Australia

#ESC2022#Live Blog of Semi Final 2 Dress rehearsal Jury Show #Join us at 21.00 CET

Buona Sera Europa , Buongiorno Australia! After all the excitement of last night’s First Semi Final, the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 continues with the Jury Show for Semi Final 2!

Tonight at Turin’s PalaOlimpico, the 18 countries taking part in the 2nd Semi Final will perform their entries for the international juries – remember, these scores will be added to the results of tomorrow night’s live show when the public votes. So there’s no room for mistakes tonight… a poor performance tonight could this make or break a country’s chances of getting into Saturday’s Grand Final !

Hosting the proceedings tonight from Italy will be Mika, Alessandro Cattelan and Laura Pausini . The show starts at 21:00 CET (9PM) Or if you’re reading along in Ireland, the UK and Portugal, 20:00 BST (8PM)

Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, feel free to tell me what you think and give your opinions about tonight’s Final and who your favourites are! I might even shout out to you in the blog!

Tonight’s contestants, in order of appearance, are:

  1. FINLAND – The Rasmus – Jezebel
  2. ISRAEL – Michael Ben David – I.M
  3. SERBIA – Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano
  4. AZERBAIJAN – Nadir Rustamli – Fade To Black
  5. GEORGIA – Lock Me In – Circus Mircus
  6. MALTA – Emma Muscat – I Am What I Am
  7. SAN MARINO – Achille Lauro – Stripper
  8. AUSTRALIA – Sheldon Riley – Not The Same
  9. CYPRUS – Andromache – Ela
  10. IRELAND – Brooke – That’s Rich
  11. NORTH MACEDONIA – Andrea – Circles
  12. ESTONIA – Stefan – Hope
  13. ROMANIA – WRS – Llámame
  14. POLAND – Ochman – River
  15. MONTENEGRO – Vladana – Breathe
  16. BELGIUM – Jérémie Makiese – Miss You
  17. SWEDEN – Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer
  18. CZECH REPUBLIC- We Are Domi – Lights Off

18 go in, only 10 come out…. who will be joining Armenia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in the final this Saturday? A lot rests on tonight!

You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments, points of view and all that Eurovision Ireland goodness you know and love!

LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!

Cosa fai? Sei troppo presto! You’re far too early! Don’t worry, the show starts at 21:00 CET. If you’re looking for something to keep yourself busy till show time, teach yourself who to say Second Semi Final in 50 different languages!

Just under 15 minutes till show time folks! Get ready and settle in – whoever shines tonight might have an easier road to the final tomorrow!

I’ve got some Cherry Coke to keep me alert… 18 songs and Italian time keeping… could be quite a long night, but really looking forward to it!! 😀

I make it 2 minutes till show time! Forza Torino! ❤

Please be upstanding for Te Deum, Europe’s official anthem!

Hmm… slightly nerve wracking start there, waiting for the connection to work – but it’s on now!!

Weren’t there 3 of them yesterday? Mika looking luminous in yellow and Laura rocking that magenta gown.

Here’s Alessandro! How’s that for an entrance, literal columns of fire… I might have to insist I get a similar effect whenever I enter a room…

“Let’s get this party started!” – yes indeed Laura! Let’s get going – first stop, Finland 😉

FINLAND – The Rasmus – Jezebel

I still think he looks like Pennywise standing there with a balloon… what’s Finnish for “you too shall float?” O__o At some points in the versus, the vocals feel a bit restrained which is noticeable with the power and driven chorus. That being said, the crowd seem to be behind them and screamed “JEZEBEL!!!” which was a nice effect. I feel like this song leans more into a televote, but all juries will have at least one person who loves rock on there, so this has potential. Belter of an opener to the show, nonetheless!

ISRAEL – Michael Ben David – I.M

Earlier today I saw online that Michael got married earlier today, so congratulations to the happy couple! And what a way to spend your wedding night, on the biggest music stage in the world! Michael gives us his trademark swagger and showmanship, all backed up by a slick routine and solid vocal performance. Wow… the crowd are really behind him ! I was sceptical of Israel’s chances initially, but after this I’m much more confident on their behalf!

