All 43 (yes, you read that right) entries for the 2018 edition of our beloved contest have been chosen and the running order for the semis has (finally) been determined. So it’s high time to get the previews rolling – hold on, be strong and fasten your seatbelts: it’s gonna be a bumpy ride! Up today: the first three participants of semi 1. Happy reading, and don’t forget to vote in the individual polls!
SONG: X My Heart
The Song: As a composition, this falls in the #meh category. It’s okay-ish in all its innocent poppiness, but it never manages to really excite. THE talking point for this entry however are the quite astonishing lyrics. Are they testing just how unimportant lyrics seem to be to a whole lot of people? Bewildering is the mot-du-jour.
Standout lyrics: “Misty moon, I’m your loon” / “I’m stronger than cannonballs” / “Luna moon me up” – Hashtag random.
The Voice: We haven’t heard this live, but we have also yet to hear a singer from Azerbaijan really frack it up. Oh wait, Zafura and Samra are giggling as we speak. Anyhow, Ictimai will make sure this’ll be vocally on point #longlivestrongbackings. Which might be necessary, as Aisel somehow resembles Dana International in some parts. Not the most reassuring of references.
The Performance: What kind of shenanigans will they come up with this time round? Will they bring back Bojack Horseman and his ladder for every single one of their performances from now on? They really should.
In one line: And after all you’re my firewall.
Why it will qualify: With their perfect qualification record, it’s hard imagining Azerbaijan missing out on the final. Being up first in this semi might actually benefit them in that respect.
Why it won’t: It’s got to happen at one point, and this entry has enough going against it for now to take up that doubtful honor. especially with 18 others coming up behind it.
Biggest competition in this semi: Finland.
Pre-Contest status: Wobbly Qualifier.
PERFORMER: Ari Ólafsson
SONG: Our Choice
The Song: *Goes back and checks whether this isn’t Ireland instead of Iceland* Eum, what the hell were they thinking up North? It’s so goody-two-shoes–heal-the-world-sugary-sweet, it makes me want to barf.
Standout lyrics: “In every single language, there’s a word for love and for blame” – Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya.
The Voice: Well, at least it’s got that going for it. Adequate enough, and the high note towards the end provides for a nice distraction. Not enough distraction, but I’ll take what I can get.
The Performance: This ideal son-in-law surely knows how to make love to the camera, so there’s bound to be a part of the audience that is immediately charmed by this glowing young man. Sweet, but a bit too sticky if you ask me.
In one line: That’s easy – WORLD PEACE!
Why it will qualify: People are charmed enough to accept this thirteen-in-a-dozen ditty.
Why it won’t: Been there, done that. And it’s on second – say it with me: DOOMED.
Biggest competition in this semi: Ireland.
Pre-Contest status: Non-Qualifier.
PERFORMER: Eugent Bushpepa
The Song: A bit of a strange experience, this one. It all starts off nicely with that moody drum beat and the slightly rocky vibe that expands in the chorus. But then it offers nothing new or intriguing for the second part of the song. It is, contradictory to Eugent’s bad boy front, a bit on the safe side for a rock effort. It’s amazing how Albania often manages to seem to want to make the effort, but then miss the mark ever so slightly.
Standout lyrics: “Të ëndërroj edhe kur zgjuar jam” / “I dream of you even when I am awake” – Getting our inner teenage-girl-diary-self out, are we?
The Voice: Decent enough and certainly matches the entry well. But again, nothing exceptional to highlight here.
The Performance: Straight to the point seems the only way to go with this type of entry. The key question here is whether we will get to see that abundance of tattoos on stage. The obvious reaction would be ‘yes please thank you very much’ #badboysforlife
In one line: Could do with a bit of salt ‘n (bush)pepa.
Why it will qualify: In a semi that is bound to be filled with tricks and gimmicks, this could stand out for its simplicity.
Why it won’t: In this brutal semi it is hard to imagine this making enough of an impact.
Biggest competition in this semi: Switzerland.
Pre-Contest status: Non-Qualifier.