What a night the first semi was -- SO MANY thoughts --
Cyprus -- Tamta brought the show, and was a great opener, but I thought her vocals weren't the absolute best she's capable of
Montenegro -- This never had a CHANCE, and especially not once their PTB 's decided to go with THAT staging and the corny choreographic moments that just looked so forced (aka the "high-five/go-team" and "OMG catch me before I fall!"). They did so well to rescue the song with the re-vamp and the video, but expecting six young performers with no real experience to then be able to rescue a directionless stage production was too much (and it's a shame, b/c I think most of them were good singers)
Finland -- I don't know how Derude and Sebastian and their PTB's managed to turn a staging that looked like a NO-BRAINER qualifier at their national final, to something just SO BLAND and with NO life -- why couldn't they bring the box they had at the NF??? The modified cardboard box fashioned to look like a melting iceberg was just too little and having everyone so far apart from each other just left too much blank space to make impact -- and they couldn't even get the dancer's fall into the water right with the camera cuts..
Poland -- Really think they fumbled an opportunity to get in to the final -- the costumes and vocals were great, but just having all four of them swaying back and forth with forced hand motions for three minutes just did nothing for the song
Slovenia -- It was atmospheric and beautiful at times, but there was something going on with Zala's voice or her mic level, she just didn't seem to be projecting and seemed a little sleepy (even for the song) -- and then to rankle people with the comments they made in the press conference afterward, I'm beginning to think this won't get the super high finish it was capable of
Czech Republic -- Staging was GREAT, and their performance was just full of color and energy -- I repeatedly can't believe that Albert (lead singer) is 30! This could really be surging up
Hungary -- I had Joci in as my #10, I think he reminded us why he's such a great performer --- BUT the song itself just wasn't as strong as "Origo"
Belarus -- I LIKED IT -- I wasn't a fan of this song really until this past week watching her rehearsals and the jury show -- only then did I realize "man, this IS going to qualify" -- it's just a fun bop, whatever issues you have with the song/her diction
Serbia -- Nevena SERVED emotion and the staging was the most gorgeous of the night (other than someone I have yet to get to). I really think this has been criminally undervalued -- She was originally my #1, then when I saw the fandom wasn't responding, i lowered it, now she's back in top 5 -- voice and presence is just PURE (and I love her bad-ass metal chick vibe), I hope she can rise to a great finish in the final!
Belgium -- It seems like a long time since Loic and "Rhythm Inside" now. Belgium has continued to have great songs but the staging/performing the last 3 years has just not worked out -- I never got the kodo drum theme they were going for and Eliot looked and sounded like a young inexperienced deer in headlights, and that killed him
Georgia --- This is unfortunate, because vocally on the night, Oto was probably one of the best, and the LED was arguably the most gorgeous of the night -- but the song just failed to inspire, and Georgia missed a lot of time to build buzz for it by not releasing the music video until a couple of days ago
Australia -- Kate SLAYED in all ways -- the way everything from her voice, to the staging and the LED, just blended SO perfectly together, she's definitely in it to contend for the win -- very likely she WON the semi and it'll be interesting to see where she perform in the 2nd half of the final
Iceland -- NOT my genre of music in the SLIGHTEST, and I thought Klemens (the high pitched one) really didn't have his best vocal night, but the spectacle they put on was eye-opening amazing, and they deserve to do well in the final
Estonia -- Not SUPER cool with this getting in -- when this first came out, for awhile it was my #1, but since then it's fallen down and down -- I felt last night Victor didn't really sell it, and his vocals were OFF, and even the LED didn't really work nearly as well as it had at Eesti, but I think the early fandom momentum he had was enough to keep him in
Portugal -- I wasn't a fan of the overall concept for the longest time, I just didn't get the staging (although i did like the song and found it so unique). I really thought the red staging POPPED, and it was nice but then the dancer's "drop" looked weird and awkward -- I can see it's eccentric nature putting people off, but i'm still SHOCKED even now, that of the two "divisive" entries, Iceland got through, and Portugal didn't -- I thought for sure either BOTH would make it, or both would be eliminated -- and two NQ's after winning has to be a bitter pill, but that's Eurovision nature
Greece --- She knocked it out, I think she was top 5 in the semi for sure -- Just so couture and fashion a presentation right from the video and she hit every note
San Marino --- Serhat brought the party vibe, and I'm happy for him and for the country they advanced -- but the first half of the song was a vocal DISASTER, and even though he recovered in the second half, I really don't think he deserved to go through, but i can understand why he did
i got 8 out of 10 correct, but I had Hungary and Portugal in over Estonia and San Marino -- will be interesting to see how Semi #2 goes!
No Poland Come on, they were among the only one to sing in tune but I guess the lack of butter churning proved to be indeed fatal. So all my votes are gonna slide to the two other favs out of this lackluster semi: Iceland they just brought it and Australia for being so quintessentially Eurovision this year