Eurovision Song Contest 2018 – Semi Final 1

Hello my dear readership and happy Eurovision everyone,

on Tuesday May 8, 2018 the 63th Eurovision Song Contest has begun with the semi final 1. Due to Salvador Sobral’s victory last year in Kiev with his song “Amar Pelos Dois” Portugal has become the hosting country of Eurovision for the first time. The event itself takes places in the Altice Arena in the capital of Portugal Lisbon under the motto “All Aboard!”

Note: In the same year Portugal has as well won the European Champion’s League in soccer. Is there probably a connection between both victories?

Participants & Impressions

Some people will never understand my passion towards Eurovision, for many people especially in central- and western Europe it is nothing but politics. May be. Nevertheless Eurovision will always stay a bringing together of multi-culturalism and sympathizers for me. Furthermore each year it is a source of inspiration for me, either through at least one of the artists of discovering more beautiful places on earth to visit as it happened to be with Portgual. This year the participants have shown us the different beautiful places all over the host country in their postcards.

In the following I list you the competing countries in the running order along with its interpret and tell you my impression of each one:

    1. Azerbaijan – Aisel “X My Heart”: Aisel is a very sympathetic looking young woman with a good song, even though it sounded like an average-sounding Eurovision song. Her performance was great! She was nearly flying on stage and symbolizing freedom just like the flag of peace that has a white bird with its wings sprout out on on a light blue ground. My surprize effect: her voice! Very unexpectedly grown up and pure.
    2. Iceland – Ari Olafsson “Our Choice”: A very cute young man that reminded me on Jüri Pootsmann (Estonia’s participant in 2016). However with a weak song that has no power nor remembrance.
    3. Albania – Eugent Bushpepa “Mall”: Eugent delivered the rocky note to the semi final one. However his voice was not powerful enough to carry the song.
    4. Belgium – Sennek “Matter Of Time”: When I talk about source of inspiration I talk about artists like Sennek. You may argue about her staging outfit but her performance was simply bombastic just like her song which could be the soundtrack of a good timeless black and white movie. This reflected her love towards black and white, silent being the new loud and discreet the new extravagant.
    1. Czech Republic – Mikolas Josef “Lie To Me”: This boy doubtlessly has the beat! Mixing new modern houselike R&B with old-school Backstreet-Boy-pop.
    2. Lithuania – Ieva Zasimauskaité “When We’re Old”: Her stage was beautiful just like the singer herself. A beautiful pure young woman. However for Eurovision and my personal taste too silent.
    3. Israel – Netta “TOY”: The winner Salvodor Sobral called this song “horrible“. I agree nevertheless in another way: when Netta and her song were first introduced my Facebook feed was full of people among others professional musicians predicting the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv (Israel). My doubts were confirmed when I listened to the song yesterday. Her performance with chicken sounds and moves was completely silly. Even though I have to admit that her song was not bad apart from that. Very catchy.
    4. Belarus – Alekseev “Forever”: I have to admit I have a huge love and passion towards roses. Alekseev touched the deepest bottom of my heart and made me shiver with th performance all about one proud rose and a classic romantic love song. My heart is this song’s.
  1. Estonia – Elina Nechayeva “La Forza”: Not only Estonia is my unofficial secret home country and Elina a very kind woman, she is at least as talented as beautiful. She brings back music in its origin and true meaning with her classic opera-soprano voice and Italian as nearly the native language of music. An additional thumb up for her having worked on her song. This is what forms a true musician. From my side as well a suur aitäh (huge thanks) to the Estonian government for having sponsored the amazing dress in the last minute. Say YES to the dress!

    Estonia in Eurovision 2018
    ©Andres Putting EBU
  2. Bulgaria – EQUINOX “Bones”: When I first saw them I got shocked as I expected a hardcore gothic song but they simply disappointed me with their weakness of singing and song.
  3. F.Y.R. Macedonia – Eye Cue “Lost And Found”: The girl probably expected more than she got in the end. In my eyes not justified since her song was too average and not outstanding at all.
  4. Croatia – Franka “Crazy”: The Croatian Tyra Banks singing in the style of Alicia Keys however missing a power-part.
  5. Austria – Cesar Sampson “Nobody But You”: Cesar Sampson reminded me of UK’s participant from 2006 Daz Sampson and I wonder if they are relatives somehow. He was one of the outstanding acts of the night with his Ghospel-style.
  6. Greece – Yianna Terzi “Oniro Mou”: She has a great voice, however the song, performance and dress and whole staging were too spiritual to come further.
  7. Finland – Saara Aalto “Monsters”: I have no sympathy for Saara Aalto even though I have to admit that she had one of the few good and lively songs and performances of the night.
  8. Armenia – Sevak Khanagyan “Qami”: Sevak is very popular in Armenia and had a very powerful song and voice! However – I do not blame the Armenian language of his song for his fail – I would have wished the professionals of AMPTV teaching him at least a little bit English. Also his depressing appearances (even if they may have been his image) were one of my reasons why he was everything but outstanding. If he was not as distant he would have had more success I am sure. The national selection should have chosen a more world-open and cosmopolit interpret such as Nemra (second place of the national selection). Some of us still wonder why he was chosen.
  9. Switzerland – ZiBBZ “Stones”: The coolest siblings ever bringing Gipsy to Eurovision and power! They rocked that thing simply!
  10. Ireland – Ryan O’Shaughnessy “Together”: I could spit on this boy and his performance of gay-propaganda on public TV and stage. A huge NO GO! I cannot remember his song not only because of my digust but because it was weak.
  11. Cyprus – Foureira “Fuego”: A bomb and fire at the end! I loved the modern beats combined with Cypriot heir of music and dance. That’s how a Eurovision song should be.

Grand Final Qualifiers V.S. My Personal Qualifiers

My statement in short: mainly artists were nominated to the Grand Final that represent society-groups that are most likely to be discriminated which left me speechless of shock and disappointment. I was so mad that I could not even be happy about Estonia and Czech Republic qualifying.

The 10 finalists of semi final 1:

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Albania
  3. Israel
  4. Lithuania
  5. Estonia
  6. Bulgaria
  7. Austria
  8. Finland
  9. Ireland
  10. Cyprus

My top 10 in order of appearance:

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Belgium
  4. Belarus
  5. Estonia
  6. Austria
  7. Croatia
  8. Armenia
  9. Switzerland
  10. Cyprus

It was a huge check that common most likely finalists such as Azerbaijan and Armenia did not qualify for the Grand Final but let us forget about the anger and look forward to the semi final 2 on 21:00 [CET] on every national TV or the Eurovision live stream on YouTube.

Love, Johanna

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