Eurovision 2014 Second Semi-final Thoughts

Vilija Matačiūnaitė (Photo: Eurovision / LRT)
Vilija Matačiūnaitė (Photo: Eurovision / LRT)

We have completed our coverage of the individual entries for the Eurovision Song Contest. Have we changed our mind on any of the songs from the second semi-final?

Rehearsals have already started in Copenhagen for next week’s Eurovision Song Contest.  Over the past month, Mike and I have taken an in-depth look at each of the 37 entries in the competition, and we’re just about ready to offer our final predictions for each of the semi-finals.  Before we get to those, it seemed like a good idea to review the second semi-final as a whole one last time, just to see if any opinion’s changed since the last time we reviewed these.  Here they are:

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Second Semi-Final

CountryPositionArtistSongLanguageLast Win/Best
Israel2Mei FeingoldSame HeartEnglish/Hebrew1998
Georgia4The Shin and MarikoThree Minutes to EarthEnglish9th (2011)
Lithuania7Vilija MatačiūnaitėAttentionEnglish6th (2006)
Ireland9Can-linn feat. Kasey SmithHeartbeatEnglish1996
FYR Macedonia11TijanaTo the SkyEnglish12th (2006)
Germany, Italy, and United Kingdom will vote in this semi-final, taking place May 8.

Malta: Of the folksier entries this year, I think Malta has the best, but a static performance (which is what it looks like we’re going to be getting) may sink their chances.  Hopefully they’re making good use of camerawork, otherwise Malta will definitely be going home.

Israel:  I had previously said this song needed a dynamic performance to really secure its place in the final.  Based on rehearsal footage, I think we’re going to get that from Mei Feingold and company.

Norway:  The studio version of “Silent Storm” is a lot stronger than the live version, mostly due to the quality of Carl Espen’s vocals.  I think it’s definitely got a shot at the finals, but I’m not sure it’s going to do as well as people are expecting it to (recent polls had it in 3rd) based on the live vocal performance.

Georgia: The Shin & Mariko have never been near the top of my list of entries, and time hasn’t changed that.  From previews, it looks like we’re in for a mostly static performance, so I don’t think their chances have improved.

Poland: This one’s definitely grown on me as I’ve been listening to it.  I’m a little disappointed that Poland seems to be using clips of the original viral video as part of the stage presentation, but it did rack up a lot of YouTube views

Austria: Conchita seems ready to give a Bond opening credits-worthy performance1 to the B&W Hallerne, and I’m excited to see the final product.

Lithuania: There’s something to be said for the different sound Lithuania is bringing to the competition this year.  The song has grown on me, but I still think Vilijia’s vocals are a little rough to carry the live performance.  It doesn’t seem to be well-regarded by many other listeners either, so I think it may be over for Lithuania this year.

Finland2: This one’s been my favorite out of the second semi-final since I first heard it, and I think the energy Softengine brings will likely carry them to the finals.

Ireland: This one seems like a possible dark horse to me – the melody’s catchy, and even though they haven’t changed up the elements of the performance too much3, I like the way they’re playing with the staging available to them and can easily see this making the final.

Belarus: I hate to admit this song has earwormed its way into my brain4, and although I like the way they’re playing with the staging available to them (even if the lighting seems too dim), the song itself seems out-of-date and likely to turn viewers off.

FYR Macedonia: I like this entry, and it’s nice to finally hear Tijana’s live vocals (since the initial impression we got was a lip-sync), but it feels like FYR Macedonia is under-using the resources available to them on stage.  This, along with a lack of their voting buddies in the same final, looks likely to keep them out of contention.

Switzerland: The studio mix of this song has improved it greatly, but it’s too wordy and Sebalter always seems out of breath while singing it.  I don’t see it making the finals without some sort of voting accident.

Greece: Greece is making the final.  Greece always makes the final.  At least this year, they’re also bringing the possibility of a live on-air trampoline accident!

Slovenia: This one has been one of my favorites from the second semi-final, so I’d love to see it make the grand final.  Tinkara seems a little static on stage, but I think Slovenia’s making good use of the A/V resources available with the kinetic visualizations going on in the background.

Romania: This song is still a little manic for my taste, and I’m not in love with what I’ve seen of how this is being staged.  A circular keyboard and less than dynamic performing put this one closer to the middle of the pack for me.

  1. that oddly enough, reminds me of Paul F. Tompkins singing “Skyfall”  
  2. The country where I’d like to be pony-trekking or camping, or just watching TV  
  3. including the completely redundant step dancers  
  4. mostly because I keep mishearing that Teo doesn’t want to “be your twerpy hamster date”  

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About Ben Smith 232 Articles

Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at GoodAtInter.net. E-mail: ben@whatelseison.tv

  • My thoughts about the second semi:

    Malta: I’m worried about a static performance as well, but this is one of the best songs (in terms of construction) in the competition. I think the jury will carry it through.

    Israel: I’m a little disappointed that the drama probably won’t include the sword from the first video for the track. Other than that, good job Israel.

    Norway: I like the quartet of violinists and the staging, but if Belgium advances I see these two splitting votes in the final.

    Georgia: >}:-(

    Poland: This performance felt a little flat, ironically enough. I like the final edit of the song and appreciate the mixed language use. I think it’s middle of the pack at the moment, but I’m waiting to see the full rehearsal clip.

    Austria: I have zero concerns about this entry. Rise, Conchita, RISE!

    Lithuania: I think we might be the only people who give this song any regard. It’s an awesome song and I applaud the high degree of difficulty, but it’s a terrible Eurovision entry.

    Finland: I’m worried that nobody has been talking about Finland and that this will get lost in the shuffle. Which is a shame because this is a fantastic song. Maybe people will be surprised on Thursday and they’ll get a score boost.

    Ireland: I keep forgetting about this song, remembering it only when it pops up on my iPod. This will probably get through the semi, but I don’t have high hopes in the final.

    Belarus: I’m not convinced he isn’t saying “twerpy hamster date.” It won’t advance, but I don’t think it will finish in last place.

    FYR Macedonia: Totally agree with your assessment.

    Switzerland: I’ll be curious to see how the whistling plays. I noticed Ukraine took theirs out, which may have been because of reliability.

    Greece: I accused Russia of trolling, but the trampoline makes me think Greece might be also.

    Slovenia: I think Tinkara fell into the trap Bulgaria did last year and over-produced this entry. There have been tweaks every step of the way and not all of them have improved the song or the performance. I want this to advance, but I understand why it is on the bookmaker’s bubble.

    Romania: I think this entry has lost momentum, but that 18-second key change cannot be ignored. They’ll be fine.