STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Tonight the first semi final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Stockholm’s Globe Arena. 18 songs will compete and fight for the 10 places in the Grand Final. Follow oikotimes.com’s Morten and Olivier reviewing the live show as of 21.00 CET.
EUROPREDICTION 2016 SF 1 RESULTS
05. The Netherlands
08. Czech Republic
Finland: Sing It Away sung by Sandhja
MORTEN from DENMARK: Sandhja opens Eurovision 2016 with her powerful “Sing It Away”. Great rhythm for the opening of the show. When we have seen her the last week she has always been smiling and laughing, but I don’t see much of that now. She seems a little nervous. Her vocals could be better, but the crowd in Globen seem to like it – especially when she walks on the catwalk. But the dress?? I don’t know what to say. Very special!
OLIVER from FRANCE: What an great start for tonight’s semi-final. Finnish Sanhja is getting the audience in the right mood with her up tempo funky track. The staging is rather simple but the girl makes a good use of the cat walk. The audience is clearly partying with her. She should qualify but being first to perform is never a real advantage…
Greece: Utopian Land sung by Argo
MORTEN from DENMARK: Argo is looking for a utopian land. That’s a good message. But the message is better than the song, unfortunately. Maybe Greece should have had a national final, because they can do so much better. But I must say that the staging looks really good. The use of the instruments, the dancing at the end and the colors are good. I’m afraid that the runner order will affect Greece too much, but if any country can surprise with a very ethnic song, it’s Greece!
OLIVER from FRANCE: Time for some veeeery ethnic “moussaka pop” now. The staging is nice, and the handsome hunky dancer may save the performance. The problem here is the song itself, though well performed. It’s very weird and repetitive. The girls look like goddesses, and the guys like….Greek sailor men just out of some tavern. That’s Greek, and probably too Greek, too traditional. I’m afraid the utopia here is qualification…
Moldova: Falling Stars sung by Lidia Isac
MORTEN from DENMARK: I actually really like the opening of the song. Lidia sings it well and it’s building up to something, but that something is unfortunately a messy chorus that actually doesn’t fit the song or Lidia. It sounds a bit like Hungary in 2011 and it makes the song seem unoriginal. And what is that astronaut doing. I know it’s falling stars, but hopefully not falling astronauts. But Lidia has promised to bake me a cake in Moldova, so I’m looking forward to that!
OLIVER from FRANCE: Moldova has opted for a “Eurovision” track this year. “Falling Stars” is good but not surprising entry. Lidia’s performance is flawless, and she clearly didn’t need that dancing astronaut on stage… No great use of the stage or the LED screens here. This is really a 50/50 entry that could qualify or be forgotten in a minute.
Hungary: Pioneer sung by Freddie
MORTEN from DENMARK: Freddie just melted a lot of girl’s hearts all around the world – probably some guys hearts too! This is a good song with a powerful chorus. The backing singer annoys me in the chorus though. Freddie sings very well and the song is good, but it’s kind of easy to forget at the same time. But Hungary could do good in this semi final and maybe on Saturday as well. We’ll see!
OLIVER from FRANCE: A more professional and mature performance from Freddie now. The stage looks nice, as nice as Freddie himself actually (yes, in Eurovision, being an “easy ion the eye hunk” can help sometimes…). except the big drum on stage, no specific gimmick here, Hungarian have decided to keep it genuine.“Pioneer” is a nice powerful and perfectly delivered rock entry that should qualify for the Grand Final.
Croatia: Lighthouse sung by Nina Kraljić
MORTEN from DENMARK: I love Nina! This song is very unique and wonderful. What a special dress. The song is not the most typical pop song, but she delivers. I was worried that the staging for this song would be too weird like the music video, but it’s classy and beautiful. Well done.
OLIVER from FRANCE: “Barbara Dex” award on its way! Let’s forget about the outfit and the useless dress change here. “Lighthouse” is a great ballad with very pleasant ethnic elements and Nina definitely has a nice clear voice. I can’t hide the fact that I love this entry, but that I’m not a huge fan of the staging. The performance is just flawless, and if this is still a song contest, Croatia must qualify.
