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Eurovision 2022: Semi-Final 2

Yesterday, the 12th of May 2022, Italy held the second-semi final of the 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. This means another article, after the one I wrote before Eurovision 2022 started and the one I wrote after the first semi-final. The last one I will write about Eurovision 2022 will be up this Sunday and will discuss my overall impressions from this year, as well as the final leaderboard.

Revisiting Semi-Final 1

Before discussing the second semi-final, I thought it might be worth sharing an interesting observation. As of today, the three most-watched performances on YouTube are the ones of Ukraine (3.7M views), Albania (2.3M views), and Moldova (1.7M). I think that mentioning these statistics would be a nice way to start this article, as I talked about all of these performances in my previous article.

I will let you decide whether Ukraine's performance is the most-watched one because it was the best in the semi-final or because it is the one everybody expects to win. Albania, as I have said earlier, has been a fan-favourite since day one, so it being a non-qualifier was a bit upsetting. The performance being so popular is a testimony that Ronela deserved to be on the Final. I am inclined to believe that it was the jury's vote that had a pivotal role in the outcome. We will know for sure once the voting results are made publicly available. Finally, Moldova's success is quite shocking to me. It qualifying was the biggest surprise for me from the first semi-final and now seeing it among the most-watched performances kind of blows my mind.


Now, moving on to the second semi-final. I decided to not watch the Jury Show or any clips, apart from the exclusive rehearsal ones, before the live. I am not sure if this helped me to enjoy the show more, because I was not at all that entertained. Needless to say, it might have been due to the headspace I was in on the day.

Hosts and interval acts of Second Semi-final – photos by eurovision.tv

I think this might have been the weaker one out of the two semi-finals. As I have said already, I do not really like the hosts and this has not changed. The opening act with Alessandro Cattelan dancing to "My name is Chicky" (or whatever the song name is) was beyond cringey. TikTok is among the contest's sponsors this year, so I can understand why this was included. However, I have always seen TikTok as a platform for the youngers and thus I have never taken it seriously. Maybe I am a bit old-school. I also understand that the organisers are trying to appeal to the younger audience. On the other hand, many of the joyful performances were eliminated which creates a mismatch between what the target audience might be interested in and what is offered to it.

Eurovision's 2022 biggest Shortcoming

In the past few days, I have been thinking about what is wrong with this year's edition of the contest and why it is not as enjoyable for me. There are, of course, several reasons for that. Nevertheless, the main thing that pops up in my mind is predictability.

Probably me being more mature also has something to do with it. When I was younger, I used to have a favourite or two. I tended to ignore the other participants, as well as the points given unless they were given to the acts I liked. This led to me missing the bigger picture. As my favourites would not win usually (excluding Netta in 2019), I was always unhappy with the results, the contest and most things around it. As I grew up, I started enjoying the event as a whole instead of focusing on the ones I would like to win. It is still a contest, after all, so the winner is still important. This year feels predetermined. In that regard, the competitive element (and the excitement around it) is gone. The only thing that is left that can surprise me is Ukraine not winning the contest.

Furthermore, this year I managed to correctly predict almost all of the twenty qualifiers. Evidently, I make a proper distinction between my favourites and the potential qualifiers. After following the results closely for the past few years, it was quite saddening to come to the realisation that what we see every year is the (exact) same thing as what we have already seen. Some countries send the same type of songs over and over again and they always manage to qualify. The songs that seem to be doing particularly well are usually ballads sung by artists who are trying a bit too hard. A good example is this year's Australia entry, "Not the Same", which I already stated I cannot stand. The artist was out of tune numerous times. The whole performance sounded extremely forced and was, personally, painful to listen to. Even so, it qualified and was praised by many afterwards. Just to show that I am not against ballads and artists who actually perform songs that are within their vocal range — Australia's 2016 entry, "Sound Of Silence", was my favourite back then. So much so that I included it in my 2016's annual pop compilation "Sweet Nothing" (even if I do not usually include Eurovision songs in these projects).

Presumably, the spectators have expectations from certain countries to present a certain style of sound. I have also seen several years when the national jury of a given country has consisted of the same people. This automatically means a bias towards a given country or music genre and definitely does not help for introducing (and accepting) music-wise diversity in the contest.

Serbia Qualified

With all that, I am extremely pleased that Serbia managed to qualify for the final. "In Corpore Sano" has been among my absolute favourites. It has a music video and a performance that are different to anything I have seen before. Not only is Konstrakta a unique artist but also her song is extremely well-thought-out.

Konstrakta, Serbia, Second Semi-Final – photos by eurovision.tv

As creative individual, I am especially fond of abstract art. I know how hard it is to be able to produce something which is at the same time abstract, but also within a boundary so that people can interpret what they see or listen to in their own way while it still being in the direction that the artist has intended. Here, the incredible talent lies between being abstract and somehow concrete at the same time.

Konstrakta also gives me fabulous vibes as a person (unlike some contestants, such as Israel's Michael Ben David). She has been engaged with the Eurovision community and she is loved by many. Similarly, Norway's Subwoolfer has been engaging with the fans for the past few months. The duo has released a song about Turin that even mentions the problems with the stage that I wrote about in my previous articles which I found hilarious. They have also created interpretations of the songs that participate in the contest this year.