SERBIA – Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

Konstrakta has been big news at Eurovision ever since she won the Serbian national selection and I couldn’t wait to see how she does tonight. The moment she starts clapping to “biti zdrava” you can hear an arena of several thousand Eurovision fans join in… it’s quite powerful stuff! Konstrakta knows what she is doing and does it well. It’s quirky, but quite serious and edgy too and just engages on so many levels. This should sail through to Saturday night no problem – will be curious when the results are published to see how much love she got from the juries. Televote I’m expecting Top 3 minimum!!

AZERBAIJAN – Nadir Rustamli – Fade To Black

You can’t fault Nadir’s vocals and his emotion and tonight feels like he’s laying on it on even more so, warbling some of those notes to really showcase what he can do. There is something about this performance that draws you in which I must admit was missing in some of the rehearsals – which just goes to show, some artists don’t show their entire hand until they’re on that stage and know it counts! Which isn’t a bad strategy sometimes. I don’t feel Azerbaijan have the most interesting song this year, but goodness me Nadir sells it well!

GEORGIA – Lock Me In – Circus Mircus

The temptation to say “from the sublime to the ridiculous” is almost too much… almost… these guys are hilarious and always look like they’re having a fantastic time on that stage. Reminds me of the TV show The Mighty Boosh, that sort of whacky, out-there there styling from the music to their costumes. Part of me thinks jurors are going to look at this and think “WTAF” but at the same time there are enough musical elements in there from styles that people really like… Brit pop, bit of a 70s vibe… I haven’t dismissed this one just yet! Well done Circus Mircus, that was very enjoyable!

MALTA – Emma Muscat – I Am What I Am

We at Eurovision Ireland always said Emma has the voice, she has the talent and has the stage presence, and tonight she’s showcasing all of these things very well. There are some great staging concepts in here, but I still feel that if you’re trying to be an anthem, the crowd needs to come in sooner – but that’s just me! Nonetheless, Emma is giving us a very confident and polished performance that she, and all of Malta, can be very proud of.

Time for a break! Laura tells us about Sanremo, the contest that gave rise to our beloved Eurovision Song Contest!

Those of a nervous disposition look away now… it’s San Marino time 😉

SAN MARINO – Achille Lauro – Stripper

Good old San Marino… what they lack in size they make up for in Eurovision bonkers and this is just that by the truckload! Achille comes to life on stage and every movement, every note screams confidence. Visually it’s very raunchy with cages, leather and stockings… and that’s before the mechanical bull hoves into view! This has televoter #1 written all over it, and I think rockers among the juries will also rate it quite highly. Moments like this are what Eurovision is made of, and it’s AMAZING! Could San Marino be heading to their 3rd consecutive qualification? Based on that, I like to think they will!

AUSTRALIA – Sheldon Riley – Not The Same

Sheldon is insanely talented, even if there are moments tonight where it feels like he is racing through his lyrics. This being said, his voice is as strong as I suspected it would be and he shows great vocal control, especially towards the end of the song. The reveal moment (as I prophesised in #ReVu2) went down a storm. Usually, I would have said however was coming on after San Marino would be dead in the water. And while that might be true for the televote, I suspect the juries are going to respond well to this.

CYPRUS – Andromache – Ela

I think Cyprus’ staging this year is complimented beautifully by the waterfall cascading off the stage and the blue lights on the conch. The audience are clapping along and cheering, which makes me wonder if that is where the bulk of this song’s support is going to come from. Andromache gives a solid rendition of her song, I just wonder if it’s going to be enough to make the Top 10 for each and every juror. It’ll have it’s support, don’t get me wrong. Just doesn’t quite strike me as a runaway jury winner. Combined with a televote, I’d say borderline qualifier.

