Results Round-up: Italy, Israel, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden

Okay, there’s a lot to get through today, and it won’t be any quieter for the couple of few Sundays at least.

Sanremo (Italy), Final
Mahmood and Blanco more or less led the whole festival with their ballad “Brividi”, and this didn’t change on the final evening — their song won over 50% of the public vote. Winners of Sanremo can decide not to go to Eurovision, but the two lads have accepted the invitation. My personal favourites La Rappresentante di Lista finished seventh with their song “Ciao Ciao”. I didn’t have time to watch anything but the performances of the original songs, so I don’t have any comments to make on Sanremo itself except it looked grandiose and I’ll try to make time to watch the whole thing one year. Except an initial review of “Brividi” in the next day or two.

X-Factor (Israel), Final
This wasn’t a particularly strong final, but the best of the batch came through with Michael Ben David’s “I.M”. Again, expect an initial review of the track from me very soon (even though I only reviewed it a couple of days ago).

Eesti Laul (Estonia), Semi-Finals 1 & 2
We now have our line-up for next weekend’s final. Most of the qualifiers were fairly obvious even before the staging (first semi: Stig Rasta, Elina Nechayeva, Ott Lepland, Elysa, Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia). I would have liked Merilin Malk to get through with “Little Girl”, but there were some big names in that semi. The big surprise came in the second semi, where fan favourite Maian didn’t connect enough with her entry “Meeletu” and instead laidback, cruisy “What to Make of This” by Minimal Wind feat. Elisabeth Tiffany beat out others like Evelin Samuel with “Waterfall” to qualify alongside Black Velvet, Jaagup Tuisk, Anna Salene, and Stefan.

Pabandom iš Naujo (Lithuania), Semi Final 2
No surprises in this one, with Ieva Zasimauskaitė , Rūta Loop, Augustė Vedrickaitė and Monika Liu clearly the better songs of the batch. There was a bit of a scare for Zasimauskaitė though, who only qualified over 5th place (Urtė Šilagalytė) by a single point thanks to her strong jury vote, as Šilagalytė was second among viewers at home.

Supernova (Latvia), Semi-Final
I was surprised to see Beatrice Heislere miss out here, given her song felt strong enough to make the top 10. Her performance wasn’t hugely impressive, and I suspect in the case of some of the acts which did qualify, the fact that they put on more of a stage show was enough to overcome any weakness in the songs themselves. In any case, the qualifiers were Aminata, Bermudu Divstūris, BUJĀNS, Citi Zēni, Elīna Gluzunova, Inspo, Linda Rušeniece, Mēs Jūs Mīlam, Miks Galvanovskis and RAUM.

EMA (Slovenia), Semi-Final 1
I haven’t managed to watch any of these performances yet, so I’ll just say that the six qualifiers out of a field of ten were: Batista Cadillac, David Amaro, July Jones, Luma, Manouche, and Stela Sofia. I will try to do a single-post review of this later in the week.

Melodi Grand Prix (Norway), Semi-Final 4
The outcome of the two duels felt fairly obvious: Alexandra Joner’s attempt to situate her song in a nightclub were perhaps a bit too successful in that the lighting could have been a bit brighter. Maria Mohn had the most impressive staging of the night, creating a similarly epic feel as she did in her song. The second duel seemed Sofie Fjellvang’s to lose just on the songs alone, and she didn’t, although Kim Wigaard appearing in a giant dress like Romania’s Cezar in 2013 worked quite well. I expected Mohn would come away with the win, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Fjellvang sent through to the final instead, given that her song ended being my favourite of this semi.

Melodifestivalen (Sweden), Semi-Final 1
Also saving this one for a single-post review, although given the rules around songs which qualified directly for the final not being allowed to be released in the meantime (and the fact that I was asleep when the show was broadcast), I’ll return to the songs by Cornelia Jakobs and Robin Bengtsson closer to the final, looking instead at the five which didn’t make it.