A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

ESC 2022, semi 1: what about the songs that left us?


The first semi came to an end and here we stand with ten finalists. I am pretty pleased with having predicted nine of them correctly and at one point I admit I let out a tiny happy yahoo during the revelation segment.

I had already resigned to the fact that we'd lose Lithuania - one of my big personal favourites this year, but one I feared was too demanding to hit home on a first listen. I'll focus more on the tremendous Monika Liu and the other finalists later in the week, but what went wrong for the seven songs that left us?

Albania and Latvia - the two first to take to the stage - both wanted a lot but were visually all over the place. Frenetic while lacking a certain focus at the same time, difficult to pick up on if you heard the for the first time. Probably no jury favourites and left to the mercy of the viewers.

Bulgaria and Denmark both tried to rock the house down but both were let down by very basic songs. The Bulgarian rock uncles were doing the same poses that Denmark made with more conviction but both entries were surprisingly un-heavy in the end.

Slovenia's lads were awfully sweet but never stood any sort of chance and the same goes for Croatia. I can't even put my finger on what didn't work for Croatia - there was a polished song in a polished performance by a likeable singer - but probably the whole thing got a bit anonymous. I would not be surprised if Croatia ended in 11th place again.

The one I got wrong was Austria and I was a bit surprised to see it go. Maybe Pia Maria is not the most precise vocalist we have ever heard but the whole thing had energy and joy - Lumix is possibly the happiest DJ I have ever seen - and a sense of 90's nostalgia I thought would overcome the cascade of sick notes.

I'm especially surprised to see Switzerland being the one taking the spot I thought was Austria's. I like the song but thought the performance was stiff and a bit awkward. I can only suppose the jurors saw qualities in Marius Bear while tanking Austria completely. But I don't want to take the happiness away from Switzerland that now qualified for the third consecutive edition. Well done.

More drama coming up on Thursday with ten new finalists to predict in what I find the weaker of the two semis this year.

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