before this song is the sleeping pill, the song is about birds which are falling from the roof – a bit depressive, too. The backing choir is great and giving this entry a class. The singer herself is probably too sure to win the ESC. This thought could be the biggest disaster of this year’s ESC.
This is the surprise of the ESC 2013! Normally hip hop songs do not shape up very well at Eurovision. Due to the increasing number of young viewers, also this music style must be covered. The outfits are absolute fantastic – the two male singers Debbuh and Noyz are wearing astronaut outfits, which look great in the green fog. The absolute surplus is the featuring female voice of Nina Zizic. This is absolute unusual and striking, not easy to listen to, but also not expected from Montenegro. They could rock the ESC. This entry deserves a place in the Grand Final!
This could have been a top song. Unfortunately, the singer Andrius does not make this song shining. He has not even shaved his beard, makes a bit bored feel. Maybe he has something in store for us, but does not seem that he will change anything. This is the big disappointment of the Semi Final 1, so no final for Lithuania this year. Why did anybody asked somebody for help here?
They have changed the song and now we have a subtropical dance song from the subtropical Belarus to please everybody. That’s not the way it works. Alyona slips out of an over dimensional disco ball and enjoying her own party with thousands of pyro effects. She is probably the most beautiful woman of the contest, but the song is a mix of old winning entries, a bit of “Wild Dances”, “My Number One” and “Everyway That I can”. Do the Byelorussians really think that this will work? Belarus will only reach the final with the help of Russia, Lithuania and Moldova.
Last year Alyona has been a backing singer, this year it’s her big chance. She is using the big lift which pushes her three metres high; her white dress is getting illuminated with nice colours and flashes. At the end the entire stage seems to burn in bright flames. Bad people would think that it looks like a witch at the stake. The high tones might be her main problem, sometimes is sounds like rasping. This is nothing to push Western European from their couches.
Ireland is the most successful ESC countries with seven victories. This year it looks bitter. Ryan is highly celebrated in his home country but in the bets she can be found at the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, he is wearing black leather outfit on a really dark stage. In the arena he is nearly not visible. The only highlight are the drummers in the beginning of the song, but that does not help the song to sound better.
What a glamorous entry from Cyprus! Despina is shining like an angel in the beginning with a turning light at her back. This is a very simple but impressive ballad, sung with a lot of emotions, after Estonia, the second best ballad of the Semi Final 1. A backing choir would have been suitable, but it’s just her on stage. That can work. Let’s hope that there will be enough voters for her. Unfortunately, Greece cannot vote for Cyprus in this Semi Final 1.
This song has been receiving a total make over. There is a Finnish composer and there are very cool female dancers – très Belge - supporting the young Roberto on stage. At first sight he appears shy and uneasy, but he is growing with the song and by now he has trained the high notes after the key change. The Belgian song is much stronger, than the Dutch one, judging by the appearance in the arena.
This is very girlish entry, all in pastel colours and candies like young teenagers love it. The song is probably the simplest, like the warm up in a choir lesson. This simple melody will not go out of your head, even if it’s a nerving one. Despite this tacky image, all the journalists and fans sing it here in Malmö. Even if people are not convinced, this will qualify.