First early Oscars 2023 predictions (late October)

Below are my early, first predictions for 2023 Academy Awards. It should be noted that these lists are likely to change significantly over the coming months, and actors may switch from supporting to lead nominations and vice versa. Only certain categories have been listed here; closer to the time, more categories will be included.

BEST FILM.

  1. The Fabelmans.
  2. Women Talking.
  3. The Banshees of Inisherin.
  4. Everything Everywhere All At Once.
  5. Tár.
  6. Babylon.
  7. Top Gun: Maverick.
  8. The Whale.
  9. Decision To Leave.
  10. Triangle Of Sadness.

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Woman King, She Said, Till, Avatar: The Way Of Water.

DIRECTOR.

  1. Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans).
  2. Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin).
  3. Sarah Polley (Women Talking).
  4. Todd Field (Tár).
  5. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All At Once).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Damien Chazelle (Babylon), Park Chan-Wook (Decision To Leave), Ruben Östlund (Triangle Of Sadness), James Cameron (Avatar: The Way Of Water), Edward Berger (All Quiet On The Western Front).

LEAD ACTOR.

  1. Brendan Fraser (The Whale).
  2. Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin).
  3. Austin Butler (Elvis).
  4. Hugh Jackman (The Son).
  5. Bill Nighy (Living).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Diego Calva (Babylon), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto), Jim Parsons (Spoiler Alert), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Chevalier).

LEAD ACTRESS.

  1. Cate Blanchett (Tár).
  2. Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once).
  3. Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans).
  4. Danielle Deadwyler (Till).
  5. Margot Robbie (Babylon).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Emma Thompson (Good Luck To You, Leo Grande), Naomi Ackie (I Wanna Dance With Somebody), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Olivia Colman (Empire Of Light), Ana de Armas (Blonde).

SUPPORTING ACTOR.

  1. Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once).
  2. Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin).
  3. Paul Dano (The Fabelmans).
  4. Ben Whishaw (Women Talking).
  5. Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brad Pitt (Babylon), Woody Harrelson (Triangle Of Sadness), Anthony Hopkins (Armageddon Time), Ralph Fiennes (The Menu).

SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

  1. Claire Foy (Women Talking).
  2. Jessie Buckley (Women Talking).
  3. Hong Chau (The Whale).
  4. Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin).
  5. Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All At Once).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Nina Hoss (Tár), Thuso Mbedu (The Woman King), Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery), Dolly De Leon (Triangle Of Sadness), Sadie Sink (The Whale).

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY.

  1. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh).
  2. The Fabelmans (Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg).
  3. Everything Everywhere All At Once (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert).
  4. Tár (Todd Field).
  5. Babylon (Damien Chazelle).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Triangle Of Sadness, Decision To Leave, The Woman King, Bros, Emily The Criminal.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.

  1. Women Talking (Sarah Polley).
  2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson).
  3. She Said (Rebecca Lenkiewicz).
  4. White Noise (Noah Baumbach).
  5. Living (Kazuo Ishiguro).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: The Whale, The Son, Bones And All, Top Gun: Maverick, Spoiler Alert.

ANIMATED FILM.

  1. Pinocchio.
  2. Turning Red.
  3. Strange World.
  4. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.
  5. Wendell and Wild.

ALSO IN CONTENTION: Inu-Oh, The Sea Beast, My Father’s Dragon, The Bad Guys, The Bob’s Burgers Movie.

INTERNATIONAL FILM.

  1. Decision To Leave (South Korea).
  2. Saint Omer (France).
  3. Close (Belgium).
  4. All Quiet On The Western Front (Germany).
  5. Argentina, 1985 (Argentina).

ALSO IN CONTENTION: EO (Poland), The Quiet Girl (Ireland), Holy Spider (Denmark), Nostalgia (Italy), Alcarràs (Spain).

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OGAE Second Chance Contest 2022 – My ranking

1. FINLAND.
Bess: Ram Pam Pam.

2. ITALY.
La Rappresentante Di Lista: Ciao Ciao.

3. AUSTRALIA.
Voyager: Dreamer.

4. UKRAINE.
Roxolana: Girlzzzz.

5. IRELAND.
Rachel Goode: I’m Loving Me.

6. ESTONIA.
Anna Sahlene: Champion.

7. PORTUGAL.
Syro: Ainda Nos Temos.

8. SWEDEN.
Medina: In I Dimman.

9. CZECH REPUBLIC.
Guidi: Jezinky.

10. ICELAND.
Daughters Of Reykjavik: Turn This Around.

11. GERMANY.
Felicia Lu: Anxiety.

12. NORWAY.
NorthKid: Someone.

13. DENMARK.
Fuld Effekt: Rave Med De Hårde Drenge.

14. SERBIA.
Sara Jo: Muškarčina.

15. ALBANIA.
Alban Ramosaj: Theje.

16. ROMANIA.
Gabriel Basco: One Night.

17. MALTA.
Denise: Boy.

18. SLOVENIA.
Batista Cadillac: Mim Pravil.

19. ISRAEL.
Eli Huli: Blinded Dreamers.

20. FRANCE.
Pauline Chagne: Nuit Pauline.

21. SPAIN.
Rigoberta Bandini: Ay Mamá.

22. CROATIA.
Marko Bošnjak: Moli Za Nas.

23. POLAND.
Kuba Szmajkowski : Lovesick.

24. LATVIA.
Bermudu Divstūris: Bad.

25. SAN MARINO.
Cristina Ramos: Heartless Game.

26. NORTH MACEDONIA.
Viktor Apostolovski: Superman.

27. LITHUANIA.
Lolita Zero: Not Your Mother.

Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Prediction and My Ranking

No.CountryJuryPublicScore
1UKRAINE5189.3
2UNITED KINGDOM1587.8
3SPAIN7386.8
4SWEDEN2686.13
5ITALY4286.13
6GREECE3983.38
7THE NETHERLANDS6880.8
8NORWAY14478.63
9SERBIA131077.88
10POLAND10777.63
11France111277.13
12Portugal81374.8
13Czech Republic121473.8
14Australia92272.88
15Moldova241171
16Estonia191571
17Armenia161770.63
18Finland221668
19Azerbaijan171968
20Romania231867
21Lithuania182166.8
22Switzerland152464.8
23Belgium202364.3
24Iceland212562.38
25Germany252061

MY RANKING (as of 14/5/22).

