Last week was a week full of rehearsals for all contestant of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Based on these rehearsals and all the buzz in the press center, we came up with a list of which countries that perform in semi-final 1 are going through to the final. Below you can find the countries we think are sure to qualify, may qualify, and do not stand a chance to qualify of semi-final 1.
Sure to qualify
Lithuania: The Roop – Discotheque
The buzz surrounding Lithuania is still huge. Their song is a bop as no other, and the way they perform it is a bigger version of the staging in their preview video. They might not be able to win it, but they will probably be top 5 or top 10, because of the cool song, and the sympathetic dance moves of the lead singer of Lithuania’s The Roop.
Russia: Manizha – Russian Woman
At first glance Russia would not stand a chance, but now that we have heard Manizha’s reasons and explanation behind the song, we love it. The song is about female empowerment, and women standing their own ground. Manizha sings the song with utter conviction, and when she and her backing vocals turn to the huge LED screen in the arena, and sing the last chorus of “Russian Woman” together with 100 different Russian woman on screen, everybody will feel the need to vote for this very powerful anthem.
Sweden: Tusse – Voices
What can we say? Another really well-written and produced song from Sweden. How do they do it year after year? Young singer Tusse (19) sings his song full of passion, and his message is just utterly wonderful. There are a million voices, but you are you, and you need to stand your ground. In a year full of great songs with global moral this song stands out. From interviews we also learned that Tusse is just the sweetest, most empathetic person.
Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo
Elena might not be the most approachable person here in Rotterdam, and it also shines through in her performance on-stage. Talking about her performance, her song “El Diablo” is a mix between Lady Gaga’s songs “Bad Romance” and “Judas”, and stays in your head for days. Elena is sure going to impress a lot of youngsters out there with her fierce dance routine. Worshipping the devil never looked more sexy. A qualifier if we have ever seen one. A winner in the final? There is too much great competition. Her performance could benefit from Elena looking more present and energetic.
Norway: TIX – Fallen Angel
The song of TIX is about the one who got away. TIX was in love with a girl, but somehow love was lost, because TIX has Tourette’s, and his love could not cope. Norwegian singer TIX is here with a great message and moral. Be the best you can be, and do not let others tell you otherwise. The guy can sing, and his appearance during his stage performance will most certainly stick. By the way, TIX is wearing sunglasses on stage, because the flickering lights provoke his ticks. He is also the nicest and goofiest person during interviews.
Ukraine: Go_A – Shum
Ukraine’s song is scary and crazy all at the same time. Their on-stage performance makes you think of the nuclear disaster in Urkaine’s Chernobyl. This act is slick on-stage, and because of its weirdness it will qualify. The message Go_A wants to convey is “take good care of the environment, and do not destroy it”. Ukraine has almost never missed the final since the semi-final system was introduced, and we are sure to believe that 2021 will be no exception. Go Go_A, go nature, go Shum!
Malta: Destiny – Je Me Casse
If Destiny does not qualify for the grand final Eurovision fans will be mad, because since she released her competing song “Je Me Casse”, the buzz is huge around Destiny and her song that could easily be 2021’s Summer hit. The instrumental chorus will stick in your head for weeks, and Destiny’s singing is powerful beyond her years, because this fierce diva is just 18 years of age. It is a shame that the rehearsals were more about her outfits and her appearance than about her song…
Slovenia: Ana Soklic – Amen
In the beginning nobody cared much for Ana Soklic’ song “Amen”, but now that we have seen it being performed live the only thing we can say is: “wow!” The song is well-sung, and could easily be in a Lion King type of movie. “Amen” is grant, and the voice of Ana shines through. Ana’s place in the final is still up in the air, because there seems to be something off with her performance. It feels like she is looking over the audience, and she does not look comfortable on-stage. Maybe she manages to change things for the live show tomorrow.
Ireland: Lesley Roy – MAPS
This year’s Irish contestant Lesley Roy had as good as no buzz, and we understand why. The song is sung well, which is a bit of a surprise, since her song of last year had some really bad live performances. The staging of this song is messy, because she uses the stage to run through a paper world, which can only be seen on a Tv. It is pretty out there, and it is also a bit of a mess. Lesley looks sympathetically into the camera, but also a little afraid. We do not know, this song may or may not qualify.
Croatia: Albina – Tick Tock
Albina brings her song “Tick Tock” with conviction, but somehow her singing is not really up there. She looks very unsure, and seems to be lost in her own dance moves. The staging is mesmerizing, only Albina looks lost, just like Ireland’s Lesley Roy, and Slovenia’s Ana Soklic. The song is a bop as no other, so who knows what is going to happen with Croatia…
Azerbaijan: Efendi – Mata Hari
For a song that is so cool, and up-tempo the energy level of Efendi seems to be really low. The dance moves she is doing feel like you have seen them many times before. This song could have benefited from another type of choreography. Next to this, there is a snake on the big LED screen, and there is an Arab vibe to the song. It all seems very cliché, plus the low energy level of Efendi. We do not know for sure whether it will be enough for Azerbaijan to move on to the final.
Israel: Eden Alene – Set Me Free
The number of pop princesses in semi-final 1 is quite high; there is Albina from Croatia, Elena Tsagrinou from Cyprus, Efendi from Azerbaijan, and then there is also Eden Alene from Israel with her song “Set Me Free”. We do not know whether Eden knows how to convince a grant audience, and therefore we are not sure whether she will qualify or not. The pop princesses of this year all come across uncertain on-stage, although they all have good songs. We are unsure about Israel, but let’s see what happens in the live show of semi-final 1.
Belgium: Hooverphonic – The Wrong Place
This song stands out, because it is more independent music themed than all other songs in semi-final 1, but whether this will secure Hooverphonic’s place in the final is yet to be seen. When you have almost 1.5 year to prepare, and you are going to send one of the biggest names in Belgian music, we do not know whether the song “The Wrong Place” should be your ultimate choice. The presentation is sober, and stands out, but the singer seems to make no contact with the audience. This is a tough one. Sorry Belgium, we just do not know.
Australia: Montaigne – Technicolour
Australia will not be present live during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, because of travel restrictions in Australia; this means that Azerbaijan will use their live on tape performance to compete. There were press conferences in Rotterdam for Australia which nobody attended, this might be an epiphany for things to come. We kind of hope Australia moves on to the final, because the message of the song “Technicolour” is a global one, about that we are all of a certain colour, but if “we stay together, we can do whatever”, to quote Montaigne herself.
Romania: ROXEN – Amnesia
This song is all over the place, and would have definitely benefited from a less crazy performance full of dance moves. You can almost see singer ROXEN count her steps, and that takes away from her singing. The whole performance is messy, and does not feel meant for a live stage. Her singing is also a thing that is not up to par. We do not believe Romania stands a chance in-between the rest of the songs.
North Macedonia: Vasil – Here I Stand
This song is…we do not even know. It looks like a musical performance that was meant for a “Les Misérables” revival. The song is not meant for an on-stage performance during an event like the Eurovision Song Contest. The singer is feeling his song, but he cannot convey this to the audience, he seems not to be present and very off. Very unfortunate.
What do you think?
Now we like to know what you think!
Who is moving on to the grand final on Saturday from what you have seen of the rehearsals?