We’re about to close the previews for semi one, and thanks to an odd total of 19 participants we get an even 4 in today’s preview. A slot towards the end is usually prefered, but as history has proven it’s hardly a guarantee for success. Which of these four will prevail? Let’s find out!
PERFORMER: Sevak Khanagyan
The Song: As far as the yearly trend of stealing with pride from previous top three entries goes, this one probably gets closest to walking those paved roads. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case, with its hints to Armenia 2014 and Bulgaria 2017. It’s a nice ballad that slowly but surely expands and explodes, much like a breeze that turns into a whirlwind. Bonus points for keeping it in Armenian, it gives the song a whiff of mystery that suits the lyrics and the atmosphere of the song. It doesn’t even stop it from sticking after one listening, with the clever repeat of the title.
Standout lyrics: “Stakhos ein astghery vor asum ein, t’e anpart e / The stars were the liars, they said they were innocent” – Stars don’t last forever, remember!
The Voice: Probably THE working point for Lisbon. Contrarily to his 2014 predecessor, it’s all okay in the lower parts of the song but it goes all wobbly in the higher parts. Which works against him towards the end, as that is really the point where you have to put the vocal cherry on this cake.
The Performance: That NF-performance was quite touching, especially at the end where his Love is carried away by the power of the last air bender. Understated is the way to go to emphasize the power of this song. And even though that outfit gave us delicious Game of Thrones vibes and should definitely be kept, it needs to look more season 7 than season 1.
In one line: Aram MPEG4.
Why it will qualify: It’s Armenia, they’re almost always a shoe-in for the Final. Other than that, it’s powerful enough to sneak in on its own merit.
Why it won’t: The song seems wildly unpopular within the fan community, maybe they’re on to something (for once)?
Biggest competition in this semi: Albania maybe?
Pre-Contest status: Qualification Qonfirmed.
The Song: As a song on its own, it’s quite nice to listen to. It’s got a decent beat, semi-powerful lyrics, a somewhat infectious vibe – kinda reminds me of what 4 Non Blondes did almost three decades ago (feeling old, table for one). But it’s always almost there, never fully ON. So somehow it might simply not be cut out for Eurovision in its slight non-discriptness.
Standout lyrics: “We’re the liars in the face of facts” – Hashtag cofveve.
The Voice: THE working point here. At times Corinne is right on the money, and at times she’s deep in debts. If she manages to keep the good times rolling right until the end, she might pull it all together for la Suisse. If she doesn’t she’s a viable candidate to join this bunch.
The Performance: Kinda digging the rock chick vibe from the NF, and I’m feeling the colored triangles. No idea what they stand for, but I digg it. Side thought – does she do her shopping at the same store(s) as Waylon? I bet she does.
In one line: 2018 and my life is still trying to get up that great big hill of hope for a destination.
Why it will qualify: Sticks and stones won’t break their bones.
Why it won’t: It’s a tad on the marmite side.
Biggest competition in this semi: Albania.
Pre-Contest status: At first I wanted to brand this a firm candidate to be a non-qualifier, but in this running order it somehow jumps out at you. So it’s a borderliner for now.
PERFORMER: Ryan O’Shaughnessy
The Song: I was fully prepared to shoot this down for being the umpteenth (West)lifeless Irish ballad in a row, but somehow it’s got something endearing. Not that it’s ever remotely interesting or surprising enough to make me actually like it. But it’s got enough going for it to not make me want to strangle it. I suppose I am simply too susceptible to the heartfelt lines in the chorus.
Standout lyrics: “We were drifting like two icebergs out on the ocean” – Poor icebergs, when have the ever been a good omen in the context of love?
The Voice: I like a male vocalist that sounds like he hasn’t hit puberty just yet, and it suits this fragile lullaby. Just curious to hear whether he can actually keep it up live.
The Performance: Will or won’t they gay this up as they have in the video? Even if it is a tad blatant, it could be a nice diversion for that slight snooze of a song.
In one line: If Sweden’s the Ireland of the 90s, then Ireland has to be the Belgium of the nillies.
Why it will qualify: The rainbow community rewards him for sticking up for them.
Why it won’t: Zero effort is rewarded with zero reward.
Biggest competition in this semi: Iceland.
Pre-Contest status: Between Switzerland and Cyprus this could either be a nice break or evaporate while it’s one. Gonna go with the latter: non-qualifier.
PERFORMER: Eleni Foureira
The Song: Personal pet peeve of 2018 = a chorus that isn’t a chorus. Meaning those instrumental bits, sprinkled with countless repeats of the song title. The NF-season was full of them, so I suppose we should be grateful that Cyprus is about the only country to have picked one for Lisbon. But as much as I’m prepared to hate this, I strangely don’t. It makes me want to move my loins, even sets them on fuego. Lyrics be damned. That’s probably what even the lyricists thought, judging by the lack of any kind of content. Just set the night on fire, bring us some much needed rhyming desire – cause every ESC edition needs a fire-desire, can I get an amen? *insert obvious Halleloo here*
Standout lyrics: “Till I got a dose of you” – Shouldn’t that be ‘douze’, dear?
The Voice: From what I’ve seen on Youtube from her, it seems like she’ll do fine. It’s not as if this is such a demanding song anyway.
The Performance: I love me some strutting, and judging from the video and other live performances I should be in for a treat. Girlfriend’s got a bit of a raunchy style and a closet some drag queens would kill for, so I’m expecting a lot from her. Deducting points for setting a Rolls Royce on fuego in the video though. #blasphemy
In one line: You’re a fire and desire, when I kiss your lips you know you take me higher.
Why it will qualify: Cause it sets Europe on fire.
Why it won’t: It doesn’t manage to fulfill Europe’s desire.
Biggest competition in this semi: Probably Finland.
Pre-Contest status: I’m gonna label this a qualifier for now, but she’s (not all alone) in the danger zone.