  1. Sweden.
  2. The Netherlands.
  3. Greece.
  4. Spain.
  5. United Kingdom.
  6. Finland.
  7. Estonia.
  8. Czech Republic.
  9. Italy.
  10. France.
  11. Portugal.
  12. Armenia.
  13. Norway.
  14. Iceland.
  15. Poland.
  16. Ukraine.
  17. Romania.
  18. Australia.
  19. Germany.
  20. Serbia.
  21. Moldova.
  22. Switzerland.
  23. Belgium.
  24. Azerbaijan.
  25. Lithuania.

Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Semi-Final Two – Preview/Prediction

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 10th, 12th, and 14th May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. The second semi-final takes place on Thursday 12th, with eighteen nations involved. Ten will progress thanks to a jury vote and public vote, and all the nations involved will vote alongside France and Italy. In the UK, the show will be broadcast on BBC Three. This year, blog posts will be shorter than in the past as more emphasis is placed on my YouTube channel (RAJC). Nevertheless, below are my predictions for the results alongside an average mark, devised by judging the songs out of 100 in various categories and working out the average score. My personal ranking of the songs is also below, as of 9/5/22.

  1. FINLAND.
    The Rasmus: Jezebel.
  • One of the biggest names in this year’s competition.
  • Live performances and rehearsal footage haven’t been terribly convincing so far.
  • The yellow and black colour scheme remains with large black bubbles on stage too.
  • Vocals are stronger, but still not quite strong enough to make much impression, certainly with the juries.
  • Expected to go through, but not quite as comfortably anymore.
  • JURY: 10. PUBLIC: 5. SCORE: 72.14. RESULT: 9.
  1. ISRAEL.
    Michael Ben David: I.M.
  • Has emerged as a possible qualifier now after rehearsals.
  • A camp track but performed with bags of charisma and energy.
  • Red and white lights are used and the ‘sun’ does not appear to be an issue.
  • Cheeky and playful, though I don’t deem this remotely strong enough to be a challenger.
  • Hard to guess how the juries will go, but the public may really enjoy this one.
  • JURY: 14. PUBLIC: 9. SCORE: 69.71. RESULT: 10.
  1. SERBIA.
    Konstrakta: In Corpore Sano.
  • One of the most talked-about entries of 2022.
  • Performed in an odd, formal manner with Konstrakta joined by backing singers.
  • The clapping refrain and washing hands segment will help make this stand out.
  • Catchy and performed well every time, with no notable concerns prior to Thursday.
  • Balkan support will be very high… it’s from elsewhere that will matter the most.
  • JURY: 7. PUBLIC: 3. SCORE: 80.71. RESULT: 3.
  1. AZERBAIJAN.
    Nadir Rustamli: Fade To Black.
  • A slow-burner of a ballad that hasn’t gained much traction.
  • Atmospheric and dramatic, with bleachers on stage and some simple contemporary dance.
  • Likely to be supported by the jury vote, with the public perhaps swinging another way.
  • Strong vocals and quite a captivating rehearsal clip.
  • Azerbaijan usually qualifies but this year it’s looking harder for them.
  • JURY: 6. PUBLIC: 10. SCORE: 72.29. RESULT: 8.
  1. GEORGIA.
    Circus Mircus: Lock Me In.
  • Repetitive but infectious.
  • New wave meets indie, with the all-male group in steampunk outfits.
  • A stand-out performance with psychedelic patterns and a brief puppet show of sorts.
  • Perhaps better than expected, though where will the points come from?
  • Would be an upset if this went through, especially as Georgia’s recent form is poor.
  • JURY: 18. PUBLIC: 17. SCORE: 60.57. RESULT: 18.
  1. MALTA.
    Emma Muscat: I Am What I Am.
  • A cutesy but cliché-filled pop effort.
  • Emma’s a great singer and has loads of experience despite her young age.
  • A golden colour scheme, with some choreography also in the mix.
  • Simply executed but performed with confidence and conviction.
  • We know the juries love Malta, and again it’s the public mark that’ll let Malta down.
  • JURY: 9. PUBLIC: 15. SCORE: 66.86. RESULT: 14.
  1. SAN MARINO.
    Achille Lauro: Stripper.
  • A messy rock tune by a big Italian star.
  • Pyros, smoke, musicians in cages, and a red bull on stage too.
  • A born performer who throws in some grunting for good measure.
  • So much is going on it may be hard to keep track, but what a show.
  • Difficult to judge, but no surprises if Achille goes through with relative ease.
  • JURY: 15. PUBLIC: 13. SCORE: 68.57. RESULT: 12.
  1. AUSTRALIA.
    Sheldon Riley: Not The Same.
  • A safe qualifier.
  • Tremendous vocals by Sheldon who wears a fancy all-white outfit.
  • Two staircases meet in the middle and a smoke machine is used as well.
  • Quite dark on the whole and not nearly as memorable as it could be.
  • Juries will love this theatrical ballad, the public less so.
  • JURY: 3. PUBLIC: 8. SCORE: 79. RESULT: 4.
  1. CYPRUS.
    Andromache: Ela.
  • A summery, mid-tempo effort.
  • Gained plenty of attention during the rehearsals.
  • A large seashell prop with waves either side is used here.
  • Andromache looks great and sounds great, but is there enough movement?
  • A welcome entry from Cyprus after several pop-bops, and qualification looks likely.
  • JURY: 4. PUBLIC: 6. SCORE: 77.86. RESULT: 5.
  1. IRELAND.
    Brooke: That’s Rich.
  • Sass-filled pop by a likeable performer.
  • Plenty of attention has gone the song’s way after an impressive second rehearsal.
  • Brooke is in blue, her dancers in white, with purples and blues the main colours of choice.
  • Many swirling lights are in use and pyros also appear.
  • Has gone from looking like an NQ to being in with a very decent shot.
  • JURY: 12. PUBLIC: 11. SCORE: 69.14. RESULT: 11.
  1. NORTH MACEDONIA.
    Andrea: Circles.
  • Maybe the most forgettable entry of all this year.
  • An excellent vocalist in a black jacket, alone on stage.
  • Doesn’t really stand out at all from the field.
  • Can’t imagine the juries will dismiss this, but the public may well do just that.
  • Needs an extra sprinkling of something magic, but we won’t be getting it.
  • JURY: 17. PUBLIC: 17. SCORE: 61.29. RESULT: 17.
  1. ESTONIA.
    Stefan: Hope.
  • Country meets pop here.
  • The cowboys from the national final have gone.
  • The backdrop shows a desert landscape… a shame the sun arches block most of it.
  • A great performer with a lovely voice, and he moves about too.
  • Maybe is falling flat with many fans now, but should still go through to the final.
  • JURY: 8. PUBLIC: 4. SCORE: 77.43. RESULT: 6.
  1. ROMANIA.
    WRS: Llámame.
  • Slick stuff with dancers and effective choreography.
  • The male dancers may as well be topless; the women are in red dresses.
  • No vocal concerns and he’s an engaging performer.
  • A mostly golden look to the performance with the song’s title visible on the backdrop.
  • If a qualifier, it may be by a narrow margin. Another NQ would not be a shock.
  • JURY: 16. PUBLIC: 14. SCORE: 66.71. RESULT: 15.
  1. POLAND.
    Ochman: River.
  • A much talked-about and well-liked entry.
  • A superb singer in a black suit… a shame it seems quite static from him.
  • Dancers in long black outfits are on stage throughout.
  • Shaky camera effects and lightning bolts maybe don’t work terribly well.
  • Too good to miss out, and the juries will be on board too.
  • JURY: 2. PUBLIC: 2. SCORE: 85. RESULT: 2.
  1. MONTENEGRO.
    Vladana: Breathe.
  • A fine example of a song that is decent, but likely to be forgotten about.
  • The vocals have improved over the weeks and do sound very strong now.
  • Vladana’s in a blue dress with a white light-up disc attached to her back.
  • Takes a while to real build up, by which point a lot of neutrals may have lost interest.
  • The jury support simply may not be high enough, and the same can be said for the public.
  • JURY: 13. PUBLIC: 16. SCORE: 63.57. RESULT: 16.
  1. BELGIUM.
    Jérémie Makiese: Miss You.
  • A soulful effort but it all feels too flat.
  • Jérémie is in a silver outfit, joined by dancers throughout.
  • There did not appear to be much energy or excitement in the rehearsal footage.
  • He’s a competent singer, but the song is a let-down.
  • Seen as a qualifier with the betting odds, which I find rather surprising.
  • JURY: 11. PUBLIC: 12. SCORE: 68.43. RESULT: 13.
  1. SWEDEN.
    Cornelia Jakobs: Hold Me Closer.
  • Certainly a contender this year.
  • An emotionally-charged ballad that swells to a rousing finale.
  • Cornelia has a raspy tone to her voice that works well and she works the camera.
  • Similar to the national final, though pyros are now used and the green disc appears larger.
  • Believed by many to be the strong semi-final winner.
  • JURY: 1. PUBLIC: 1. SCORE: 89.43. RESULT: 1.
  1. CZECH REPUBLIC.
    We Are Domi: Lights Off.
  • A superb, energetic show-closer.
  • Images of statues are on the backdrop around a white banner.
  • A dazzling array of flashing lights in the chorus.
  • Has improved quite a bit over the weeks and now looks very impressive and polished.
  • I deem this a safe qualifier, with the juries perhaps more on board than the viewers.
  • JURY: 5. PUBLIC: 7. SCORE: 76.71. RESULT: 7.

