There is a sunny background and everything is full of colours, like the Lithuanians prefer it on Eurovision stages. He is wearing a light blue suit, she is wearing a white dress with blue elements. In the postcard Monika & Vaidas even had to do bungee jumping which requires a lot courage. The very sympathetic duo is very popular here in among the journalists. But the song is a case of its own. The chorus is repeating and repeating. The competition is strong tonight – a qualification might not be reachable this time!
The very sweet Molly from Ireland appears very natural and cool. She does not feel any pressure representing a whole country which is used to win the Eurovision. Molly is just sitting there, playing the piano and sings. This is very sympathetic. She also gained valuable experience playing at the Wiener Staatsoper at the Pop Meet Classic matinee. The stage setting is rustic, with an old piano, where the backside is visible and the background is a sunny forest. Everything very nice, a winner in 1990’s, but a bit too boring for winning nowadays.
And now it’s time for Ralph Siegel’s composition. The song has the typical Siegel-key change and there is even a change in the melody. It has only worked once to reach the Grand Final for San Marino. This young duo looks great, but the gestures and the melody appears too old for them, that even the kids in the audience were not convinced. Compared to the other songs in this Semi Final, this song is one of the weakest.
This is the song with the most folkloristic elements this year. There is traditional dance and a great atmosphere. Knez is also accompanied by his daughter in the background. The song starts slowly with almost 40 seconds just prelude. The song sounds like a typical song written by Željko Joksimović, but those songs have always shaped up very well. This is the first strong candidate for the Grand Final.
This is a kids’ favourite! Amber has a strong voice and a nice chorus. The Maltese delegation has copied the flame-wings background image from last’s year’s performance by Conchita “Rise Like A Phoenix”. Amber is wearing a black dress with some transparent parts. Even if the kids like this entry will have its difficulties with the qualification as the adults won’t vote for this.
This is the first goose bumps song! Kjetil has a really good male voice and the together with Debrah it sounds magical. The chorus is touching and convincing. This is a very strong contender with high chances of winning the ESC. The interlude strongly reminds of Titanic movie. Debrah has a very special look – her hair is almost frightening. What a great entry!
The team from Portugal has decided to wear total black, the singer Leonor as well as the backing singers with black hats. The song is not so dark, even if the topic is a bit sad. It’s about a love separated by the sea, the song is quite fast, but not really catchy by first hearing. Portugal has not reached the Grand Final anymore since 2010.
What a great surprise that the Czech Republic is back after an absence of five years. They have never reached the Grand Final. This is the first Czech ballad in the ESC and this might to well. It shows that there is high quality music coming from the Czech Republic and not only Karel Gott. Both of the singers seem to have a lot of fun on stage. Especially Marta is a cool guy with tattoos and she is throwing away here shoes from stage. They deserve to reach the final, a great duo with great voices and a lot of potential.
The beginning is a bit oriental when Nadav is singing “Mama – someone broke my heart”. Then the rhythm starts, the sexy dancers will accompany Nadav on stage. Where is the old established Israeli choreography gone? The dancers are dancing wild over the floor – is there a plan behind it? Nadav is wearing golden shoes with golden wings. This entry brings the arena to dance.
For Aminata the biggest dream is coming true: performing her own composed song to many people. She is very well prepared and obviously enjoys every single second. Her stage appearance is gorgeous. Aminata is wearing a red dress and has a very exotic look, her father comes from Burkina Faso. With her attitude to dress up she even looks extra-terrestrial. The red floor is pulsing and she uses her arms for extraordinary movements. This is the surprise of the year.
It all starts with a wolf-like tone by the singer Elnur. The stage is dark, it’s a dark full moon, and later on it turns bloody red. There are supposed to be wolf dancers. The song is not scary at all, has a great melody, which is written by Swedish composer team – as always. This song has always been received very well in the arena. Azerbaijan has always been qualified for the Grand Final and so it will do today.
Iceland was very lucky over the last years to hit the taste of the TV viewers with contemporary songs. This year it does not stand out really, it’s too general. Even if the small girl Maria is jumping like a crazy elf on stage from left to right, the chorus has been stocked up with Iceland power weapon Hera Björk. Maria does not wear shoes on the golden stage floor. The last shot when she is smiling over her should is sweet. This time could be a year without Iceland in the Grand Final.
Now it’s time for the top favourite! Måns Zelmerlöw has already tried it twice before to represent Sweden in the ESC. With this year’s entry another victory for Sweden could be possible. But maybe everything appears too calculated for winning? Måns seem to have a lot of fun by performing, singing and dancing – it’s his thing. The little stickman is very sweet and this will definitely be a memorable eye catcher. There is a strong song, Måns has been elected as sexiest man of Sweden. This entry has energy and is absolutely positive. The young people freaked out! Stockholm 2016?
The Swiss entry is a really fall down after the Swedish entry. That will make life hard for Melanie. Even if there are drums and windmashines on stage, the entire concept appears too dark with the dark tree it all appears too negative. This not a song for a lovely summer day. The title “Time To Shine” does not hold what its promises. The competition is strong and Switzerland is probably not convincing enough to pass the Semi Finals.
This is something for the romantic. John is a decent but very talented singer with a lovely presence. In the beginning the image is black and white, he is wearing a suit and cool retro glasses. Then the entire arena puts on its mobile lights. This gives a wonderful wow effect and entertains the audience, as the song is smooth and quiet. This song is a great enrichment despite of all the other ballads.
This is probably one of the strongest songs Slovenia has send for years. There is a very sympathetic couple singing a very catchy song. Marjetka has a very unique voice which has not been heard so often this year. Everything could be perfect. But the team around the Slovenians had no good hand by choosing the outfit for her. It’s a pop song and she has to wear a long white dress and she is not wearing the shiny diamond headphones. The biggest minus for this very good entry is the air-violin, which has already been seen in the Slovenian final.
The Polish singer Monika is bound to a wheelchair due to a tragic accident years ago. In the video animation in the background there a videos shown from the time before the accident, when Monika was singing and dancing. Now the wheelchair is predominating in her performance, she could have also sit on a stone like a mermaid. The stage set up is pure kitsch: old pink colours with cherry trees and cloth banners does not look modern. The song is an ordinary ballad with no climax. Edyta Gorniak wanted to sing again for Poland but the broadcaster denied her. This is not a finalist.
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About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!