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Hi all – TC here, and I’ll be here starting at 3 PM US ET/12 PM US PT with live coverage of the second semi-final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest!  It’s my first time doing a live blog during the show, and it should be fun!

Here’s what to remember: 1) the live blog is only here at http://ecinemaone.com – the transcript of the live comments will be posted later to The Kirkham Report and Planet BiblioMusica, so if you want to see what i’m doing live, eCO is where to be! 2) newest comments will be on the bottom of the blog; hit ‘refresh’ to see the latest update!

Now for preshow commentary…..heh heh…

2:19 PM

Today’s semifinal is chock full of songs that deserve to go through, unlike Tuesday’s semi-final, which had most of the out and out CRAP in it, most of which we got rid of…thank goodness…

Now the problem is that there’s so MUCH that’s good, some favorites are going to get left behind. After checking out the video performances, and some of the videos from last nights dress rehearsal where the jury scores the semi-finals, I’m fairly confident that there are five countries that are pretty much a lock to get through to the Grand Final, and they are….drum roll….Switzerland, Malta, Albania, The Netherlands, and North Macedonia. Two others have about a 90% chance to get through – fan favorites Sweden and Azerbajian (the jury support may NOT be there as strong as the fans think it is on these two, if reactions from the dress rehearsal are an indication…but the televote will be HUGE for both of these tunes). And two more are edging 80-90% chance to get through – Armenia and Russia. Which leaves only ONE likely undetermined slot, barring a surprise upset (well to their fans, not to me one bit), as we had on Tuesday with fan favorites (but GOD AWFUL) Portugal and Belgium getting left behind along with the exquisite Hungary also getting left behind, most likely in favor of the turd from Iceland or the ‘meh’ from Czech Republic. The likely contenders for that tenth spot, and also potential spoilers for one or two if the above, are Denmark, Norway, Croatia, Moldova, Romania, Ireland, and Austria. I think there’s little chance for Latvia or Lithuania; both are good songs, but they simply don’t have the power – or fan support – the rest have.

If there’s going to be a MAJOR shock, it will be one or more of the fan power favorites – Malta, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Azerbaijan – getting the boot in favor of an unexpected choice. To be honest, I wouldn’t have a problem with any of the latter three getting bumped, I know they have huge fan support, and all are decent songs, but I personally think they are WAY overrated…we shall see, we’ll  know in just about 2.5 hours from now…heh heh heh…

3:00 PM

We are LIVE with Eurovision Semi FInal coverage! Starting with a recap of Tuesday’s semi final…and I”m having trouble staying connected again…arrgh…

Hosts are up, quality is SHIT…what the hell is going on…I am really getting PISSED OFF now…

Getting started – up first is Armenia, Srbuk, “Walking Out” – postcard is kinda weird..really weird…this girl is the REAL DEAL…she can match the vocal on the video and recording 100 percent.  Not crazy about the staging, though…this is one of the best songs of the entire contest this year, it better get through…she is AWESOME! The crowd seems into it as well, in a major way…

Next Up is Ireland, Sarah McTernan, “22”…again, very strange postcard…I hope this isn’t a trend…Good God I LOVE her voice…I wish the song was a tad better…staging is interesting, looks like a malt shop…I have this horrible feeling she’s going to miss the cut because of the song but I have a feeling she’s going to be a household name soon, that voice is GOLD…

Next up is Moldova, Ana Obobescu, “Stay”…OK, finally, a fun, kicky postcard to kick things off…oh. wow..I love the sand artist on stage with her…that’s original and very cool. incredible work…I love Ana’s voice as well. The passion of this song is really coming through…this staging absolutely ROCKS from beginning to end..best staging so far this year…WOW…she may have just pushed herself into real contention…

Next up, fan favorite Luca Hanni, from Switzerland, “She Got Me”…postcard fits his style very well…it doesn’t hurt that he’s extremely hunky for the ladies, who just love him…crowd reaction is huge…back to the camera tricks for staging, a la Lake Malawi on Tuesday…Damn, he is ON tonight…easy to see why he’s one of the favorites…great vocal, excellent dancing…he’s a true whole package, that’s for sure…yeah, he’s definitely on the way to the Finals on Saturday for SURE…

Next up Latvia, Carousel, “That Night”….postcard only enhances the fact that their guitarist is a dead ringer for Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine…nice pleasant staging…her voice is very beautiful, the song reminds me of a 1960s folk song…the performance is beautiful…they could be this year’s Serbia, who landed in the finals after a superb live performance of another folk song from their country…we’ll see..