RANKING.

  1. SWEDEN.
  2. POLAND.
  3. SERBIA.
  4. AUSTRALIA.
  5. CYPRUS.
  6. ESTONIA.
  7. CZECH REPUBLIC.
  8. AZERBAIJAN.
  9. FINLAND.
  10. ISRAEL.
  11. Ireland.
  12. San Marino.
  13. Belgium.
  14. Malta.
  15. Romania.
  16. Montenegro.
  17. North Macedonia.
  18. Georgia.

PERSONAL RANKING (as of 9/5/22).

  1. Sweden.
  2. Finland.
  3. Estonia.
  4. Ireland.
  5. Czech Republic.
  6. Cyprus.
  7. Poland.
  8. Malta.
  9. Australia.
  10. Romania.
  11. Belgium.
  12. North Macedonia.
  13. San Marino.
  14. Montenegro.
  15. Georgia.
  16. Serbia.
  17. Azerbaijan.
  18. Israel.

Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Semi-Final One – Preview/Prediction

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 10th, 12th, and 14th May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. The first semi-final takes place on Tuesday 10th, with seventeen nations involved. Ten will progress thanks to a jury vote and public vote, and all the nations involved will vote alongside France and Italy. In the UK, the show will be broadcast on BBC Three. This year, blog posts will be shorter than in the past as more emphasis is placed on my YouTube channel (RAJC). Nevertheless, below are my predictions for the results alongside an average mark, devised by judging the songs out of 100 in various categories and working out the average score. My personal ranking of the songs is also below, as of 8/5/22.

