We are all very excited – semi-final 2 of Eurovision 2021 will be held tomorrow at 21:00 CET.
17 countries will compete in semi-final 2 for only 10 spots in the final.
In this post, I will try to predict the 10 qualifiers of semi-final 2.
Before we dive into the unknown, I just want to clarify:
#1. This post isn’t about personal taste, but a prediction.
#2. I appreciate all of the 39 songs this year, even if I will criticize them.
#3. The prediction is based on the full live rehearsals which I watched the last few days.
Let’s start to review the countries according to the running order:
Senhit – Adrenalina
Senhit put a lot of effort into her entry to San Marino this year! It’s a catchy and uplifting song.
The song is energetic, the staging has funny elements but it isn’t ridiculous.
Vocally, Senhit was on point (and to be honest that kind of song doesn’t require amazing vocal abilities). Flo Rida will join her on stage and together they will deliver. It could be a wonderful semi-final opening act.
Saying that, San Marino is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Uku Suviste – The Lucky One
Uku Suviste finally gets his chance to represent Estonia with a pop-rock mid-tempo song.
Staging it as a simple one – Uku is alone on stage, with a black and white outfit.
LED screen showing the moon, thunder flashing, and dark blue lights flashing.
Vocally, he kept on improving on every single rehearsal. However, for me, the backing vocalists are responsible for the powerful part of the song. My problem with the whole package is that it is just too safe, sometimes it can be classified as generic. The song and performance are decent and don’t have any failures.
Sometimes not taking risks can be dangerous. Saying that Estonia won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Benny Cristo – Omaga
It’s a Pop – R&B song with elements of electro-dance. The singer is accompanied by 2 male and 2 female dancers on stage. The song has a dominant beat and it is uplifting. However, something was lost in rehearsals. I was disappointed by the lack of energy and vocal performance. Although we know Benny is a great performer, it seems like there is difficulty transferring the song into the stage (from the video clip).
Saying that the Czech Republic won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Stefania – Last Dance
It’s a dance-pop song with wide influences of 1980’s music. Staging’s concept is quite complicated: there is wide use of a green screen: sometimes the dancers disappear and appear through the screen. Stefania is accompanied by 4 male dancers who dancers wearing green pants, suits, and white hoodies. The vocal performance is excellent. The song is memorable, including the catchy dance beat of the chorus. It will impress people vocally and visually.
Saying that Greece is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Vincent Bueno – Amen
It’s a ballad in the genre of singer-songwriter songs. You’ll probably remember the intimacy and piano playing from this song. Vincent is one of the best male vocalists this year.
The song might not be everyone’s favorite: it can be too dramatic or too flat for some viewers.
Staging is built wisely, it is minimalist – Vincent is standing on a platform and we can see him from different points of view thanks to varied camera angles. Lighting is one of the most important components of it and of course, it has been done properly.
Saying that Austria gets a yellow card: I can see it as a qualifier and as a non-qualifier as well.
RAFAŁ – The Ride
It is a synth-pop with wide influences of 1980’s music. RAFAŁ is wearing a black elegant suit, while dancers wearing white outfits. The stage is lit with disco neon lights, on the screen we can see shots from the video clip and urban view. His dancers are holding flashlights in the shape of balls.
My problem with the song (when it was released) is the fact it is repetitive. However, in rehearsals, the main problem was the vocal performance. We were able to hear the singer out of tune or in the wrong key. They chose to rely on backing vocals that sometimes didn’t mix well with his voice.
Saying that Poland won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Natalia Gordienko – Sugar
It’s a midtempo dance-pop song. The video clip is perhaps one of the most memorable video clips of the year. She is wearing a tiny shiny dress and is accompanied by 4 male dancers wearing black outfits while showing their chests.
However, 2 things in the rehearsals made me re-evaluate it and decreased the chances of the song:
First of all, Natalia wasn’t good enough vocally. In the beginning, she hesitated, the long and high notes were her main challenge. We were able to see her trying to sing the long note in the end without success. She gets help from a pre-recorded female backing vocalist, but it didn’t save it. Second of all, the staging was too simple and had nothing to do with the video clip.
It is based on pink neon lights and 3 dimensions pink net that is shown on the led screen.
Saying that Moldova gets a yellow card: I can see it as a qualifier and as a non-qualifier as well.
Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið – 10 Years
It’s another song by Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið in the genre of Indie-dance with wide influences of the 1980’s music. The introduction is built on orchestra playing. The magic of the song is the performance itself – they are wearing a recognized outfit and make you feel like they are the geeks who will save the world. The theme of the staging is aliens that appear on the led screen.
I don’t see the song as a brilliant one but I can see it gets a lot of support. Performing remotely won’t affect the results as much.
Saying that Iceland is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Hurricane – Loco Loco
It’s another 1980’s song, but with a lot of energy and happiness. The 3 girls were great vocally, especially Sanja. The performance is simple but effective: A lot of black and white shapes.
They dance, sing and deliver a lot of fun. The song is performed in a foreign language which elevates it for me. It will be one of the favorites for votes (not sure about the jury).
