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ESC 2019: The escgo! predictions for tonight’s first semi-final

ESC 2019: The escgo! predictions for tonight’s first semi-final

The first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is just a few hours away, and so it’s time for us in the escgo! team to predict the ten qualifiers for the grand final on Saturday.

You can see the choices of Shi, Martin and Felix in the table below – followed by a brief summary of their views!

Country Martin Felix Shi TEAM
1. Cyprus
Q Q Q 100 %
2. Montenegro
0 %
3. Finland
0 %
4. Poland
Q Q Q 100 %
5. Slovenia
Q 33.3 %
6. Czech Republic
Q Q Q 100 %
7. Hungary
Q Q Q 100 %
8. Belarus
0 %
9. Serbia
Q Q Q 100 %
10. Belgium
0 %
11. Georgia
Q Q 66.7 %
12. Australia
Q Q Q 100 %
13. Iceland
Q Q Q 100 %
14. Estonia
Q Q Q 100 %
15. Portugal
0 %
16. Greece
Q Q Q 100 %
17. San Marino
0 %


As you can see, there’s a lot of agreement within the team – so let’s find out why they feel the way they do.

Shi:
I am the least certain about Estonia and Georgia: Victor isn’t a great singer and the song is painfully generic, but his charisma and the song’s sanity come in the right place and time in the draw. Georgia is my wishful thinking entry and my test case of how far can a great staging of a difficult song can take you. And all in all, it might be considered the weaker semi, but it is shaping us to at least bring a diverse selection of songs into the final. I can live with that.

Martin:
Wackiest semi-final ever? Well, the first one in 2012 gives it a run for its money – Valentina Monetta, Trackshittaz, Rambo Amadeus and the Babushki, anyone? – but the back-to-back combo of “Zero Gravity” and “Hatrið mun sigra”, even separated by a break, should be one of the more memorable sections we’ve had in an ESC show. As for qualification, I’m in that annoying position of having more qualifiers in the first half. We know that’s not impossible now, but it still seems highly improbable. And within that, I’m not especially confident about Poland or Slovenia (I’ve even bet against the latter to qualify, albeit it’s money I’d be delighted to lose). Still, I feel like it’s a strong year for Central Europe, so I’m sticking with my gut instinct.

Felix:
I thought this prediction was quite easy. It doesn’t really match my personal preferences, but I think this is what the wider audience and the juries will go for. I was a bit hesitating about Poland, and nearly would have picked Belgium instead, but the staging of the latter looks so wrong that it’s ruining the slightest chance for qualification. Australia is a sure qualifier for anything other than the song, Serbia knows how to sell dullness, and the Czech Republic is the first captivating song in the running order. These three feel like the safest predictions, the last place will probably go to Belarus.

Will we be right or completely wrong? There’s only a few hours left until we find out – so whatever you’re doing and whomever you’re watching the show with, enjoy the evening and may the best songs qualify!

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

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read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

Load more tweets...

The first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is just a few hours away, and so it’s time for us in the escgo! team to predict the ten qualifiers for the grand final on Saturday.

You can see the choices of Shi, Martin and Felix in the table below – followed by a brief summary of their views!

Country Martin Felix Shi TEAM
1. Cyprus
Q Q Q 100 %
2. Montenegro
0 %
3. Finland
0 %
4. Poland
Q Q Q 100 %
5. Slovenia
Q 33.3 %
6. Czech Republic
Q Q Q 100 %
7. Hungary
Q Q Q 100 %
8. Belarus
0 %
9. Serbia
Q Q Q 100 %
10. Belgium
0 %
11. Georgia
Q Q 66.7 %
12. Australia
Q Q Q 100 %
13. Iceland
Q Q Q 100 %
14. Estonia
Q Q Q 100 %
15. Portugal
0 %
16. Greece
Q Q Q 100 %
17. San Marino
 33.3 %


Shi:

I am the least certain about Estonia and Georgia: Victor isn’t a great singer and the song is painfully generic, but his charisma and the song’s sanity come in the right place and time in the draw. Georgia is my wishful thinking entry and my test case of how far can a great staging of a difficult song can take you. And all in all, it might be considered the weaker semi, but it is shaping us to at least bring a diverse selection of songs into the final. I can live with that.

