An unnecessarily comprehensive guide to Eurovision Semi-finale 2

Want to impress all your friends by sounding like you know things about Eurovision but can’t be bothered spending an entire day watching YouTube and reading Wikipedia? Because, honestly who has time for that? Luckily for you, the answer is me. I do. And I just did. You’re welcome.
This contains no spoilers for the actual performances or for who got through. 

Latvia

About:Justs attended one of the most prestigious schools in Latvia, which specialises in science and maths. Their notable alumni include notable mathematicians, chemists and several of Latvia’s Prime Ministers. So I’m sure his parents are… very proud of him.
Song: Why exactly this brand of Eurovision dance pop appeals to me so much is a complete mystery tbh but I will download this.
Performance: It could benefit from some tricksy foot work.

Poland

About: You can pretty much tell how dedicated the fan-base of each Eurovision entrant is based on how well edited their Wiki is. This guy’s handful of achievements are very well curated, let me tell you.
Song: Naaaaah.
Performance: Actually maybe we will see a male soloist use a lot of wind machine. If it does happen, it’ll be this guy.
Switzerland

About: She’s Canadian and splits her time between Switzerland and Vancouver. Her 2012 album was “Spiritual Album of the Year”  in the Western Canadian Music Awards. Whatever that means.
Song: Pretty cool to see a song about Doctor Who. I guess they like Doctor Who in Canada.
Performance: Daleks.
Israel
About: Earlier this year, while on tour to promote his entry, he had his passport torn up by Russian border police in a homophobic attack. Yeah. Russian shouldn’t win because they’d be a terrible host hey.
Song: Is it weird that this song is called “Made of Stars” and his surname is Star? I feel like that is weird.

Performance: The video has an insane amount of drones. Do the rules allow drones on stage? I hope so.


Belarus


About: Ok so apparently he wants to perform naked and also with actual wolves.
Song: Who cares if he is naked and with actual wolves.
Performance: It took me about 2 seconds to find out the Eurovision rules forbid live animals on stage so I guess no actual wolves.
Serbia



About: Literally the only thing on her YouTube channel is this video of her singing a Busta Rhymes song in her bedroom, which involves the N word an uncomfortable amount of times.
Song: Look, I don’t know but some guy on YouTube commented “12958377267392 points from Romania” so it must be alright.
Performance: She’s pretty clearly channeling some Amy Winehouse vibes.
Ireland
About: He used to be in Westlife. Therefore there are more available Blingees featuring him than any other entrant. 
Song: Not Jedward. Thumbs down.
Performance: Not Jedward. Thumbs down.
F.Y.R Macedonia

About: Kaliopi was Macedonia’s first ever entrant in Eurovision in 1996. But they eliminated a bunch of people in an un-televised pre-selection and she got knocked out. Which is hella rude, frankly
Song: In case you were wondering Dona is apparently “the woman who protects us all”. The more you know.
Performance: Maybe the omnipresent and all knowing Dona will make an appearance.
Lithuania

About: He was the Love is Blind guy from 2012! Who wore a blindfold! Because love is blind. God damn that was funny.
Song: Absolutely nothing at all like Love is Blind. Quite a lot better, thankfully. 
Performance: Hopefully more visual puns.  

Australia

About: Ok so let’s clear this up – if we win, Eurovision isn’t hosted in Australia. We co-host with a European nation, in Europe. This is important.
Song: Bias aside, I actually think it’s one of this year’s best songs. She deserves her spot as one of the favourites.
Performance: I think she is going to nail it. Damn I love this song.
Slovenia

About: She studied the accordion! I didn’t even know accordion was an instrument you could study. I hope she plays the accordion.
Song: Too many banjos imho. Not enough accordion. 
Performance: Despite the outfit she is wearing in this video being pretty clearly made with a glue gun after a trip to Spotlight, it is actually very well utilised. Fingers crossed for a reprisal. 

Bulgaria

About: So when Wikipedia said she was in a “children’s vocal ensemble” I assumed that was forchildren. Nope she was a child singer and omg there is a veritable YouTube hole of their terrible videos.
Song: Child career aside, pretty into this.
Performance: Well she’s a pretty good dancer.
Denmark

About: These guys are apparently trying to create positive change through music but while Wikipedia says they donate part of their profits to charity, their website only lists a partnership with a phone company?
Song: If you would like to be a Solider of Love there is a mask available.
Performance: The camera will likely spend much more time focusing on the attractive one and we will ignore the other two.
Ukraine

About: Entries aren’t allowed to use their songs to make a political statement. Russia tried to have this disqualified because they say it’s political (read: it’s not very nice about Russia), but she was allowed to compete.
Song: The song is about the 1944 deportation of the Crimean Tatars from Crimea by Stalin, including her grandmother.
Performance: No jokes. It’s pretty emotional and also a solid song. Just shhh for a minute.

Norway

About: Agnete was the lead singer of a popular children’s band (again, featuring children not for children) called The Blacksheeps and she is on record as saying she is aware that “sheeps” is not the plural of sheep.
Song: Not renaming this song Boaty McBoatface seems like a missed opportunity.
Performance: No spoilers but possibly a man in a cage.
Georgia

About: Yes, that’s the name of thier band name. Yes, all of it. They’re the first act I can’t find a gif of, although when you search for one, there is this gif of Jedward being electrocuted for some reason.
Song: With any luck it will be overshadowed by some Flaming Lips style antics. 
Performance: I mean, probably just watch this video.
Albania


About: She was the host of an Albania SNL inspired variety/sketch show called Portokalli which means Orange.
Song: She performed an Albania language version of this in the qualifier in Albania but this is in English.
Performance: Probably not as funny as whatever this is.
Belgium 

About: She was a minor child actor and performed as Annie in Annie which surprises absolutely nobody.
Song: Yes I would like to download this please and thank you.
Performance: She’ll possibly make me accidentally buy a bunch of sequined clothes online at 2am… again.
If you would prefer not to watch every single one of these videos multiple times (like me and/or a crazy person) there is this official recap video. It’s not the performances so no spoilers.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year