We’ve been eagerly awaiting the running order for both semi-finals, which we’ve now been told will be published this coming Tuesday. What with the Amsterdam Eurovision In Concert gig involving 27 of this year’s acts on Saturday 9th April, it feels like next week will provide plenty of clues.
In the meantime, we have a few odds and ends to clear up from the song selections. In the former category we have San Marino’s Serhat going with the disco version of ‘I Didn’t Know‘. Whilst this pushes the entry into the category of cult classic, I don’t think it will also be tipping it into qualifying territory.
Italy’s Francesca Michielin is already in the final with ‘No Degree of Separation‘. I think it lacks enough impact for televoters on Saturday night, but it might be a good idea for Francesa to bring her piano with her to differentiate herself from the competition, and ingratiate herself with juries. They’ve responded very well in the past to Italians with pianos.
Talking of 2011, the last song revealed that year proved to be the winning one. Bulgaria are looking to repeat that feat with Poli Genova’s ‘If Love Was A Crime‘. I’m certainly intrigued by this entry: it’s radio-friendly, well structured, full of hooks, and could be getting points from both east and west, televoters and jurors. At the very least, it should put them back in the final for the first time since 2007.
One of my concerns will be how the vocal riff that we hear at the start of the song and intermittently after is recreated live on stage – anything that sounds like a vocal shouldn’t be on the backing track, though special effects are allowed on live vocals. Given effective execution here, and with the rest of the song, ‘If Love Was A Crime’ can make a decent impact on the Saturday night scoreboard.
Otherwise, the news from the betting market is that France continues to make inroads on the leaders, overtaking the likes of Croatia, which we got to see performed live here. Nina and Amir are just two of those performing at the Amsterdam event. Beforehand, there are preview parties in Riga on April 2nd and Moscow on April 3rd. The former will be a first chance to see Poli perform ‘If Love Was A Crime’, whilst the latter will be the only preview party to include hot favourite Sergey Lazarev of Russia.
I’d highly recommend following the excellent esckaz.com for news and videos from all these events. I’ll be reporting from the Amsterdam concert next weekend. Do keep your thoughts coming below.