IRELAND – Brooke – That’s Rich

Ah g’wan Brooke! Listen to that cheer the moment the song starts up! With a slick and confident routine, Brooke’s cheeky natural charisma shines through and comes across well down the camera. Vocally she’s on point, sassy and fun! I know a lot of you will think we’re biased being Eurovision Ireland, but that was great! Well done Brooke! Dare I say it, an Irish song in a Eurovision final for the first time since 2018 doesn’t seem so unlikely tonight! 😀

NORTH MACEDONIA – Andrea – Circles

Dressed in black on a dark stage, Andrea gets that close-up camera work she needs to emote and sell the story of her song. There are a lot of good elements that work together cohesively, which has been a rarity in the past for North Macedonia! Andrea gives a strong performance, even if at moments she’s on the verge of overacting with her gestures. North Macedonia have had a very rocky relationship with Eurovision over the years, but I like this song and don’t see anything wrong with that performance. The question is, will enough juries feel the same?

ESTONIA – Stefan – Hope

What is it with Estonia and turning the camera into sepia or grey? Having flashbacks to 2013! Stefan works the camera very well and while I’d usually argue country and western is a bit too niche, even for Eurovision, Stefan’s enthusiasm is infectious and the staging works well with plenty of close up camera work and lots of connection. I didn’t hold out much hope for Hope originally, but after watching that I think we’ll see Estonia back in the final quite easily this year. I’m impressed!

There is no one sound of beauty and each person has their own – very well said Mika!!

Unsubtle tribute to the German flag from our hosts… if you tilt your head…

Onwards to Romania!

ROMANIA – WRS – Llámame

I’ve watched this song grow from something I heard among hundreds of national final songs, to a solid competitor to this slick, well crafted performance that WRS delivers with aplomb – and it’s fantastic to see! The audience are going wild for it, and why would they not! It’s one of the biggest dance bangers in this year’s contest! WRS sounds great and his enthusiasm comes across in his dancing and voice – which I think juries will respond to well. This deserves to get Romania back into the final!

POLAND – Ochman – River

Ochman has never given a dud performance of River and I wasn’t expecting him to start tonight. His clear, powerful and emotional vocals are smooth, the visuals of lightening, shaking cameras and wraithes are jarring… but it juxtaposes beautifully! I still think this could be our overall winner! Top 3 tonight with the juries, I’m convinced of it, which should be enough to get it through to Saturday by itself. Add a televote result, and I think Poland could be on track for a Top 5 finish easily.

MONTENEGRO – Vladana – Breathe

I’m happy to see Montenegro back at Eurovision, and this is easily their most sophisticated entry to date. Vladana’s voice is so soaring and she sings with such conviction and intensity, it’s impossible not to be drawn in. I’d like to see this do well and I think it has a lot of ingredients that could see that happen. My only concern is that the numbers and previous qualification rates are against them… but, that being said, Eurovision is a place where norms get broken and anything can happen!

BELGIUM – Jérémie Makiese – Miss You

In places, Jérémie sounds like he’s straining his voice, but I can’t decide if that’s because he is actually struggling or because it’s the emotion and story telling of the song. The modern/urban dancing suits the feeling of the song, but as a whole the performance feels quite disjointed and dare I say, a little dull. And that final note felt like it missed the mark, sadly… I think Belgium are going to struggle, I’m afraid.

SWEDEN – Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer

Sweden know how to Eurovision and their staging rarely differs too drastically from Melodifestivalen – after all, if it works, why change it? Cornelia gives the stellar performance we knew she would and the juries will lap this up. Think this will be up there near the top of the scoreboard, if not at the very top. Qualifying? Definitely. Winning overall? Quite possibly!

CZECH REPUBLIC- We Are Domi – Lights Off

Rounding off the 2nd Semi Final is usually a sweet spot and most countries that draw this spot end up in the final… except Denmark last year… but let’s not go there! The audience are going wild for We Are Domi, thought to my ear this isn’t the neatest version of this song I’ve ever heard. Visually, it’s memorable and the light show is very impressive. Will juries be swayed by pretty lights? I’m not so sure. At the moment, I’m left feeling like this will need a heap of televoter love to get it to Saturday’s final.