Martin:

Wackiest semi-final ever? Well, the first one in 2012 gives it a run for its money – Valentina Monetta, Trackshittaz, Rambo Amadeus and the Babushki, anyone? – but the back-to-back combo of “Zero Gravity” and “Hatrið mun sigra”, even separated by a break, should be one of the more memorable sections we’ve had in an ESC show. As for qualification, I’m in that annoying position of having more qualifiers in the first half. We know that’s not impossible now, but it still seems highly improbable. And within that, I’m not especially confident about Poland or Slovenia (I’ve even bet against the latter to qualify, albeit it’s money I’d be delighted to lose). Still, I feel like it’s a strong year for Central Europe, so I’m sticking with my gut instinct.

Felix:

I thought this prediction was quite easy. It doesn’t really match my personal preferences, but I think this is what the wider audience and the juries will go for. I was a bit hesitating about Poland, and nearly would have picked Belgium instead, but the staging of the latter looks so wrong that it’s ruining the slightest chance for qualification. Australia is a sure qualifier for anything other than the song, Serbia knows how to sell dullness, and the Czech Republic is the first captivating song in the running order. These three feel like the safest predictions, the last place will probably go to Belarus.

Will we be right or completely wrong? There’s only a few hours left until we find out – so whatever you’re doing and whomever you’re watching the show with, enjoy the evening and may the best songs qualify!

Line-up check 2019: Our views on the automatic finalists

Line-up check 2019: Our views on the automatic finalists

Have you been keeping up with our line-up check of the ESC 2019 entries? Each song is assigned to one of our team, and once they’ve had their say, the other team members get a brief right of reply. That way you get to see what we all think – and whether we share the same opinions or disagree wildly.

We’ve given you our views on the first and second semi-finals, and now here’s a round-up of what we had to say about the songs that are automatically qualified for the final. Simply click the country name to read the full review!

France
“An example of how to mash native language and English in a way that really drives home the message of the song.”

Germany
“I don’t have enough realistic non-Germany options to fill the bottom five spots.”

Israel
“It’s boring by definition, but I still find musical qualities in it.”

Italy
“I expect the juries to fall big for this contemporary and relevant song with several incisive musical hooks.”

Spain
“The positivity stands out this year like a skyscraper in Antarctica.”

United Kingdom
“It all adds up to yet another of ‘those’ years for the UK and the BBC.”

all images from eurovision.tv

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: United Kingdom

Line-up check 2019: United Kingdom

United Kingdom: Michael Rice – Bigger Than Us

Martin: The problem with choosing your entry relatively early in the season is you don’t have much context to play with.

Not that the public can be expected to take other countries’ entries into account when voting, of course – just look at how hard the BBC tried to persuade people not to vote for Scooch in 2007 by pointing out that the UK would be sandwiched between novelty entries in Helsinki. That turned out well for them, didn’t it?

But still: Back when Michael Rice finger-snapped his way through “Bigger Than Us” and took the ticket to Tel Aviv, it might have been useful to know that Sweden would subsequently choose a better version of the same song, performed (far more persuasively) by the songwriter himself.

Does this spell doom for the UK? Well, not necessarily. Michael has his own vocal style and a naive charm that might mean he ends up fishing in a slightly different vote pond than the slick professional John Lundvik. Plus, even if Sweden ends up squishing the UK in the televote, the juries are free to send big votes to both songs if they feel inclined to.

But I’m concerned that it all adds up to yet another of “those” years for the UK and the BBC – plenty of good intentions and positive vibes, and a competent but unspectacular entry that ultimately ends up glued to the bottom right-hand corner of the scoreboard. (The recently released music video is adorable though.)

Prediction: Personal:

↘

Shi: Is “naive charm” code for something? A slang phrase I’m not familiar with? Because I don’t see naive charm. I see annoying. A whole load of annoying. I was actually surprised to realize that once you don’t look at the performance, the song sounds remarkably less tacky.

Felix: I have to disagree with Martin, I actually find the UK song much better than Sweden’s. To quote myself: “If only John would sing ‘Bigger Than Us’.”  Because I like this song a lot, and my problem with UK is… the singer. While some might find Michael’s gestures charming, others – me included – find them rather unfavourable. Or annoying.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Spain

Line-up check 2019: Spain

Spain: Miki – La venda

Felix: My first few encounters with “La venda” were all in the shape of seeing the Spain snippet in various non-Spain national finals. From time to time, I developed a feeling that this could be a good one, something I’d love, and was anticipating the day on which I would batch-hear many songs for the first time.

