Semi-final 1

Who’s Making it through the semi-final 1

The Breakdown

Semi-final one is taking place May 14th 10 pm Israeli time. 17 countries are participating in this semi-final, who will also vote along with France, Israel, and Spain on who will make it through. Out of the 17 participating only 10 will make it to the final.

Whos in semi-final 1

Cyprus

Performing first is Cyprus’s Tamta with her song “Replay”. Cyprus did very well last year, coming in second place close behind Netta. Maybe that is why “Replay” is very reminiscent of Cyprus’s song last year “Fuego”. Both songs carry the upbeat catchy tune that is essential to grabbing the audience’s attention when you’re competing with 26 other competitors. With no preview of what Tamta’s staging will look like its a waiting game till rehearsals start. Can Cyprus top its 2nd place finish and win this year or will the song ring too familiar?

Montenegro

Montenegro is sending D Mol with “Heaven”. The song starts out relatively average. Nothing really stands out until the chorus hits and there is some Montenegrin traditional music thrown in. It’s very predictable and does not feel as if it will do well, even with good staging. With the betting odds putting them last out of the 42 countries it does not look good that they will make it through to the final.

Finland

Finland’s Darude and Sebastion Rejman are singing their song “Look Away”. This will be one of the songs that gets memed and remembered far longer than the concert itself. A mix of simple catchy lyrics and a strong electronic beat, its bound to bring the energy up. The moving box/ platform will be this songs gimmick that will help it be remembered by the time televoting comes around. Dramatic staging and interesting visuals will push this song through to the finals.

Poland

Poland is sending a beautiful and interesting song “Fire of Love (Pali się)” sung by the group Tulia. Often called ethnic pop, this style of music has done well in the past few years. Tulia features the traditional polish style of singing called “śpiewokrzyk” or “white voice” mixed with modern backing and beats. This song brings a cultural side to the competition that shows what the contest is all about. Now, whether or not it will do well it will be dependent on the staging. Looking at some of their past live performances if they choose to just stand there, they will not make it through.

Slovenia

Slovenia’s Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl will have to find a way to stand out with their song Sebi. While it has a very modern sound, it will show boring at Eurovision when matched with all of the other upbeat or interesting songs. Interesting staging or audience favor may push them through. The betting odds are putting them at 13 which would send them through to the final, but it all depends on how the other contestants perform the night of.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s Lake Malawi is bringing a quirky song with “Friend of a Friend”. This song is an odd mix of ‘80s pop and playful lyrics. This oddball is sure to be remembered by the time voting comes around and at 18th place on the betting odds, it looks pretty good that they will make it through.

Hungary

Hungary’s Joci Pápai is familiar to the concert as he last competed in 2017 with his song “Origo”. He is bringing his ethnic sound back again with his song “Az én apám”. Inspired by his Gypsy heritage he brings the traditional sound through in his music. Previously he placed 8th, this time his song is much slower so he will have to up his staging to grab attention. His placing right now according to the betting odds is 30th place, which would not put him through to the final.

Belarus

Belarus’s Zena and her song “Like It” is a bubble gum pop song that may not stand out in this final. While it is a catchy song its nothing that pops in the mix. With a spot straight in the middle, it will be very hard to be remembered by the end of the songs. Her staging from the video looks quite basic, and unless they revamp it will not place her any higher. With her betting odds at 36th place, she will most likely not make it through.

Serbia

Nevena Božović and her song Kruna will represent Serbia in this semi-final. A dramatic ballad in Serbian and English, it has potential. The staging looks lonely with just her standing there, but the pyrotechnics bring more life. Strong vocals are on her side although the odds place her low she may be able to pull through depending on everyone else’s performances.

Belgium

Belgium’s Eliot sings “Wake Up”, a very mainstream sounding song. This song feels like it would fit right in on the top ’20s. A repetitive but catchy chorus will be playing in the audiences head by the time voting comes up. The betting odds place him in 19th which would push him right through to the final.

Georgia

Oto Nemsadze and his song “Keep on Going” will represent Georgia. A strong emotional song sung in Georgian needs some very dramatic staging to save it. While this song will stand out, it does not look like it will do well with the audiences. The lack of a well-known language will not resonate with the audience and may end up doing as bad as the betting odds predict.

Australia

Australias Kate Miller-Heidke and her song “Zero Gravity” brings gimmick on gimmick. Australia has finally picked up that gimmicks win, but they may have gone way too overboard. Between the opera pop, her mile-high glitzy dress, and the odd woman swaying in the back this song will surely be remembered. Now whether this is in a good way or not, this would be the first year that Australia would not qualify. But I believe that this will go through simply on humor and ability to meme the performance.

Iceland

Hatari and their song “Hatrið Mun Sigra” will represent Iceland with their techno dystopian style. Gimmick and an interesting song will definitely help them stand out. Hard rock bands have done well before like Finlands iconic “Hard Rock Hallelujah” which won the contest in 2006. The issue arises however when the band stated they would protest Israel while on stage. There is a rule in Eurovision that a song cannot be political (theirs is- Lyrics) and the protest would be explicitly political disqualifying and ruining their chances of going through to the final.

