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.
Bonswa! That’s ‘hello’ in Maltese if you’re reading this in the afternoon, if you’re reading in the morning, then it’s “bonġu”!
The jury rehearsal for this year’s Junior Eurovision has come and gone, and most of the scores are now being decided as we speak. So, with Kylie on the ground and John back in the UK keeping an eye on the news, will they agree on the eventual result?
Hej! The jury rehearsal for the second 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…
Before we start, let’s have some quick comments about the first semi results:
Kylie: I don’t want to talk about it. At least my friends were happy, but, yeah… At least I wasn’t the only one in that press centre who was upset.
Nicolas: My god, for a split second I thought Malta wasn’t going to qualify, but then my heart was broken as Iceland was not announced last. But in general, I was very happy and, let’s not forget, for once I’m in the lead on ESC Pulse! I had 9 qualifiers right compared to Kylie and Sara’s 8! But.. I doubt I’ll keep that title after semi 2…
Sara: Iceland should’ve qualified! Go Austriaaaa!!!!! Just reminding people, by the way, that my predictions are based on a big load of statistics! So don’t blame me if I’m wrong!
Also, as there won’t be a podcast for predicting semi 2 (as we have quite a sick baby with us right now…) both Nicolas and I will actually try and predict the exact placing of every country on here instead!
Kylie: Yes. Talk about a jury performance! I just hope my heart doesn’t get broken again after Tuesday…
Nicolas: Yes. Though I’m not too fond of the song, there’s no denying he hits all the notes plus he’s very passionate. Should sail through! Will be 4th.
Sara: Yes. I don’t think this will do as well as people say it will. The staging is weak and boring and he’s pretty boring as a performer too… 6th.
Kylie: Yes. He kind of fluffed up the jury performance but I’ve always thought of this as more of a televote song, and I think it can get through on that basis.
Nicolas: Yes. Like Kylie said, televoting will save him, though I secretly hope he misses out. Will be 9th.
Sara: Yes. I think the juries will really like this, as long as he doesn’t make any mistakes and there are a lot of Polish people around Europe, so who knows. 4th!
Kylie: No. It’s just so weak compared to the two songs before and the one after it, and don’t get me started on her clown wig hair…
Nicolas: No. WHY did she decide to go for the curly hair? Anyway, it’s not like straight hair would’ve saved this. I think this year might have the interesting result of having the same last places in the semis as last year: Finland and Switzerland. 18th.
Sara: No. Just curling her hair is already putting her down five places. Bad decisions all around! 18th.
Kylie: Yes. Dark horse alert! I’m so sorry Nicolas for dismissing you in the review, you were right! The staging just looks so lovely and it’s very well sung, and it has THE pyro curtain of the year.
Nicolas: Yes. HAH, Kylie! At least I like that you aren’t trying to talk your way out of it. I had the feeling from the moment the final version got released that that would just wow everyone. The pyro rain will however not seem as impressive to viewers, I feel, because of Switzerland using it literally 3 minutes before. I do feel it’s one of tose that would do better in the final than in the semi, partly because of the draw. 8th.
Sara: No. I think it comes too early in the draw and too close to Poland to really have an impact. There’s nothing about this song that stands out (besides his sparkly clothes!!!). The backdrop has been done a million times before in this competition. 12th.
Kylie: No. I dunno, I just feel that between Israel and Serbia, this seems a bit trying too hard. I’m not confident about that statement though.
Nicolas: No. I really want this to qualify and I think that if someone like Mr Zelmerlöw (I don’t feel like going to copy the weird ‘a’, okay?!) had performed this with this staging, it’d be a definite top 10, but IVAN is still just as charisma-free as an overused toilet brush (or as Rykka’s hair, for that matter). Televoters will save this from the very bottom though. 13th.
Sara: No. He’s just too weird as a person and it will put people off. It’s a cool performance but I don’t see anybody voting for this. 13th
Kylie: Yes. Juries will love it and it’s not too dark or uncomfortable for the public to appreciate in my opinion.
Nicolas: Yes. If I were more daring, I’d say it’s top 5 in the final, but I need to see the performance first. But from what I’ve seen, it’s a perfect staging and her voice is outstanding. Great job, Serbia! 2nd in the semi!
Sara: Yes. I think this a really strong entry and a really good performance. She sounds spot on all the time and she’s a very likeable person. 5th.
Kylie: No. Being between two Balkan vocal powerhouses is very bad news for them. It just feels like a bit of fluff between two very substantial pieces of work. And yes, the fact that they’ve got a red backdrop for a song called freaking SUNLIGHT still makes me irrationally irritated.
Nicolas: No. I don’t think he’s chanceless just based on songs, as it’s very much in the vein of what Denmark would’ve sent between 2008 and 2011, but Nicky just can’t make it work. 15th.
Sara: No. This is just weak… Ireland doesn’t know how to stage their entries anymore. It’s so boring and the song lacks that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. 14th.
