My quick guide to ESC Semi Final 2

Benjamin Ingrosso (Sweden) Second Rehearsal | Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Benjamin Ingrosso (Sweden) Second Rehearsal | Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Finally, time for the Swedish act to enter the stage, but our Benjamin is far from the only Swedish competitor this evening. The entries of Semi Final 2 includes another 5 songs written, fully or partially, by Swedish composers/lyricists; Denmark (Niclas Arn & Karl Eurén), Malta (Thomas G:son), Moldova (John Ballard), Poland (Lukas Meijer) and Sweden (Benjamin Ingrosso); another performance, this time Australia, staged by Swedish Sacha Jean-Baptiste; and two Swedish singers, Benjamin Ingrosso for Sweden and Lukas Meijer for Poland.

They say the main competition for Benjamin Ingrosso tonight is the 2009 ESC winner, Alexander Rybak from Norway. This year he’s treating us with some funky soul, and of course he’s bringing his beloved violin on stage. Rumours say he’s been suffering from a flu during rehearsal week so let’s cross our fingers he’ll recover in time for Thursday’s performance, and the important Jury Show tomorrow night.

In addition to this Scandinavian duel, the second semi-final includes; another wannabe Bond ballad, from Latvia this time; a Game of Thrones carbon copy from Denmark; some dirty country from The Netherlands and raging heavy rock from Hungary. Meanwhile, Georgia gives us languorous harmony vocals and the Balkan ballad of 2018 is delivered by Montenegro. And don’t tell me you can’t hear the melody of Måns Zelmerlöw’s Heroes in the chorus of San Marino’s song – I stubbornly argue plagiarism.

My personal favourites this evening (in alphabetic order): Hungary, Norway, Poland, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Qualifying for Saturday’s grand Final according to the bookmakers’ odds: Australia, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Norway, Russia, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine.

We’ll get back to the pre-qualified Big 5 and hosting Portugal later during the week…

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