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An interesting night in Baku for the second semi final. As I stated in my preview post yesterday, I found it much harder to predict the qualifiers. As it was, I did pretty well with 7/10. I think there were a few surprises aswell and a little disappointment. Firstly the 10 qualifiers are –

SERBIAZeljko JoksimovicNije Ljubav Stvar – Qualified with a top performance and was on early. As a returning artist, he certainly knows how to sing a tune in a very comfortable singing range. Professional and deserved to get through.
SWEDEN LoreenEuphoria – Favourite to win the whole thing, I just don’t see it. Her performance was ok, not as good as some and I can’t help thinking that the use of a dark set might be covering some miming along the way with her energetic dance moves.
ESTONIAOtt LeplandKuula – I think this is far better as a Eurovision song that Sweden’s. The one time Estonian Pop Idol winner really showed that he is much more than that and really, REALLY nailed this performance. Possibly my favourite of the night. I am supporting Ott on Saturday among others…
NORWAYToojiStay – They qualified, but I don’t think it was as easy as it looked. It was a solid showing, but nothing Earth shattering, I would stick them at a mid table finish perhaps. Better than some though.
UKRAINEGaitanaBe My Guest – Someone pointed out that this song is a complete rip off of David Guetta and Kelly Rowland’s track When Love Takes Over. She wasn’t that great and the unoriginality of this song now makes me annoyed that they qualified when at least two other acts that did not, should have.
BELARUSLitesoundWe Are The Heroes – This was another country that I thought deserved to qualify, but didn’t. A very solid performance and a great bit in the middle using gravity boards. Not getting through kinda made all the fuss about the vote rigging in their own country irrelevant. One to look out for in the future though.
BULGARIASofi MarinovaLove Unlimited – Sofi was another performer that did not use the in ear aids. She gave a very good performance and would have been on the borderline for qualification I think, Sadly she didn’t make it, but I think it was close. Better luck next time, the song was good aswell.
SLOVENIAEva BotoVerjamem – This 16 year old gave one hell of a performance. She never wavered and I was gutted she didn’t manage to get through to Saturday night. Again, this was a song that should have got through over the likes of Ukraine and Turkey who were both poor in my opinion.
MALTAKurt CallejaThis Is The Night – He nailed it. I said he had to didn’t I? I like this track a lot now and his easy going, not trying too hard attitude strikes a chord. I love the little wiggly dance they do during the song and its well planned out. It looks great and the song sounds excellent, I think they’ll get some good point this year.
BOSNIAMaya SarKorake Ti Znam –Its dull, but it was well performed which is why I picked it to go through. There wasn’t much left at this point and it makes up the numbers in the final I think. It wont do any great shakes.

So on the whole I enjoyed the second semi final better than I thought I would have. I was surprised at how many songs in this heat were not sung in English. It was refreshing to say the least and more songs should be this way. I now look forward to a very good final, but alas I think it has already been decided and the rest are just playing for pride.

The halftime entertainment wasnt that great. The idea of getting the last 5 years’ winners together on stage was a good one, but it was poorly executed and seemed a bit rushed to me. I am going to leave you with Ott Lepland’s performance of Kuula; I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

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