May 21 / Video / Eurovision 2015: Second Semifinal Press Reactions & Analysis
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – The second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 is over and we now know the 27 songs that will compete in the Grand Final on Saturday – and what an evening from Vienna. No big surprises tonight but still excitement when the results were announced.
The first country to qualify was Lithuania. The duo opened the semifinal and their energetic and romantic performance got well received by the viewers around Europe (and Australia). And the neighbour Latvia also qualified as expected which means that all three Baltic countries will meet again on Saturday. Aminata was a fan favourite and she did well on stage with a quite different song that appeals to many different viewers, so no surprises here.
Montenegro delivered the only Balkan ballad this year and it looks like people likes it. No competition to Montenegro and their place in the Grand Final is safe now.
Scandinavia will also be represented in the Grand Final this year with Sweden and Norway. It would have been a surprise if they didn’t reach the finals and both countries had powerful performances and luckily for them the two neighbours could also vote for each other in this semifinal.
Azerbaijan has been in the final every year since their debut and they continue to do so. Elnur delivered on stage vocally and the slightly weird stage presentation did not scare the European and Australian viewers. Slovenia and Maraaya is also ready for the Grand Final. No surprise. The Slovenian probably duo got points from both West and Eastern Europe with the catchy song.
Some of the surprises in the second semifinal came from Poland and Cyprus. Poland’s Monika made a beautiful stage performance and it was hard not be a bit emotional after hearing her story and seeing her on stage. Lovely surprise to see her in the Grand Final. And the last country to make it to the Grand Final was Israel. The last time they qualified to the final were in 2010 and finally they are back with their up-tempo Middle East inspired song. Nadav and Israel could have been hit by the “political votes” but it seems like countries like Russia and Israel can do well besides the political things going on in their countries.
After the second semifinal seven countries are out of the competition. Well some of them didn’t surprise us. San Marino, Portugal and Czech Republic were not tipped to make it by the bookmakers or the fans. The songs were simply not good enough compared to the others.
Ireland has won the contest the most times but again this year they didn’t make it to the final. Molly did a nice performance, but there are too many ballads this year and some of them had to go. The same goes for Switzerland who had an okay song and stage performance, but didn’t stand out enough.
Amber from Malta was all alone on stage and all alone she had to leave the competition after the semifinal. Her voice was good and nice to see some fire on stage, but the song might be too much for the viewers so no trip to Valletta next year in May.
Iceland was tipped to make it to the Grand Final, but Maria didn’t make it. Unbroken is actually a good song and with votes from Sweden and Norway she could have gotten higher, but my first thoughts after her performance was that she should have been much more relaxed and not moved around all the time. The staging was a bit confusing and it affected Maria’s voice that was not perfect tonight.
To sum up: No huge surprises in the second semifinal. Great acts and someone had to go. Now 27 acts are ready to perform on Saturday and some of the top favourite countries haven’t even been on stage yet. It will be exciting to see if the main favourites Russia, Italy or Sweden will take the trophy home or maybe Guy and Australia will make their debut to a big success? We will know on Saturday!
DID YOU KNOW?
Israel hasn’t been in the Grand Final since 2010 and for the second time in a row Montenegro are in the final after their Grand Final debut last year.