The first of five shows reviewing the songs competing in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. This week, we have Ross Barber-Smith of Bridge The Atlantic joining us as our first special guest judge as we look at the songs in the first half of Semi-final 1.
This week, we preview national finals in the United Kingdom and Finland and end up waffling on far more than we should have for two selections, we also have our weekly news updates, plus we answer listener’s questions.
Hej! The jury rehearsal for the first semi-final has come and gone, Kylie was there to witness it while Nicolas and Sara had to rely on videos and blogs from home. Will that show a difference in opinions and predictions between the three of us? Let’s find out as we give a simple yes/no answer over whether each of the songs will qualify or not…
Kylie: First of all, I have to say that the production of this year’s show is so well produced, amazing graphics, I’m very impressed! I already can’t wait to see the other two shows now!
Nicolas: Our loyal listeners out there know that Sara and I have already made very detailed predictions, but following the jury rehearsal made me change one qualifier. In general though, wow (NOT secret advertising for Malta… although they did offer), what an amazing show it will be!
Sara: It all seems pretty good. Just a pity that so many countries almost screwed up their chances with bad staging decisions. But, as you might know, I always stick by my trusty statistics to predict the qualifiers! So I’ll probably fail again…
Kylie: No. It’s just an underwhelming start to the semi and it’s easily forgotten.
Nicolas: No. It’s not just underwhelming, it’s a completely wrong approach as well. When staging a fun uptempo song, going for an aggressive look and aggressive moves just doesn’t work. And the backing singers come across like five older mums wanting to do something cool (and inevitably cringeworthy) at some children’s party.
Sara: No. And if the song wasn’t enough to convince you that it won’t qualify, just look at that outfit.
Kylie: No. I thought it might just do it a week ago, but after the jury rehearsal, I just got a pretty good hunch that this might just get dragged down in the end. I’m very much open to being wrong on this one though.
Nicolas: No. This is the one I’m changing my mind on. Maybe the other Eurovision fans have made me more (too?) optimistic, but I’ll say this one will fail in favour of a country I’d much rather see in the final…
Sara: No. In a Utopian Land, songs like this should end last in Eurovision semis.
Kylie: No. I just think the astronaut is pretty silly, there’s no real reason for people to vote for it in my opinion.
Nicolas: No. Kylie said it all. It’s pleasant enough, but why would anyone want to vote for it? The only people I can imagine voting for it is your average Moldovan housewife. And that might be a bummer for Lidia.
Sara: No. This song simply failed to catch anyone’s attention during the entire season, as shown by my statistics, so there’s no reason to believe people will suddenly notice it now.
Kylie: Yes. There’s not much remarkable about this, but I just feel that there’s enough for it to sneak through in around 8-10th position.
Nicolas: Yes. After the first three songs, I have to begrudgingly admit that this feels like the real start of the semi. Sailing through.
Sara: Yes. The song is good enough, and even though I really don’t like his voice, I can see why some people would like this.
Kylie: No. That outfit just destroyed every single chance it had, which is a massive shame because I really like the song. Oh well…
Nicolas: Yes. I think the outfit turned it from a top 10 position to a 20th in the final. But yes, that means I do think it will still qualify, even just on song merit alone.
Sara: Yes. This is where my statistics might fail me, as this was so highly regarded before the rehearsals. Thanks, Nina. -_-
Kylie: Yes. The big pause in the jury rehearsal started off awkward but then the crowd gave a big cheer, so it KINDA worked out in the end. This is very much a jury song and that factor will push them over the line in my opinion.
Nicolas: Yes. Oozes class, charisma and performs effortlessly. This will do pretty well!
Sara: No. I disagree with Kylie, I think juries will have been bored with this. But I guess this is one that you need to see on screen, so if I fail on this one, I blame it on not being there!
Kylie: Yes. It just stands out in its semi because it’s so striking and intense, but in a good way.