This day eventually came, and Spain.. well, I was kind of disappointed. I missed the energy that I felt in the snippet, and the whole thing felt a tiny bit too fast, too flat, too unemotional. Though I have to acknowledge the fact that they’re participating with such a positive, vibrant song in what feels like an otherwise very dark, dull and negative year to me. My only problem with it is that the positivity feels all a bit too artificial and forced. The constant smiling feels slightly Lonnie Devantier… you know what I mean.

Will the audience buy the happiness he sells, maybe all too obviously? It’s a fine line, and I guess we will all have to wait a little more to find out – but if I have to tie myself down now, I’d say yes, he’ll reach his audience, and yes, it will help him, especially as the positivity stands out this year like a skyscraper in Antarctica.

Prediction: Personal:

↗

Shi: I liked this one from the beginning, but it was actually the preview parties that convinced me it can do pretty well in Tel Aviv: every time Miki came on stage, he brought energy and joy that were missing from the surrounding entries.

Martin: I don’t share my colleagues’ enthusiasm, but Spain shouldn’t be too worried, because this was never going to be my kind of song. If they stage it right and if Miki can stay in tune, a pretty good result could be on the cards. Those are two big ifs, though.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

Load more tweets...

Line-up check 2019: Italy

Line-up check 2019: Italy

Italy: Mahmood – Soldi

Martin: Italy feels like such an ESC fixture nowadays that you sometimes forget they only returned to the contest this decade. It’s been a good spell for them, too, with six visits to the top ten in eight years, including two podium finishes.

At the time of writing, Italy are fighting with Sweden to be the bookmakers’ third-favourite to take the 2019 crown, although both are lagging some way behind the Netherlands and Russia. Shi has already told us about Mahmood’s fairytale journey to a big domestic hit, but is “Soldi” really the kind of song that can take the continent by storm?

On the surface, there are several arguments against it, not least that it’s a wordy and difficult song in a genre – insofar as it can be pigeonholed at all – that doesn’t have a lot of ESC history behind it. Then again, last year’s Italian entry was about as wordy as it gets, and they managed to find a way of bringing it across well – and the last few Eurovision winners have precisely nothing in common in terms of genre, so it’s not like there’s any such thing as a guaranteed formula for success any more.

I don’t expect Italy to use on-screen captions this year, but I do expect the juries to fall big for this contemporary and relevant song with several incisive musical hooks. And as long as Mahmood doesn’t come across as too (Mah)moody then he should capture some televoter hearts too.

Enough to win? Regardless of what the bookies say, it’d be a surprise to me, but one I’d gladly welcome with a clap clap.

Prediction: Personal:

↗

Shi: Italy is my personal favorite this year, and has been from the first time “Soldi” was performed. I don’t know if it can win – I don’t think it will, at least – but I do think it can do well enough to still wrap up my little Cinderella narrative nicely. Because it’s all about me, of course.

Felix: Whenever I have a strong feeling that a country will win, it actually does. This happened with Norway, Ukraine (twice even), Portugal. “Soldi” is the most characteristic and iconic entry this year, the most outstanding and memorable song. I have a strong feeling that Italy will win… and I like it a lot.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

Load more tweets...

Line-up check 2019: Israel

Line-up check 2019: Israel

Israel: Kobi Marimi – Home

Felix: A lot of songs have been reviewed in our line-up check series so far, and we’re soon reaching the end of it – but of course, not without judging the entry of the home country, Israel!

If you’re an attentive reader, you might already know that I find the overall quality of this year’s Eurovision line-up abysmal. And since everyone seems to put Israel in their bottom five this year, you’re probably expecting me to do the same, but nope: While not being a fan of the entry, I don’t find it horrible at all.

It’s slow, it’s soft, it’s tiring, it’s boring by definition, but I still find musical qualities in it. Something that can’t be said about Australia, for example.

But well, Israel isn’t that far up in my own chart either, and I find it remarkable that the home entry is – again – something so unspectacular. Just like The Makemakes in Vienna. “They clearly don’t want to win again” is a line that our generation, the aging Eurovision fans, used more often in the past than we do today – but I assume it’s a valid one for Israel’s Kobi Marimi, more so than for any other home entry in recent Eurovision history.

Prediction: Personal:

↘

Martin: Whereas Israel does not escape my bottom five. On first encounter I thought it was a cast-iron candidate for my #41, but I’ve grown to appreciate the inadvertent camp of the someooooone and the multi-Kobis in the video. If only I believed any of the people involved meant it anything other than deadly seriously.

Shi: See, that’s the difference between Martin, Felix and myself: they are used to being direct finalists, so they don’t understand the relief at least not having to worry about making it to the final to begin with. Which we wouldn’t have done with this song, obviously.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

Load more tweets...