Cyprus failed to QUALIFy

I have already shared that I love the Cyprus entry "Ela" by Andromache. As of today, it is my tenth most listened to song this year. In spite of that, Cyprus not qualifying was no surprise for me. Perhaps the biggest reason why I expected this outcome is because the artist has been totally detached from the contest. A few days ago, she was asked at a press conference if she would collaborate with Chanel — the Spain's representative whose song has also been among the fan favourites. Andromache did not know who Chanel is which is a big red flag. Some people argued in the comments that she is a singer and is doing her job by participating in Eurovision, as well as that she does not have to know the other contestants. While, obviously, she is not obliged to, being a singer is not a 9-5 office type of job that you can be indifferent to. As I have already mentioned above, Eurovision is more about winning the first place. It is about everybody coming together and celebrating music. Fans do it, participants do it too. If Cyprus had qualified for the finals, it would have been disrespectful to the artists who go all-in to represent their country in the best possible way.

Cyprus’ Andromache at the Second Semi-Final - photos by eurovision.tv

While I like the staging, the performance was quite poor, which, I believe, is the ultimate reason why Cyprus failed to qualify for the first time since 2015. Undoubtedly, the vocals were the biggest slip. A couple of people have suggested the performance also lacked energy. I really cannot tell if she did not want to be there (as some have pointed out, because of her previously failing to connect with the contest) or if she is just an inexperienced artist. She has only seven songs released so far, so I would assume it was a bit of both.

Another thing that immediately caught my attention during the performance, still related to the vocals, is the way she changed the melody so that she can sing the song live. I found it hilarious that it was an artist from such a country with such a song that had to do this. While Cyprus is not a Balkan country, the song is heavily influenced by Greek (and thus Balkan) music. A potential problem that we have in the Balkanic countries is that our pop artists perform mostly at clubs, rather than big concerts. As an artist, songwriter and listener, I love our music, as it is over-produced (not with a bad connotation) with many vocals layered on top of one another. In most cases, the songs are rich in vocals and also hard to sing live. In other words, the music we like is meant to be listened to in the clubs and thus not really sung live which also means that the songs are hard to be sung live and many artists are inexperienced with live singing (and yes, lip-syncing is a big thing over here).

Finally, while I love the song, it lacks the WOW factor. It is something that people on the Balkans have listened to many times and there is really nothing that stands out. Anyways, I really wish Andromache good luck with her career.


Unlike the first semi-final, where only two of my favourites failed to qualify, in the second semi-final five of the songs I like failed to do so. Apart from Cyprus, which I already wrote about, I was upset about Ireland. I think that Brooke did amazing with her song, "That’s Rich". While her vocals were definitely not top-notch, the staging was really good. I also loved her energy — it was a (good) sassy performance, that the song predisposes to.

Ireland and Montenegro at Eurovision 2022 - photos by eurovision.tv

The other two songs that I like but knew will not qualify are "Circles" by Andrea (North Macedonia) and "Breathe" by Vladana (Montenegro). I think that North Macedonia had an issue with the staging — while Andrea has a great vocal, it was quite obvious that North Macedonia was on a budget. Montenegro seems to be in a similar position. Vladana has also chosen a singing style that I am not a fan of and the way she sang might  also had a negative impact. I also liked Malta's entry, although I think it would have been more appropriate for the Junior Eurovision and I get why it did not qualify.

Romania Qualified

In the second semi-final, there were two songs which I saw as direct competition — "Llámame" by wrs and "I.M" by Michael Ben David. Both are upbeat songs, performed by male singers with captivating choreography. I knew one of them would qualify and I was very hopeful that it would be Romania's entry ("Llámame"). As I mentioned above, Michael Ben David did not give me good vibes. He and his performance are quite cheeky in a way that borders with arrogance. On the contrary, wrs was confident on the stage without being too much. It also felt that wrs' song promotes love and warmth which was well expressed via his stage presence. Romania has failed to qualify in the past three years, so I am very happy for them and I think it is well-deserved.

The other qualifiers

From the other qualifiers, I am only happy with the Czech Republic's entry — "Lights Off" by We Are Domi. Were her vocals perfect? Well, no, but I prefer the song to many of the ones that qualified.

I have managed to correctly predict all of the following qualifiers, but unfortunately, none of which I like: Finland, Azerbaijan, Australia, Estonia, Poland, Belgium, and Sweden. Australia and Belgium are definitely at the bottom for me, followed by Azerbaijan, Poland and Estonia (which I am as equally indifferent to), Sweden (which I feel is overrated), and Finland. Stefan from Estonia was quite charismatic, while Ochman from Poland showed off some strong vocals. It was, although, still not enough to make me like their songs. In general, we have heard all of the listed songs time and time again. None of them is particularly touching or memorable to me, nor does any sound new in any way.


Nothing, in particular, surprised me in this semi-final. The show was alright, however, I feel like the first semi-final was stronger overall. Only three out of eight of my favourites qualified with most of the qualified ones being forgettable and unexciting. My absolute favourite from this semi-final, Serbia, qualified, while Cyprus, which has been represented by a song that I have been listening to a lot, understandably failed. The biggest shortcoming of this year's edition is predictability. I have managed to successfully forecast most of the qualifiers. Ukraine not winning the contest is the only thing left that can surprise me. However, what worries me is that the other contenders that are the most likely to win instead of Ukraine are in no way better options.

The Grand Final will take place on 14th of May. The show starts at 8pm BST (21:00 CEST). I will write an article this Sunday with my final thoughts on Eurovision 2022, discussing the show, the winner, and the scoreboard.

Article cover image by eurovision.tv

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