A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

ESC 2022, semi 1: Tobson takes a guess

So, here we are. Loads of rehearsals have lead up to the big moment when we are about to start losing some of this year's entries. Time for the first of two semi finals.

Following rehearsals - or rather following people's reactions to the rehearsals as I try to save myself some surprises for the live shows and avoid rehearsal footage - what unfortunately stands out this year is the very negative vibe surrounding the whole event this year.

It is fine to be vocal about things that don't work or when things don't live up the acceptable standards - boy, am I getting flashbacks to Baku or what - but there are different ways to voice your opinions. Until now it feels like Rai can't do anything right and that this goes down as the worst edition on record.

My big hope is that we will get served an okay semi final that is entertaining and engaging and fun to watch. Also I hope my prediction won't be completely disastrous.

Since there have been so many opinions flying about - many of which are VERY sure about how things are going to go - and I feel seriously confused by most of them, I am going to go with my gut feeling and also my initial emotion. Remember, to the crushing majority of the people voting these songs will be spanking new and will get judged on their three minute impression only.

So. In the first semi final we will unfortunately have to say goodbye to the following seven countries:


The lads are really doing their best and they look very sweet and feel very likeable but even though I enjoy this, I admit the song feels beige and overly complicated on a first listen. Simply too tame with no real hooks, this will probably fail to bring in serious points from any direction.


Another one I personally enjoy but that I can't see collecting enough points to go through. Mainly because competition is fierce in among the emotional ballads in this semi. It's not possible that they all qualify and some of them will fall short. Switzerland is the easiest one to pick out of that lot.


A bit of a personal favourite with its gentle touch and light feel. Mia is very good but I don't know how Croatia keeps sending in these songs that lacks that final little something to make them qualify. I'll be sad seeing this one go.


Denmark has a way of sneaking into the final somehow ahead of songs that would deserve it better but can it really happen this time? This song comes across as trying to artificially connect two songs of different genres and end up being something I can't see anyone having as their favourite. Too constructed and not engaging enough. Surely?


It's a fun song that is dearly loved by many fans who love to shout that word the lead singer isn't allowed to pronounce, but for all the people seeing and hearing it for the first time I think it will appear to be your typical lightweight Latvian ditty that is nice for as long as it goes on and then too lightweight to be remembered once the phone lines open. 


This is possibly where my prediction turns horribly wrong but ever since I first heard this, my thought was that it's mainly a fun rhythm track without a lot of melody to support it. It's fun and danceable but not very easy to get a hold of on one listen. Ronela seems lovely so I wouldn't mind being wrong for her sake.


The only rock lads in the semi could appeal to a rather large demographic that listen to radio stations where anemic standard formula rock is the largest staple but do these people vote? Flawless production but not an outstanding song. How far can you go with cool pyro, aren't those days long gone?

This is a very tight race where many songs are pretty similar and fighting for the same pool of points while the standard is generally high. If my prediction is right, our ten finalists will be: Lithuania, Ukraine, Netherlands, Moldova, Portugal, Austria, Iceland, Greece, Norway and Armenia. 

Out of these ten, the one I worry for the most is my personal darling Monika Liu from Lithuania but I keep telling myself a good song and a strong personality must break through. 

I'll spend the semi final tweeting away so feel free to give me your hottest takes.

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