We’ve already had 34 entries but we’re still hungry for more, and our menu for the day has got to be the most varied of all the previews (until now). Ready for an eclectic meal? Dig in!
SONG: Viszlát Nyár
The Song: As far as the song structure goes, it strolls down the same path other rock acts took in previous editions. In other words: it’s a cool pop song in a clever rock disguise. One we haven’t had until now, and the metal sauce they’ve poured over it is quite polarizing. While some might simply label this as noise, I quite like the in-your-face-ness of it all. It offers some much needed variety to the 2018 Contest anyway, so hurray and huzzah for Hungary.
Standout lyrics: “Játsszunk nyílt lapokkal végre: a hajómnak mennie kell és itt fog hagyni téged / Let’s be brutally honest: my boat has to go and it will leave you here” – Honesty is hardly ever heard and mostly what I need from you…
The Voice: Does what it says on the metal-tin. Kinda wonky in the ‘sung’ parts, right on the money in the shouty parts. Never understood how they manage to pull off those screechy bits, but it’s quite impressive when done right.
The Performance: I expect it’ll be a repeat of the NF-performance and it really doesn’t need anything other than that. Certainly nothing along the lines of, just freewheeling, a giant head with laserbeam eyes.
In one line: Looking forward to that Eurovision mosh pit.
Why it will qualify: We need some guitar violence on Saturday.
Why it won’t: It’s a bit too un-Eurovision to convince anyone.
Biggest competition in this semi: Earplugs.
Pre-Contest status: Statistically Hungary has a good chance of getting through to Saturday. But what are statistics when you go this far out of the Eurovision box? Haven’t got a freakin’ clue.
PERFORMER: Laura Rizzotto
SONG: Funny Girl
The Song: Much like Croatia’s ‘Crazy’, this one reminds me of Sam Brown’s ‘Stop‘ in all its sultry and sexy vibe. ‘Funny Girl’ has got more of a story going on than Croatia though, even if it is a bit hard to follow thanks to the combination of slightly overworked lyrics and sparse musical production. It feels a bit ‘difficult’ while it actually isn’t, and I’ll still take this a thousand times over any ‘typical Eurovision’ pop song. I simply adore the desperation that’s so clearly on display here but I acknowledge it might be a tad hard to digest for some.
Standout lyrics: “And it’s getting hard, I’m not gonna lie to keep in the dark all I’m feeling inside when you walk in smelling like her perfume” – We’ve all been there.
The Voice: A particular color of voice that might take some getting used to, which could work against the complex nature of the song. Then again, Laura manages to get the story across, even if she goes borderline off track in the bridge. It’s fun to sing along with her anyway.
The Performance: Kinda loving the way it was performed in Supernova, even if it is a tad overworked here and there. Really digging the fast paced camera shot switching, à la Aminata and Iveta Muckuchyan – but they need to reign it all in just a bit cause it’s a bit distracting at times.
In one line: Not that funny.
Why it will qualify: It strikes the right chord.
Why it won’t: It’s too clever for its own good.
Biggest competition in this semi: Her somewhat distracting surname.
Pre-Contest status: How I’d love for this to qualify…and if it does, it’ll probably be thanks to the juries. Can’t really see the public going for it and thus considering it as a non-qualifier right now. Hashtag sadface.
PERFORMER: Benjamin Ingrosso
SONG: Dance You Off
The Song: A nice slice of funky pop that wouldn’t be out of place on a Justin Timberlake album. Side note: some people have been getting back to me after publishing my MF-preview where I said the same thing, saying I picked the wrong kind of Justin – but I’m simply not in Bieber’s target group, so I’ll stick to what I know #nobieberfever. Back to the matter at hand: Dance You Off is one of this year’s stronger songs, even if it lacks that je-ne-sais-quoi to really make you declare your undying love for it the second it ends. It could’ve exploded a bit more, but otherwise it’s a song that makes you want to get up and pull some moves that people will be talking about for years. I’ll leave that open for interpretation.
Standout lyrics: “Cause I just wanna feel the mood girl with anyone but you” – A delicious verbal middle finger.
The Voice: Awesome. It’s a bit of a riddle which of the melodies he’s handling himself, but he’s handling them splendidly – he clearly proves his capabilities in the verses anyway. Special mention for combining singing and moving like that.
The Performance: Nothing short of brilliant. Loving the light effects and the feeling that it’s almost a video rather than a live performance. I understand why they opt for a wide shot after being two thirds into the song, but it kinda diminishes the overall effect for me. But it’s a minor criticism on an almost flawless performance.
In one line: And that, dear Belarus, is how you use effective lighting.
Why it will qualify: It’s easily one of the best packages on offer.
Why it won’t: It’s too slick and people are tired of Sweden’s dominion.
Biggest competition in this semi: Norway.
Pre-Contest status: Qualifying with ease, firm candidate for a top 5 spot or even the trophy on Saturday.
Croatia, Latvia, Armenia, Greece, Belgium, Estonia
Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Norway, Czechia, Lithuania, Russia, Netherlands, Israel, Georgia, Hungary
FYROM, Albania, Moldova, Poland, Finland, Azerbaijan, Romania, Austria, Malta, Australia, Serbia, Ireland
San Marino, Denmark, Belarus, Iceland