Semifinal 2: Late night thoughts

So what did we learn from Semifinal 2?

Unlike Noah’s ark, Eurovision has a ‘one in’ policy

Two sadboi balladeers? Sorry, Victor – you did a great job, especially for someone who’s probably going to have to take a chemistry exam next month, but Andrew Lambrou’s impressive biceps gave him the edge.

Two Northern European powerhouse vocals in baggy suits? Sorry, Dilja – you sang beautifully, but Alika’s delegation actually gave her a prop to use. Your energy is amazing, and since it’s Iceland, I’m sure you’ll be back.

Two female singers with delectable crooning abilities? I’m sad to see you go, Iru. I loved your song, and your staging was directly out of the Eurovision ‘big voiced lady’ playbook. However, everyone’s pivoted to dance breaks and I’m sorry your delegation literally made you immobile by wrapping you in a sheet.

Two rock bands? Don’t worry – I’m not even going to go here because we all know that Slovenia has a certain something (e.g. the “let’s make out in the club bathroom” eyes) that San Marino (e.g. “my friend and I smelled you from across the bar”) just did not.

Do NOT wear shorts.

Theodor Andrei wore shorts. Victor Vernicos wore shorts. Gustaph wore both shorts and trousers at the same time, and thus avoided the curse.

Be old.

It’s the old Eurovision saying: “Grey hair? Stay there! (And by there we mean in the competition.”) If you were age 16 to 25 in this Eurovision, you were in the danger zone. I’m not saying that everyone who qualified is old, but if you WERE old,* you stayed in.

(*San Marino don’t have any information about their ages on the internet, and thus remain exempt from my analysis. Yes, I know the band formed in 2006, and I can guess how old they are from that, but what if I’m wrong and they did all form a band in kindergarten?)

Songs -/- staging

Going into this semi, Eurofans were like: “Ooh, Semi 2 is so weak compared to Semi 1!” But it didn’t matter if the songs were weaker, because the staging was so entertaining. I don’t think there was a single moment when I was bored.

In particular, I would like to single out Romania for providing no supervision or support to Theodor Andrei, who was then able to let his horniest teenage theatre kid impulses run wild to fabulously over-the-top effect. Sometimes, the artist has a vision, and it’s just best to stay out of their way and let them use guitar necks as phallic imagery.

People like fun things

Do serious songs have a place? Yes. But the big winner tonight was fun. Gustaph’s joy; Teya and Salena’s wry humour; Australia’s keytar; even Poland’s ridiculous outfit reveal. Ballads will still have their day, but 2023 is the year Eurovision has come to party.

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