So there we have it – 18 countries have played for the juries, now it’s time to vote! I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes… there have been a lot of strong competitors tonight and when I was crunching the numbers a few weeks ago, at least 2 or 3 songs that *should* qualify (which is of course a loaded term at the best of times, but anyway…) are going to be left behind… this is going to be carnage…

Looking through the recap, Malta, Poland and Sweden stand out as potential jury favourites. Finland, San Marino and the Czech Republic feel like they lean more to the televote, but that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to juries. Serbia, Cyprus, Romania and Estonia also strike me as having good odds after tonight…. just realised that’s 10 songs! Could those be the lucky 10? We’ll know in a little over 24 hours time!

While we wait for the (mock) voting lines to close, Mika and Laura treat us to a sing-song. I remember reading years ago that there was a rumour Mika was being considered for a Lebanese debut at Eurovision, and also named by the UK as a potential… I think he’d do very well!

This was the moment I was hanging on for… Il Volo back on the Eurovision stage! Grande Amore would have won Eurovision 2015 had it been just down to the televote, but finished a respectable 3rd. I must admit, was a little jarring hearing the song in English as I’m so used to the Italian version of the song, but these boys know how to perform… I bet the atmosphere in the arena is electric right now!! Must be when several thousand people all have goose bumps at once! Loving the rock rift under it all too, gives it a kick!

Laura channelling Morticia Addams with Spain’s Chanel…

“When did Spain last win Eurovision?” — “Eh…2022?” – Well, confidence is certainly key at Eurovision! XD

The UK’s Sam Ryder, who is tipped to do quite well at the final this Saturday… not a sentence I thought I’d get to write based on the last few years, I must admit!

The song from Germany’s Malik is growing on me… happens every year, there’s a song you “don’t get” from the national final or CD, then you see it on stage and it makes sense all of a sudden! Latvia 2015 was another for me, didn’t like it when I first heard it, then hearing Aminata live… WOW!!!

Well, we’ve chatted to them all, time for them to sing for us!

SPAIN – Chanel – SloMo

Chanel (and certain sections of the fan community!) might think Spain are on track to win Eurovision 2022, but I’m still not convinced. This slick and fast paced routine is choreographed to within an inch of its life and Chanel makes it look effortless…which is nothing short of amazing as I think I’d have passed out by now trying to keep up! It’ll do well. Potentially give Spain their highest scoring entry to date (125 points I believe is the score to beat!). Winning? I don’t think it’s got that winner’s quality to it. Still a bop and a half though!

Setting up for the UK is going to take some time… but trust me, I’ve seen the rehearsals… it’s worth the wait!

UNITED KINGDOM – Sam Ryder – Space Man

I’ve said it before, Sam Ryder is like a labrador in human form – he’s just so damn likeable! The whole package works, Sam as a performer, the crystal dome, the camera work… it’s a rarity to watch a UK Eurovision performance in the last 10 years and not be bemused at best or horrified at worst. I can see this giving the UK their best placing at the contest for a long time indeed. I know they were 2nd in the betting odds recently, not sure it’ll win. But I think it’ll do enough to make the UK fall in love with the contest a little more and realise that where there is thought and effort at Eurovision, there is usually reward.

Told you it takes a while to clear the stage… goodness knows what’ll they do on Saturday!

GERMANY – Malik – Rock Stars

I must admit, it grates a little bit to hear fast pronounced “farst” for the sake of rhyme. But as I said earlier in the blog, this some has grown on me. There’s a melancholy and vulnerability to the way Malik performs and I think a lot of people will be struck by the nostalgia of the sound and lyrics. Juries (who aren’t voting on this song tonight) might overlook it when they have to pick 10 out of 25, but it’s by no means the worst German entry to grace the Eurovision stage in recent memory.

So my dear Eurovision fans, this is where I’ll stop for tonight – not least because I have a panel show to record with the rest of the team and it’s approaching midnight in Italy! Thank you for joining me tonight, hope you’ve enjoyed my commentary and thoughts on tonight’s performances – tomorrow we’ll see who gets those coveted last 10 spots in the final!

Thank you Europe, and goodnight!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: RAI/EBU

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