Line-up check 2019: Germany

Line-up check 2019: Germany

Germany: S!sters – Sister

Shi: Every year I have that one song where I like the performer so much I really want to believe they could somehow not finish in the bottom 3 with 4.75 points (but secretly know in my heart that there’s no chance of this happening), and this year is no different.

After accidentally finishing fourth last year (let’s not talk about this), Germany promptly returned to what they have been doing so faithfully since 2014: sending a sympathetic female act with a perfectly pleasant tune that has very little chance of being anyone’s televote choice when you have, well, all the other songs to choose from. The song does have its lovers – I’m looking at you, Felix. But sadly for the Sisters – no, I’m not cooperating with that ! instead of I thing and I don’t care if that’s your official name, sorry, girls – Felix can’t vote for Germany from Germany, so they are still on the lookout for televoters.

Their great harmonies might have some pull with the juries, but it’s not like they don’t have enough options. And when I remember that there’s room in the bottom five for five songs (yes, I’m very good at math), I don’t have enough realistic non-Germany options to fill those spots. Especially since, if the national final is anything to go by, we have another Levina-style perfect monochromatic staging just waiting to happen.

Prediction: Personal:

⬇

Felix: Fans, may I pass you a mirror?

Chat, 22 February, 20:41 CET: Aly Ryan gets an average score of 6.83/10.
Chat, same day, 21:23 CET: S!sters get an average score of 6.78/10.
Chat, about an hour later: “bottom 3 for Germany” / “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?” / “Omg this is so shit”

This explains everything about how the community changes its mind from one second to the other, just to keep aligned with the loudest opinion. May I deviate? It’s the best German entry in ages, by far, and I stand behind my country’s choice like hardly ever before. If there’s one song I LOVE in ESC 2019, then it’s “Sister”.

And you, you’re all drunk. Go home.

Martin: It’s… fine?

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: France

Line-up check 2019: France

France: Bilal Hassani – Roi

Shi: One of the biggest challenges in writing a review is when you get to an entry you feel there is some sort of consensus about that you can’t quite see or agree with, but that does make you question yourself.

“Roi” is one of those songs. I keep reading that it’s terrible, that the performance is bad and that it’s going to do nothing. But I don’t really feel that. I do get some of the criticism, though. Bilal isn’t one of this year’s strongest vocalists, but he’s far from being as bad as described, and it’s nothing a good backing vocal arrangement won’t fix. I can even get that people find the “take me as I am” message songs a bit tiring by this point, but I think his performance of it so far has pushed the message just enough without going overboard, and that he feels natural and relatable in his stage persona.

More importantly, though, I think “Roi” is a really good song. It’s a clever and catchy composition that also serves as an example of how to mash native language and English in an effective way that really helps drive the message of the song home.

Predicting this is also hard – see my first paragraph – but I feel it’s memorable enough for televoters and strong enough as a song to at least manage the left side of the board.

Prediction: Personal:

↗

Felix: I’m still unsure where France is on this year’s Eurovision map. What’s more, I always thought Bilal was a “she”, which just shows my level of attachment to this year’s line-up. Anyway: I also find this better than its reputation suggests. For me, one of the better songs this year.

Martin: I trouve this très difficile to get un handle on. Bilal ne semble pas particularly sympa, même almost egotistical, et the mixture des langues is pretty weird en ce qui concerne how it changes après almost every mot. Not for me, comme Daniela Simons once a chanté.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Our views on the second semi-final

Line-up check 2019: Our views on the second semi-final

Have you been keeping up with our line-up check of the ESC 2019 entries? Each song is assigned to one of our team, and once they’ve had their say, the other team members get a brief right of reply. That way you get to see what we all think – and whether we share the same opinions or disagree wildly.

Anyway, don’t worry if you missed a post or two – here’s a round-up of what we had to say about the songs in the second semi-final. Simply click the country name to read the full review!

1. Armenia
“I’m not really the core audience, so if even I’m getting it, that should bode well for Armenia.”

2. Ireland
“It says a lot when your main selling point is that at least your countrymen won’t be embarrassed watching this.”

3. Moldova
“Every bit as pedestrian and everyday as the song title suggests.”

4. Switzerland
“If Europe is in a pop mood when it counts, Switzerland can go very very far this year.”

5. Latvia
“Round and round, where are you, round and round, I need you, bla bla bla.”

6. Romania
“There’s no doubting the inherent quality, but you can’t help but wish she’d cheer up a bit.”

7. Denmark
“I cannot listen to any overly sweet song without regretting the life choices I’ve made that led me to this point.”