  1. ALBANIA.
    Ronela Hajati: Sekret.
  • Hopefully all comes together as much tighter on the night.
  • The choreography is a tad saucy (so we’ve heard) but is not going to bother anybody..
  • We know Ronela is fierce and can bring it – she won’t slip up.
  • The colour scheme (pink/blue we know of) doesn’t necessarily fit the track.
  • Should still go through comfortably, but the momentum has died down for this one.
  • JURY: 8. PUBLIC: 5. SCORE: 78. RESULT: 6.
  1. LATVIA.
    Citi Zēni: Eat Your Salad.
  • A cheeky entry performed with real gusto.
  • As you would expect, it’s a colourful, stand-out three minutes.
  • An early slot in the running order could prove damaging.
  • More fan support than a few weeks ago, but is this the injection of fun Europe wants?
  • Engaging and cheerful, though the juries may not be onside.
  • JURY: 15. PUBLIC: 9. SCORE: 67.71. RESULT: 10.
  1. LITHUANIA.
    Monika Liu: Sentimentai.
  • One of the classiest efforts this year.
  • Monika is well-liked and performs convincingly every time – no vocal quibbles.
  • The first low-key track of the show, but will it live long in the memory?
  • Cannot be ruled out with the juries at all… the public mark will perhaps determine the country’s fate.
  • Could be a welcome breath of fresh air in the final, where diaspora votes would play their part.
  • JURY: 9. PUBLIC: 10. SCORE: 69. RESULT: 9.
  1. SWITZERLAND.
    Marius Bear: Boys Do Cry.
  • Totally stripped-back.
  • Charming, albeit so simple… both jury members and viewers could be swayed by this one.
  • Unfussy but effective staging for the type of track this is.
  • Despite its prettiness, perhaps the song is ultimately way too forgettable.
  • A high jury mark and a low public score is a strong possibility.
  • JURY: 7. PUBLIC: 14. SCORE: 66.14. RESULT: 11.
  1. SLOVENIA.
    LPS: Disko.
  • A great, young band with a sophisticated, bouncy number.
  • The large disco ball does not feel too gimmicky, and does actually work well in the rehearsal clip.
  • The confidence and charisma has improved, but is this still on the static side?
  • After two low-key songs, ‘Disko’ is a good change of pace and may work in its favour.
  • Although there are fans, it’s hard to see Slovenia making the cut.
  • JURY: 14. PUBLIC: 16. SCORE: 60.57. RESULT: 16.
  1. UKRAINE.
    Kalush Orchestra: Stefania.
  • The clear favourite, if you believe the betting odds.
  • A stirring, personal track blending hip-hop and folk.
  • Comes across as less messy than in the national final.
  • Eyes stare out from the backdrop, amid orange and blue lighting.
  • All depends on the jury score… if high, Ukraine should win the contest.
  • JURY: 1. PUBLIC: 1. SCORE: 89.14. RESULT: 1.
  1. BULGARIA.
    Intelligent Music Project: Intention.
  • For a long time, widely regarded as the poorest entry this year.
  • The only real rock number in the semi-final, and rock (if you ask me) is always welcome.
  • Done the best they can with pyros and ramming home the rock vibes.
  • Can’t fault the vocals, though a bit more movement would be nice to see.
  • Just not strong enough, surely, to leave a lasting impression.
  • JURY: 16. PUBLIC: 15. SCORE: 58.86. RESULT: 17.
  1. THE NETHERLANDS.
    S10: De Diepte.
  • No concerns here really – a safe qualifier.
  • Staging is simple and quite bare, but it was never going to be that flashy.
  • One of the best female singers this year, wearing a fancy black dinner-jacket style outfit.
  • Lights fan out from the sun arches and the whole performance could be very atmospheric and intimate.
  • Shouldn’t be ignored a ton in either half of the results.
  • JURY: 2. PUBLIC: 4. SCORE: 83.86. RESULT: 4.
  1. MOLDOVA.
    Zdob și Zdub and Advahov Brothers: Trenulețul.
  • A fairly limp performance for such a jaunty tune.
  • An experienced band back for a third time.
  • Moldova has punched above its weight before… the same again here?
  • Has been let down by a sprinkling of craziness (in the best way) – kaleidoscopic patterns are on the backdrop.
  • After a brief spurt of attention, the momentum has gone again… don’t rule this out though.
  • JURY: 17. PUBLIC: 11. SCORE: 64.57. RESULT: 12.
  1. PORTUGAL.
    Maro: Saudade, Saudade.
  • Intimate and performed on the B stage.
  • The rehearsal clip impressed many, and suggests a good result (already very possible) is now a strong likelihood.
  • Gentle vocals match the gentle melody and the harmonies are tight.
  • If Moldova appeals to few, maybe Portugal will please many…. the juries certainly.
  • As long as the wide shots are kept to a minimum, Maro is in the final with no major issues.
  • JURY: 4. PUBLIC: 6. SCORE: 81.43. RESULT: 5.
  1. CROATIA.
    Mia Dimšić: Guilty Pleasure.
  • A good example of a lovely song that is not expected to do any good.
  • Mia is a great singer but that’s just not enough to gain points.
  • A blue forest-like scene is on the backdrop, and Mia’s joined by some dancers.
  • The pink dress ia a real pop of colour, and everything is very sweet and chilled out here.
  • Expect the juries to respond with more kindness than the public, where the mark could be disappointingly low.
  • JURY: 13. PUBLIC: 17. SCORE: 60.57. RESULT: 15.
  1. DENMARK.
    Reddi: The Show.
  • Less punchy than Bulgaria’s tune, and arguably stronger as well.
  • Few differences from the national final… the stage feeling a bit too bare.
  • Not many have discussed the vocals, but they are always strong.
  • Plenty of colour, flashing lights, and pyros all add up to a decent showing.
  • Like with Croatia, a credible effort that has not gained nearly enough support.
  • JURY: 12. PUBLIC: 12. SCORE: 63.86. RESULT: 13.
  1. AUSTRIA.
    Lumix feat. Pia Maria: Halo.
  • After a good deal of support early on, Austria is a borderline qualifier in the eyes of many now.
  • As was feared, the live vocals have been shaky for some time, but admittedly are a little better now.
  • A ring of lights surround the duo, with red a main colour and pyros used too.
  • The crowd will certainly be fired up, and viewers at home should appreciate this somewhat typical Euro-pop banger also.
  • Although a top-ten result is very unlikely now, a place in the final should(!) be secure.
  • JURY: 11. PUBLIC: 7. SCORE: 69.86. RESULT: 8.
  1. ICELAND.
    Systur: Með Hækkandi Sól.
  • Another change of pace in the show, but in-between two generally more liked efforts.
  • No major differences from the national final performance.
  • Slow tracking shots and golden lighting.
  • A lovely folky entry that most people seem to feel indifferent about.
  • Simply not impactful enough to draw in points from far and wide.
  • JURY: 10. PUBLIC: 13. SCORE: 62.86. RESULT: 14.
  1. GREECE.
    Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord: Die Together.
  • Has always been considered a possible winner… more so now.
  • A melting chairs effect is present on stage.
  • Mostly blue lighting with Amanda in a white dress.
  • Dramatic without being over the top, with the instrumentation swelling to a satisfying conclusion.
  • Vocals are nothing to be concerned about, and both the public and juries should love her.
  • JURY: 3. PUBLIC: 3. SCORE: 87.57. RESULT: 2.
  1. NORWAY.
    Subwoolfer: Give That Wolf A Banana.
  • A slick performance bound to captivate neutrals.
  • Very much on the silly side but as broad appeal and juries won’t ignore it.
  • Plenty of pyros alongside blue and yellow lighting and memorable choreography.
  • A bit reliant on pre-recorded backing vocals, not that many will care.
  • A possible public vote winner… set to be a well-talked about performance.
  • JURY: 5. PUBLIC: 2. SCORE: 84.29. RESULT: 3.
  1. ARMENIA.
    Rosa Linn: Snap.
  • The faulty ‘sun’ is fixed by using a large box made of post-it notes.
  • Gives off a casual vibe, which may not be want you want from a final song.
  • Quite engaging and the tune does have a slight contemporary feel and toe-tapping nature.
  • A very competent singer, something that I feel has gone under the radar a little.
  • An equal amount of support in both halves of the results would be no surprise.
  • JURY: 6. PUBLIC: 8. SCORE: 76.71. RESULT: 7.

