Eurovision 2021 review: Second semi final, second half

Mayday! Mayday! We have a possible winner of this year’s competition stuck in brutalist architecture. Pic by Oscar Alessio

Second semi final, second half is a golden spot to get people’s attention. But did the participants deserve their well designated space? Let’s have a look!

Georgia: Tornike Kipiani – “You”

Truth be told: If you are a hunky architect from Georgia who sings about wanting to touch us, you start off on the plus side in our book. But then we’re off, strictly downhill. When we first heard Georgia’s song, we checked our record player just to make sure it wasn’t playing on half speed. We reckon Tornike does to music what Michael Bolton would do to architecture. You wouldn’t want to go there.

Albania: Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma”

Luckily, Albania is here to wake you up again. This is an ethnic banger of a song begging God’s forgiveness. Which is what we all do after a week or two of Eurovision parties. With ethnic beats like that, we’re sure anyone would forgive Anxhela anything. Also loving the instruments and the not so English language. Amen and Hallelujah.

Portugal: The Black Mamba – “Love Is On My Side”

Speaking of Michael Bolton. This year, Portugal decided to dig deep into the karaoke bars of Lisbon and pull out a bunch of regulars who haven’t seen daylight since 1993. This sounds like a mixup of every song in the billboard charts of the early 90s, and we sincerely believed we were rid of those after our cassette players broke down. But hey, great hats! Were you also attacked by the street sellers in Cascais?

Bulgaria: VICTORIA – “Growing Up Is Getting Old”

According to her press agent, Victoria’s song is a journey into self-improvement. We salute whoever helped her buy that ticket. This is one of the rare pearls that show up in Eurovision, where the singer is top-notch, the melody is original and it all sounds so beautiful we regain faith in the forthcoming generations. Surprisingly often, Bulgaria is involved in those moments, and they do deserve their success. Growing up is getting great, and we’re ready to hear this live, free from one of the most stupid videos of the contest.

Finland: Blind Channel – “Dark Side”

We were wondering when someone would summon Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine in this competition, and apparently, the moment is now. Blind Channel is an established band in Finland, and we salute them for rocking up this year’s competition. Coming from the country where black metal was born and developed, though, we must say they’re not quite over on the dark side yet. The chorus is a bit too much Nickelbacked to our taste. And they’re up against strong competition from Italy.

Latvia: Samanta Tīna – “The Moon Is Rising”

Latvia is a country that has given us a lot of unconventional, modern entries the last decade, and this year is no exception. Samanta Tina has a nice, fresh beat to her song, and we salute her for having written it herself instead of calling the Swedish helpline. But in the end, it’s a little too repetitive, at least on tape. Also, the lyrics are seriously annoying. We mean: “I’m a woman, I’m a ruler”? Centimeters or inches, we would ask. We’re open for changing our minds about this one as it enters the arena, though. A lot could be done with some decent lightning and an outfit to go with.

Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears – “Tout l’Univers”

There’s something about those French ballads that this competition has been blessed with over the years. They never fail to amaze us, especially not when they are delivered by a singer of Gjon Muharremaj’s calibre. This is velvet to our homeofficed, headset damaged ears, and we feel ourselves floating into the universe, spinning around on a soft little cloud among thousands of glowing stars that all work to make us feel happy and relaxed and safe, miles away from any virus known to man. Switzerland is currently climbing the odds, and we totally understand why. Gjon might just be what we all need during these challenging times. Just don’t wake us up, will you?

Denmark: Fyr Og Flamme – “Øve Os På Hinanden”

We remember dropping by the Danish TV channel DR just as the winner of their national final DMGP was about to get announced. We actually thought it to be a joke. Knowing music isn’t exactly topping the list of Denmark’s skills, we still expected the country of Tim Schou to give it a decent try. But no. This song sounds like it is randomly picked from a Swedish dance festival where people over 60 bring their campervan to a desolated area and move around on the floor in pairs in something only they call dance. We’re sure Fyr og Flamme are welcomed to the festival of Umeå this year. It shall pose no problems if it’s on the same day as the Eurovision final.

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