Oh Donny, forgive us for doubting you!
Jen once again got 8 out of 10, but Chris rebounds from Tuesday to get 9 out of 10. Basically, it came down to this: Poland’s Michał Szpak practices mass hypnosis and forces you to vote for him with the power of his eyes alone. (Because it certainly wasn’t with that pitchy vocal.)
It was business as usual for Israel, Serbia, Australia, and Ukraine. We could nitpick here and there (Serbia’s harsh styling, Australia’s glam box), but we saw four confident performers nail their cues. Ukraine’s staging is gorgeous and it’s easy to imagine that Jamala will be giving Sergey Lazarev a run for his money on Saturday.
Despite our doubts about the costume and the staging, Bulgaria was pretty great. Poli Genova gave an exuberant and infectious performance and suddenly we feel like she has a shot… oh wait, she’s slated to perform 8th on Saturday? Damn, never mind.
It’s interesting that Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitas had a similar idea to Cyprus’ Minus One to plot out the camerawork as if they were shooting a music video. However, the execution could not be more different. “Midnight Gold” was trippy, but it also had an intense energy to it that was impossible to look away from.
Although we picked Belgium to go through, we both thought she came off a bit Junior Eurovision. “What’s the Pressure” was cute, but after a night of some serious bad-ass performances, it couldn’t help but feel lightweight. Laura Tesoro kicks off the show on Saturday and that’s probably the best thing for her.
There’s not much to say about the songs that did not qualify, save for two. In her bio on the Eurovision website, Norway’s Agnete said, “The transition between the verse and chorus has a tempo change that many listeners are responding to. It seems like either you love it, or you simply strongly dislike it.” Sadly for her, more people ended up in the “strongly dislike” camp.
And lastly, pity poor Ivan from Belarus. He delivered so much more than we expected from watching his rehearsals. Specifically some crazy wide eyes to accentuate his crazy broad performance. Ultimately, it was probably a little too bat-shit insane to get votes these days in Eurovision, but it’s nice to remember the days when Eurovision was just a camp contest.