Once deemed the weaker semi final, semi final 2 turned out too much stronger than anticipated. But I knew I had to figure out my favorites, because we can’t have more than one Eurovision 2016 winner.
In no particular order, here are my ESC 2016 semi final two top picks. So many favorites, not enough space:
A powerful and sincere ballad that hooks you and doesn’t let go. Dami Im’s vocals are seasoned to perfection and I know she won’t let us down in May. The ethereal darkness of the song is hypnotizing. Dami won’t have to keep calling for long because Eurovision fans are picking up on the magic of “Sound of Silence“.
Now that we know Southeast Asia is looking to develop their own Eurovision styled competition it makes perfect sense for Dami to bring that victory back to Australia and host that show next year… and then Sweden will just go on and host Eurovision 2017 (ok–maybe not😝).
Poli Genova makes her return to the Eurovision stage with an anthemic bilingual selection. I can’t get enough of a Eurovision entry in a country’s native tongue. “О, дай ми любовта!” This is pure pop gold and it is a quality piece of music. Could this song struggle to make it out of the semis? It’s possible, but this should be in the finals and finish top 10 minimum. I don’t know how Bulgaria will present this entry onstage but that will seal its fate.
You shouldn’t count out the power of Kaliopi and “Dona”. This is probably the best non-English song in the competition this year. Kaliopi is a professional who has put forth a quality piece of music. The orchestral arrangement and Kaliopi’s vocals create an epic experience that belongs in the finals.
Tel Aviv should prepare itself, because they could be hosting next year. Hovi Star’s voice is a breath of fresh air in this year’s competition. “Made of Stars” has a climax that soars to new heights but at no moment sounds heavy-handed. Star’s vocals float through the song with ease and never falter. This will be in the final, and should finish top 10… No reason other than politics for that to not happen.
1944 is making headlines and for good reason. This anthem for the oppressed is a battlecry that can’t be ignored. Jamala’s unique vocal stylings may be off-putting at first, but as the song progresses it has an undeniable sound that can’t be ignored. Susana Jamaladinova aka Jamala is tops on my list to speak with this year. The song is more avant-garde than radio ready, but it makes sense. This passionate plea will have the attention of hearts and minds. The song takes a page from 90s R&B and house music, but the bilingual lyrics make it sound fresh and authentic.
It’s looking like Jamala’s biggest competition will be Russia…