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Eurovision’s Second Semi-Final. An Impressionistic and Clueless Guide.

May 11, 2017




Do not trust my preferences,  under any circumstances whatsoever.  As a general rule of thumb, if there’s anything that I feel is particularly arresting or original or expressive – it’s doomed.  Anything that I think is smug, pompous, insufferable, and a calculated insult to the human spirit is probably a real contender and may go all the way.

My least favorite singer of all – Cypriot Hovig – sailed into the finals – while the song that I found most beautiful of all this year – Finland’s – was kicked into oblivion.  Montenegro’s extraordinary performance also bit the dust.

So you can use this sequence of reflections in a fairly contrarian way, if you like.

One general reflection that does occur to me, is that the structure of semi-finals may have the unhappy side-effect of editing some of the more eccentric offerings out of the Saturday night’s entertainment.  The people watching and therefore voting for the semi-finalists on weekdays are less likely to be appreciatively lubricated than Saturday night’s audience, less inclined to vote for something for the sheer merry hilarious Hell of it.

That said, I’m still confident that the extraordinary rap-yodelers from Romania will do well enough to get into the finals where they’ll do even better with a much larger and drunker electorate.

If they don’t then I’ll be seriously depressed.


Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

Or you might prefer Macedonia:

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

I really struggle to say anything interesting about Denmark’s:

For youthful angst – Ireland:

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

But if you prefer something jolly and sinister at the same time – you’ll prefer Belarus:

For fresh-faced innocence – Bulgaria’s yer only man:

Lithuania’s entry  is flashy… that’s all I can say:

Meanwhile, there’s Estonia.  Which enrages me:

Israel, like, Spain, is to be found at the beach:





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