Eurovision Song Contest 2022: Semi-Final 1Impressions

On Tuesday May 10th the long awaited Eurovision Song Contest semi-final 1 launched in Torino, Italy. Read a review and some impressions in the following.

“We are going to see the doctor, work off our to-dos and then in the evening we are going to watch the Eurovision Song Contest together!“, when I spoke these words I could have never imagined in my worst nightmares what would have been going to happen. Finally I ended up watching Rosalia‘s first Eurovision in the most silent and discreet atmosphere literally all alone (almost) with my 4-months-old daughter sleeping in our bed and my husband and son… well, I would rather not speak about it. I tried to enjoy my favourite, always long awaited and celebrated all year long show in the frames of the possible giving my best to get into the spirit of cheering, rating and being exciting but for that moment it turned out to be the worst Eurovision I could have ever imagined.

Even though I felt guilty to actually switch it on my husband encouraged me to do so knowing how much my passion and tradition with Eurovision means to me and in fact it was like a cure for me and delivered me some energy.

Eurovision 2022 hosts
A big surprise: world-start Mika hosting Eurovision beside Laura Pausini and Alessandro Cattelan (©RAI / 2022)

Eurovision under certain Circumstances

Watching the Eurovision Song Contest in the most quiet way on the smallest device possible due to my back then four-months-old daughter sleeping and me trying to calm from all the happenings, the stress and shock it was hard to follow every detail – especially if you still have some other things to do besides in the household – a parental golden rule to follow: as soon as the children are sleeping, quickly get all the work done before you relax. On top my smartphone on which I was watching needed to charge after being almost completely down which is why I missed some parts. Also it is hard for me to remember every detail around the artist who make the core of the show, the leading men and women, which is why I was rewatching the show the next day (you do not have anything better to do home alone with a baby and need this kind of entertainment, company and – as I stated – cheer-up or rather distraction).

Here are my impressions according to the running order:

