It’s the second half of the Semi 2 preview even though the show has already started!
Picking up literally from the middle of the last post….text only because this train Wifi is AWWWWWFFFFUULLLLL
RUSSIA – SERGEY LAZAREV – SCREAM
SHOULD I WATCH THIS?Yes! It’s Russia and they always bring the drama!
BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD? I guess? It’s more like Broadway than Eurovision, and the promised dragon theme of the video went nowhere. Still, Sergey is a consumate professional, and knows how to put on a show.
DARE TO MEME Given Will Ferrell’s interest in Eurovison, I’d like to see people use the “I’m trapped in a glass box!” meme from Anchorman.
ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE Speaking of Eurovision and Will Ferrell, we got a preview of the songs from his upcoming Netflix movie at both jury shows, and the Russian song in that one is clearly, clearly influenced by Sergey.
TIRED ALREADY Anything about Ukraine, okay? Just please spare us.
OVERALL VERDICT Russia wants to win, but much like Hungary with Joci Papai, they’ve sent an A-game player with a C-grade song.
ALBANIA – JONIDA MALAQUI – KJETHU TOKES
SHOULD I WATCH THIS? Yes. Jonida is, like most of Albania’s entries, a big-voiced lady in a big big gown, but she’s got an edge. There’s nothing fluffy about her song, which focuses on the impact of migration in Europe. And Jonida not only performs it like the diva she is, but she’s brought another big-voiced backup singer with her to maximise the impact.
BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD? Look, I’m not a huge power ballad fan, but Kjethu Tokes is more than just a standard power ballad. It’s full of sadness and longing and despair, and Jonida makes all of that come through clearly in the song, even though the lyrics are in Albanian.
DARE TO MEME Challenge your friends to see who can spell the name of this song correctly on the first try.
TIRED ALREADY Nothing tired about this. Jonida would likely cut and gut anyone who suggested as much.
OVERALL VERDICT There are two “Yasssss queeeeen sllaaaaaaay” songs in this final, and this is one of them. Sit back and enjoy a classic Eurovision genre handled by a pro.
NORWAY – SPIRIT IN THE SKY
SHOULD I WATCH THIS? YES. Norway has put together a supergroup of former Melodi Grand Prix entrants with a Sami joiker and rapper, and created something that is absolutely magical. KEiiNO have earned a place as the mascots of Eurovision 2019, performing at the drop of a hat whenever anyone asks them to, but also being genuinely nice and friendly and having a wonderful time with it all.
Look, this song is going to seem pretty normal until the bald guy comes on stage 48 seconds into the song, and then joiking is going to happen, and you may not know what is going on but just go with it because IT IS GOOD.
BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD? It’s a banger that reflect elements of indigenous European cultures. Of course it’s good.
DARE TO MEME KEiiNO made a ridiculous music video that features two of them in absolutely ridiculous wigs and the screenshots from that are going to be deployed pretty quickly tonight.
TIRED ALREADY Making fun of Fred’s joiking as just a string of nonsense syllables. Although if you’re a racist against the Sami people, I guess it’s good that we all know that so we can block you on Twitter.
OVERALL VERDICT It is knock your socks off brilliant and you should all be as transfixed as me.
THE NETHERLANDS – DUNCAN LAWRENCE – ARCADE
SHOULD I WATCH THIS? Well, it’s tipped to win, so I guess? But it’s a bearded man with a falsetto who gives us plenty of emotion while seated in a stationary position behind a piano. I guess it’s meant to feel “authentic” and “serious” but in truth it just feels like a gigantic letdown after the clapping, joiking, party-time fun band that is KEiiNO.
BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD? It’s got a catchy hook, and it seems to give many people goosebumps. However, it’s a bit on the slow and melancholic side for my tastes. I will be one of the people still singing along to Spirit in the Sky.
DARE TO MEME Duncan’s butt made a memorable appearance in the music video for this performance, and I’m sure that screencaps of that will make an appearance tonight.
Also, you might have trouble refraining your giggles during the phrase “How many pennies in the slot?”
TIRED ALREADY It’s the favourite to win, and Dutch people are very excited,so please let them have this, okay? Don’t be a jerk and post stuff like, “Well, I don’t see what allthe fuss is about.” That’s a subject best left to blogs, where one can be specific about likes or dislikes,rather than a hot take on twitter.
ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE
OVERALL VERDICT Watch it and see if you get goosebumps.You probably will! I’m just an outlier.
NORTH MACEDONIA – TAMARA TODOVESKA – PROUD
SHOULD I WATCH THIS? Damn it, Tamara Todoveska. I was fully prepare to take a pee break during your song.I poo-poohed it when it came out as the worst kind of corporate feminism, which acknowledges that the system is rigged and then proceeds to do fuckall about it and yet still expects to be seen as a strong feminist statement. And it’s not!
But what this song actually is is a song about a mother’s love for her daughter, and wanting to protect her from the impact of casual, everyday sexism that the mother knows her daughter is going to face. And from that perspective, the song succeeds beyond my wildest expectations. It’s like Tamara Todoveska puts every ounce of love and feeling for her daughter into this performance, and it clearly comes through in the song. I got goosebumps, y’all!
BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD? As a song, no. As a performance, yes.
DARE TO MEME Just don’t do anything. Let the song stand on its own and enjoy it.
TIRED ALREADY Making fun of feminism.
ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE
OVERALL VERDICT If any song shocked me last night, it was this one, which went from a nonqualifier for me into my top 10 (I KNOW).
AZERBAIJAN – CHINGIZ – TRUTH
SHOULD I WATCH THIS? There are robots. Enough said.
BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD? It’s another bearded falsetto guy, and in this particular case, he’s singing a spiteful song about how much he hates his ex, so not really? He’s also done some particularly awful acoustic covers of this song to prove how good he is as a singer to judges, and regularly posts too-thirsty content on Instagram in an attempt to win the best body competition of Eurovision (also that’s clearly Miki Nunez, so everyone else stop trying.)
DARE TO MEME
Go for a Eurovision deep cut with Ching Ching Chingiz Khan
TIRED ALREADY Me. So many beards. So many falsettos. All in one night. Do we really need all of these man ballads? Bring back Serhat, please.
ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE At the performance I attended, Chingiz improvised a bit of ethno jazz (RIP Iriao) stylings near the end of the song, but did so in a manner that made most of us think his microphone had cut out. Let’s see if he pulls off a successful jazz improv tonight.
OVERALL VERDICT Come for the robots. Stay for the robots. Leave once the robots stop roboting.