The Netherlands: Slow Down sung by Douwe Bob
MORTEN from DENMARK: Time for Douwe Bob. Well, it’s like we’ve seen it before from the Netherlands. It’s not a bad song. It’s a typical laid back song that makes us feel good and relaxed. The chorus is very catchy and you cannot help singing “Slow Down brother..” Douwe sings great indeed, but I still find the song a bit boring. After The Common Linnets in 2014 it’s hard to come with a quite similar sound. But the moment where the music stops for 10 seconds is different and funny.
OLIVER from FRANCE: What would be Eurovision without a country ballad? Here you are with the Netherlands. Classy, simple and very country, as if the Common Linnets had had a son together… Douwe has a great voice and his performance is perfect if you like this kind of music (actually I don’t). Hard to predict the outcome here. Nevertheless, this is a nice performance with a good interaction with the audience.
Armenia: LoveWave sung by Iveta Mukuchyan
MORTEN from DENMARK: Very special opening for Armenia this year, but it works! When the fire goes on during the instrumental sound you know something good will come and there sure does. This is a very different song than we usually see and it could go both ways for the staging of this. But the result is so beautiful and Iveta looks absolutely amazing. I feel her LoveWave, but the song might be too special for some Europeans? We will find out when we see the results. But I think Armenia could go all the way this year!
OLIVER from FRANCE: Iveta of THE diva of this year’s edition. Though her song may not be the best on radio, the performance is overwhelming and won’t be forgotten. The “alarm” effect is more than effective on stage and in the arena and this performance can be summed up in 2 words: sexy and powerful. With a clever use of flame effect and LED screens, the staging is just perfect! The hologram effect is good too, even if that’s not the best part of the show. Armenia will definitely be in the final!
San Marino: I Didn’t Know sung by Serhat
MORTEN from DENMARK: Well, San Marino was really bad last year and forgettable. But this year it’s bad and easy to remember. And that can get San Marino a ticket to the final. Let’s be honest, Serhat doesn’t sing this very well. You can hear his backing singers more than him. With the first version of the song, San Marino would have been last, but people seem to like this and think it’s funny. But will they vote for him? That’s the question, but I think many will. So good luck Turkey… oh, San Marino!
OLIVER from FRANCE: That’s the “you either love it or hate it” entry of this evening. Serhat’s song is quite unique in this year’s line-up… Welcome to the 70’s! Surprisingly enough, people seem to enjoy this entry which could be the surprise of the year.
Russia: You Are The Only One sung by Sergey Lazarev
MORTEN from DENMARK: The biggest favorite of 2016 enters the stage. What a show! Sergey sings so good. He is a fantastic performer, but at some point it seems like the show was made before the song. Russia really wanted a lot to happen on stage and there sure is! This is a love song and a tribute to the only one, so I don’t understand why the staging is so dark and mysterious. Russia will of course qualify tonight.
OLIVER from FRANCE: Can an entry be “over staged”? The answer is “yes” I’m afraid. Sergey’s “You Are The Only One” is a great entry, but did it need such a Las Vegas, too Zelmerlow inspired staging? I don’t think so, The voice is perfect, the song is perfect, but the screen and the staging make us forget Sergey himself and the overall impression can be quite disappointing, being too mechanical, without strong emotion. Of course he’s the favourite and will qualify.
Czech Republic: I Stand sung by Gabriela Gunčíková
MORTEN from DENMARK: After all that fantastic energy from Russia it’s nice to see the more simple and slowly song from Czech Republic. Gabriella looks so sweet and the staging is good for this song. Even though she is alone on that huge stage she can fill it out with lots of colors on the screens. I love when her hair falls out at the end. A beautiful song, but with only 10 tickets to the final, this could be forgotten, unfortunately.