Nicolas: Yes. I mean, who wouldn’t vote for those legs?
Sara: Yes. Obviously.
Kylie: Yes. Well, duh. I don’t need to explain why.
Nicolas: Yes. Outstanding staging with a mediocre song. Definitely enough to qualify.
Sara: Yes. Best performance of this semi! ❤
Kylie: Yes. Juries will love it and it’s a very well-done performance, I know what’s coming in the comments below mine though…
Nicolas: Yes. Hehe, Kylie will be surprised when she reads this… I’ve finally come to accept that she will qualify, as the song has all the merits to do so and she’s got some of the odds well in favour of her (only ballad, one of the best voices, simplicity after Russian complexity,…). Now watch them not qualify. -_-
Sara: Yes. I guess Kylie will also be surprised by my prediction, but I think this will even come 5th.
Kylie: Yes. It’s a classic Eurovision rock performance and comes across as very exciting. They should be very confident in a second successive qualificiation!
Nicolas: Yes. But I don’t think they should be VERY confident. It’ll be borderline, mostly because of François’ thin vocals.
Sara: Yes. This is how you do rock music, Montenegro! 😛
Kylie: No. It’s just too kitsch and fanwanky. Sorry guys (but I’m not sorry, no).
Sara: No. I’d be so sad if it doesn’t qualify, but I really think this is a borderline one… I don’t think it will, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did qualify. And Kylie, this is not a fanwank, not nearly enough people like this to call it that! 😛
Kylie: No. As much as it pains me to say this, but I just don’t think there’s much to engage the people at home here, and that gives me a sad face. 😦
Nicolas: No. I just don’t feel the connection between the song, the staging and the audience. I think the juries might like it, but for the televoters this might even be a bottom 3 placing.
Sara: Yes. For some reason, people seem to like serial killers.
Kylie: Yes. Even though she royally butchered the song in the jury rehearsal, I just feel that there’s certain factors that will enable this to 10th place in the semi yet again. I hope I’m wrong though.
Nicolas: Yes. Samra might struggle a lot, but it’s a popular genre with no real female competition, performed (yet not sung) professionally.
Sara: Yes. It’s Azerbaijan.
Kylie: No. It’s just messy, I’ve always said that this is the most likely last place in the semi and I stick with that now.
Nicolas: No. Chanceless, I fear.
Sara: No. This is just terrible.
Kylie: Yes. They took the NF staging and improved it, it looks great and should sail through.
Nicolas: Yes. I still think this will complete the top 3 in the semi after Russia and Armenia! Gorgeous performance (WITH a beautiful narrative, Russia!) and sung well enough. Let’s just hope Greta will catch her cues unlike in Söngvakeppnin..
Sara: Yes. Deserves to qualify both on song and performance!
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Kylie: Yes. With Croatia messing up with their Barbara Dex contender, this will mop up all the ex-Yu and Balkan diaspora votes. The very good running order slot also helps.
Nicolas: No. For me this is probably the hardest one to predict in this semi. I think it deserves to qualify, but this song’s main problem is that on first listening, it’s very very messy. And then there’s all the people seeing Deen for the first time…
Sara: No. This is just too much of a messy bunch of people and people won’t know what they’re watching.
Kylie: Yes. Well, duh, pimp slot and a good performance, this should have hardly any problem getting to the final here. Not sure how it will do if/when it gets there though.
Nicolas: Yes. Won’t get as high in the final as they want, but this is a no-brainer for the final.
Sara: Yes. Although I do really think that the staging is now very boring, with nothing happening and Ira just walking around aimlessly.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the show, and if you agree/disagree with us, or want to make fun of us after the show for our incorrect predictions, hit us with a comment!
After last weekend, time to relax! We preview National Finals in Estonia, Poland and Romania, plus the Second Chance round in Sweden, and we also have a song from France. There’s also our weekly news roundup, and we answer listener’s Twitter questions.