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Eurovision Song Contest 2016 - Review of 1st Semi-Final - Part 2

Welcome to our 5th Eurovision Song Contest season and podcast 54!
We continue our review of entries, with the six songs that make up the middle of the 1st semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest:
Armenia - Iveta Mukuchyan - LoveWave, 
San Marino - Serhat - I Didn't Know,
Russia - Sergey Lazarev - You Are the Only One,
Czech Republic - Gabriela Guncikova - I Stand,
Cyprus - Minus One - Alter Ego
Austria - Zoe - Loin D'ici
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The EurovisionCanada.com Podcast is hosted by Joe Varnell & Slaviša Mijatović, and produced by Kevin Bourassa. All songs are found on YouTube and are used here under fair use for music criticism and commentary in a non-commercial context. Strong language and/or strong lyrics are rarely used. 

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Eurovision Song Contest 2016 - Review of 1st Semi-Final - Part 2

Reader Comments (3)

Armenia: 5/5 - Fabulous song, I'd be very happy if this won. This completely takes you to a journey which I love it's ultra original, yes she gets a bit screechy near the end but who cares, she's fabulous and gorgeous and has an amazing song!

San Marino: 0/5 - I will break the Eurovision Canada rule and give this a 0! I did not like the slow version and the disco verison didn't really help it either unfortunately... And I can't believe you said it should compete in 1977 because I'm sure every songs that year were better than this!

Russia: 4.5/5 - I have to give a half point to this one. It is almost perfection, it hits all the boxes as you said, however I agree that it sounds dated (maybe not as dated as 1992 lol) but it's so damn catchy and you know Sergey will give a fantastic performance. Definitely top 3.

Czech Republic: 4/5 - Probably the best ballad this year. You were pretty spot on with this one too, I really hope it gives Czech Republic (Czechia) their first qualification.

Cyprus: 5/5 - This one I absolutely LOVE! I would be completely happy with a Cyprus win this year, unlike typical Eurovision fans I actually quite like rock music, and this sounds like such a great Pop-Rock crossover. In bits it even reminds me of some early songs from The Killers, I even remember humming Somebody Told Me after hearing Alter Ego.

Austria: 4/5 - I can't believe the hate for Zoë and this song, I think it's such a gorgeous song. Yes the styling when it comes to her outfit and the video etc is very childish and could probably use a re-work, but the song itself is absolutely beautiful. I even think it has good chances of qualifying!

April 22, 2016 | Registered CommenterDavid Robichaud

Thanks for the shoutout. I'd love to give maple leaves but it just doesn't feel right. Would feel presumptuous, so here are some more of the humble gum leaves.

Armenia: While I think this will qualify I have a problem with it. For the first 30 seconds it's very gripping. Then it seems to lose all the promise of the opening. Fades and repeats. I feel as though i should like it more but I don't. 3 gum leaves.

San Marino: I never thought I'd say this but I actually prefer the 'Leonard Cohen meets Telly Savalas' original version of this. How do you say 'No' in Turkish? No, Serhat. Just no. (But expect some dancing in the arena if the crowd is a bit restless.) 1 gum leaf for not being Ralph Siegel.

Russia: Manufactured for the Eurovision win - but too much so. It's all bread and games of the circus . There are much better songs but history tells us not to underestimate Russia, especially when they are clearly trying for the win. At least it's not another peace anthem! 3 gum leaves.

Czech Republic: Lovely vocals but this comes between Russia and Cyprus. That's a big ask from a small country. I'd love to see effort rewarded here but I don't think it will be. 4 gum leaves - but maybe not even a qualifier.

Cyprus: It may be schlager rock but that's fine. There's still a lot of schlager around. And this is quite a good example. In this running order this stands out and should qualify. Probably won't do much in the Final but I'll be glad to see it there. 4 gum leaves.

Austria: This one is a real conundrum. The florid visuals aren't such an issue - see Poland last year. That qualified. It's in French: great, a non-English language entry. The cutesy costume styling could be an issue - see Iceland last year. And it's very, very old Eurovision. But, there's some sort of constituency for these throwback entries and I can't write if off as a qualifier. I understand why some people just loathe it but it's so different that it might work. That said, it's Austria and I don't really see where the votes will come from. France is voting in this Semi so it will get some support there and Hungary is also here. This could be the tenth qualifier. (Or not!) I'll revisit this one just before the Semi. 2 gum leaves. .

Still quite underwhelmed as we get into the second half and hoping for a lift with the next batch of entries. Just as SVT has planned it, I suspect.

April 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGenevieve

Armenia sounds screamy without the lungs. 3/5

San Marino is awesome due to so bad it’s good status. Reminds me of Yuri from Red Alert 2 mind controlling people to get on to Eurovision. I would prefer more like this vs endless identical milquetoast pop songs. 7/0


Russia will likely win with a combo of extreme shininess and political allies, which is disappointing. Sounds kind of latin too. 4/5

Czech Republic is forgettable even if competent. 3/5

Cyprus reminds me of Nickelback a little, which is bad, but the chorus is okay. 3/5

I also really like Austria’s entry. Go Zoë! I like fun retro. I hope it makes top ten. I liked the Tolmachevy Sisters too, but they got hammered. 4/5

May 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJulian

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