Next up is Romania, Ester Peony, “On A Sunday”…postcard reminds me of a music box, fits her beautifully…staging is attempting to partially emulate the very weird but stylish video…I keep repeating myself, but I LOVE Ester’s voice, she’s got some incredible power behind it…I really love this, but I love the song, so i’m kinda biased.. i’m not sure it will make it through…

Host stuff now…Lucy and Assi plugging voting…Assi is now with Conchita Wurst…interesting look…hmmm…we’ll leave it at that…now Lucy is with Luca Hanni…

Next up is Denmark, Leonora, “Love Is Forever” – ballet postcard…wouldn’t figure skaters have been more appropriate? I mean she was a national champion in that…I’m just not sure about this song…I like it, but the song and the staging seem out of the 1970s or 1980s…the fans love her, though, no doubt about that…oh, she axtually has to CLIMB the ladder here…it came down to her level at the national final…the song is just too cutsy for it’s own good, but it’s fun too..,

Next up is Sweden, John Lundvik , rabid fan favorite “Too Late For Love”…roller blades and skateboards in the postcard…love it…this is a good song but I don’t get the rabid fan following it has…it’s nice enough, but nothing outstanding about it. John’s an outstanding vocalist, though…he’s gonna be someone I’m gonna be keeping an eye on, much like Michael Schulte from last year…staging is kind of dull, relying on light pulsation…I have to say though, he’s nailing the vocal spot on…he’s definitely a dynamic performer…it’s just this song that doesn’t do much for me. It’ going to go through, though. Performance is top notch…

Next up is Austria, Paenda, “Limits”…love the swingey, peppy postcard…I wish the song had that kind of energy…very stark staging for this lush ballad…but it’s not working for me…she needs SOMETHING to really kick it, and it’s just not happening. It’s a pretty song, but it’s just not quite right…her vocal is also weaker here than in the video except during the chorus…I’m sorry, I know it has it’s fans, but this song just puts me to sleep…and her performance isn’t doing anything for me either…

Next up, Croatia, Roko, “The Dream” – Postcard is pleasant, but nothing more. DOesn’t fit his song at all, but then again, that’s the point to some extent. He’s wearing the damn wings again…oh wait a moment maybe not…it’s part of the video. I love this song, but it doesn’t have much support out there, which is a shame…he’s got power in his voice that reminds me of Poland’s Michel Szpak; he’s also got a range that no one else here seems to have, springing from octave to octave, and that’s not easy.  Ok, now he’s put the wings on…they’re gold this time. I wish he was going to have a shot at the gold, but fans are indifferent, I fear he’s going to be left on the sidelines…pity, he’s an incredible performer…

Next up, Malta, Michela, “Chameleon” – big fan favorite. Postcard is dull compared to her video for the song…not fond of the white outfit, I think they…oh wait a minute…the sleeves are transparent….ok, that’s different…the dancers add to it considerably… this is a huge fan favorite, and it’s really fun too. Michela is going to go a long way in the future I bet. Staging is pretty good, lights, dancers, backvideo…winner in that department…

Next up is Lithuania, Jurij Veklenco, “Run With The Lions”…ok, skydiving postcard, that’s original and different…this song is definitely good…very pleasant. He has an incredible range. I fear the song is not enough to get to the finals. He isn’t able to let loose like I think he might be able to do because the song isn’t right for it, and that is going to hurt his chances…staging is also deadly dull compared to the last couple of songs…

Now some host banter…Lucy is with Sara McTernan from Ireland…next we have Bar with John Lundvik of Sweden…

Next Up is Russia, Sergey Lazarev, “Scream” – postcard about Parkour…ok that’s different..gotta give them credit, they’re not boring this year… have to admit my bias, I ADORE Lazarev, he’s just one of the best vocalists in the WORLD right now…I also adore teh video for this song…creative as all hell…I’m not impressed with the staging though…this whole mirror thing…now he’s in a box…this is partially evoking the video…ok, now the staging is starting to work for me a bit more…black would have been more appropriate for the song rather than white…again with the white…STELLAR PERFORMANCE….LOVE IT…

Next up is Albania Jonida Maliqi  “Ktheju Tokes” – postcard was interesting. THis is one of my favorite songs this year, bar none…she is an incredible vocalist. Staging is sparse but gorgeous…the politically charged song has some real haters out there, but I’m not one of them. I don’t think we’re really getting a sequel to the video like it promised though…performance is mindblowingly AWESOME!

