Monday, 17 May 2021

ESC week | Monday | First Semi-Final | Jury Show

Good evening from the Irish press centre! Ben and already gave you most of the details, so I'll focus on how they fared during money time and fresh overall impressions.

As semis go, most of us have probably guessed correctly at least 8 qualifiers - tomorrow is all about the 4-5 borderliners. Oh, there's also someone in it who used to be a favourite to win for most of the season. That feels like forever ago, I'm not quite sure that ever happened...

Rolling blog refresh etc.


I'm enjoying this quite a lot now that I expected the photobomber. What a difference can advanced knowledge make!


This song really isn't intended for hearing more than once. This is one of those moments that I ask myself why I'm doing this...


Well, me thinking that Malta can win lasted about 30 minutes. Confusing year.

Things while waiting for results

Again I won't give out too many details, but overall it feels like... A Eurovision semifinal. Which is exactly what we needed.

Nikkie is the best host, Edsilia is good too (if a bit overenthusiastic, but that's her). The other two are fillers.

I take that back - While waiting for technical issues, Chantal is improvising a song about Måneskin. I hope she'll be this fun in the real show.


Most of them picked the chorus (sensible), except Russia (the ethnic bit), Israel (the screetch) and Malta (the Excuse my French part). Belgium used the end of the chorus, which is a bit strange. Well, North Macedonia doesn't have a chorus, so it's just some random part of the song.

Malta #2

I'm not sure why she's performing again, nothing was wrong with the first go. Did the jury stop listening after the Ukrainian earpiece issue? And this one is just fine too, for a while I thought this might be a replay of the first go but no, she says "thank you once again" in the end. And maybe the last note was a bit better.

Ukraine #2

I thought Kateryna's angry face had to do with the earpiece malfunction, but she's doing it again so it must be part of the act. Flawless performance.

Romania #2

Ah, this is what it's supposed to sound like? Well, mostly, still a few shaky vocals. It's alright for what it's trying to be, but she kinda looks like Semiha Yankı in that dress (not that most viewers will notice)


Some questions while we wait for Romania and Ukraine to perform again.

Chantal: Did you enjoy your moment?
Eden: Yes, I loved Destiny!

Malta #1

We see the postcard and then Chantal. Is this intended? 

I wasn't so impressed on Thursday, but Destiny has brought back her game for the juries and looks and sounds great. Not writing this off just yet.

Ukraine #1

Kateryna & co are starting great but also running into some earpiece issues. What's going on? She deals with it much better than Roxen did. The ending is sheer brilliance.


Efendi isn't brilliant vocally (but she has the best draw possible to be average), overall it feels not bad but perhaps not as energetic as Cyprus and Israel were.

Romania #1

Starts off not terrible (what were the bloggers on about), but becomes worse and worse and out of sync as the song goes...


As some of my colleagues mentioned, this is lacking close-ups, we see too much of the group and too little of Eden's face. Mostly competent singing by her, even if not perfect.

Another break after the song, I guess they need time to roll Eden's hair off the stage.


Wow, this is really working, drawing my attention after a lot of generic Pop. Geike sounds great and although I was sceptical about its chances before I now think it's a standout.


I hear actual loud cheers from the arena (possibly from 3 very loud Croatian fans). There's absolutely nothing wrong with this performance, she's just fine. Whether I'll remember it in 6 songs' time is another matter.


Not much to say since we all know exactly what it looks like, and even if he's had too much 17 May champagne we'll never know because the backings do most of the work anyway. In this lineup it feels ok, though not really exciting. The only new thing is taking off his shades to show some fake eye ticks, which is kinda silly (but some may be touched...)


A straightforward Pop song feels exactly like what we needed. Strong performance by Elena, I still have no idea what she's singing though.


This looks like story time for the kids. An interesting concept artistically, but a bit amateurish for this kind of big event. She's likeable, shame she can't sing.

North Macedonia

Vasil is very very very emotional. He's having his moment. I'm struggling to care, but good for him. The recorded choir is overproduced and really isn't working for this. He's also failing on some low notes towards the end.

There's a small break after, since some of you don't want spoilers I won't give details (but it's not that interesting really)


If you didn't tell me that she's not there I probably wouldn't notice, but wonder why she's a bit louder than everyone else and why the background looks so cheap. There's not a lot happening apart from some dancing and a blur effect, this could really have done with some forbidden confetti.


The voice is mostly fine at the start, later it cracked a couple of times and was a bit off during the high "can you hear" parts. Still overall competent-ish and I enjoyed it.


I expected more cheer (real or not) when she+dress are rolled on stage, disappointingly there was barely any. Manizha & co. are as pro as expected, but this is missing some audience energy during the song.


Mic volume problem with Ana sounding faint in the first half line, then suddenly becoming very loud. Unfortunately she doesn't sound that great for the rest of the song and this isn't the microphone's fault. This feels like a first week rehearsal. The good news: She was standing right above the middle of the explosion this time, so she got this right. Yay?


The Roop have been flawless from the start and this performance is no different, all they were missing was some audience energy and now they got it. You do kinda notice that some of the cheers are fake if you're looking for it, but I doubt most viewers will notice.


Ben was biased, but I can confirm that Netherlands is a beautiful country. Why there are horses on the beach, I'm not sure.

Duncan's new song isn't interesting, but the stage during it is spectacular. And the arena looks and feels full, you only notice that some of them are mannequins if you're looking for it. The fake cheers are much  more convincing than Vienna. Well done!

Nikkie is very tall.

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