  1. Albania — Ronela Hajati “Sekret”: What a powerful start into the show from the artist and the correspondingly performed song: Hajati combined Albanian folk music with modern beats. She was perfect for this performance with her strong voice and very authentic. A powerful proud woman!
  2. Latvia — Citi Zeni “Eat Your Salad”: Do you remember the Latvian entry for 2014? In case you do not let me remind you of the song entitled “Cake To Bake”. That is already all to mention. I cannot help myself but I feel like the Latvian have something with food. Anyway it is Latvian entries like these that probably do not have the quality to pass the semi-finals but still are remembered as sympathetic.
  3. Lithuania — Monika Liu “Sentimentai” (Engl.: Feelings): In case producers are searching for a cute Bond-girl let me suggest Monika – her glitter-dress was so magnificent… This little woman had a wonderfully big heart raising the Ukrainian flag in the green room. On stage she was the first entry I actually noticed and kept in mind because she was so impressive and embracing with her very alluring song. A true icon with an equally iconic song, if she had not made it to the grand final I would not know.
  4. Switzerland — Marius Bear “Boys Do Cry”: His message was more than clear to me and I could see the effort he has given through his voice with his rather discreet staging and clothing. However other than his pioneer Monika I did not keep him in mind but rather wondered when the next song is going to come.
  5. Slovenia — LPS ”Disko“: Very charmingly sung by the artist, that to be mentioned at very first! The song that is already from its name inviting to get up and dance includes a solid touch of calmness to smooth it up to enjoy it during a calmer occasion. Also it kind of included a vintage touch which I liked a lot as it made the song sound classy.
  6. Ukraine – Kalush Orchester “Stefania”: A very mixed group, probably a touch too much or too colorful and full of pattern but as well revolutionary and strong (we all know what they have been fighting for on stage but also apart from it) and summed up: super cool. You could not not like the song “Stefania” that was very versatile but had quite a beat and flow to go with. Near and far my husband and I favorized and hyped it a lot!
  7. Bulgaria — Intelligent Music Project ”Intention“: Intelligent music project indeed, the Bulgarian responsible ones formed a super group — which reminded me of the Armenian strategy for Eurovision 2015 — bringing together independent Bulgarian musicians that literally form a super group as a band which could have played together for their whole lives. The song was excellent! I very much enjoy it because it sounds to me like the opening song for a sitcom you would look forward to watch five days a week. Who knows, maybe it will become one.
  8. The Netherlands — S10 “De Diepte”: I do not want to sound disrespectful but I have heard many songs like these (almost every year) on stages of Eurovision Song Contests, seen many stagings like these and heard many stories such as “struggling with personal psychological issues” but whether it is the singers themselves profiling themselves with these stories or someone else, let them be human! Perhaps they do have these issues that may also be the reason behind songs or motivations to hit a certain road which brought them where they are or are a source of inspiration. Meanwhile however this is told so inflationary that I grew tired of listening to such stories and all I am asking for is, man, let them be people, artists or representatives. They do not become more precious to me with their handicaps.
  1. Moldova — Zdob Si Zdub & Advahov Brothers ”Trenuletul” (The Trainy): I. Am. SO thankful for this entry! When the Moldovan band was already announced they had my full attention knowing what highlighting craziness they can put on from 2011 in Düsseldorf with ”So Lucky“. The song was written to celebrate the train route from the Moldovan capital Chisinău to the Romanian capital Bucharest being reopened again. For this entry the Moldovan band even collaborated with Romanian artists, the Advahov Brothers. I must say that I laughed very hard when the German spokesman Urban commented that with such a great song even our German train (Deutsche Bahn — which is known to be late always) would start being in time again. Most of all this performance was so crazy as happy that it made me forget my big sorrow for three minutes. Meanwhile I must say that this song is the reason why I want to take the train route from Chisinău to Bucharest once. 11. Croatia — Mia Dišmić ”Guilty Pleasure“: A girl with a guitar makes Mia one of my top favourites of the year and big heart-breaks not passing further to the grand final. With a subtile yet very catchy and memorable song and performance she really hit it for my taste.
  2. Portugal — MARO “Saudade, Saudade”: Finally the traditional Portugese entry I have been waiting for and am so thankful for. They may have been quite abrupt between the first stanza and chorus but on the whole it delivered a very agreeable and calm atmosphere with some special touch which marked the instruments the artist played. With her sympathetic smile the singer was the winner of hearts.
  3. Croatia — Mia Dimsic “Guilty Pleasure”: A girl with a guitar? Yes! A beautiful young woman with a guitar? Ooh, yes! Mia caught me with her guitar-play and her terrific beautiful outfit that blew all order just correspondingly to her song “Guilty Pleasure”. This is what made the song very alluring and sexy. A match all the way.
  4. Denmark — REDDI “The Show”: Such an amazing, amazing group, such exemplary and impressive women who literally rock it at their visible elder age. That is a coolness that definitely cannot be topped. The group is giving me a really good feeling about the future. I loved their kind of vintage-like song and show they have presented us in Torino. They assemble some kind of timeless classic.
  5. Austria — LUM!X “Halo”: Nearly the best song of the year. A song that always booms and a song you always like to listen to. Halo hit me like a lightning with its electro sound containing some classic tones in between. It is a song that that invites you to nearly jump up and party.
  6. Iceland — Systur “Með Hækkandi Sól”: After the representatives from 2019 you should basically say that all Icelandic representatives that came after (and before) good but Systur, literally the sisters on the guitar and their brother on the drums were actually good. I find it so impressive that there is such a musical family somewhere in the world presented to the world and I love exactly such a collaboration like this which actually emphasizes the harmony and solidarity within a family. The song itself may have been very calm and silent but truly agreeable to relax your nerves (especially with the gold-brown stage) watching four talents within a family play their instruments.
  7. Greece — Amanda Tenfjord ”Die Together“: Amanda Tenfjord is an exceptional talent that delivered a truly sovereign performance in Torino. At the same time she looked like a Greek goddess that was just supported by her song. The only thing I would have to criticise here is that at the very first lines she sounds like robot. But on the whole it is a song that goes underneath your skin in a touching way.
  8. Norway — Subwoolfer ”Give That Wolf A Banana“: Having something significant in mind as well in heart makes this song is even more special to me personally than I already like it. The wolves with masks that pretty much resemble my preferred show ”The Masked Singer“ wore suits on top with black sunglasses. Could it. Become any cooler? Yes! With the song itself which starts with a chilled guitar and booms with a disco-party crusher and an on point matching dance.
  9. Armenia — Rosa Linn ”Snap“: To be honest when she was first introduced in connection with Tamar Kaprelian (1/6th of the Super Group Genealogy, Eurovision 2015) I felt some kind of dislike towards the entry because of my personal experiences and her later development on her second run to hit Eurovision in 2018 but Rosa Linn’s name alone made it all forgotten as it is the beginning of my daughter’s (Rosa) name and the name of my best friends‘ daughter (Linn) which is furthermore of an association. I cannot listen to this song anymore. JK. But what is not a joke is that whenever I switch on radio ”Snap“ is played. With her song accompanied by an acoustic guitar she really conquered the charts here in Germany which makes me as Armenian really proud. ”Snap“ simply is a song that is very popular and very listenable nowadays in a monotone world of Dua Lipas, Lady Gagas and Beyoncés.
Monika Liu from Lithuania holding the Ukrainian flag.
The Lithuanian representative Monika Liu holding the Ukrainian flag with all her heart (©LRT / 2022)

Eurovision 2022: Ranking & Outlook

Thus the circumstances I was still able to arrive at a decision. So my above impression put into a ranking who should have passed to the grand final in my opinion (in the running order) were – in green the ones who actually passed and in red those who did not:

  • Albania
  • Lithuania
  • Ukraine
  • Moldova
  • Portugal
  • Croatia
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Norway
  • Armenia

As the situation was still uncertain I hoped that we would at least watch the second semi-final all together the four of us or at least the grand final even though I felt like I was just lying to myself. You will see how it turned out in the next article.

Love, Johanna


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