We’re deep into semi 1 and don’t worry if things start to get blurry: it really is a bit all over the place. Leave it to the next three to confuse and derail us even more! Happy reading!
PERFORMER: Cesár Sampson
SONG: Nobody But You
The Song: This is a bit confusing for me, as the flow of the song – and especially the chorus – reminds me of Who Knows by Belgian artist Netsky. So I’m half expecting a fat drum ‘n bass beat to make an appearance, and the lack of any kind of beat throws me off ever so slightly. Or perhaps it’s the gospel infused chorus, which isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Personal preferences aside, I can see this collecting votes from all over Europe. It reminds me of John Lundvik in the Swedish final, as in how it ticks a lot of boxes. It’s simply a bit too much on the safe side for little old moi.
Standout lyrics: “Lord, I’m gonna get so high tonight” – Don’t be greedy, pass that dutch!
The Voice: One of those artists who paid their dues as a backing vocalist, so it seems like a safe bet to say that the vocal side of things won’t be a real issue.
The Performance: The attention point with former backing vocalists however is the amount of star power they possess. Agreed, mr. Sampson (*insert Emly Starr move*) is quite hunky to look at but said star power goes beyond physical appearance. It’ll be interesting to see how this’ll come across live.
In one line: Hold on, be strong.
Why it will qualify: Probably the best solo male performance of the night.
Why it won’t: It might be a bit too generic to survive this Semi Of Death.
Biggest competition in this semi: Iceland, which isn’t saying much.
Pre-Contest status: Will either sneak in or miss out by the skin of its teeth.
PERFORMER: Yianna Terzi
SONG: Oniro Mou
The Song: Much like some mid-90’s entries this is full of mystery and pulls you into another universe for a couple of minutes. Lovely. And thank Gucci they kept it in Greek, cause those lyrics are simply hysterical. As a great exception to my own personal rule, I think I’m going to pretend I don’t even know what this is about cause it really takes away from the magic I can otherwise pretend is there.
Standout lyrics: “An tha psaksis to vitho mou zondanevis t’oniro mou / If you’ll explore my deep sea, you’ll make my dream come true.” – I bet.
The Voice: I’m not too worried about Yianna’s vocal capacities at this point. I am mostly wondering how they’ll translate those different vocal layers from the studio version to a live stage. Sounds like they’ve got their work cut out for them, and if they don’t manage to succeed it’ll do this song a world of damage.
The Performance: Rumor has it that it’ll be a rather sober stage performance, which puts my worried mind somewhat at ease. Less is more for an entry that relies heavily on enchanting the audience, so the less distraction the better.
In one line: Greek tragedy…or comedy?
Why it will qualify: Bippety bappety boo, you’ll fall under its spell too!
Why it won’t: Yianna’s dream becomes a Utopian Land.
Biggest competition in this semi: Cyprus, just for the fun of it.
Pre-Contest status: A careful qualifier.
PERFORMER: Saara Alto
The Song: Good grief, how mediocre can a pop song be? For all the empowerment this tries to convey it falls pretty flat along the way. I blame the empty synths and the forced bits where she’s trying to convince us she “ain’t scared no more”. She can kiss her lucky stars that that semi-effective chorus has been smuggled in, otherwise this would have sunk even faster than you could scream ‘iceberg ahead’.
Standout lyrics: “At my worst I found my army strong” – Say what now?
The Voice: There are bits and pieces where you can actually hear Saara’s a talented pop singer. Too bad they are a minority in these three minutes, where she’s hardly allowed to showcase her vocal talents.
The Performance: That NF-performance was almost Maltese. I do believe I spotted a kitchen sink in there somewhere. This needs to be much more focused, as opposed to trying to incorporate every single idea they had, from black lights to flags and even a clumsy outfit reveal. Think more Bad Romance and Thriller, and less Monster’s Inc.
In one line: Way to piss on your only winner until now, Finland.
Why it will qualify: We need one more trash song on Saturday. That, and the UK gets to vote in this semi so you know her X Factor past will help her #ormaybenot.
Why it won’t: You’ve seen that live version, right?
Biggest competition in this semi: Cyprus and Azerbaijan.
Pre-Contest status: Smells like a non-qualifier, looks like a non-qualifier. Must be a non-qualifier.