Friday, May 17, 2019
ESC 2019, semi 2: Tobson shapes up
There was room for disappointment also during this semi: surprisingly many countries underperformed and failed at giving their entries the punch and the momentum needed to qualify.
After seeing all live performances I realised I had six countries I cared for and that wanted to see in the final: Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Netherlands, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan. All of them made it through.
I am particularly pleased for North Macedonia. After years of disastrous performances they just nailed it. Tamara was focused and in good voice and really deserved her spot in the final.
The only one I got wrong was that we had Albania instead of Armenia and frankly I am happier like that. Armenia was vocally solid but visually poor with a surprisingly static performance.
Romania has lost their grip and gone from being a country that can't lose to failing two years in a row. Last year heads were rolling at TVR and it will be interesting to see how they play it this time around. One guess is the international judges will be scrapped in the national final next year.
Denmark, Norway and Sweden all made it, leaving Finland to be the only Nordic country outside of the final. Let's take that as a sign that UMK has given what it had to give and it is time to find a new formula for next year.
I will leave all speculation about the final for later when we know the running order. But I have a sneaky feeling San Marino might open the whole show on Saturday.