Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final 1: Impressions

Thank God you are back baby!

And with that hello my beloved readership and hello Europe!

After a forced break of two years the Eurovision Song Contest is back. Read about my impressions in the following.

A Forced Pause

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the almost international shutdown actions the Eurovision Song Contest could not take place last year. This was probably a huge shock for all Eurovision fans. And the alternatives offered on German television such as the #FreeESC (Free European Song Contest) aired on Pro7 which was an idea of the German Eurovision mogul Stefan Raab was just, my apologies to Stefan, bottomless. Which is on the first place owed to the contestants. The #FreeESC should have stayed a one-time-story.

The Dutch Anti-Social Strangening Concept

Anyway as it was emphasised various times (I cannot not mention it at this point) the Dutch government (other and BETTER than our German government – talk about Merkel being the best governor right now) was trying within the bounds of a reopening politics an experiment to let the contest take place normally however with strict hygiene actions and everyone tested. I can just praise the Dutch government for this!
My husband returned that this concept could have as well been tried for the Champions league finals – or in general (if you ask me).

Talking about the Dutch government the Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima send an official message to Rotterdam

But back to the contest. Taking place in Rotterdam this year’s Eurovision motto remained the same as originally decided for last year: “Open Up” – and with all the circumstances the hosting country The Netherlands perfectly put this into practice. Finally, as the Dutch hosts said before last year’s winner Duncan Laurence can find his successor.

Long speech short sense let us come to the most interesting part. The participating countries of the semi-final 1 and my feedback on them in the running order.

“Don’t you ever dare to wear my Johnny Cash t-shirt”


Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final 1: Review

Portrayed in running number, interpret, song and feedback:

  1. Lithuania – The Roop “Discoteque”: The song seemed slightly stolen to me but anyway it was a very cool composition on the whole with a fancy performance in all yellow. That was a funny coincidence because on exactly that day I had uploaded my all yellow outfit on my Facebook page.
  2. Slovenia – Ana Soklič “Amen”: Ana is a woman with an impressive and great voice! But I had the impression that at the part of singing “hallelujah” her voice pretty much failed. It was a pretty quiet song but she had a great stage with the cosmos.
  3. Russia – Manizha “Russian Woman”: A song for emancipation. It was quite weird at the beginning with her voice and the outfit which was everything but benefiting for her. But it turned out to be a strong song with a big message and great stage writing.
  4. Sweden – Tusse “Voices”: He brought up the Eurovision-mainstream among the songs. So the song was okay. The rhythmic part was catchy and memorable but otherwise it did not stand out much.
  5. Australia – Montaigne “Technicolour”: It was sad (!) that she could not be on place personally. Nonetheless she put on a great performance! Her song was really cool because I like such disco-songs.
  6. North Macedonia – Vasil Garvanliev “Here I Stand”: Vasil’s great Voice made the song beautiful. Therefore I felt of the choir to be unnecessary for that song. He literally shone on stage and at the end the song felt like a Disney song pretty much “The Lion King” – maybe that was thanks to the color of the stage.
  7. Ireland – Lesley Roy “Maps”: A very lively song and quite familiar at parts. Maybe too lively that it tended to be rushful for my taste. The stage was done in an impressive way. It was funny, childish but yet sweet on the whole.
  8. Cyprus – Elena Tsagrinou “El Diablo”: A Greek woman representing Cyprus. That earns a woah. From her appearance up to her (VERY lewd) outfit Elena looked a lot like Tamta (and as many agreed to the German spokesman Peter Urban, Lady Gaga). The latter I felt a lot from her song. It was okay, catchy but also not too loud. As in the past many artists and acts (from 2009) were criticized to be too provocative I must say that this performance apart from the outfit was too maybe a little bit too sexy, too. Anyway it was a good one among Eurovision-mainstream.
  9. Norway – TIX “Fallen Angel”: This fancy guy was everything but a fallen angel. He was a rising angel which my heart is beating for! He delivered a beautiful song leaning on 90s pop nearly like the Backstreet Boys. On the whole it was very touching.
  10. Croatia – Albina “Tick-Tock”: One of the best performances! A totally cool stage – you figured out I like the writings on stage. But furthermore it was sung by a cool girl with a dominant voice.
  11. Belgium – Hooverphonic “The Wrong Place”: Super cool! Discreet but great. The black kept stage and style of the band was simply amazing! On top they had a beautifully rhythmic and cool song with a line (quoted above) that is iconic.
  12. Israel – Eden Alene “Set Me Free”: A funky stage with a crazy woman going wild!
  13. Romania – ROXEN “Amnesia”: I was caught by the purple-pink sunset stage and the colours of costumes. ROXEN is a very beautiful girl and great woman who sang a very strong, great song. She had a touch of Alicia Keys.
  14. Azerbaijan – Efendi “Mata Hari”: The Azeri songstress and her dancers had great costumes. “Mata Hari” is a powerful, rhythmic song with traditional beats. The singer is an impressive woman with a great voice. As she reminded me of her a better version of Beyoncé.
  15. Ukraine – Go_A “Shum”: I find it was very good that they sang in their native language. It was tradition combined with modernity. The band was absolutely surreal and exceptional! They perfectly matched their transition and ending part with their stage and the animated mannequins running. I had to laugh so hard that I absolutely loved it in the end.
  16. Malta – Destiny Chukunyere “Je Me Casse”: Oh my God! How cute it was Destiny representing Malta! The winner of Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 has grown to an impressive woman with a hell of a voice! But somehow she did remind one of 2018’s winner Netta.

My husband is correct, this year Eurovision has a lot of good acts. Therefore it was tough to sort out six interprets for the grand final. But here they are in green those who actually qualified in green and those who did not pass in red in the running order:

  1. Lithuania
  2. Russia
  3. Australia
  4. Cyprus
  5. Norway
  6. Croatia
  7. Belgium
  8. Azerbaijan
  9. Ukraine
  10. Malta (whereas this place is shared with Romania)

The two other qualifiers were Sweden and Israel. The two other black candidates. I really hope that this does not have the background of the Black Lives Matter movement because truly in my point of view I believe that we do not have this problem so much as Americans. In every region you have another chased target group. Which is of course not right to have but a human problem that goes beyond color, religion or gender.

I would not mind as well if one year Sweden would not qualify for a grand final. If you ask me they tend to be overrated anyway. Instead Australia must have(!) been in the grand final and I really saw them there for sure because with her song the singer supported LGBT+ and especially on diversity day this was more than necessary.

Eurovision 2021 impressions.
The new face of the Eurovision: Martin Österdahl. Source: Personal screenshot / Fall4Me

Goodbye Jon Ola Sand

As it was announced on that evening the Eurovision Song Contest has a new executive supervisor. Let us start to engrave the name Martin Österdahl into our minds. It was… a pretty sad surprise as we Eurovision fans did not have the chance to say a proper goodbye to Jon Ola Sand who had done a great job all these years. The more shocking these news were as we were presented with a fait accompli. This happened because the Contest 2020 did not take place. After which Sand actually wanted to stop his job and take on new projects. Nonetheless Martin does receive his warm welcome from (hopefully) all of us. For what concerns Sand I wish him all the best for the future.

And now let us look forward to the semi-final 2 on Thursday! Do not forget to switch on either on your national broadcasting channel or on the official site/YouTube-channel for a live-stream.

Love, Johanna

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