RANKING.

  1. UKRAINE.
  2. GREECE.
  3. NORWAY.
  4. THE NETHERLANDS.
  5. PORTUGAL.
  6. ALBANIA.
  7. ARMENIA.
  8. AUSTRIA.
  9. LITHUANIA.
  10. LATVIA.
  11. Switzerland.
  12. Moldova.
  13. Denmark.
  14. Iceland.
  15. Croatia.
  16. Slovenia.
  17. Bulgaria.

PERSONAL RANKING (as of 8/5/22).

  1. Netherlands.
  2. Greece.
  3. Denmark.
  4. Austria.
  5. Portugal.
  6. Armenia.
  7. Norway.
  8. Iceland.
  9. Albania.
  10. Ukraine.
  11. Croatia.
  12. Switzerland.
  13. Slovenia.
  14. Moldova.
  15. Latvia.
  16. Bulgaria.
  17. Lithuania.

2022 British Academy Television Awards – predictions

BEST DRAMA SERIES: Unforgotten.
BEST MINI-SERIES: It’s A Sin.
BEST SINGLE DRAMA: Help.
BEST SOAP AND CONTINUING DRAMA: Emmerdale.
BEST ACTOR: Olly Alexander – It’s A Sin.
BEST ACTRESS: Kate Winslet – Mare Of Easttown.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Stephen Graham – Time.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Emily Mortimer – The Pursuit Of Love.
BEST MALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE: Ncuti Gatwa – Sex Education.
BEST FEMALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE: Aisling Bea – This Way Up.
BEST SCRIPTED COMEDY: We Are Lady Parts.
BEST COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME: The Graham Norton Show.
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PERFORMANCE: Sean Lock – 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
BEST FACTUAL SERIES: Uprising.
HUW WHELDON AWARD FOR SPECIALIST FACTUAL: Black Power: A British Story Of Resistance.
ROBERT FLAHERTY AWARD FOR SINGLE DOCUMENTARY: Grenfell: The Untold Story.
BEST FEATURE: Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.
BEST REALITY AND CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL: RuPaul’s Drag Race.
BEST LIVE EVENT: The Earthshot Prize 2021.
BEST NEWS COVERAGE: Channel 4 News: Black To Front.
BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS: Fearless: The Women Fighting Putin.
BEST DAYTIME: Richard Osman’s House Of Games.
BEST SHORT FORM PROGRAMME: Please Help.
BEST INTERNATIONAL PROGRAME: Succession.
BEST SPORT: Euro 2020 Semi-Final: England v Denmark.
VIRGIN TV’S MUST-SEE MOMENT: Strictly Come Dancing – Rose and Giovanni silent dance.

Eurovision 2022 – Automatic finalists second rehearsals – thoughts

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 10th, 12th, and 14th May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. Rehearsals are underway, and my brief thoughts can be found below. This year, blog posts will be shorter than in the past as more emphasis is placed on my YouTube channel (RAJC).

  1. FRANCE.
    Alvan and Ahez: Fulenn.
  • Colour scheme (greens mostly) remain in place.
  • Girls are atop a stone-like platform.
  • Smoke and fire add to the dark, gothic-style atmosphere of the track.
  • Camera angles are also not that different from what we had at the national final.
  • Striking and polished… on course for a fine result indeed.
  1. ITALY.
    Mahmood and Blanco: Brividi.
  • Some are disappointed at the apparent ‘tiredness’ of the rehearsal.
  • Mahmood is in a black outfit, Blanco (now on stage) is in white.
  • Flashing lights around the arena, but also a ripple-like light effect at times.
  • Hoping its more intimate than the clip showed.
  • Still coming across as a potential winner.
  1. UNITED KINGDOM.
    Sam Ryder: Space Man.
  • Must surely be considered a major candidate now.
  • Wears a black outfit adorned in space-related imagery patterns.
  • Vocals continue to be impressive.
  • Performs within a light-up cage which soon opens – a guitar solo is now added in.
  • A very positive press response and our most competitive effort for years.
  1. SPAIN.
    Chanel: SloMo.
  • Quite predictable, but still excites every time.
  • Exudes confidence and there’s a cheeky playful nature to the performance.
  • A black outfit for Chanel, dancers also in black (guys topless underneath jackets).
  • Lights in front of the arches in white and red shades – strobe light used to great effect.
  • Ultra slick stuff and should see the points pour in.
  1. GERMANY.
    Malik Harris: Rockstars.
  • A lovely, relaxing effort.
  • A piano and drum kit are on stage, giving off a recording studio vibe.
  • Casual attire for Malik.
  • Doesn’t seem to be that much happening visually on the whole though.
  • Despite passion and nice vocals, it may not be enough to get Germany out of the bottom five.

Eurovision 2022 – Second semi-final second rehearsals – thoughts

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 10th, 12th, and 14th May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. Rehearsals are underway, and my brief thoughts can be found below. This year, blog posts will be shorter than in the past as more emphasis is placed on my YouTube channel (RAJC).

