Eurovision 2018 Semi-Finals Part 2 “All Aboard!”
The second round of the 2018 Eurovision contest gets underway in Lisbon.
With ten finalists already through to the Grand Final on Saturday, it’s time for the second half of the semi-finalists to compete in hopes of landing the last ten slots. There were a few surprises, like the lack of Azerbaijan making it through to the final, for the first time in over a decade, while Ireland, which has been on a losing streak for years finally managed to rally enough votes to stay for the big dance, even if their chances of winning are very small. There’s even a front-runner that’s now emerged with Cyrpus as the bookie’s favorite to win it all. But will that stay true by the end of Round 2?
We’ve already reviewed those who went through on Tuesday, and the Big Five (plus the Host) who automatically go through no matter what. Tonight’s second batch has a lot of the heavy hitters through, Recent winners like Sweden and Ukraine are performing. (Ukraine even has the pimp spot at the end.) Russia is back and competing on the same night as Ukraine, and we can bet they’d like to get through and see Ukraine sent home after last year. Also, Australia, who has been a surprisingly strong contender since joining in 2015 is performing tonight. Can they keep up their momentum?
Let’s run down the performances. once again, for our purposes, we will list and judge the semi-finals in performance order. Due to geolocking, the videos are the official ones you can watch in the states.
01 Norway Alexander Rybak “That’s How You Write A Song”
I don’t hate this song, despite how meta and silly it is. I do object to the stealing the Swedish trick of playing with the digital projections.
02 Romania The Humans “Goodbye”
Let us not consider the back luck choice it is to do a song called “Goodbye” when you want to stay and go to the finals.
03 Serbia Sanja Ilić & Balkanika “Nova Deca”
The return to the national language numbers is really an improvement. It even makes the old school flute make sense as part of the number.
04 San Marino Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening “Who We Are”
The robots are cool, but the lyrics are boring and the rap is cringeworthy. I only want her to go through for the robots.
05 Denmark Rasmussen “Higher Ground”
Oh lookit! Harmonizing Vikings! I approve, even though I think they need better snow.
06 Russia Julia Samoylova “I Won’t Break”
So this is the singer who would have performed last year in Ukraine but was banned. (I assume the same song too.) Their solution to her wheelchair was to jam her into a papier-mache mountain. It’s all a little off taste.
07 Moldova DoReDoS “My Lucky Day”
Their act is cute, but the 21st Century version of the Laugh-In Wall is better.
08 The Netherlands Waylon “Outlaw In ‘Em”
Oh look, real country music. Too bad the USA doesn’t produce that anymore.
09 Australia Jessica Mauboy “We Got Love”
Another rock-solid entry from Australia. That’s three years in a row they’ve walked in here and kicked ass in this competition.
10 Georgia Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao “For You”
This is nothing like what I expected from a band billing themselves as “Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao.” I would expect this from “Sleepy-Time Faux Opera Band.”
11 Poland Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer “Light Me Up”
I really wanted this song to go somewhere, but it stubbornly refused. It just laid there refusing to do much that vaguely pulse.
12 Malta Christabelle “Taboo”
Digital rolling panels and bejeweled gloves. Now that’s how to bring this show back to live after a string of dull acts.
13 Hungary AWS Viszlát “Nyár”
“AWS” stands for “Anti-White-Sheep” because these heavy metallers feel like they are the black sheep of the competition. OMG man, that’s like, so deep and so dumb at the same time. (Also they are so not going anywhere near the Grand Final. No one votes for heavy metal in a pop competition.)
14 Latvia Laura Rizzotto “Funny Girl”
I love the drama of this song and I like her dress. Err, shorts. Err, mullet shorts dress. Whatever, she’s a shoo-in.
15 Sweden Benjamin Ingrosso “Dance You Off”
Yes, he sounds like he’s on helium, but the song is a dance floor banger.
16 Montenegro Vanja Radovanović “Inje”
His suit is made of Christmas paper and the piano is the best part of the song.
17 Slovenia Lea Sirk “Hvala, ne!”
Deep bass lines and native language? Sign Me Up. Also, that cut in the music is actually part of the act. Still, the audience fell for it. Well played.
18 Ukraine MELOVIN “Under The Ladder”
The entrance of this is fantastic, and so is the song. Sorry Russia, but I think Ukraine is so through the final this year.
If I had my druthers the Ten that made Saturday’s Grand Final would be Norway, Serbia, Denmark, Moldova, The Netherlands, Australia, Malta, Sweden, Slovenia, and Ukraine. But as I noted before, voters rarely agree with my opinions, and at least three of these will be wrong, if not more.
While we wait for the voting, we get a live act this time, where the hosts (along with a lot of help) run us through a “History of Dance Fads in the Eurovision Song Contest.” It is far more entertaining than the pretaped montages on Tuesdays. So entertaining, I’m sorry it’s not available in our country to post.
Those moving to the Grand Finale are:
- The Netherlands
The Grand Final airs Saturday, May 12, at 9 p.m. local time in Lisbon.