Semi-Final 1 Review (Part 1)

1. Moldova: Eduard Romanyuta – “I Want Your Love”

Who is it?

Ukrainian Eric Saade wannabe who tried his luck in Moldova this year after being repeatedly rejected by his own country.

Is it any good?

No. Liberty X did the same song better twelve years ago and it wasn’t Moldovan production values the made the performance laughable. Perfect parody.

Will it do well?

No. If Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Romania (the list of voting allies goes on…) weren’t voting in this semi-final, Moldova would place last-place in the semi-final once again. I can’t see them qualifying.

Verdict

C-

The right choice?

There was a dearth of quality music in the Moldovan NF, but Miss M and her hugely ridiculous staging would have been a far better pick than Eduard. Plus I’ve heard she can actually speak Moldovan too.

2. Armenia: Genealogy – “Don’t Deny”

Who is it?

A more awkward Six4One, comprised of ethnic Armenians from around the globe.

Is it any good?

It’s actually not bad. Admittedly the opening is very C-grade musical, but there are enough unique flourishes (such as the chord progressions and the jazzy chorus) to keep things sounding interesting overall. On the other hand there are the lyrics, which take unsubtle to a whole new level, and the the song gets a bit much towards the end.

Will it do well?

The Armenian diaspora around Europe are going to eat this up. The rest of Europe and the juries? I’m not so sure. The song is basically a hybrid of this, this and this and so isn’t the most accessible, or musically pleasant song in the line-up. Plus after what the juries in Belgium and the Netherlands did last year, they can’t rely on diaspora support for a great result either.

Armenia have taken a very big risk in not only, in essence, entering a disputed national tragedy into the contest for pan-European approval(?), but for doing so which such an unconventional song. The risk of backfiring is huge. Likely qualification, no higher than lower mid-table in the final.

My verdict

B-

3. Belgium: Loïc Nottet – “Rhythm Inside”

Who is it?

Belgian twink with a Sia fixation.

Is it any good?

Yes. The sound is fresh, with the Lorde-marked bass-snap rhythm that’s been everywhere over the past few years and Loïc’s voice is unusual enough to account for the somewhat generic production. In live performances though, he’s OTT on a scale we haven’t seen since Ott (*slow clap*) so hopefully he tones that down for the contest.

Will it do well?

Probably. It stands out in a great way in the first half of this semi-final. Unless they totally screw up the staging, this is sailing through the final and is a likely candidate for a top ten placing there. I mean, if Roberto could do it…

My verdict

A-

4. Netherlands: Trijntje Oosterhuis – “Walk Along”

Who is it?

Dutch pop veteran with a knack for music less impenetrable than her name.

Is it any good?

Not really. Mediocre mid-noughties acoustic pop fodder with an irritating refrain that takes up 2:17 of the songs’ runtime. Overhyped by fans because of the Anouk connection. Cheap.

Will it do well?

No. It might across well in the recap, but I can’t see this making enough of an impression, especially with such an early draw, right before Finland, which will be the talking point. After two years in the final, the Netherlands are in serious trouble this year.

My verdict

C+

So far…

1. Belgium A-

2. Armenia B-

3. Netherlands C+

4. Moldova C-

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