Semi 2 done and dusted, running order announced – lots to get in to. Let the overthinking commence!
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first, and point out the huge difference in quality between both semis. While semi 1 was quite average with a few highlights, semi 2 was much harder to sit through. Don’t know if there was an issue with the sound, but loads of performers yesterday were really struggling to remember what the exact key was they were supposed to be singing in. The semi was overall a lot more lackluster than semi 1, even if trying to predict the outcome would prove to be equally difficult.
There some obvious Q’s and a handful of obvious NQ’s. But the middle ground proved a lot more challenging. I was personally torn between Moldova, Albania and Serbia in trying to predict the last slot. I jokingly said that they would probably all three qualify , only to boot out two entries that got overlooked by my personal love for Denmark and the jury potential I saw in Austria. If only I’d listen to myself sometimes… Eventually I managed to get 8 out of 10 in both personal and predicted top 10, having had DEN and AUS wrong in both of them, underestimating Bulgaria & Moldova (personal) and Serbia & Moldova again (prediction). Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids! Before we go to the running order in the final, let’s say goodbye to the 7 NQ’s:
- ESTONIA: So Middle Of The Road I don’t even know what to say about it. He looked great, obviously. Don’t know how he sounded, as it was difficult to guesstimate which parts he was actually singing, especially in the verses. On top of your Google search for ‘most generic entry in 2021’.
- CZECHIA: Cute, but only on mute. Love Benny’s natural charm, and in the parts where he didn’t have to worry about looking into the right camera, bust out the right move or simply interact with anything or anyone else he actually sounded okay. But those moments were a minority, and by the halfway mark this started to crumble like your average Great British Bake Off technical challenge.
- AUSTRIA: I was never in the target audience for this one, so I was pleasantly surprised by the serene stage act and Vincent’s magnetic camera energy. Or maybe I was swept up slash deceived by the positive blogging for this. Either way, it managed to sneak into my low top ten by default. Thought the juries would eat this up. I don’t mind that it isn’t in the final though. Amen and such.
- POLAND: Polar opposite of Austria, cause I kinda like the song but my oh my did the Douchebag Alert go OFF! I just wanted to slap him, and was begging for it to end sooner rather than later.
- GEORGIA: Just when I thought Poland were the worst three minutes I’d ever spent watching Eurovision, along came this one. I don’t think I heard one single note that was sung correctly. I’ve got loads of question marks, but no need to find an answer for any of them. One of the worst things we’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through.
- LATVIA: The rehearsal reports were not quite promising to say the least, and in fact they weren’t even close to describing just how much of a car crash this was. Having loved the song beforehand I was prepared for almost anything, but still heavily underprepared for this experience. Literally everything was wrong: the staging, the backdrop, the camerawork, the vocals..; Nothing worked. For someone who tried so hard to get on the stage and seemed to have such involvement with Eurovision, miss Tina really only managed to set records in ‘how not to win ESC’.
- DENMARK: My number one from my previews, so let me start with an obvious #sadface. This was always going to be difficult. After all of the shennanigans in this semi, I’d hoped they’d manage to sneak into the final because of its kitschy and happy nature. Too bad the vocals were so off again. And mayhaps the Onslow tanktop wasn’t the best of ideas after all… Still, the final would have been that teensy weensy more enjoyable with these guys.
And you, how did your predictions go? (More on the final running order below the poll)
FINAL RUNNING ORDER
Initially the running order had us confused, hence the opening meme to this post. And after having spent a bit of time with it…we’re still confused, to be honest. The tactics seem to have changed versus previous years, but then again the options for attaining some sort of balance in the Force are severely different. BUT luckily we can count on some more neutral voices in the fan community. Which is why we highly recommend to read the analysis on ESCinsight, which goes into detail much better than we’d ever could. But of course there are some additional thoughts, so here we go – do leave your own down at the bottom! For added convenience: listen to the recap running order, it helps A LOT.
- Cyprus – Quite an expected opening song, gets the party started nicely.
- Albania – Two silver dresses in a row, but moving to the beat of a very different drum.
- Belgium – After three songs that beg for your attention, this one manages to capture it in a very different way. It may feel like a disappointing draw, but it could turn out to be quite beneficial after all.
- Russia – I love it, but after Belgium it comes across even crazier than it is by nature.
- Malta – Labelled the loser of the draw, but comes across more sane than Russia.
- Portugal – Somehow it feels like it’s in Belgium’s shadow now…but the song is more accessible, so maybe I’m just being wrongfully blinded by hope for Hooverphonic.
- United Kingdom
- Switzerland – A couple of busy staging ideas in a row, but as a song this should stand out easily in this order.
- Iceland – The contrast with what comes before and after is gold. Such a pity it won’t be live, which really hurts its chances I feel.
- Spain – Sounds hopelessly out of place.
- Finland – This after Germany? Bold.
- Bulgaria – Benefits from coming after Finland, but three teenage songs in a row is a lot to handle.
- Lithuania – This after Bulgaria is a very good idea. Having Ukraine after it is another matter entirely.
- France – After Ukraine? Could be a great contrast. Could also be Too Much To Handle.
- Norway – Both AZE and NOR suffer immensely from coming after the LIT-UKR-FRA threesome I feel.
- The Netherlands
- Italy – Such a slap in the face after what comes before it. This one has the best ‘draw’ by far.
- Sweden – Lost. Probably the biggest loser of this running order.
- San Marino – Perfect closer.
So. Time for THE QUESTION. Who’ll win??
It’s between Switzerland, France and Italy from where I’m sitting. Ukraine seems like a dangerous outsider but feels too polarizing. Iceland could’ve been in the mix if only they could’ve performed it live. Other favorites like Lithuania, Bulgaria and especially Malta feel like top ten candidates, but victory? Nah.
Yes, I’m clueless. And quite frankly: I love it. Now bring on an unexpected winner, like 2001 and 2011!