#ESC2019: Live Blog of Semi 2 Jury Final #DareToDream from 21:00 CET
Dusk may have fallen over Tel Aviv, not that it slows this bustling city down! We’re super excited here in Israel as it’s time for the beginning of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the Jury Final for Semi Final 2!
Remember, tonight’s performances count towards tomorrow’s jury vote – so the better they do tonight, the better their chances of making it to Saturday’s final!
You know what to do. Hit ‘Refresh’ to see our latest thoughts. Feel free to add your views and we may even shout out to you! 😉
All times are in CET (local time is one hour ahead of CET) and subject to change.
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
And we’ve started. The infamous chimes of Te Deum. Then we get a brief synopsis of last night’s events, featuring the ten qualifiers. Will dreams come true? Well, yes for 10 lucky acts over the next two nights.
We get greetings from our four hosts. Has anyone told them that since they have microphones, they don’t need to shout?
Eighteen countries for ten places. Including Ireland. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
And we’re off. Let’s do this. Perhaps
1 – Armenia
Srbuk sings at us very aggressively in a performance that bounces along nicely. She’s doing very well with no slip ups. A good opener, although she’s bordering on screeching towards the end instead of getting the long high notes. Decent applause all round.
2 – Ireland
Sarah’s postcard shows her on a horse. Lovely. There’s clapping along in the audience. I like that. But she missed a word as she was edging onto her diner stool. Oops. That aside, she’s pulled herself back together. While she gets onto the diner counter, we see shots of the audience. I hope there are more people there tomorrow night. The song ends and there’s a nice reception. I want to see it qualify, but it’ll be a bloodbath.
3 – Moldova
Anna has their sandpit straight from 2011. I find it a little distracting as I’m watching for what happens next instead of concentrating on the song. While it’s dramatic, I just don’t feel it. It gets applause as Anna breaks into the final chorus, but I still think it’s contrived. But, to be fair, she does do well.
4 – Switzerland
Luca likes to dance in his postcard. And on stage. Lots of cheering before he’s even sung a note. The choreography is slick and here in the press centre it’s well liked. Vocally he’s OK. Maybe not the best vocalist of the 18, but he’s a good salesman. Switzerland, after a few years of meh, thank you for giving us something to really like.
5 – Latvia
How do you follow Luca? Hmmm. Well, Ms Carousel has a nice big hat. And there’s a nice double bass on stage. I know they’re trying, but this is going to get totally totally lost. Slovenia last night was nicely chilled and qualified. This tries but fails to be the same thing. I suspect it won’t come last, but it’ll come close.
6 – Romania
Ester is very earnest and exudes drama, even with her sallow make-up. Vocally there’s almost nothing wrong with this. She did miss a note or two here and there. The choreography is bizarre as only Eurovision choreography can be. Men dressed as Hatari cast-offs. Is it a qualifier? Well it goes on a tad too long for me. Is it a two-minute song stretched to three minutes? I think it could be.
And now, a word from our sponsors. Or, rather, humorous chatter from the Green Room, presumably whilst they get the next song’s prop on stage.
They speak to Ireland’s Sarah, and she’s asked whether “she wants to be a singer one day”. Srbuk tells us it was amazing on stage. And Luca shows himself off and did “really great job”.
7 – Denmark
Leonora starts off OK. It’s Danish shufflepop and not a bad attempt. I’m not sure about how she climbs the ladder to her high chair but she’s makes a decent fist of it. There’s a high saccharine value to what’s she’s doing. That aide, a reasonable performance. A likely qualifier.
8 – Sweden
John is smiling to the camera in an interestingly familiar way. The dark staging , followed by the LED spotlights behind him is quite effective, although it seems like other Swedish entries in recent years. I’m not often a fan of songs from his country but I’m growing to like this. Then when his four very able backing singers join him, I’m sensing an Olsen brothers moment.
9 – Austria
I’ve got goosebumps already and Pænda has only just started. However, her backing track seems a bit overbearing. That could be a problem. OK, we’ll look past that. Our mouse’s favourite Austrian is putting everything into this. Vocally it’s excellent. There are backing singers off-stage but we don’t see them. It’s all on Pænda and this contrast with Mr Lundvik is very pleasing. I’d be happy if we saw her on Saturday.
