Happy Eurovision 2019! Semi-Final 1 Review

Hello Europe, Australia and music-enthusiasts all over the world,

happy Eurovision 2019! Yesterday the 64th opened with the semi-final 1 at the Convention Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, under the slogan “Dare To Dream”. Read my review along with impressions and cultural excursuses in the following.

It is true when they say that some things are never going to change – even if your life is changing completely. So despite motherhood and everything that belongs to it the flame of my Eurovision-euphoria is burning – brighter and bigger than before. After all, if people, with whom I am in touch rather rarely, are thinking of me because the Eurovision Song Contest has launched again I cannot not give up on my beloved passion and tradition. Furthermore this has made me invent the new word of „eurovisionizing“ my fellows just today which shall mean that I make them recognize, fellow and talk about the show more.

Talking about eurovisionizing I am even more happy to share this experience with my baby boy for the first time this year and pass a huge part of mine onto him. Today we are standing here together in our living room cheering for others but, who knows, maybe one day we will be standing together in the green room of the Eurovision Song Contest cheering for ourselves to bring the contest to our country. After all this is what Eurovision 2019 is inviting us to do: daring to dream.

Mother and baby boy in front of the TV watching Eurovision

But not only this d-word is written big this year as well dancing is – another favorite word of mine. Let us see if the hosts, among which there is as well supermodel Bar Refaeli – also known as actor Leonardo DiCaprio‘s ex-girlfriend, have kept what they promised. Again Hollywood meets Eurovision.

Just beside..

Sad irony of fate: Refaeli reminds me very much of the girlfriend DiCaprio has had ahead of her, Gisele Bündchen – another supermodel. Both look very much alike, share the same job and got married with children after their relationship with the actor whereas he has remained all alone. Besides he is a beautiful rich man, too. How come he has such a bad luck?

According To The Running Order: Country – Interpret – Impression

Every year you will read me reminding you that, for me, each Eurovision Song Contest and everything that belongs to it is like a package of pralines: You never know what comes out. About some standard information such as date, logo, slogan, participating countries, host-city et cetera I am, of course, up-to-date and by chance I get to know who is representing which country but I never listen to the songs ahead of the contest since apart from the time-aspect I want to let myself be surprised and be impartial in order to give every interpret a fair chance. In addition it is a bigger pleasure for me this way.

Since my taste mostly differs from the majority I am sure that I will not spoil you saying this year’s semi-final 1 has by far been one of the most satisfying ones I have witnessed for long. And in order to not make it unnecessarily more exciting than it actually it let us come to my impressions of last night according to their running order.

  1. Cyprus – Tamta “Replay”: Even if it has been a near copy of Eleni Foureira’s song “Fuego” [Engl.: Fire; last year’s participant for Cyprus] I still like it because it is a bombastic dance-song, so it is great anyway. Perhaps Tamta’s outfit has been a little bit to provocative.

    Do you recognize the similarity in the songs?
  2. Montenegro – D mol “Heaven”: A very cute group with very nice outfits – which symbolized their unity in white and nationality with the red-golden sashes – and the song was as well very sweet and beautiful. I very much liked the traditional sub-melody.
  3. Finland – Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman “Look Away”: Whenever there is a DJ involved it can just be cool at least. However at first the beautiful stage caught my eye – however I wonder if that dancer was indeed a benefit for the performance… The tones in the beginning of every stanza are always the most difficult to sing where the singer did not succeed. Nevertheless I liked that 90s disco song and cherished how talented the DJ was. As much as I appreciate the political engagement for mankind by the representatives in their songs it is against the rules and therefore a no-go to integrate politics in the songs.
  4. Poland – Tulia “Fire Of Love (Pali Się)” [Engl.: … (It Burns)]: A group of beautiful ladies, pert voices (because of their impressive singing), amazing outfits but sadly a girly song which did not do anything good for it.
  5. Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl “Sebi” [Engl.: Oneself]: A cute duo, with a very cool melody and beautiful singing thanks to the girl-part. The song seemed boring at the first listening but the more I have listened to it the more I loved this calm song! The stage was as well beautiful.
  6. Czech Republic – Lake Malawi “Friend Of A Friend”: Since yesterday I have the following words in my head: Of a friend – again and again. The message of this song is totally mine! Those young guys are absolutely funny with total style! Love it because it is funky! Even if the outfits have not been as glamorous the game with the colors was even cooler!
  7. Hungary – Joci Pápai “Az Én Apám” [Engl.: My Father]: It was funny to see him back! He was singing beautifully and much better this time! Also his song has been better as well as the special beautiful stage-floor.