Next up is Norway, KEiiNO, “Spirit In The Sky”… postcard was very “meh”…this song hasn’t won me over yet…let’s see if their performance does, it’s a modest fan favorite…nope…still not feeling this song…it’s good, but very bland compared to other entries this year…vocals are good and then the bald guy starts and kicks it out from under the other two…I’m sorry, I just can’t get into it… the live audience sure is though…

Next up is The Netherlands, Duncan Laurence, “Arcade”…a lot of fans (not me) have this pegged as potential winner…what the HELL Is up with the “Macarena” styled postcard? YIkes….fans are already going NUTS…I just don’t get it…I mean it’s  GOOD song but NOT worthy of the huge praise it’s getting…it’s more of a modest mid-chart hit to me…I have to admit though, he’s got it live…he’s spot on, even if the staging is absolutely blah….Laurence is a stellar performer, that’s for sure..and I have to admit the performance is making me think a bit more about this song…

Next up is North Macedonia, Tamara Todevska, “Proud”…entertaining postcard…this is my personal #1 pick this year…this song is absolutely stupendous…this song is so utterly beautiful, and her performance is stellar…audience is into it..I do wish she had some of the ladies from the video on stage with her, it would make it even more powerful than it is. This song MUST get through….IT MUST!!!  This is THE Most important song in the contest this year, and women around the world NEED this anthem…OUTSTANDING!

Next up and Last act of the night, is Azerbaijan, Chingiz, “Truth” – postcard was different, ok…this song has utterly HUGE fan support, but I’m not sure about it. I like it quite a bit, but not as much as most fans. However, the intriguing and exciting staging is helping quite a bit…I love the laser heart, that was FUNKY AS HELL….He has the power behind the voice, so the video wasn’t all tricks and stuff. He’s got the goods, and should get through without a problem…

And now, it’s all over but the televote….time for the song recap…

Overall, I’d say Luca Hanni had the best performance tonight, followed by Tamara Todevska and Sergey Lazarev, but then again, I’m biased…I love all three of those songs…heh heh heh…everyone was very good tonight, we could see a few upsets if the jury voting went a different direction than expected…

Assi is back now…damn…Shalva Band is performing now…they are a favorite band in Israel, and it’s easy to see why…the music is gorgeous…OMB, I’m sitting here in tears….they are absolutely FANTASTIC….and the ladies have incredible voices…what a FUCKING AWESOME PERFORMANCE!

Bar now with mentalist Lior Suchard…what is this, a “Got Talent” show? Really? OH wow spoke too soon, that was AWESOME…if a bit hokey…

Another Televoting song recap…and now the televoting is closing…and it’s all over but the results…coming up soon…

Mans Zelmerlow is joining Erez on stage as we wait for the results..

Bar is with Duncan Laurence…now over to Assi and Erez on stage…introducing another new art video about Eurovision history…my biggest complaint about both of these videos… too damn much of smarmy Benjamin Ingrosso’s performance from 2018…eeeeeiiiiiiii…..

Back to the green room…plugging Madonna’s performance at the Grand Final….

Lucy is talking up the new Eurovision Choir competition…which made it’s debut this year…really lame joke, Lucy…sigh…

Interview time with the other three Big Five performers…Sisters (Germany), Michael Rice (UK) and Mahmood (Italy)…

A salute to the revelation of the “12 points” at past contests…

We are about to get the results for the second semi finals….here we go…Erez and Lucy are about to announce the results….the ten acts going through to the Grand Final are:

North Macedonia

The Netherlands

Albania

Sweden

Russia

Azerrbaijan

Denmark

Norway

Switzerland

Malta

Wow Denmark over Armenia….wow, that has my jaw on the floor….Still, got all five of my top predictions…DAMN I”M GOOD…LOL…We’ll see you on Saturday for the Grand Finals! Thanks for joining me…and that’s a wrap from Tel Aviv via Boston for tonight!

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