Venue: Crystal Hall, Baku
Hosts: Nargiz, Eldar, Leyla
Date: Thursday 24 May 2012
The second semi-final is now over. Last weekend I watched the online preview videos of the first ten songs. I listened to the remaining eight songs on my Eurovision Song Contest 2012 CD yesterday evening. Watching the live performances last night changed my views a bit from watching the preview videos or listening to the songs on the CD album. Here are my opinions on each of the 18 songs. Unfortunately I didn't have access to the internet yesterday evening so have had to delay posting this until now. Please read the following as though I had posted it between the voting lines closing and announcement of the ten qualifiers.
N.B. Any use of "tonight" or "this evening" throughout the rest of this post means Thursday 24 May 2012.
Song 1: SERBIA - Željko Joksimović "Nije Ljubav Stvar"An excellent song to start the night, very well sung, outstanding quality of voice. I think the section towards the end was a bit overpowering though. This definitely deserves to qualify, see you Saturday!
Song 2: F.Y.R. MACEDONIA - Kaliopi "Crno I Belo"An entry I felt was borderline when watching the preview video last Sunday, I now like it considerably more performed live. Another very good song, although I think part of it was a bit too overpowering, with unnecessary strobe lighting effects. This ought to go through.
Song 3: THE NETHERLANDS - Joan Franka "You And Me"Another excellent song, really catchy and very well sung. This definitely deserves to qualify, the best Dutch entry for years. See you Saturday!
Song 4: MALTA - Kurt Calleja "This Is The Night"Yet another excellent song, a catchy song and very well sung. Was the leapfrog and other dancing during the middle eight really necessary though? That bit was totally out of place, as were the flashing lights at that moment. Another song which deserves to qualify, see you Saturday.
Song 5: BELARUS - Litesound "We Are The Heroes"A lively rock song, not exactly my cup of tea, but quite well sung, with good vocals. Another one I thought was borderline whilst watching the preview video last Sunday, but now I wouldn't mind seeing this in the final.
Song 6: PORTUGAL - Filipa Sousa "Vida Minha"A ballad which I felt was indifferent when watching the preview video last Sunday. Based solely on tonight's live performance, I feel the verses a bit dull, but I quite like the chorus. I wouldn't mind seeing this on Saturday night.
Song 7: UKRAINE - Gaitana "Be My Guest"My least liked song so far tonight. Although lively, the song itself is below par. One to be best valued for dance routine. I'd rather this didn't qualify.
Song 8: BULGARIA - Sofi Marinova "Love Unlimited"A song I particularly disliked whilst watching the preview video last Sunday, it's not much better sung live. In my opinion, the song itself isn't up to much, it's just a load of nauseating trash really. Does it really need strobe lighting? Stay out.
Song 9: SLOVENIA - Eva Boto "Verjamem"Another entry I thought was borderline whilst watching preview video last Sunday. Based on tonight's live performance, it's not a bad song, but I'm not overly impressed with it. The best bit is the use of flowing arm movements. I wouldn't miss this if this fails to qualify, but wouldn't mind it going through.
Song 10: CROATIA - Nina Badrić "Nebo"I didn't like the preview video last Sunday, and it's only marginally better sung live. It's a below par song, ruined still further by a load of nauseating trash about two thirds of the way through. Is the strobe lighting really necessary? I'd rather this stays out.
Song 11: SWEDEN - Loreen "Euphoria"I didn't get this far with the online preview videos Sunday, and haven't seen any more of them since. However I've heard the songs from this point onwards on my ESC 2012 official CD album this evening. I thought this song was borderline quality on the CD. Sung live it's not bad, but I'm not overly impressed with it. Loreen has a powerful voice during the chorus , but is the dancing (or should that be fighting?) near the end really necessary? I wouldn't miss this if it stays out, though I wouldn't mind if it goes through.
Song 12: GEORGIA - Anri Jokhadze "I'm A Joker"I didn't like this whilst listening to the CD. Sung live it's marginally better, tolerable for the first half but the rest of it is utter garbage. Stay out.