    A beautiful stage-floor painted as a tree and route.
    © 2019 Eurovision Song Contest / YouTube
  8. Belarus – ZENA “Like It”: The boots are a little bit too exaggerated for a 16-year-old – especiall this conservative country is known to be strict. The song was pretty great as well as her voice! The young lady looks truly sovereign! A good girl with a good dance song.

    The representative of Belarus in Eurovision 2019
    Source: BelarusFeed
  9. Serbia – Nevena Božović “Kruna (Круна)” [Engl.: Crown]: That was my “Oh! That’s she!”-moment. I liked her then in 2013 with the trio Moje 3 and now even more. She has visibly grown up and has become from a girly lolita to a serious-to-take woman and songstress with a superamazing outfit and breath-taking stage. Also her singing and song were impressive nearly thrilling!

    The Serbian representative back then colorful and now gloomy
    Nevena Bozovic – back then in 2013 as lead-singer of Moje 3 and now as solo-singer. Source: Wikipedia/Hungary, danas.rs
  10. Belgium – Eliot “Wake Up”: At some parts this song is really great and strong but on the whole it has had a soporific effect.
  11. Georgia – Oto Nemsadze “Keep On Going”: A man with a very strong voice. I found it good that he sang in his own language. The song was dramatic but impressive – truly heavy on the whole and very intense!
  12. Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke “Zero Gravity”: One of my favorites ahead just from the first sight (as she was announced as representative). A singer that proves that opera-voices can sing the pop-genre, an extremely amazing song as well as the outstanding stage-performance: hovering in the cosmos on just 5-meter-spears. You have to have confidence on your body and train a lot. Simply cool!
  13. Iceland – Hatari “Hatrið Mun Sigra” [Engl.: Hate Will Win]: A matter of taste…
  14. Estonia – Victor Crone “Storm”: This is making me sigh… So many talented Estonians in the preliminary round Eesti Laul [Engl.: Estonian Song] but again it is a Swede. Certainly a man with talent and charisma but it is becoming boring with Sweden every time and everywhere. He tends to have a nasal voice that not everyone likes  however the whole pack works even if it is a very average song.
  15. Portugal – Conan Osíris “Telemóveis” [Engl.: Mobilephones]: Reflecting the colors of their national flag is always a bonus-point for me. The song itself was was requiring to get used to as well as the outfits. At least there have been cool beats.
  16. Greece – Katerine Duska “Better Love”: A very cosmopolitan songstress with an amazing voice like Adele! The sadder it is that her song was average and nothing special.
  17. San Marino – Serhat “Say Na Na Na”: Heyyy, welcome back! 😀 Again a great disco song! Even better than his first one back in Stockholm in 2016. These kind of songs strengthen the weakness of his voice.

My Personal Qualifiers

In case you do not know who has indeed qualified for the Grand Final on Saturday here they are:

  • Cyprus
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Belarus
  • Serbia
  • Australia
  • Iceland
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • San Marino

Personally I did not have completely ten favorites to make it to the Grand Final – which is probably the reason why I was not as disappointed as usual since it has made space for my actual favorites in the qualification. What I am however indeed sorry about is that weird creatures such as the representatives from Iceland make it to the Grand Final with success whereas strong artists such as the Georgian artist fail to this.

If I had to choose the ten qualifiers it would have been the following ones:

My favorites:

  • Cyprus
  • Slovenia
  • Czech Republic
  • Belarus
  • Serbia
  • Georgia
  • Australia
  • Estonia

No necessary favorites of mine but acceptable to fill the basket:

  • Poland
  • San Marino

Let us see what Thursday is holding ready for us.

See you tomorrow 21:00 (CET) for the semi-final 2!

Love, Johanna


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