Estonia

Victor Crone will represent Estonia with his song Estonia. A very pleasant upbeat song placed in the last 4 contestants looks good. The staging brings along a personal touch that can be played with editing. The betting odds agree, putting him at 25th place. While it will depend on what happens the night of this song has good potential to fly right through to the final.

Portugal

This stunningly interesting song performed by Conan Osiris will bring something fresh and original to the stage. “Telemóveis” brings almost an new mix of melody and beat that is something never heard before on the Eurovision stage. His modern artistic costume and dance are sure to give him a spot in the final. The odds even place the song in 11th place which would be an honorable finish at the final.

Greece

Greece’s Katerine Duska will be singing “Better Love” in the second to last place. This song gives strong Adelle vibes along with strong lyrics that will be bringing in the audience’s attention. Staging could go either way but with a very strong song and a well-known artist, good staging is expected.

San Marino

Eurovision veteran Serhat will be singing “Say Na Na Na”, representing San Marino. Serhat brings disco back once again, after his disco hit “I Didn’t Know” brought him a 12th place finish. This modern disco hit will be sure to go through due to gimmick and his popularity alone. The song is a catchy one with a memorable chorus. While the odds do not place him high it will have to depend on the split between the jury and televote

Who’s gonna make it

In no particular order

  • Greece
  • Cyprus
  • San Marino
  • Australia
  • Portugal
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Belgium
  • Belarus

And thats my ten. Come back next week for a review of semi-final 2.

Big 5 contestants and Israel

Allyce ESC. (2019, March 10). EUROVISION 2019 | MY TOP 6 – BIG FIVE + HOST [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD160p4c4sE

This week I will cover the big 5 and the host country, which is Israel this year. The big 5 consists of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and The United Kingdom. The big 5 and the host country do not have to compete in the 2 semifinals to make it to the final, they automatically have a spot in the final every year.

Now you may be wondering what qualifies them for their coveted spot is it talent or prestige? No its purely money. These countries contribute the most amount of money to the Eurovision Broadcasting Network and therefore do not have to compete in the final. That being said the big 5 do not have a good history in winning since the creation of the big 5. The only country to not come in last place since 2011 has been Italy. Italy is looking good again this year with the 5th best odds as of April 9th

The host country position hasn’t had much luck either. Most host countries tend to do very bad in the final coming in the bottom 5 the only exception being Sweden.


Israel

Kobi Marini a 27-year-old from Ramat Gan, Israel won this years Rising Star competition to represent his home country, Israel, with the song “Home”. While some countries choose their contestant internally Israel uses a competition style show where the audience at home votes on who their favorite act is. After competing against his fellow contestants he took home the win and right to represent his country this year in Tel Aviv.

Marini studied theater and acting throughout his life. He has performed in various plays and even performed in the Israeli Opera


France

Bilal Hassani is a 19-year-old Parisian whos claim to fame, other than representing France, is his youtube channel that has garnered almost 1 million subscribers. Hassani won Frances competition Destination Eurovision with his song “Roi”.

Hassani is an outspoken advocate of the LGBT community he is apart of. His song is a message of self-acceptance and hope to those that want to be free and unashamed.

Germany

S!sters is a duo of 19 and 26-year-olds Carlotta Truman and Laurita Kästel. They won Unser Lied Für Israel with their song “Sister”.

Truman has an extensive singing background first apearing in a German talent show at 9 years old Das Supertalent. Kästel first started singing at the age of 4 with her older sister. At the age of 10, she won the ZDF’s Kiddy Contest.

Italy

Mahmood (Alessandro Mahmoud) competed in the Italian competition Sanremo with his song “Soldi”. Born in Milan the 26-year-old he has an extensive list of previous hit songs. Mahmood started his musical career on the 2012 season of the Italian X Factor. Although he did not win that season he followed that year by entering more song contests and festivals.

“Soldi” is a song addressing what it is like to be raised in an immigrant family and the parallels it creates.

Spain

Miki is representing Spain with his song “La Venda”. Through the Spanish competition, Operación Triunfo Miki was able to gain recognition through duets with other singers. After his 6th place finish, he was chosen for the Spanish Eurovision Gala and gained favor with the jury of panelists and the public voters.

A mainly self-taught musician Miki only just appeared on the Spanish music scene but already has a full repertoire of songs. Miki is very influenced by Catalan Rumba and Latin pop. This is visible in “La Venda”.

United Kingdom

Michael Rice, the North East England native, won the UK’s Eurovision You Decide contest with his song “Bigger Than Us”. Each contestant of the Eurovision You Decide was paired with another contestant and was given the same song styled in a different genre.

Rice started his career after a video of him singing “Years & Years went viral. Rice also appeared and won All Together Now the UK singing contest