My predictions from the first Eurovision 2012 semifinal were correct. Both Ireland and Russia advanced to the grand finale on Saturday night.
Today, another 18 countries compete for their chance at Eurovision glory. It’s a very different mix from the gimmick-heavy first group. There are a lot of ballads and dance pop songs from established pop/rock stars competing today. So what acts will move on to the finale?
I narrowed it down to three this time: Estonia, Ukraine, and Sweden.
First, Ott Lepland is representing Estonia with an absolutely stunning ballad called “Kuula (Listen).” This guy can sing. I have no clue what the song is about but his performance almost brought me to tears.
Is it too somber for Eurovision? I don’t know. Ballads have been doing very well recently. The whole contest is in Baki, Azerbaijan because Edward & Nigar won in 2011 with a sweet little pop ballad. Full disclosure: they were surely helped by having a song in English. Ott Lepland is singing in Estonian. This is the choice I feel the least confident about.
Second has to be Gaitana representing Ukraine with “Be My Guest.” It’s the kind of bouncy Europop song that gets to the finale every year but rarely wins. Gaitana’s voice and stage presence is huge, which should help the crowd go crazy and elevate opinions of her performance.
The one downside is how scratchy it is at first. It’s less music driven than beat driven. If you stick with “Be My Guest” until the bridge, everything comes together in a really catchy package. Will Gaitana’s presence be enough to carry the audience to the best part of the song?
Third is Loreen from Sweden singing “Euphoria.” If you follow a lot of Eurovision press, she is arguably the favorite to win the whole contest. The song is another Europop dancehall song, but it’s got great build and the choreography Loreen is doing is fascinating.
No notes for Loreen. She has this on lockdown.
So who am I missing? What acts should have moved on after the first Semifinal? Who should win the whole shebang on Saturday night? Sound off below. Love to hear from you.