Saying that Serbia is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Tornike Kipiani – You
Tornike is a talented performer. He gives us a simple and personal love song.
The song might be forgotten, it is just not impactful enough. The staging is classy: it uses the idea of intimacy and blue lighting. In the beginning, we were able to see the text on his body and face.
That sounds really good but hasn’t had a chance to qualify.
Saying that Georgia won’t qualify and gets a red card.
Anxhela Peristeri – Karma
Albania brought this year an ethnic ballad that relied on Balkan foundations. Anxhela is an excellent singer. She is charismatic and even though the majority of us won’t be able to understand the lyrics, they will know she is a storyteller. The staging is one of the surprising ones this year – there is a digital smoke shape (in red, blue, light blue, and turquoise colors) that moves behind her, synced with her dance movements. She is alone on stage, but her beauty, voice, and charisma will fill the arena.
Many people sleep on that one, especially bookmakers who have put it dead-last at odds.
However, the rehearsals convinced me that this is a strong act.
Saying that Albania is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
The Black Mamba – Love is on My Side
It’s a soul-jazz ballad. The lead singer of the band has a distinctively powerful voice.
It isn’t only a song, but a story. The different instruments in the melody give it a qualification of a concert.
It would be rude to say that this is the first time in years that Portugal has put effort into staging.
In the beginning, there is the black and white effect. Afterward, the black and white effect fades away and we see dark blue lights on LED screens. Later on, there is a golden screen with orchestra, hearts, city, and man walking across the street and during the animation. Vocally, it is identical to the studio version. I will put it as one of the jury favorites but I’m not sure about televoting.
Saying that Portugal gets a yellow card: I can see it as a qualifier and as a non-qualifier as well.
Victoria Georgieva – Growing Up is Getting Old
It’s a personal ballad with a universal message. Victoria is emotional and performs it flawlessly.
Victoria starts by sitting on the platform, with the sand brown dust appearing and sand raining from the top like the sand-clock, any visuals that will make us feel that time really runs fast as we swim the ocean called life. For sure, it will be one of the most recognizable stages of the evening.
There is something simple but wise in that act. It was of the ballad that will touch you in the deepest places in your soul and heart.
Saying that Bulgaria is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Blind Channel – Dark Side
It’s neo-metal (with influences of violent pop). This is the rock song we have all been waiting for (or at least rock fans among us). The lead singers have done a wonderful job: They are energetic, charismatic, and interesting. The staging is similar to the one we saw in the national final
“UMK 2021″ – A lot of blue and red lights, while the band members wearing black. It’s an example of why Finland should send rock songs.
Saying that Finland is a certain qualifier and gets a green card.
Samanta Tīna – Moon is Rising
Latvia is the only country to give us a drop-pop this year. The song included a unique beat. The message is women empowerment but also self-esteem and self-acceptance. Whether you like it or not, Samanta is an extraordinary performer with a powerful voice.
However, the song might be too loud for some listeners.
Samanta is wearing a dark green dress with a sort of long matching color gloves. Her three back vocalists are wearing a green face mask as well as green clothes and high skirts.
I was slightly disappointed with the staging. The Latvian delegation spread some promises about staging this year, but most of them haven’t been fulfilled. Camera shots should be improved as they sometimes show the stage at the wrong angles (too zoom-out for instance). The led screens show special shapes (like fractals) in the colors of gold, yellow and brown. Sometimes, we can see hands that create a crown. The crown can be seen on the led floor as well.
The song is modern, brave, and unique. Samanta is an excellent performer.
Saying that Latvia gets a yellow card: I can see it as a qualifier and as a non-qualifier as well.
Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’Univers
It’s a fragile but powerful ballad. It is always heart-warming to see Switzerland sending a song in a foreign language (this time French). Many viewers might have a criticism about staging which is modern and not the expected one. Gjon’s voice is one of the most impressive this year and I will definitely define him as the best male singer this year. There is something exciting and touching about the song that can’t be taken from it. It was, and perhaps still is, one of the contenders to win Eurovision 2021.
Saying that Switzerland is a certain qualifier and gets a green card
Fyr Og Flamme – Øve Os På Hinanden
It’s a dance-pop song with wide influences of the 1980s. There is something magical about the innocence of the song. It will have an appeal for those who lived in the 1980s and loved that kind of music.
The choice to sing in the Danish language is refreshing.
The staging is almost identical to the one we’ve seen in the national final. This time we can see the tattoo on the lead singer’s chest. The duo is accompanied by 3 backing singers.
However, I’m afraid the song might be a niche for some of the voters.
Saying that Denmaek gets a yellow card: I can see it as a qualifier and as a non-qualifier as well.
However, we have to mention 10 countries. Let’s recall again the 3 groups we’ve created in prediction so far:
Border Line qualifiers / Non Qualifiers:
But it looks like I can’t avoid reducing the list to only 10 countries, so here it is:
Portugal – The song is quality, the jury will support it and the people that appreciate good vocalists or jazz-blues will help it maybe
Austria – jury can push it forward
Remarks: I’m afraid Moldova will be mocked down by the jury, while Denmark won’t get much support from the public vote. Latvia is still a mystery to me in a sense of prediction.
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