Live Stream: Semifinal 1 (2019 Eurovision Song Contest)
May 14, 2019 11:45 AM - Subscribe

Greetings from Tel Aviv, Israel for this year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest! Semifinal 1 begins Tuesday May 14th (today!), at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm EDT. Come on in for performance previews and conjecture about who's good, bad, and so-bad-it's-good. Viewers outside the US and Canada can watch via the main Eurovision YouTube channel. For those of us unlucky enough to be geoblocked, you've got a few options to access the semi-final: 1) a VPN that can allow you access to the Official YouTube channel or 2) an unblocked stream from a national broadcaster (reddit link, I'm a big fan of the Swedish one.)

Running Order
01 Cyprus
02 Montenegro
03 Finland
04 Poland
05 Slovenia
06 Czech Republic
07 Hungary
08 Belarus
09 Serbia
10 Belgium
11 Georgia
12 Australia
13 Iceland
14 Estonia
15 Portugal
16 Greece
17 San Marino

All 2019 Eurovision Entries
Eurovision Official YouTube Channel
posted by PearlRose (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Oh thank you! I was stuck in meetings, didn't have time to make a post, and was worried I would have no place to express my FEELINGS ABOUT EUROVISION!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:55 AM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, do I have so many feelings about Eurovision this year. We're less than a minute to go time, and I am ready for the spectacle.
posted by PearlRose at 11:59 AM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

And here's Cyprus with Fuego 2.0!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:12 PM on May 14, 2019

I liked Fuego better -- and oh, a mid-song costume strip and fire? Cyprus is bringing out the big guns already.
posted by PearlRose at 12:15 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's deeply Fuego 2.0 as it's written by the same guy and apparently Tamta was who they had originally lined up to sing Fuego last year.
posted by Copronymus at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2019

Oh Montenegro, you're all very cute and coordinated, but the song is so very bland.
posted by PearlRose at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2019

Poland brings the Sorceress Rock!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:26 PM on May 14, 2019

I like the Slovenian song quite a bit, but I worry that getting no points from anyone remotely interested in spectacle or energy is going to keep it from advancing.
posted by Copronymus at 12:30 PM on May 14, 2019

The Czech staging is surreal. Fits the vibe of the song quite well.
posted by PearlRose at 12:38 PM on May 14, 2019

I'm not sure I like the unpacked boxes props for Belarus' staging, but the fire and costumes are nice. It fits her age, and that's always nice.

Serbia is just haunting.
posted by PearlRose at 12:49 PM on May 14, 2019

oh no Belgium oh so out of tune
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:52 PM on May 14, 2019

I actually kind of like the Belgian song, and I'm always glad to see GIANT DRUMS but yeah this isn't working.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:53 PM on May 14, 2019

At some point, Belgium will have to stop sending teenagers who seem to be barely choking down their stage fright, right?
posted by Copronymus at 12:54 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

He just sounds so off-key. I'm so sorry Belgium.
posted by PearlRose at 12:54 PM on May 14, 2019

Georgia isn't going anywhere with this entry so I really wish they had leaned a lot harder into the choir thing, that's by far the best part of this.
posted by Copronymus at 12:57 PM on May 14, 2019

I haven't watched most of them, but the postcards I have caught have pretty much sucked. They should go back to making flags or whatever.
posted by Copronymus at 12:59 PM on May 14, 2019

I actually like the postcards! It's a very pretty country.

posted by PearlRose at 1:02 PM on May 14, 2019

Buckle up, it's time for some ART about Portuguese melancholy.
posted by Copronymus at 1:14 PM on May 14, 2019

Portugal, your costume and beard armor are very confusing.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:15 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love Greece, but those vocals are... not as strong as I was expecting.
posted by PearlRose at 1:18 PM on May 14, 2019

Speaking of underwhelming vocals, San Marino. Ooooof. This is painful.
posted by PearlRose at 1:23 PM on May 14, 2019

