While the jury rehearsal is about to start for what promises to be an exciting final, it’s time for a short look back at Semi 2.
I usually try to get out a ‘look back’ as quickly as possible, that is when the caffeine kicks in in the morning, yet today I found myself otherwise preoccupied. So as I type this, the 26 finalists are about to try and convince juries across Europe. Before we try and take a gamble on tomorrow night’s outcome we need to talk about
Kevin semi 2 however.
Much like semi 1, we got treated to another entertaining and well put together two hour(ish) extravaganza. Count on Auntie Beeb to really pull out all the stops and deliver. Our hosts delivered again as well and also scored again in the fashion department: trains for days, that yellow dress looked like it was sculpted on Hannah and I need that blue outfit for my drag alter ego. My sisters in the pride themed interval act did a stellar job by the way, and I loved how Free Yourself – my personal bop of 2022 (and 2023 still) – and other empowering anthems set the Echo Arena on fire. The cherry on top would have been having Jessie Ware herself there, but hey.
Before we go to the NQ’s, a quick word on the previews from the first set of three direct finalists:
- SPAIN: It’s not really my thing, but I am impressed with Blanca Paloma herself. That performance looks powerful, can’t wait to see the full thing. Not that impressed with her following calling themselves pigeons. But my drag name is Flaminga, and I am a dot of pink in a sea of grey after all.
- UKRAINE: Looks visually stunning, the vocals were a bit wobbly however. Curious to see what kind of impression a full three minutes will make.
- UK: The Mariah Carey energy is strong with this one. She gets an E for Effort from that clip, and if that’s how it’ll go irl then this has got bottom five written all over it. It’s still a bop though, so who knows.
Now, let’s talk shop. How well did we do on predicting the qualifiers, and were there any personal disappointments among the NQ’s? I had a hard deciding between about four of them for my final two yesses in terms of prediction. A packed mid field that was hard to read. But eventually we ended up with:
- Personal top 10: Eight made it through, on par with my semi 1 score.
- Predicted top 10: Had nine correct, with Georgia in and Slovenia out. Sometimes it pays to gamble, sometimes it doesn’t.
Okay, so finally here’s what I had to say on the NQ’s from semi 2 (in starting order):
- DENMARK: This somehow slipped into my personal top ten, albeit at ten, but that’s more by default. The song is cute, Riley’s cute, the staging was cute and I nééd that outfit like pronto. But those vocals, if we dare call them such, were thinner than a slice of carpaccio. Pity.
- ROMANIA: That first verse is so misleading it should be taken to court. What happened after can only be described as a derailed art project. Using the term art very, very loosely. And this wasn’t even the worst thing in the semi, go figure.
- ICELAND: Well, she sure sold us po-po-po-power. A bit too much, quite frankly – did she have three Duracell bunnies for breakfast? The song sounded quite empty in production and there wasn’t enough balance for the shouty vocals we got served. Visually having at least two dancers there could have worked wonders, and that tank top should be burned.
- GREECE: Welcome to the Sophie Carle Hall Of Fame, Viktor. I don’t know who had the idea of putting you up there, but they need to be fired. For your sake as much as our own.
- GEORGIA: Despite the horrendous AI inspired/imitating lyrics, this was awesome. So impressive, so dramatic, so intense. More is more, I say. I thought this was a sure qualifier, and I had it at number 3 myself. I don’t get how it failed. Is it really simply because it’s Georgia? If so, what have they done wrong? Are they still not forgiven for inflicting Tornike Kipiani upon us?
- San Marino: You could smell these animals not qualifying from a mile away. These wannabe youngsters didn’t manage to compensate for a set of awful lyrics. And those vocals sure were an endurance test for our tenacity. Cool graphics though.
How about you? How did you do with your predictions? And did anything jump out at you that you didn’t expect?
And who do you think will take the crown tomorrow? I still think it’s gonna be Sweden. I don’t think Finland will do that well with juries, but he will sweep the televote. I still consider Spain to be a dark horse. But if I have to throw a third real contender into the mix, it would be Belgium. I know, foolish naïve little chauvinistic moi. We have a saying in Dutch: “if two dogs fight for a bone, a third one will run with it.” Gustaph has got the momentum on his side and could very well surprise with a victory à la Eurosong, our NF where he won with one measly little point. I would love it for a multitude of reasons obviously, but one in particular. My former boss now manages Gustaph, and she’s in the green room with him. She was always on the more alternative musical spectrum, so to see her party in Liverpool now is such a trip. Give her the full experience, universe. Love you, Amélie!
One thought on “Eurovision 2023 Semi 2 – The Day After”
A win for Gustaph is a little wishful, (I think if anyone is ready to steal the Sweden/Finland bone, it’s Australia or even (whisper it) Germany). But Top 5 is extremely possible and I for one would be delighted with that. And LIVE BACKINGS, thank you Belgium!