Song 13: TURKEY - Can Bonomo "Love Me Back"Another song I thought was borderline on the CD, it sounds better sung live. Not a bad song, the lead singer has strong vocals, but again not really my taste in music. Going by their outfits, what exactly were the backing group meant to be, vampires or bats? Either way, what was the significance of those outfits? What was the purpose bit of break dancing from one. I wouldn't miss this if it stays out.
Song 14: ESTONIA - Ott Lepland "Kuula"Although I disliked this on the CD, I like it considerably more performed live. A reasonable ballad, very well sung, with a smartly dressed singer. I wouldn't mind this on Saturday night.
Song 15: SLOVAKIA - Max Jason Mai "Don't Close Your Eyes"I didn't like this song on the CD and it's no better sung live tonight; just a load of nauseating garbage. Does it really need such excessive use of strobe lighting? Please stay out!
Song 16: NORWAY - Tooji "Stay"Another song I disliked on the CD, and it doesn't sound much better sung live tonight. The introduction sounds decidedly similar to a bit of the instrumental of Doctor and the Medics "Spirit In The Sky". The group's outfits are not up to much either. The only good thing about it is the dance routine: moving around and arm movements. Stay outl
Song 17: BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA - Maya Sar "Korake Ti Znam"A song I felt was indifferent on the CD. It sounds better live, and is quite well sung, but I'm not overly keen on it. However I wouldn't mind if this goes through.
Song 18: LITHUANIA - Donny Montell "Love Is Blind"The final song already, a ballad. Another song I thought was borderline quality on the CD. I quite like it now performed live, but it's definitely not one of my favourites of tonight. It's well sung, Donny has a powerful voice and is smartly dressed. This ought to go through.
Here are my preferences based solely on all of tonight's performances:
Definitely want to qualify: Serbia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, The Netherlands, Malta, Lithuania.
Wouldn't mind qualifying: Belarus, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Prefer not to qualify: Ukraine, Croatia, Turkey.
Definitely don't want to qualify: Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, Norway.
So these are the ones I want to see Saturday night: Serbia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, The Netherlands, Malta, Lithuania, plus five of Belarus, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Whilst the telephone lines were open, I voted for The Netherlands.
Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Semi-Final 2 ResultsSo here are the results. Again please read the following as though this had been posted shortly after the end of the second semi-final. Any use of "tonight" or "this evening" still means Thursday 24 May 2012.
My desired qualifiers: Serbia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, The Netherlands, Malta, Lithuania, plus five of: Belarus, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Actual qualifiers (in order of announcement): Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Ukraine, Sweden, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Norway, Estonia, Malta, Turkey.
Bold entries represent the actual qualifiers that match my preferences.
OUT: Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, The Netherlands.
I am gutted and deeply upset that The Netherlands failed to qualify because I thought they had a really good entry this year, and thus I voted for them. I'm also disappointed that Portugal, Belarus and Slovenia failed to qualify as I liked their live performances tonight better than I originally thought based on the preview videos / CD; of those three I now think Portugal really ought to have gone through. On the other hand I'm disgusted that Norway qualified as their song is one of the four songs I disliked the most this evening, and thus didn't want in the final. The Netherlands deserved the place Norway took. I'd rather Ukraine hadn't qualified as I didn't think much of their song. To a lesser extent I'd have preferred Turkey to have stayed out too. Portugal plus either Belarus or Slovenia deserved the places Ukraine and Turkey took. Thank goodness Serbia and Malta are through as both were excellent songs which I most wanted to qualify. Also I'm pleased to see F.Y.R. Macedonia and Lithuania in the final as, despite my preview experience of them, I quite liked them sung live tonight. I'm extremely overjoyed that Bulgaria, Georgia and Slovakia failed to qualify as they were exceptionally bad (worst of the night), and I'm glad Croatia are also out as their song too wasn't that much better really.
So how will tonight's ten qualifiers fare in Saturday's final? Bear in mind they are up against the ten qualifiers from Tuesday night,and the six directly qualified countries: hosts Azerbaijan plus Big Five. All will be revealed on Saturday night.