Eurovision: Who's going to qualify from the second semi final?
Drag queens, bears and cute Coldplay twinks, oh my!
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Well, it’s not going to be Lithuania that’s for sure. Vilija’s song is a hot mess express with one destination: the dumpster. But among the other entrants are drag queens, bears, stomper-anthems and some rather cute Coldplay impersonators.
First through are Malta – it´s very easy to compare this track to a Mumford and Sons song (or so we´re told having never actually listened to one) but that does it a disservice. Much like Netherlands´s surprise package on Tuesday, Coming Home is a down-tempo country-infused creeper which really gets going when Michelle Mifsud belts her lungs out. Don´t let their shoe-gazer tag put you off – it'll be a good performance.
Let´s face it though, 2014 has been the Eurovision “Year Of The Bear”. Austria (who will certainly qualify) has delivered on the beard front, while Iceland sent what we can only imagine a drunken karaoke night at The Duke Of Wellington looks like. Norway have also opted for a hirsute chanteuse in the shape of beefy carpenter Carl Espen with his track Silent Storm. It will definitely qualify and could have been a potential winner in any other year... but all these power ballads are piling up quicker than at a Sam Bailey album two concept meeting.
At the other end of the musical spectrum we have the fabulous Mei Feingold performing Same Heart for Israel. Finally – a diva that can do the stomp-stomp-stomp dance perfected by Pay TV (look them up on YouTube) while belting out a dance floor anthem. It's poppers o´clock all the way.
Vying for the novelty vote are Poland and Belarus, with the Polish track already having enjoyed immense success across Europe. It’s a re-worked version of a viral hit with freshly added English lyrics. Current number of views for the original on YouTube is 41,600,000, and to put that in to perspective: Lady Gaga's multi-million dollar video for G.U.Y is currently on 37,500,000.
The Polish version is great, the English version is awesome, but splicing the two together for the competition deadens its impact somewhat – we’re left bereft of the initial “shake what your mama gave ya” line, and the novelty factor’s probably worn off for Polish speakers who will have long been familiar with the track. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how it does.
Finland has dutifully sent a band of twinky Coldplay impersonators in the form of Softengine, and the final product is not as displeasing as that concept might sound.
But what you’re all dying to know is “when do we get a trashy East European synth-pop anthem?” Fret no more. The last slot of the evening goes to Paula Seling & Ovi of Romania. They’ve promised lazers, key changes and HOLOGRAMS during their track Miracle, and if the cover of their promo CD (which also showcases Ovi’s amazingly titled album “A Bit Of Pop Won’t Hurt Anyone”) is anything to go by… they’re gonna deliver.
Our qualifying predictions? Going through: Malta, Israel, Norway, Poland, Austria, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Greece and Romania with the final spot going to Belarus.
Sorry Ireland, you're gonna struggle tonight. Also unceremoniously dumped out of the contest: Georgia, Switzerland, Slovenia and Lithuania.
Words Robin Holley, @PTButton