ESC 2022: Results of the Second Semi-Final

Whereas the first semi-final had fans reeling with shock qualifications and therefore non-qualifications, the second semi was far more predictable. In fact, if you took the bookmakers’ odds into account, there was only one act who qualified against expectations.

BELGIUM: The first country to go through was immediately one where you could see this was looking like being close to what the odds were predicting. Belgium’s performance was fine, the vocals good, but I think there was a sense that it wasn’t enough for qualification. I suspect a combination of the juries and youth vote pushed this one through.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Given how much doubt there was around We Are Domi’s ability to perform live after a few issues during the pre-parties, it was a relief to see how they finally managed to reach their potential. This was one of the performances of the night.

AZERBAIJAN: If Belgium was the signal that the bookies were on track, Azerbaijan confirmed this and reduced the number of surprise qualifiers to one, maybe two. It also suggested that all three of the male ballads might be qualifying from this semi.

POLAND: Even if the Polish diaspora didn’t come for this (and I suspect they did), the juries would have given this all it needed to qualify.

FINLAND: Some doubts were creeping in about The Rasmus, but in the end this is a professional, experienced group who know how to put on a good show. I suspect there were enough people (like myself) who have fond memories of “In the Shadows” and were happy to throw a few votes their way as a result.

ESTONIA: Despite needing to revamp their staging as a result of the broken song, this was a song with an optimistic message and hook, and I think that kind of thing resonates these days.

AUSTRALIA: Like Poland, I think this probably didn’t need much of televote, as the juries would have been impressed by Sheldon’s vocal abilities.

SWEDEN: It’s Sweden. It qualifies. Seriously though, Cornelia gave a great performance, though I suspect we’re going to see her turn it up a notch for the grand final, as the televote is usually weaker for Sweden than the juries.

ROMANIA: This was the one song which surprised the bookmakers, but the combination of strong choreography and an incredibly catchy chorus was enough to paper over the weaker elements of this track. It’s great to see Romania back in the grand final after a few tough years.

SERBIA: Called out last, but arguably never in much doubt. This has gathered a strong cult following as one of the more unusual performances coming in the contest, and the Eurovision staging only elevated it.

And now for the eight non-qualifiers, in running order.

ISRAEL: In the cursed second slot, I think there were enough tracks in a better position which had some appear for dance-pop fans (i.e. Romania, Czech Republic). It also must be said that Michael Ben David’s behaviour in barging in on a shot of the hosts in the Green Room was pretty poor behaviour so it’s probably a good thing we won’t see him in the grand final. (And then I’m not even talking about what I’ve seen online about his behaviour back stage.)

GEORGIA: Ultimately too quirky I suspect, and not enough connection with the audience. Having the lead singer wearing huge driving goggles didn’t help.

MALTA: A competent performance of a middling song. I suspect this probably gathered a decent televote but there wouldn’t have been much from the juries.

SAN MARINO: When I saw Belgium and Azerbaijan go through I started to worry about this one, which I though certainly ticked all the boxes to qualify. But it looks like the televote went elsewhere, and there would have been some conservative juries less than impressed by Achille Lauro’s on stage antics.

CYPRUS: Honestly, I wasn’t surprised when this failed to qualify. I think it didn’t stand out enough in the running order. Nothing went wrong with the performance as such, just a bit too middle-of-the-road ultimately.

IRELAND: The other big disappointment for the fans given how much we all warmed to Brooke’s bubbly personality. While it was a huge improvement in all aspects when compared to the national selection performance, something didn’t connect.

NORTH MACEDONIA: Despite Andrea’s strong vocals, this song was always going to struggle to qualify, and I don’t think the staging could do much to fix this.

MONTENEGRO: While Vladana’s headpiece was impressive and her vocals strong as always, it was a fairly muted performance visually. Some movement by her (probably not possible with that headpiece) would have captured the drama of her song better.