Eurovision 2018: Lisbon ALL ARE BORED! Semi Final Two

8 May

The best thing about Semi Final 2 is that you don’t need to watch it. To say that it’s inferior to Semi Final 1 is a given. Anything here that’s okay or good will make it to the final. There is no reason to watch this unless you’re really into self-flagellation. But you know me, so on we go.

1. NORWAY: Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song
This makes me want to hurt somebody. A crowd pleasing faux-disco disease. This is the kind of song that would ooze out of the infected anal tract of one of those [Insert Country Here]’s Got Talent shows.

On the flip side, it’s very catchy and has a fun violin and melody. While my hateful black heart may be immediately triggered by the “boogie woogie woogie” section, many of the rest of you will eat it up with your Sugar Puffs. For me, too smug and condescending. For you, pure joy. Tomato tomayto.

Rating: * FUCK NORWAY
Make it to the final? 100%

2. ROMANIA: The Humans – Goodbye
After the opening featuring masked James Cordens as Michael Myers, we’re underwhelmed by tepid rock music with the delightful possibility of a wobbly “goodbye” chorus before the soft guitars come in. Their logo is Comic Sans on kidney dialysis.

Rating: * Goodbye humans
Make it to the final? 25%

3. SERBIA: Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova deca
The opening is hopeless with Dr Who’s reanimated corpse on flute. Then it gets better in the verse. The drums pick up and a hint of 90s synth threatens. Once again there is no chorus. I like the nananana moments but it’s not exactly a strong one.

Rating: ** Dr Poo
Make it to the final? 50%

4. SAN MARINO: Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening – Who We Are
Oh lordy. San Marino must have already entered their entire population into Eurovision one way or another and ran out of people. This year they’ve had to enter some robots. It’s a gimmick for sure and I’ll be interested to see if they make it into the semi-final performance. I hope she wears those gigantic pants too. On the song alone I think it’s okay but I shake my head sadly at the white woman rapper moment. That was a mistake.

Rating: ** Does not compute
Make it to the final? 75%

5. DENMARK: Rasmussen – Higher Ground
Dark synth with tribal drums? I am down for this. The performance I am watching is entirely in blue with a wind machine. It does not help the song. Away from that, just listening on its own, I kinda like it.

Rating: *** Best one yet
Make it to the final? 80%

6. RUSSIA: Julia Samoylova – I Won’t Break
Genuinely looks like a mail order bride that slits your throat in your sleep. It appears Russia invented Skynet first and this is their Terminator. Bland in a way that lingers – like a bad quiche. That said, the chorus starts to gain traction by the end but maybe a little too late.

Rating: *** Vote for us or we invade
Make it to the final? 100%

7. MOLDOVA: DoReDos – My Lucky Day
When mirrors are more watchable than your main performers you picked the wrong singers. A nice slice of gypsy honkstep but why are they all wearing suits? Ruins the aesthetic. Not too much difference between chorus and verse so hope they work on its dynamics before the semi final.

Rating: *** Thanks for the horns but it’s no Hey Mamma
Make it to the final? 80%

8. NETHERLANDS: Waylon – Outlaw In ‘Em
Gives a cheer. Finally! Something different! I will be fascinated to see the staging of this one. The version I saw was just him sitting down with a guitar which didn’t exactly make it shine. Good to see a pro-gun far-right party enter Eurovision.

Rating: **** [Whispers:] It’s about being bummed by Geert Wilders
Make it to the final? 100%

9. AUSTRALIA: Jessica Mauboy – We Got Love
A void. A chasm of blandness.

Rating: * 
Make it to the final? 50%

10. GEORGIA: Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao – For You
They all look very dapper, like a photoshoot with key alt-right leaders. This is the poisonous sickness that won last year. I feel my grip on life deteriorating. I can’t be helped.

Rating: NO – Let’s just kill everyone
Make it to the final? 99% because fuck me

11. POLAND: Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer – Light Me Up
This is a bad performance. The video I have of this is just him breaking away from singing the song to get the audience to sing it. I need to hear the chorus at least once before you can expect me to sing along with it, you chubby bellend. Maybe the song has a chance but there’s too many gaps. Unfocused. Bit more fun with his dancing. People wearing hats should be exterminated.

Rating: **
Make it to the final? Yes

12. MALTA: Christabelle – Taboo
A slow club banger held by a solid vocal. Everything else feels turned down like a karaoke version. That will hopefully be sorted for the semi final. Doesn’t really hit the peak it’s striving for. I kind of liked it?

Rating: ****
Make it to the final? Yes, what the hell.

13. HUNGARY: AWS – Viszlát nyár
Dial-in rock cliches. Reminds me of the Backstreet Boys doing metal. Or PJ and Duncan (RIP). The vocals sound strained when he’s singing the first bit but it’s kinda funny when he just fucks it out the window and just screeches for the rest of the song. Absolutely no chance so I love it. Hope the guitars are so loud everyone bleeds.

Rating: ****
Make it to the final? ARGHGHGHGHHGHGHGHGHG

14. LATVIA: Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl
I’m kinda done with waiting a fucking minute before the song starts. Latvia have chosen to make us wait four minutes instead. A shame then that the song is only three minutes long.

Rating: * A broken flush on a blocked toilet
Make it to the final? 20%

15. SWEDEN: Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
Oh finally. A goddamn song. Lovely performance. Funk bass, thoughtful arrangement. Just needs a stronger chorus. It’s lovely but meaningless. I would have pushed it further.

Rating: ****
Make it to the final? It’s. Sweden. For. Christs. Sake. 

16. MONTENEGRO: Vanja Radovanović – Inje
Eurovision seems quite anti-chorus this year. This is a flat ballad. The grim reaper of joy in a gold collar.

Rating: *
Make it to the final? 5%

17. SLOVENIA: Lea Sirk – Hvala, ne!
Ah, pink hair means despair and the dancers have hot pants so that’s something. Saved me three minutes on pornhub anyway. It’s another subtle chorus based on a single hook. The Portugal win seems to have opened the door to boring, laid-back choruses. It’s like someone gave Eurovision a terminal disease.

Rating: ***
Make it to the final? 75%

18. UKRAINE: Mélovin – Under The Ladder
That’s it lads. The best song in Semi Final 2. A pre chorus and a chorus? You’re spoiling us! Even the verse held my attention too. Vocals a bit ropey but a piano and lots of fire is the kind of gimmick I can celebrate.

Rating: ***** FUCK RUSSIA
Make it to the final? 100%

Siri, kill me.

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