OLIVER from FRANCE: The Czech ballad is sooo pleasant, and the very simple visuals of the staging are even more pleasant after the Russian extravaganza. Gabriela delivers the song perfectly and seems even more moving than during rehearsals. This is probably the best ballad of the year, and Czech Republic should experience its first qualification tonight.
Cyprus: Alter Ego sung by Minus One
MORTEN from DENMARK: After a very sensitive song we have a masculine performance now. Minus One found out how to make a rock song for Eurovision. The chorus really smells of Swedish Tomas G:son and that works very well actually. The staging is raw and even though there are a lot of people and things on stage it still seems simple and the lightning works fine on this song. This will have many fans, even though Montenegro’s rock song will come later.
OLIVER from FRANCE: What a great, unexpected rock entry from Cyprus this year! The guys are giving a very powerful performance tonight I like it very much even if I’m not a huge fan of those cages on stage François, the lead singer, is flawless and quite charismatic. The audience seems to be enjoying the moment, and if viewers feel the same way, Cyrpus should go to the Grand Final.
Austria: Loin d’ici sung by ZOË
MORTEN from DENMARK: Many people like Zoë and her “Loin d’ici”. I’m afraid I don’t. This is way to cheesy for me, even though she is a nice girl and she can sing. The staging with the bridge looks good. This is a song I sing a long too, even though I don’t like it – and I don’t speak French. That’s dangerous! Will the choice of language be a good or a bad thing for Austria. I think many people will think that she is sweet and the song too, but for me too sweet!
OLIVER from FRANCE: Well, Zoë is clearly loved by the audience and I must say that I clearly don’t see why (well maybe because I’m one of the few here who can understand the simplistic lyrics…). It’s sweet, too sweet, colourful, too colourful, and quite childish. But I must confess the singer sounds perfect and gives a perfect performance. It should qualify then, even if I’m not sure “Loin D’Ici”, which really sound like a children programme theme song deserves the spot.
Estonia: Play sung by Jüri Pootsmann
MORTEN from DENMARK: Jüri has been called the Estonian Draco Malcoy because of his look. But I think Jüri seems much nicer! He wants to play and even though the card theme looks good, this is a song that you easily forget again and in a field with 18 songs, you have a leave a mark on the audience to get a good result. So even though Jüri is a good singer, I have a hard time to see this going to the final.
OLIVER from FRANCE: After Austria, how could an entry be more different than the Estonian one. It is clear that the same team is behind the 2015 and the 2016 Estonian entries: same vintage feeling here and I like it. The song suits Jüri’s voice and personality perfectly. “Play” could be a James Bond song. Honestly, I’m not sure the card tricks were very useful here but well, the staging is simple and as classy as the song is. Will it qualify? Well, that’s a big question but I thinkl juries should go for this one…
Azerbaijan: Miracle sung by Samra
MORTEN from DENMARK: No holes in Samra’s dress today? Too bad. During the rehearsals her voice has been quite weak, but she improved her voice a bit now, thank god! If she hadn’t improved, Azerbaijan wouldn’t have a chance to go the final, but this is better, fortunately. The Land of Fire uses fire of course. She looks like she loves being on the stage
OLIVER from FRANCE: If you didn’t know Azerbaijan is the “Land of Fire”, well now you know! A real barbecue on stage for Samra! The voice is not flawless (not to say out of tune at some points) but the overall impression is rather positive. “Miracle” is a good pop song, and the staging is quite nice (and so are the dancers…). Once again, this is a very pleasant performance from Azerbaijan, and she should qualify.
Montenegro: The Real Thing sung by Highway
MORTEN from DENMARK: If this is the real thing, then I would prefer the unreal thing! When both Cyprus and Montenegro is in the same semi final, rock fans might only vote for one of them. This is more rock style than Cyprus, but for the typical Eurovision viewer this could just be noise. Will Montenegro surprise us? I don’t think so this year with too many better songs. But at least it’s good for the show with different genres.
