Yeah, we know, the first rehearsals kicked off in Rotterdam today! We just have to finish our reviews first and we’ll get right on it. Here’s a run through the first half of the second semi final.
San Marino: Senhit – “Adrenalina”
We’ve been keeping this blog for 11 years now which means that we’ve covered the Eurovision comeback of both Italy and San Marino and this is what we thought about Senhit’s first ESC entry back in 2011. Since then she has added an H to her name and teamed up with someone with the financial muscles to provide her with an entry to better match her bubbly and colourful personality. The Sammarinese team has even thrown in an American rapper for good measure even tough it’s still unclear whether he will join the performance over Zoom or actually be present in Ahoy Arena. We are of course suckers for this more is more approach and pray to Jupiter, Juno, Mars and all the other Roman Gods that Eurovision would be hosted in Bologna next year if Senhit wins.
Estonia: Uku Suviste – “The Lucky One”
Estonia is one of our favourite countries in Eurovision and we love them the most when they nail the Nordic Cool style, which they do better than any of the other Nordic countries. We’re considerably less enthusiastic about the “album filler on an Absolute Power Ballad xx CD we used to buy from the racks in our local gas station back in the 90s” style. According to Uku Suviste’s bio on Eurovision.tv, readers of the renowned Estonian magazine Kroonika voted him ‘Estonia’s Sexiest Man’. As proper watchdog journalists we’ve found out that this was back in 2010, but nevermind. We will still consider throwing him a couple of points in our annual Hottest Eurovision Male pageant.
Czech Republic: Benny Cristo – “omaga”
Oh my god, oh my god, this entry has the best lyrics line of the season: “You’ve been home too long, I’ve been home too long”. Other than putting into words how the world’s collectively feeling nowadays, Benny Cristo is serving a fun, energetic, banger, carefully constructed to fill dance floors from Sydney to Helsinki. Sadly, all those dance floors are still empty, but we’re hanging in there and suspect that we will swag a little extra on our sofas at home and top off our GTs when this one comes on. We still get upset about losing Germany’s 2020 entry “Violent Thing” when the contest got cancelled, and the quirky cousin “omaga” may be the closest we get to a proper replacement this year, as Germany of course has reverted to their usual rubbish.
Greece: Stefania – “Last Dance”
Readers of this blog might have picked up on our endless appreciation of hunky men singing ethnic-turbo-ska-folk-punk-rock in incomprehensible Greek while banging on bouzoukis. Then it should come as no surprise that we do not judge “Last Dance” as fully up to scratch to meet our expectations. Rumour has it that the Greek will put on a show like we’ve never seen before on the Eurovision stage, and this of course tickles our curiosity. Will there be a gigantic black Pegasus? Will there be naked Greek hunks? Will they throw in a couple of bouzoukis for good measure? Seems like the bar is set relatively high for a performer who looks like she’s around 12 years old and competed in JESC only a few years ago. Kudos to Stefania if she manages to pull it off.
Austria: Vincent Bueno – “Amen”
We learned in primary school to end a prayer with saying Amen. Why Vincent Bueno gets to spend a full three minutes on it is beyond us.
Poland: RAFAŁ – “The Ride”
Being a Eurovision reviewer can be hard sometimes. We literally had to force ourselves to be able to get through this pile of rubbish and had to put Italy’s entry on repeat for ten minutes straight afterwards to cleanse our damaged tastebuds. “The Ride” is so seriously uncool, unfunky and uncatchy it’s almost an accomplishment in itself. Not surprisingly there’s a bunch of Swedish songwriters involved, but even for the most mediocre Swedish assembly line pop this is just beyond bad. If giving minus points were possible, we’d give our – 12 to this one in a heartbeat.
Moldova: Natalia Gordienko – “SUGAR”
Hurrah, the Eurovision line-up would not be complete without Eurovision svengali Philipp Kirkorov taking part, and he never fails to deliver. “SUGAR” is outrageously tacky and Natalia Gordienko owns it like a boss. We are not particularly prudish, but we must admit that halfway through the preview video we almost find it a bit painful to watch, the aesthetics are well, let’s say questionable. But it’s full of humour and it’s made with a tongue in cheek approach, we think, or at least we hope. Natalia looks like the pink Barbie version of Maruv, sort of, we don’t know if that’s the look she’s going for. Hopefully, she’s just her silly, bonkers and flamboyant self, and brings all of it to Rotterdam.
Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið – “10 Years”
Last year’s entry was about Daði’s newborn baby and this year he sings about his loving relationship with his wife. What a genuinely wholesome and likable bloke! And FINALLY, someone brings the loungewear trend to the Eurovision stage, thank you Iceland for making us feel funky and cool in our home offices. 10 years has not garnered the same amount of accolade as Think About Things and sadly we will probably not be heading off to Reykjavik next year either. So there goes our chance to show off our finest merino wool outfits, trendy sweatpants and every waterproof, windproof, breathable piece of clothing we own in the press centre.
Serbia: Hurricane – “LOCO LOCO”
Meet Serbian Ginger Spice, Scary Spice and Baby Spice. By the look of it, they went for a three for one offer on lip fillers from one of Beograd’s finest beauty parlours and we wouldn’t be surprised if a hair salon sponsored hair extensions too. Lots of it. The preview video for LOCO LOCO looks more like an audition for an adult movie and we recommend you all to put your kids to bed before this crew comes on. And you might as well mute the telly as well. Or even better, switch it off entirely. Good grief…