8. Sweden
“At Eurovision, it’s the points scored that matter, not the reasons why people award them to a specific entry.”

9. Austria
“Let’s just say they won’t be in the split screen during the last part of the voting this time.”

10. Croatia
“Icarus on a bungee rope.”

11. Malta
“Just how far can marketing and friendly juries get you in this competition?”

12. Lithuania
“Despite the visions of an exciting safari adventure, it manages to be three minutes of nothing happening.”

13. Russia
“A vein of ice-cold (melo)drama running through it like only the eastern side of the continent seems able to deliver.”

14. Albania
“More of a pleasant soundtrack than something that stands out on its own merits.”

15. Norway
“Cucumber, apple syrup and honey all meet in that wok. And when you eat it, Saara Aalto’s face appears at the bottom of the pan.”

16. Netherlands
“‘Arcade’ may not be a song for hysterical gestures, but I’d like to see some personality from him.”

17. North Macedonia
“If I had the job of giving awards, the prize for ‘female ballad of the year’ would go to North Macedonia.”

18. Azerbaijan
“Chingiz has a great, warm voice, but the song’s content feels at odds with his personality.”

all images from eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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Visit our Eurovision Chat!

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The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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Line-up check 2019: Azerbaijan

Line-up check 2019: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan: Chingiz – Truth

Shi: I have a complicated relationship with Azerbaijani entries. On one hand, they almost always use foreign writers and have their artists ditch their usual style in favor of a Eurovision-tailored track they wouldn’t otherwise perform. On the other hand, they often pick really good tracks, which is something that’s hard to resent in the context of a song contest.

This year’s entry is a catchy, upbeat and modern pop track with a light, but effective, oriental sound, which is right up my alley. Chingiz has a great, warm voice and comes across as equally warm and approachable. But the song’s content feels at odds with his personality, and the style of the track doesn’t fit with his mannerisms.

Chingiz is actually credited as co-composer – the first artist since Arash to be credited, so one can only hope he had enough input to feel comfortable with this change in style. And you can always trust Azerbaijan to deliver an interesting visual performance (with differing degrees of success, but that’s another matter). “Truth” has a great draw, and even after last year’s mishap you wouldn’t bet against it qualifying, but how it will do in the final is really up to the yet unknown factor of how well the song and performer gel together.

Prediction: Personal:

↗

Martin: Every year has a song to which I take an irrational dislike, and this year it’s Azerbaijan. I get that it’s a professional production, but I just find it drags on and on with little end product, and male falsetto vocals masquerading as technique are never going to be my thing so even the chorus fails to deliver. Next!

Felix: This year, Azerbaijan sounds fresh and more alternative than it really is. I like it! Totally a track I’d listen to outside of Eurovision. This one does get a bit tired after a few listens, but it’s still catchy. I’m curious how they will stage it.

video and title image source: eurovision.tv

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

Visit our Eurovision Chat!

Join the Chat!

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more

After 44 years, the Netherlands win Eurovision!

The winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is "Arcade" by Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands - ending a 44-year wait for the country dating back to Teach-In and "Ding-A-Dong" in 1975. In an incredibly exciting results presentation, Sweden won the jury vote...

read more

The View from Tel Aviv: I’m coming home

Home. It’s not just the name of the Israeli entry – it’s a state of mind. Having been in Israel for eleven days now, Shi takes stock on what the Eurovision-at-home experience has meant to her so far.

read more

The View from San Francisco: Another Summer Night

In the second part of her ESC 2019 review, Shi looks at the differing arcs of the returning artists, what made Duncan’s winning reprise so special – and the delegations that made things unnecessarily hard for themselves…

read more
 escgo! on Twitter

If anyone was wondering, this is why the internet exists. https://t.co/iF5QweYfS6

"The Voice" by Eimear Quinn except it's just her breathing

Photos emerge of Chingiz's latest Instagram shoot

Your #Eurovision longread:

How Malta got it wrong due to constant tinkering, how Hungary slowly deteriorated over the fortnight, and how Duncan Laurence lucked into the right way to lose.

All these post-bubble insights and more in Shi's first wrap-up!

https://t.co/Mz41481SAn

“Dua ta besoj” by Artemisa Mithi & Febi Shkurti from #Albania wins SongHunt 2019 and is the best non-winning #Eurovision national finalist of the season! https://t.co/au9NTAWZdf via @escgo

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