Seen by everyone
OLIVER from FRANCE: With Cyprus you had the good version of a rock act. Well not, let’s move on to the bad version of it. Since when does “rock” has to mean “messy”? Once again, the band may not be to blame, but the entry is. It’s even difficult to survive those 3 minutes. But this is a Montenegrin speciality (remember ‘Igranka”). Can someone explain me what is this girl doing on the catwalk? I guess she was looking for her 3 minutes of celebrity. Well, sorry Montenegro, you can fly back to Podgorica tonight and start thinking of a much better entry for next year!
Iceland: Hear Them Calling sung by Greta Salóme
MORTEN from DENMARK: I’ve missed Greta since 2012! Now she’s back alone on stage and what a show. The “Måns-effect” really shows this year. Her performance works even better here than in the Icelandic final. I really like this mysterious and dark song – especially the instrumental sound. I hope Iceland will do well this year and this song is probably unique enough to do well.
OLIVER from FRANCE: You’ve missed Mans’ and Sergey’s screen effect? Lucky you, Iceland had the same idea this year! Gréta Salome’s entry is original and of good quality and I must say that, in my opinion, the use of the screen is better than the Russian one, the singer is not drowning in special effects here. It’s nice, and perfectly performed even if it’s a bit dark… This one should qualify.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Ljubav Je sung by Dalal, Deen, Ana & Jala
MORTEN from DENMARK: What happened to Dean since 2004? No “up and down here we go”? Well, he grew up maybe.. This message of this song is clear and the fence works well on stage. Even though there is a mix of genres it sounds good. There has to be a real Balkan song every year in Eurovision and here it is. Those songs usually do good, so I guess Bosnia & Herzegovina will too, even though there are better songs in this semi final. Thank god they were united at the end. Love wins!
OLIVER from FRANCE: I know you were wondering where the Balkan entry was this year! Well, here you are! Even if the song is entirely performed in Bosnian, the message of “Ljubav Je” is obvious and nice (maybe a bit over acted somehow). This is a good entry, even if I don’t like the rapping part. Another 50/50 song…
Malta: Walk on Water sung by Ira Losco
MORTEN from DENMARK: WoW is short for Walk on Water and my comment can be shortened to this. I loved Ira in 2002 and I had high expectations for her in 2016. Lucky she could give me another great song. What a good ending to this semi final. The draw helps Ira a lot of course, but I find this song really strong and even though this probably won’t win the whole thing, I will keep listening to Ira’s beautiful voice over and over again.
OLIVER from FRANCE: Ira is taking the stage now for a great performance. Nice and modern staging for a nice pop track. A great ending to tonight’s show and a great reception from the audience! Thanks to the LED screens, she’s is actually walking on water, and may her staps lead her to the final!
France: J’ai Cherché sung by Amir Haddad
France has dropped in the betting odds since the rehearsals. I still love Amir and “J’ai Cherché” very much. He seems so down to earth and enjoys being on this stage. This will give France many points this year. The staging seems really simple, but simple is not a bad thing. I’m looking forward to see Amir live on Saturday with the whole song and hopefully do very well for France. Douze points pour la France!
Spain: Say Yay! sung by Barei
Spain is dangerous. Spain is not a favorite for the win – yet! Barei is amazing on stage and her song is so unique and different that this can go and win the whole thing! She is great on the stage and after trying several dresses during the rehearsals this is a good choice! What a party. I really want to dance, but I can’t move my feet like her. Trust me, I’ve tried, and it was not pretty! Many others around the world will probably try the same and hopefully vote for Spain at the same time.
Sweden: If I Were Sorry sung by Frans
The whole Sweden loves Frans. Well, he sings okay and his song is different, but I find it a bit boring as well. Frans has a quite funny accent, but this has just become a part of the song now. But the simple staging and the advantage on being the host country can make a good result for Sweden. I think it’s either flop or top for Sweden this year. I don’t think Sweden will even Ireland’s record of winnings this year.
thats it for the time being. stay tuned for a new post with the results