The two semi finals are done and the lineup for Saturday's final is complete. The second semi final saw an unfortunate amount of awkward pauses where the hosts had to improvise like there was no tomorrow and ended with a few surprises.
Eight entries lost out and in my prediction I got eight out of ten finalists right. I should feel pleased but some things surprised me as well.
Let's get back to the finalists before the final but who lost out and why?
The saddest thing for me is that the force of nature that is Achille Lauro didn't take San Marino to the final. Admittedly "Stripper" was not the strongest number in his catalogue - far from it - and he should have entered something stronger. But still. Having one more Italian stage in the final would have been nice for Rai.
The other familiar face for the home audience that lost out was Malta's Emma, which was less surprising. Not an exactly spotless performance of a very anonymous song. I was way more disappointed to see Cyprus go but Andromache had very low energy and didn't break through the cameras. What a pity.
North Macedonia and Montenegro both performed well. The former had a weak entry and the latter just missed the beat on what the audience wanted. The Big Balkan Ballad's comeback moment isn't just yet.
Ireland had a trashy 80's energy that would have been welcome in the final but it came across as a tiny bit tame and disorganised. On a similar note, what could have been a piece of splendid and explosive madness from Georgia just turned surprisingly static.
The one exit I must admit to being very pleased with - proving myself really petty at the same time - is Israel. Not only was the song a thin soup with few nutritious elements, his performance in the green room was one of the cringiest things I have seen in a long time. You do not disturb the hosts during a live show and that is the first rule in the book. Unbearable.
So. Let's recharge some batteries (and do some other things in between) and then it's time to pick a winner.