ESC2014 – Song Reviews: Second Semi-Final, Second Half

Irish Flag Map9. IrelandHeartbeat performed by Can-Linn feat. Kasey Smith

A good song, but it takes a bit to get into it. Once the first refrain hits, the groove definitely takes over, but it takes a while to get there. I will be curious to see how it transitions to the larger ESC stage.

Keys to Success: Emphasizing the Celtic influences in the song and having strong choreography.

Potential Stumbling Blocks: Girl rock doesn’t always fare the best, just look at Ireland’s 2009 effort

Personal Interest Score: 7

Potential for Success: 7

Composite: 7


Belorussian Flag Map10. BelarusCheesecake performed by Teo

The more I listen to this song, the more it grows on me. It’s fun, but rather shallow. The composition is definitely a unique one. I like it, which surprises me!

Keys to Success: A minimal staging that reproduces the music video and all its fun

Potential Stumbling Block: Belarus has a bad habit of doing its staging, so it could easily do that here

Personal Interest Score: 8

Potential for Success: 6

Composite: 7

Macedonian Flag Map11. MacedoniaTo the Sky performed by Tijana

I liked this song from my first listen. It has a nice driving composition and the song fits her voice quite well. The issue is, Macedonia rarely does well and I do not know if this song will have enough support to make it out of the semi-final.

Keys to Success: I’ve said this before, but a strong staging with just two dancers would be best

Potential Stumbling Blocks: an off-key performance; too minimalist with just Tijana and her backing singers

Personal Interest Score: 8

Potential for Success: 6

Composite: 7


Swiss Flag County12. SwitzerlandHunter of Stars performed by Sebalter

A fun song! Another one that I really like. However, this seems to be getting absolutely no coverage. In fact, I barely remember it being covered when it won. It does not help that this song has to come right before Greece, either, as that song will erase the memory of whatever come before it.

Keys to Success: The lead singer is the key to success – focus on him and his energy

Potential Stumbling Blocks: Switzerland last year let its high energy number lose all of that joy by the time it reached the stage in Malmö, that cannot happen again

Personal Interest Score: 8

Potential for Success: 5

Composite: 6.5


Greek Flag Map13. GreeceRise Up performed by Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd

Not my favorite. Like Finland, this is a song with a lot of press and coverage and positive coverage that I just do not get. It’s okay and kinda breaks out the typical Greek mold. It will do well because it is Greece, but it stands no chance of winning.

Keys to Success: Being from Greece; a high energy performance

Potential Stumbling Blocks: Focusing too much on the rap portion and RiskyKidd

Personal Interest Score: 5

Potential for Success: 8

Composite: 6.5

Slovene Flag Map14. SloveniaRound and Round (Spet) performed by Tinkara Kovač

The differences in the new version are subtle enough that the song still sounds relatively the same, but drastic enough that the song sounds better and is a bit more impactful. I think the flute is a nice touch.

Keys to Success: Using angles and camerawork to create the dizzying effect that is seen in both, the original and new, videos

Potential Stumbling Blocks: A pedestrian performance that leaves the audience bored, particularly since it is sandwiched between Greece and Romania

Personal Interest Score: 7

Potential for Success: 5

Composite: 6


Romanian Flag Map15. RomaniaMiracle performed by Ovi & Paula Seling

The dynamic Romanian duo return with a song about half the quality of Playing with Fire. Unfortunately, I think we might see a repeat of 2011, when a mediocre song from a popular country takes the crown because there was no stand out favorite (though, Sweden this year is amazing!!). It will be interesting to see where this falls as the fan polls come out.

Keys to Success: Fixing the pitch issues from the national final performance

Potential Stumbling Blocks: Not fixing those pitch issues; a hokey staging

Personal Interest Score: 5

Potential for Success: 9

Composite: 7


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