  1. FINLAND.
    The Rasmus: Jezebel.
  • Black and yellow colour scheme remains.
  • Lead vocals are a little better than in previous performances.
  • Large black bubbles are dotted around the stage, but for what reason?
  • Energy seems to be lacking.
  • Starting to fade as other nations have improved more significantly.
  1. ISRAEL.
    Michael Ben David: I.M.
  • Boosted its chances of qualifying a lot.
  • Michael and his dancers are in all-white outfits.
  • Enthusiastic choreography.
  • Lights behind the group flash in white and red tones.
  • Great vocals and charisma will shine through.
  1. SERBIA.
    Konstrakta: In Corpore Sano.
  • Plenty of support.
  • Seems to be more emphatic now.
  • Hand-clapping is shown on the backdrop as well.
  • Lighting on her is dark at first but lightens up with the chorus.
  • Lights radiate out from the arches too – a slick production in all.
  1. AZERBAIJAN.
    Nadir Rustamli: Fade To Black.
  • Telling a story on stage.
  • One of the more atmospheric entries in this semi-final.
  • Can’t fault the vocals here.
  • Joined by a dancer on a bleachers-type structure.
  • A slow-burner that the juries may really appreciate.
  1. GEORGIA.
    Circus Mircus: Lock Me In.
  • A psychedelic jolt to the senses.
  • Purples, blues, and yellows are colours of choice.
  • Striking steampunk-style outfits.
  • Quick camera cuts during the chorus.
  • Not too chaotic, but still not seen by many as a qualifier.
  1. MALTA.
    Emma Muscat: I Am What I Am.
  • Joined by a few dancers – simple choreography.
  • Golden colours across the backdrop and ‘sun.’
  • Really feels very sweet and performed convincingly.
  • Vocals not quite as strong as before.
  • Will no doubt suffer in the public half of the results.
  1. SAN MARINO.
    Achille Lauro: Stripper.
  • So much is going on.
  • Musicians in cages, flames and smoke everywhere, red lighting.
  • Born performer Achille struts his stuff and grunts away with the lyrics.
  • The red bull seems a little unnecessary.
  • On vibrancy alone, this could make the cut.
  1. AUSTRALIA.
    Sheldon Riley: Not The Same.
  • Faultless vocals.
  • Very theatrical and moody in terms of presentation.
  • Sheldon sings atop a podium in the middle of two staircases.
  • An all-white outfit with a veil across the face for most of the song.
  • Really comes across as a jury darling.
  1. CYPRUS.
    Andromache: Ela.
  • Large seashell and wave-like prop on stage.
  • Beautiful singer joined by a few dancers.
  • Yellow, white and purple projections appear over their bodies.
  • Quite simple but it all seems to work well, vocals nice too.
  • The backdrop is just way too dark though?
  1. IRELAND.
    Brooke: That’s Rich.
  • Absolutely bringing it now.
  • Purple (again) colours and a whole array of swirling lights.
  • Brooke is in a blue outfit, joined by a batch of dancers.
  • Pyros aplenty and a good dose of sass throughout.
  • Emerging as a very possible qualifier – lots of people enjoyed the clip.
  1. NORTH MACEDONIA.
    Andrea: Circles.
  • Very plain on the whole.
  • Andrea is in a black coat/outfit overall.
  • Blue lighting and watery-type imagery on the backdrop.
  • B-stage screens show white handprints at one point.
  • Fine vocals and a decent showing, but still on course to miss out.
  1. ESTONIA.
    Stefan: Hope.
  • Suffers due to the faulty arches.
  • Alone on stage but he is firmly in control of proceedings.
  • Blue to orange lighting with a desert landscape on the backing screen.
  • Moves around the stage a fair amount and sings well.
  • Just needs to be ramped up a gear.
  1. ROMANIA.
    WRS: Llámame.
  • A slick performance.
  • Female dancers wear red dresses, guys are almost topless but also wear red and black.
  • WRS is in a red, silk shirt at first, but this soon makes way to a silver and black get-up.
  • Mostly orange/yellow lighting here.
  • Effective choreography and lyrics are now more visible on the backdrop.
  1. POLAND.
    Ochman: River.
  • A very blue performance.
  • Nails the vocals in his smart black suit.
  • Dancers are in all-black attire.
  • Shaky camera effects with lightning flashes make matters a bit disorientating.
  • A mixed-to-positive response, but going through easily.
  1. MONTENEGRO.
    Vladana: Breathe.
  • A pretty performance, but too dull for some?
  • Vladana’s in a blue dress with a large white circle attached to her back.
  • At one point the backdrop is entirely white.
  • Vocals seem to be the best they’ve been yet.
  • Might just suffer from a lack of buzz in the end.
  1. BELGIUM.
    Jérémie Makiese: Miss You.
  • Continuing to disappoint in my opinion.
  • His voice is perhaps the best element of this.
  • Choreography is fairly basic and lifted from the music video.
  • He’s in a silver outfit; the dancers are dressed in black.
  • Smoothly executed but I remain unconvinced.
  1. SWEDEN.
    Cornelia Jakobs: Hold Me Closer.
  • Riddled with technical issues today, but resolved in the end.
  • Almost identical to the national final performance.
  • A larger rotating disc, with green pulses on the backdrop.
  • Pyros are used near the end as well in a new addition.
  • Very polished and not much to fault at all.
  1. CZECH REPUBLIC.
    We Are Domi: Lights Off.
  • Images of statues on the backing screen, which also has a white border.
  • The lights turning off moment works very well.
  • Vocals continue to improve.
  • A dizzying deluge of flashing lights.
  • Looks excellent and a superb closet to the show.

RANKING.

  1. Czech Republic.
  2. Sweden.
  3. Ireland.
  4. San Marino.
  5. Serbia.
  6. Australia.
  7. Poland.
  8. Israel.
  9. Estonia.
  10. Finland.
  11. Malta.
  12. Azerbaijan.
  13. Cyprus.
  14. Georgia.
  15. Romania.
  16. Montenegro.
  17. Belgium.
  18. North Macedonia.

Eurovision 2022 – First semi-final second and automatic finalists first rehearsals – thoughts

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 10th, 12th, and 14th May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. Rehearsals are underway, and my brief thoughts can be found below. This year, blog posts will be shorter than in the past as more emphasis is placed on my YouTube channel (RAJC).

