The song seems to be perfect opener of the ESC 2014. It starts very calm and stylish with only on spot on Aram MP3. Slowly a big climax built up, supported by an orchestral arrangement give a special class to the song. Aram MP3 is very keen on winning and the bookmakers have put him on the #1 place very early. This is one of the big favourites this year. Armenia mostly qualifies and definitely with this number, especially the dramatic end with the superb stage has been utilized to the maximum. The applause in the first dress rehearsal was frenetic.
The church youth group has arrived. These sympathetic singers really do their best to burn their refrain “Cake To Bake” in the people’s brains – it does not go out of your head once you heard it. And the melody strongly reminds of many songs you may have heard before. This is an entry which does not really suit on this stage as the stage is made for fast images and glitter. The plain song with the eco-image could only be matched with a big apple tree in the background. The applause was low to medium. No definite qualifier.
03 Estonia“The super elastic multi talented genius”
The ballet hall is opened now for sexy Tanja from Estonia with her attractive company both dressed in white. Tanja’s shorts are literally short! She has been photographed for the Playboy magazine. The floor really looks like a wooden dance floor, thanks to the cutting edge stage design where everything is possible. Tanja is singing and dancing at the same time. This is not only normal dancing it even has a lot of acrobatic elements and it seems that she never gets out of breath. The strong dance rhythm and the memorable chorus remind a bit of “Euphoria” from Loreen two years ago. This one of the stronger songs this year and might pass the qualification round with easiness.
Lovely Sanna from Kristianstad in Sweden is next. She was the youngest singer ever (11 years) reaching a #1 position in the Swedish charts. Since then she is popular and in the Swedish Melodifestivalen it’s her 7th attempt to represent her country on a Eurovision stage. So her big comes true now. Maybe it’s not her strongest song this year, but she makes the most of it. Her hair fashion appears a bit conservative and gives bit strength in her appearance. Like in other years the Swedes are trying the same successful concept. The stage is beautifully dark with blinking stars and light spots surrounding her. That’s looks very stylish and is very suitable to her dramatic ballad. Maybe this is not a real radio song, but it’s nice to watch it on stage. A sure qualifier.
Now there is something to watch! Six guys in colourful training suits will rock the stage with their “No Prejudice” song. One of the backing singers is even a member of the Icelandic parliament! The audience is freaking out when they are performing their funk-styled interlude dance. The melody is not that conspicuous but the message that we all should have no prejudices is dominating. The competition is very strong this year so there is a big uncertainty if this entry could make it into the Grand Final.
06 Albania“The Albanian Mireille Matthieu as a pain the neck”
The Albanian song is everything else than a happy clap song. You have to concentrate to amalgamate with the lyrics and complicated melody. Her looks is fine and elegant on a pedestal and will definitely appeal to many people. Even if Hersi is popular and ambitious singer this song will probably be too complicated for the Western European ears. So probably there will be no final spot for Albania this year.
The sweet twins have already won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest! This time they grew up and have all tricks to bewitch the TV viewers. Firstly their braids are somehow put together that it looks that they grown together, then they split and then their dresses are bound together. Sometimes old circus tricks can work, but the stage could have been used in a better way. Their song “Shine” is a nice pop song unfortunately without any real musical highlights. Furthermore the political questions will be a topic as well. Does it make sense that Russia is competing while the political situation back home is more than dubious? How will the audience react, will there be some boos, will there be points at all? Normally Russia qualifies for the Grand Final, but this year it’s unpredictable.
This is probably the most sophisticated song of this year’s ESC. Very calm, very stylish and almost dreamy the watchers will be enchanted by this wonderful voice from Dilara. She is a very beautiful woman in a red gown. Azerbaijan always shapes up very well and this country is being known for its extraordinary stage shows. This year there will be a trapeze artist accompanying Dilara. Of course there will be some traditional Mugam elements to hear which are worked in very well. The song is written by the Swede Stefan Örn, who also wrote the winning entry “Running Scared” for Ell & Nikki. This is qualifier for 100%.
The Ukrainians have a special talent for spectacular stage performances. Even if the songs sometimes sound average from the beginning. But then the instrumentation and arrangement will be revamped to the maximum. The song “Tick Tock” is such an example. The performance on stage is fabulous with a big hamster wheel and a guy who is running and doing is acrobatic figures in a perfect tuned way. The singer Maria is very beautiful and very talented. She composed the song herself and can now present it to millions of people. Due to the political situation the Ukrainian entry will probably be discussed a lot. It can be expected that there will also be a lot of sympathy points
This is a love song to all mothers! In the Belgian national final, Axel’s mother was so touched by his performance that she was almost crying. Axel has a very good voice – no doubt. But the song is a bit over the top. This is far too schmaltzy and obtrusive, even if all mothers in the world should be reached with this ballad. This is the perfect pause, but this won’t make it to the Grand Final. Sorry Belgium!
Another strenuous song! Even if Christina has a powerful voice and attractive background dancers, this entry is absolutely too dark and louring. The video clip was brilliantly made, but on stage this song does not convince. The audience was nearly bored and went out for stretching the legs. No final for Moldova this year.
This is Valentine’s third attempt in a row: 2012 with the “Facebook Song”, 2013 with “Chrysalides” and this year with “Maybe”. Unlike other country’s delegations that let the self-made items away, the San Marinese team brought their own chiffon shell. Unfortunately, the beautiful stage is dominated by this strange object. The song does not appear as fresh as in the video clip, but more frumpy when having coffee and cake with the grandmother. This third time for Valentina will probably not bring her into the Grand Final. Maybe she should sing something with jazz next time. One good thing that Ralph Siegel himself accompanies her at the piano!
Is it Lambada? No, this is just a poor copy of the original version. Maybe it should ring in the Football Championship in Brazil this year? Portugal has been such a good taste of great contributions in the past. Where are the nice melodies and the lovely Fados gone? Where is Dulce Pontes or Vania Fernandez? Why the Portuguese did choose this outrageously song? Susy is a pretty lady with long blond hair. In the climax of her song she sometimes dismisses the high tones. Portugal has never been so far away from winning the ESC than this year.
No it comes something relaxing for your ears! The modesst Dutch entry is a country song which is perfectly made for long car trips driving over the US highways. Both singers have been to Nashville and you can hear that. Both are experienced singers. The male singer Waylon wears a dark hat which reminds of Fleetwood Mac. The stage is plain and calm. This will stand out in a positive way. Thanks to Anouks success last year the Netherlands are very keen to compete in the ESC again. This should be in the Grand Final.
What a wonderful song! This is one candidate who is really one of the favourites. Unfortunately, the image and the atmosphere of the video clip could not being brought on stage. The stage presentation is a bit kitschy; they brought a roller skater and an old-fashioned background. This could have been better. Nevertheless this is a very strong song and Sergej’s voice is brilliant. Even if there is no Balkan country in this semi final, beside of Albania, there will be votes for Montenegro. So hopefully the rest of Europe will like this.
This is one of the big favourites this year! The New York born singer András has a very good appearance, is attractive and is gifted with a marvellous voice. He is singing a song with the strongest message of this ESC, as it’s about violence against children. The song has power and a strong rhythm with a catchy chorus. The New York skyline is also being used on the big LED screens. This sympathetic unpretentious guy deserves not only the qualification; he could also be the winner of this year’s ESC.