10 – Croatia
Roko potentially has a dry ice moment whilst he’s sat down on stage. He gets up eventually and all is well. I have no issue with his voice, which I can’t fault. It’s just the stage show. Balthemos and Baruch in gold applying his wings seems over-egging a fairly competent song, taking it from something pleasant to just plain kitsch. Hmmm
11 – Malta
Michela is a teenager with a room that fills with ‘water’. No, not really. It’s all CGI of course. It’s another “throw the kitchen sink at it and see what happens” performance. Lots of vivid colour, seascapes, tropical forests. All it needs is a backdrop of a cityscape. Oh, wait. I’ll give it its due as a modern song down with the kids and she (and Destiny) hold the vocal together very well. But. It might be just a bit too contrived. All style, little substance.
12 – Lithuania
Jurij has decided against the jacket and just has his best T-shirt. He has a hard act, sandwiched between two interesting songs. He’s giving a song I want to like, but I just can’t warm to it. vocally there’s nothing wrong. It’s a simple staging – after all, it’s a song contest. However, this will really struggle tomorrow night and may have to rely on diaspora voting to be in with a chance of getting further.
Ad break time again. Or banter from the Green Room. Leonora from Denmark used to be a professional ice skater. Will she be on thin ice tomorrow night? Popular bunny John Lundvik is next. He used to sprint. He speaks highly of the UK’s Michael Rice.
13 – Russia
Sergey – all of them – is on stage. It’s just him we see, obviously. It’s all smoke and mirrors. I’ll stop joking. This is a contender although he doesn’t quite hit all the notes. I can’t fault the staging though. That is until he misses a cue by a fraction of a second. But this fraction matters. OK, it’ll get through but he’ll need to do better on Saturday.
14 – Albania
Jonida gives us more high drama. It’s obviously an expensive frock she’s in, but I’m thinking certain coffee brands. But in a refreshing change, her backing singers are visible. I can’t help thinking that Albania has done this sort of thing many times before. Is it different enough to qualify? Well, she hits all the notes. And there’s a wind machine! Hurrah! It’s borderline.
15 – Norway
I haven’t got this song until tonight. Maybe it’s the hype of the last week or so. But KEiiNO vocally generally compliment each other. I may have a problem with the joik as it could be a bit jarring. It’s still [insert Nordic nationality here] chef in delivery. However, it gets the crowd going and that will count for something. I think this will make top 10, perhaps for lots of little reasons.
16 – Netherlands
Duncan has ditched the ball of light until the last part of the song. It’s him and his keyboard. With ethereal lighting on the backdrop reminiscent of Aurora Borealis. There are sideways glances at the camera, but there are also lots of shots of him from a distant. The occasional glances I can do with as it’s a very introspective song. I would love to see this do well on Saturday. I think it’s the best thing we’ve seen tonight.
17 – North Macedonia
Tamara has a very assured air about her. And Sergey’s mirrors. She’s confident and this is excellent. No issues with vocals, the mix with the backing track is about spot-on, and there are some great images on the backdrop. Nothing wrong with this at all.
18 – Azerbaijan
Finally, we get all futuristic with Chingiz (Ching, Ching, Chingiz can). He’s another solid performer and this slightly industrial vibe of car-plant robots and greys and blacks only help. No issues with the vocals again, and his longer notes towards the end hit the spot too. He’s confident and of course we’ll see him on Saturday.
We’re wrapping up the blog now. You know how things work from here. We see recaps of the songs. We get Shalva Band and Izhar Cohen doing their stuff. Then further recaps, a bit about Eurovision history and ten “randomly drawn” virtual envelopes. Yes, of course’ they’re randomly drawn.
Enjoy the show tomorrow night, and may the best ten songs qualify. And don’t forget to look at our other coverage and articles.
Thanks for watching, and good night!
Author: Eurovision Ireland
Source: Eurovision Ireland
Categories: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Denmark, Eurovision, Eurovision 2019, Eurovision Ireland, Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Songs, Eurovision Stars, Ireland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Live Blogs, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Russia, Semi Finals, Sweden, Switzerland