  1. ALBANIA.
    Ronela Hajati: Sekret.
  • Half blue and half pink backdrop in the rehearsal clip.
  • Camera angles seem too messy when choreography kicks in.
  • Outfit has changed to silver.
  • Vocals could be a touch stronger, but still not a concern.
  • Still a striking opener as Ronela swings her hair about, but a tad more disappointing.
  1. LATVIA.
    Citi Zēni: Eat Your Salad.
  • Performed enthusiastically, and fan support is higher than before.
  • Plenty of fruit imagery on the backdrop.
  • Members of the group are in one-coloured outfits (green, red, etc.)
  • Maybe a little too reliant on the backing vocals.
  • Purples and yellows seem to be prominent shades.
  1. LITHUANIA.
    Monika Liu: Sentimentai.
  • Effortlessly performed.
  • Not overly damaged by the faulty stage – there is a sparkling effect to the performance.
  • Vocals and charisma continue to be on point.
  • Doesn’t seem to be gaining as much support as other ‘borderline’ qualifiers.
  • Seems even more easy-going than at the national final.
  1. SWITZERLAND.
    Marius Bear: Boys Do Cry.
  • A competent singer, no question.
  • Very simple staging, as it should be.
  • A heart projection appears on his face, and also animated butterflies(?) floating away to one side.
  • Unfussy attire.
  • May benefit greatly from jury love, less so from the public.
  1. SLOVENIA.
    LPS: Disko.
  • Cool and sophisticated.
  • The large disco ball does not seem as huge as first thought.
  • Camera pans around the group in the chorus, but it means some band members are obviously hidden to the audience.
  • Vocals aren’t too bad at all.
  • Still not quite gaining the traction it needs to potentially progress.
  1. UKRAINE.
    Kalush Orchestra: Stefania.
  • Likely to remain the big favourites.
  • Traditional imagery is seen at points.
  • Less messy and cramped in comparison to the national final.
  • Eyes are visible on the backdrop, with blue and orange the main colours of choice.
  • Does pack a punch and obviously the points will come in.
  1. BULGARIA.
    Intelligent Music Project: Intention.
  • Gaining more support.
  • Plenty of fire and pyro, but doesn’t make the song itself any better.
  • Still seems to be a bit static.
  • Vocals are almost identical to the studio cut.
  • Orange lights streak across the arena.
  1. THE NETHERLANDS.
    S10: De Diepte.
  • Still cruising through if you ask me.
  • Nothing too fancy going on at all, but more movement needed?
  • S10 performs atop a small plinth in the same black outfit as before.
  • A muted, brown-ish tinge to the lighting, with other lights fanning out from the arches.
  • Lovely vocals once again.
  1. MOLDOVA.
    Zdob și Zdub and Advahov Brothers: Trenulețul.
  • Struggles due to not being as wacky as hoped for?
  • Colourful, kaleidoscopic patterns on the backdrop.
  • Interesting, vibrant attire.
  • Purple and orange lighting is used in the chorus clip.
  • Perhaps falling out of favour again after gaining some momentum in recent weeks.
  1. PORTUGAL.
    Maro: Saudade, Saudade.
  • Performed on the B stage.
  • Light blue and golden tones are present.
  • Vocals are great and the harmonies are tight.
  • Smoke machine is used but does not seem to be overpowering.
  • Gently and beautifully executed, though hopefully not too many wide shots.
  1. CROATIA.
    Mia Dimšić: Guilty Pleasure.
  • Nothing to really fault here.
  • Vocals on point as they always have been.
  • A fairytale forest scene in blue shades is on the backdrop.
  • Mia’s pink dress is a real pop of colour – the dancers are in more basic attire.
  • As long as the focus stays on Mia, it’s all good, but still not likely to qualify.
  1. DENMARK.
    Reddi: The Show.
  • A welcome change of pace.
  • Pretty much the national final performance elevated up a notch.
  • Really great, underrated lead vocals.
  • Block primary colours make up most of the visuals here; some pyro is present too.
  • A tad more energy wouldn’t go amiss.
  1. AUSTRIA.
    Lumix feat. Pia Maria: Halo.
  • Vocals now a little better, partially thanks to the backing singers.
  • Clearly one of the bigger spectacles of the semi-final.
  • The duo are held in place by a ring of lights.
  • Flames pop up around the stage amid a flurry of red lights.
  • Slipping in its chances of qualifying, but should still make the cut.
  1. ICELAND.
    Systur: Með Hækkandi Sól.
  • Just so lovely.
  • Few alterations from the national final performance.
  • Vintage style attire for the band.
  • Golden lighting is used alongside rather languid camera angles.
  • Sandwiched between two stronger songs?
  1. GREECE.
    Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord: Die Together.
  • Emerging as a potential winner.
  • A white dress for Amanda with white lights shining behind her.
  • Otherwise a predominantly blue colour to proceedings.
  • Chairs are around her that appear to melt through the floor.
  • Vocals are yet again very impressive.
  1. NORWAY.
    Subwoolfer: Give That Wolf A Banana.
  • Just as polished, if not more so, than at the national final.
  • Perhaps highly reliant on pre-recorded vocals.
  • Pyros are present with yellow and blue lights flashing across the backdrop.
  • Heavy on choreography, but that will go down a storm.
  • Comfortably going through.
  1. ARMENIA.
    Rosa Linn: Snap.
  • One of the more unique stagings this year.
  • A fairly plain outfit for Rosa, but that’s not an issue.
  • She’s within a large post-it note structure, with a bed and a chair also covered in labels.
  • She pulls off some to reveal a heart and also the word ‘snap’.
  • Vocals are fine, and the whole thing looks promising.

—–

1. FRANCE.
Alvan and Ahez: Fulenn.

  • Similar in presentation to the national final.
  • Rather echo-y vocals here.
  • Flames rise around the stage, with smoke seen as well.
  • Black outfits for the group – the girls perform atop a stone-like platform.
  • A little dark and atmospheric, with many green lights.
  1. ITALY.
    Mahmood and Blanco: Brividi.
  • No Blanco today.
  • Mahmood is in a long black outfit with white sunglasses.
  • Nothing messy about the performance.
  • White lights streak across the arena.
  • Smoke covers the stage and it’ll be just as intimate as the Sanremo performance.
  1. UNITED KINGDOM.
    Sam Ryder: Space Man.
  • Excellent vocals.
  • A casual black outfit for Sam.
  • Performs inside a large lit-up structure resembling a cage, which soon opens up.
  • A fairly bare backdrop though.
  • One of the more intriguing and striking stagings of the year.
  1. SPAIN.
    Chanel: SloMo.
  • A tremendous talent with fine vocals and charisma.
  • The rehearsal snippet showed little.
  • The choreography remains the same – Chanel wears a black outfit adorned in jewels.
  • The dancers are also in black with chests on display.
  • All about the dancing here, but Spain’s best result for years is incoming.
  1. GERMANY.
    Malik Harris: Rockstars.
  • Too plain perhaps.
  • A casual shirt and trousers for Malik – acoustic guitar in hand.
  • Simple but effective spotlights behind him.
  • Not sure this will leave enough of an impact.
  • A gentle effort with the second rehearsal key.

RANKING.

  1. Greece.
  2. Denmark.
  3. Netherlands.
  4. Ukraine.
  5. Portugal.
  6. Armenia.
  7. Iceland.
  8. Norway.
  9. Austria.
  10. Albania.
  11. Bulgaria.
  12. Slovenia.
  13. Croatia.
  14. Lithuania.
  15. Switzerland.
  16. Latvia.
  17. Moldova.

AUTOMATIC FINALISTS.