Bless San Marino for still sending entries to a contest where they're an order of magnitude smaller than the 2nd smallest country that competes. They're doing their best.
posted by Copronymus at 1:24 PM on May 14, 2019

But, yes, the result is not something I'll be returning to ever again.
posted by Copronymus at 1:24 PM on May 14, 2019

I'm gutted San Marino was so out of tune. The recorded version is fun and his voice sounds like George Hamilton's tan.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:26 PM on May 14, 2019

My official prediction for what qualifies:

Czech Republic
posted by Copronymus at 1:28 PM on May 14, 2019

Yes! Say Na Na Na is such a cute, boppy song, and I so want San Marino to do well. But that performance was not good.

I just noticed the thigh-high boots on Finland during the recap. That is ...something.
posted by PearlRose at 1:28 PM on May 14, 2019

San Marino gets another chance!
posted by Copronymus at 2:09 PM on May 14, 2019

Thanks for the company today, everyone!

Your final ten finalists are:
Czech Republic
San Marino

See ya on Thursday for Semi-Final 2.
posted by PearlRose at 2:14 PM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

I get the feeling Thursday's semifinal might be more brutal, but pretty much all of the songs I was rooting for got through, plus a nice moment for San Marino. I feel bad for this year's Belgian teen, but his performance was really rough.
posted by Copronymus at 2:15 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

I completely missed this due to work. But after watching some clips, that Australia stage show was something else!

I liked the San Marino song. I'm glad it got through.
posted by gemmy at 8:07 PM on May 14, 2019

Thanks for that Reddit link to assorted online streams - it helped me a lot, and now I think I can proceed with my grand final party on Saturday, which has become a tradition over the last three years!

(fuck you, Logo and Eurovision for not allowing USA streaming....)

Most of my faves of the night got in! Though ... Slovenia? Really? WTF? Boring song with no staging?

San Marino made it into my top ten solely on the fact that I'm a sucker for a 70s disco vibe, because that performance sucked. (And, honestly, the lyrics to the song suck. It's nothing but a great vintage vibe.)

Iceland .... I like that their song is supposed to be a wake-up call to fight against fascist hate and fear. But there's something about the way they link this to fetish leather/rubber gear that I'm uncomfortable with because, well, most of my friends are kink/leather/rubber gay guys, and fascist hate politics has nothing to do with it. Although I get the reference. I just .... wish it had been made another way?

So... the Finland guy. ("Look away ... look away...") Tell me I'm not the only one who noticed he wasn't actually wearing thigh high boots? Like, it was jeans that someone drew a picture of thigh high boots on! What?

Australia loses major points from me because their entire staging relied on camera trickery. Call me old fashioned but I think the TV viewing audience and the live arena audience should see (essentially) the same performance.
posted by dnash at 8:56 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Logo isn't airing Eurovision at all this year, so the geoblocks this time are all Eurovision's doing. (Seriously, you're just blocking Canada and the US?)

Anyway! Iceland's fine, but just not my thing. (I get why people like it, but I don't personally.) I'm a little sorry Portugal didn't make it through, although it also seemed a bit too pretentious for Eurovision. Maybe that's just another one that I didn't get.

I'm still a little concerned by the lack of a facial expression on the Slovenian singer's face. Her voice is lovely, but her expressions make it seem like she doesn't want to be there, and that's a bit worrying.

The second semi has a lot more of my favorites in it, and I think I'll have some more feelings when one of them ultimately doesn't make the cut.
posted by PearlRose at 6:43 AM on May 15, 2019

I really enjoyed both this year's and last year's entries from Czech Republic. Someone on their team has an ear for fun, well-crafted pop songs. Too bad about Poland though. I liked their folk-music-plus-hard-rock sound, and at least they sang in tune.

Speaking of, I don't recall such a plethora of bad notes last year. Was last year uncommonly good, or is this year uncommonly bad? At one point I wondered if they were having equipment malfunctions and the singers couldn't hear themselves.

PearlRose, agreed about Slovenia, especially that weird moment in the green room with her hiding under the flag.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:29 AM on May 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

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