Kylie: Yes. I’m not 100% confident about this, but I’ve got a feeling that she might’ve done just enough to make it.
Nicolas: No. Though like Kylie said, not 100% sure either. I feel like this will narrowly miss out. In 2012 they only barely qualified with a much stronger song, so I feel like they might just miss out this time around. 11th.
Sara: No. It doesn’t appeal to juries nor televoting. Just too old-fashioned and her voice is something that you need to get used to and first time listeners won’t get the chance to do that and won’t enjoy it. But since they have a few friends in this semi they will get 11th anyway!
Kylie: No. I don’t know why, but today I got a hunch that this is going to fall short. I know they’ve got plenty of support in this semi, but something just doesn’t feel right here.
Nicolas: Yes. It won’t be as high as I first thought as I think the staging really fails to grab people’s attention. But Lithuania literally has all of its friends so I think it’ll manage to make it, though very narrowly! 10th.
Sara: Yes. I think this is the only song of its kind in this semi: a single male singing a real uptempo dance track. He’s a seasoned performer and I think if the camera shots are right he could impress quite a few viewers. 8th.
Kylie: Yes. Unfortunately…
Nicolas: Yes. No reason why this wouldn’t qualify. 3rd
Sara: Yes. She’s obviously one of the best singers in the competition this year and I feel like her performance will look really cool on screen (even though I haven’t seen it yet). 2nd.
Kylie: No. I don’t get the random acrobat and its running order position doesn’t really help.
Nicolas: No. This is the ultimate pee break material. 17th.
Sara: No. This song is too weak. Europeans don’t usually like country/pop songs like this. There’s a reason why Taylor Swift only really became popular in Europe after her change of style. And coming between Australia and Bulgaria will make her forgettable. 17th.
Kylie: Yes. It’s a really good pop song and people will appreciate that, it’s really enjoyable in my opinion
Nicolas: Yes. It should make it easily, but somehow I’m scared that if we have an Iceland 2.0 in this semi, it might be this… But loyal listeners will know that that’s just the pessimist in me talking, though I won’t let that part of me overrule the reasonable side of me! 5th.
Sara: Yes. I think a lot of the casual viewers will really like this song and relate to it. It’s extremely catchy and everybody will be singing it all night whether they know Bulgarian or not. 3rd.
Kylie: No. If they couldn’t qualify with the same schtick last year, what reason is there for them to do it this year?
Nicolas: No. Middle of the road things used to make it in Eurovision, but what statistics about this new voting system taught me is that the middle of the road songs are the ones that suffer the most from this. Juries might have this as qualifying, but televoters will forget about this completely. 14th
Sara: Yes. Just because I have faith in my Danish men, just like I had faith in them in DMGP! You’ll all see! 10th.
Kylie: Yes. It stands out in its semi and will be well-liked enough on both sides of the coin that they will be safely through.
Nicolas: Yes. I know that back in February I said this might be the shock failure of this year, but no way that this is going to happen. I’m even thinking this will win the semi. 1st!
Sara: Yes. It’s Ukraine. 1st.
Kylie: No. You have no idea how much it pains me to say it about my beloved Norway, so I’m just going to leave it at that and go cry…
Nicolas: Yes. I think people are being too harsh here. The song was seen as a definite qualifier at first and just because the box went away people now think this won’t qualify? Show a bit more faith in the actual song! She sings it really well and I think she’ll still sail through! 6th
Sara: Yes. I think the song appeals to teenage girls (I’m.. sorry, Kylie?) and you either love it or hate it. 9th.
Kylie: Yes. Another one that I’m not 100% confident on, but I’ve got a hunch that this might be exciting enough for people to appreciate and it MIGHT just sneak through, although I’m not entirely sure how much of that is my own personal wish…
Nicolas: No. As much as I want this to qualify, I can’t see the niche that this song appeals to pick up the phone to vote enough for this to qualify. And juries will sink it, I feel. 12th.
Sara: No. I think this song only appeals to a very small group of people and those people wouldn’t vote in Eurovision anyway. 16th.
Kylie: No. She really belts it out but it just does nothing and you will forget it by the time Belgium’s postcard comes on.
Nicolas: No. Again, if I were braver, I’d predict this as a shock qualifier, but I’m going to go safe and say that it’ll be completely forgotten between crazy Georgia and fun Belgium. 16th.
Sara: No. The song is lacklustre, lacks any type of real melody. People will be impressed by her voice but will forget her 30 seconds after the song’s over.
Kylie: Yes. Not much to say other than that it’s the semi-final closer that we all needed.
Nicolas: Yes. For once I’ll show faith in Belgium! I just feel like there’s too many things going for it to go really wrong in the semi. It’ll fail to do that well in the final, but the fact that it’s the only real fun song in this semi, with good choreography, making people want to dance, makes me quietly confident. 7th.
Sara: Yes. This is a funky song that people will enjoy. She’s really cute and super likeable. 7th.
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!