  1. United Kingdom.
  2. France.
  3. Spain.
  4. Italy.
  5. Germany.

Eurovision 2022 – Semi-Final two first rehearsals – thoughts

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 10th, 12th, an 14th May 2022 at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy. First rehearsals are underway, and my brief thoughts can be found below. This year, blog posts will be shorter than in the past as more emphasis is placed on my YouTube channel (RAJC).

  1. finland.
    The Rasmus: Jezebel.
  • One of the most experienced names in the competition.
  • Keeping with the yellow and black colour scheme as scene at the national final.
  • Black, floating bubbles are used throughout around the stage.
  • The vocals appear to be a little better, though perhaps the backing vocals are too loud.
  • Pyros, to no surprise, are in effect.
  1. ISRAEL.
    Michael Ben David: I.M.
  • Confident performer with bags of charisma.
  • Wearing a fancy white outfit for the performance.
  • Panels of white light appear behind him in the rehearsal clip, deep red lights also used.
  • Joined on stage by a group of similarly-dressed dancers.
  • Quite a slick production.
  1. SERBIA.
    Konstrakta: In Corpore Sano.
  • Highly anticipated.
  • Konstrakta wear a white outfit with flowers on it.
  • Accompanied by people in black outfits with towels around their necks.
  • The hand movements and formal delivery remain – this really stands out from the field.
  • Strobing red lights are present near the end.
  1. AZERBAIJAN.
    Nadir Rustamli: Fade To Black.
  • A very fine singer.
  • Steps resembling bleachers are used on stage.
  • Contemporary dance and dramatic lighting/camera angles will be evident.
  • Simple attire.
  • Not really gaining much more attention.
  1. GEORGIA.
    Circus Mircus: Lock Me In.
  • A real tonal shift.
  • Psychedelic, kooky, very throwback.
  • The outfits are quite 60s – a bit Willy Wonka-esque.
  • Lips on a pink backdrop and mouths on a blue backdrop add to the visuals.
  • There’s even time for a little puppet show.
  1. MALTA.
    Emma Muscat: I Am What I Am.
  • An excellent singer.
  • Wearing a short dress made up of small, glimmering discs (think Gina G).
  • The arena is bathed in golden lighting.
  • A plinth with a piano is used, and dancers are here as well.
  • A job well done, but still not expected by many to progress.
  1. SAN MARINO.
    Achille Lauro: Stripper.
  • A lot to take in – rather messy.
  • Born performer in cowboy hat, black boots and black vest.
  • Two cages on stage as well as red rodeo bull.
  • Heavy on the pyros and fire as well as red/orange lighting.
  • Could really rise in people’s rankings.
  1. AUSTRALIA.
    Sheldon Riley: Not The Same.
  • Jury favourite written all over it.
  • Some of the finest vocals yet heard.
  • Two joined staircases are on stage, and a smoke machine adds to the drama.
  • Sheldon is all in white with a feathery bottom half that trails behind him.
  • Very atmospheric and powerfully done.
  1. CYPRUS.
    Andromache: Ela.
  • The first opportunity to really see this song in action.
  • A gorgeous singer, accompanied by two dancers.
  • A large seashell prop is on stage, adorned with projections at certain moments.
  • Vocally very good.
  • Perhaps one of the most beautiful stagings so far – purples are yellows are main shades.
  1. IRELAND.
    Brooke: That’s Rich.
  • The vocals do sound a tad better than in previous performances.
  • Brooke wears a blue crop top, hot pants and boots.
  • Plenty of choreography with dancers in white attire.
  • Purple (again) and blue lighting is used – not much happening on the backdrop.
  • Pyros are present too.
  1. NORTH MACEDONIA.
    Andrea: Circles.
  • No concerns here vocally.
  • Flitting between a watery blue look and a warmer presentation.
  • A black outfit and coat is the outfit of choice.
  • B-stage screens are used, showing patterns of hands.
  • Flashes of light give off a stormy vibe.
  1. ESTONIA.
    Stefan: Hope.
  • Not that different from the national final, with the cowboy theme toned down.
  • Seems to be having a blast on stage, moving about a lot.
  • A casual black outfit for Stefan, alone on stage.
  • More blue to golden lighting, with a desert-type landscape on the backdrop.
  • Won’t have damaged his chances.
  1. ROMANIA.
    WRS: Llámame.
  • Joined by two male and two female dancers.
  • WRS wears a tight black and silver outfit (revealed after shedding a reddish top), the dancers are in a more crimson shade, with the guys mostly topless..
  • Choreography from the national final remains.
  • Song lyrics are partially blocked by the arches.
  • Gold lighting is used again.
  1. POLAND.
    Ochman: River.
  • Terrific vocals.
  • Wearing a smart black suit.
  • Contemporary dancers in black attire join him.
  • Atmospheric, deep lue lighting is the order of the day.
  • Watery imagery is visible, alongside his face on the backdrop.
  1. MONTENEGRO.
    Vladana: Breathe.
  • Not a million miles away from the look of Poland’s performance.
  • Vladana looks great in a beautiful blue dress.
  • Lovely white and blue lighting effects.
  • Looks relatively unfussy.
  • May still be lacking in enough support to get through.
  1. BELGIUM.
    Jérémie Makiese: Miss You.
  • Not as wonderful as I had hoped for.
  • A fine singer in a silver outfit.
  • Black-clad dancers on stage with him with music video choreography.
  • A bronzed look to the lighting.
  • All seems rather safe and plain to me.
  1. SWEDEN.
    Cornelia Jakobs: Hold Me Closer.
  • Almost identical to the national final.
  • Cornelia wears the same outfit, with the shredded silver top and black trousers.
  • The rotating disc is larger, but is used in the same way, with flashing lights also used in the same way.
  • No problems with the vocals.
  • Unsurprising, but working well.
  1. CZECH REPUBLIC.
    We Are Domi: Lights Off.
  • Black outfits adorned in various patterns.
  • Pyros are used.
  • Huge amount of flashing lights all across the arena.
  • Vocals seem better than in previous performances.
  • An excellent show closer.

RANKING.

  1. Czech Republic.
  2. Sweden.
  3. Ireland.
  4. Cyprus.
  5. Australia.
  6. San Marino.
  7. Malta.
  8. Finland.
  9. Poland.
  10. Estonia.
  11. Georgia.
  12. Serbia.
  13. Montenegro.
  14. Romania.
  15. Azerbaijan.
  16. Israel.
  17. North Macedonia.
  18. Belgium.