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Eurovision 2022: Semi-final 1 May 09

It’s May and that must mean it’s time to dust off the old blog for my annual preview of the runners and riders at the Eurovision Song Contest.

And it’s a strong year! Although rather than a handful of standout excellent songs, it’s more than across the board nearly everything is good even if it isn’t great. There’s diversity of styles and performances (although less so on demographics than last year, which is disappointing) with something for everyone.

Tonight is the first semi-final which UK viewers can watch on the recently resurrected BBC Three. So who will you see?


  • The song: Sekret – Ronela Hajati
  • The pros: An up tempo ethno-bop with everything thrown at it from energetic choreography and multiple languages to big vocals.
  • The cons: A slow start (depending on the final version of the song they’ve gone for).
  • Chance of qualifying: 65%


  • The song: Eat Your Salad – Citi Zēni
  • The pros: A talented, charismatic group (check out their TikTok channel where they’ve been uploading impressive covers of the other acts) whose fun song has a proper environmental message at its heart.
  • The cons: With lots going on they need strong camerawork to catch their energy, and the strength of their amazing opening line “Instead of meat I eat veggies and pussy” is rather lost by their not being allowed to use the last word.
  • Chance of qualifying: 60%


  • The song: Sentimentai – Monika Liu
  • The pros: A gorgeous jazz lounge vibe effortlessly delivered by an experienced singer-songwriter.
  • The cons: It’s much the same for the whole three minutes.
  • Chance of qualifying: 50%


  • The song: Boys Do Cry – Marius Bear
  • The pros: Marius has a good voice and will perform this well. Juries will probably go for it.
  • The cons: The lyrics are twee. The staging is twee.
  • Chance of qualifying: 50%


  • The song: Disko – LPS (aka Last Pizza Slice)
  • The pros: A charming group of teenagers performing a self-referential song and looking like they’re playing a big budget school prom.
  • The cons: It’s not the catchiest melody and unless you speak Slovenian you’ll miss the meaning.
  • Chance of qualifying: 35%


  • The song: Stefania – Kalush Orchestra
  • The pros: A simple chorus you can single along to even if you don’t speak Ukrainian. A memorable look. Great flute work. One member of 2021 favourites Go_A. And the fact they are here at all.
  • The cons: A Ukrainian rap you might not follow.
  • Chance of qualifying: 90%


  • The song: Intention – Intelligent Music Project
  • The pros: Competent rock band playing an OK rock song. Two-time former Bulgarian representative Stoyan on drums.
  • The cons: A title that you’ll blink and miss in the lyrics. It’s no more exciting than an OK rock song.
  • Chance of qualifying: 50%


  • The song: De Diepte – S10
  • The pros: Dutch is back at Eurovision, but with a choice of lyrics that make you feel you understand in English (which worked well for Bobbysocks). S10’s voice, especially on her “oooohs”.
  • The cons: There’s nothing exciting in the staging so it’s all in the song and how its sung (which worked well for Barbara Pravi).
  • Chance of qualifying: 75%


  • The song: Trenulețul – Zdob și Zdub & Frații Advahov
  • The pros: A joyful song about a train. And folklore, and rock and/or roll. Except it’s actually about the complex relationship between Moldova and Romania, their similarities and differences and ongoing debate about their potential unification. But also a train.
  • The cons: Could end up feeling a bit shambolic. The Eurovision version seems to have lost a bit of the vim of the studio version (although it apparently “went off” as the kids say at the jury semi-final last night).
  • Chance of qualifying: 55%


  • The song: Saudade, Saudade – MARO
  • The pros: A gentle song with support from a talented group of women who join MARO in an intimate circle on stage. Despite the title (an untranslatable word for longing for something or someone missed), there are English lyrics.
  • The cons: Like Lithuania, there isn’t much development over the three minutes. It risks being forgotten after Moldova’s runaway train.
  • Chance of qualifying: 45%


  • The song: Guilty Pleasure – Mia Dimšić
  • The pros: Contemporary pop and pointed lyrics from a talented singer-songwriter.
  • The cons: Feels overstaged with a risk the dancers distract rather than add. It’s a good song but maybe not standout enough to get people to pick the up the phones to vote for it.
  • Chance of qualifying: 35%


  • The song: The Show – Reddi
  • The pros: A female rock group. A song that builds. A writing team with connections to lots of previous Danish entries.
  • The cons: They aren’t allowed to play their instruments live. The song perhaps builds too slowly. Lots of previous Danish entries didn’t do well.
  • Chance of qualifying: 40%


  • The song: Halo – LUM!X feat. Pia Maria
  • The pros: A really strong EDM track. The studio version is a full-on banger.
  • The cons: Eurovision songs with a DJ as the centre of attention don’t have a good track record even if it does give the song a contemporary feel. And then there are the hit and miss vocals. Pia Maria is young and inexperienced and quite exposed here and I really hope her vocals land because that’s what will determine whether this qualifies.
  • Chance of qualifying: 45%


  • The song: Með hækkandi sól – Systur
  • The pros: Vocals are not a worry for these three sisters whose harmonies are incredibly tight. Their musical family background really shines through.
  • The cons: The song itself is another gentle ballad that might struggle to inspire people to vote for it, especially in competition with Portugal.
  • Chance of qualifying: 40%


  • The song: Die Together – Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord
  • The pros: This is how you build over your three minutes. A really stripped back start leading into some big vocals. Staging that focuses on Amanda – who is half Norwegian which may help pick up some Nordic votes. If there is an unexpected dark horse winner, it could be this.
  • The cons: Very few. There is a risk this feels too cold – maybe a song to respect rather than love.
  • Chance of qualifying: 90%


  • The song: Give That Wolf A Banana – Subwoolfer
  • The pros: Speaking of Norway, they’re up next represented by yellow alien wolves from the Moon. By far the most WTF of the entries tonight, there is a lot to unpack. These guys, whose real identities have been hidden ever since they were announced for Norway’s national final, have been churning out social media content with way more effort than you would expect for what initially looked like a joke entry. But the song, however absurd, is incredibly catchy and memorable with fun choreography.
  • The cons: The EBU seem to have been very lenient with the amount of vocal that is on the backing track here which is borderline taking the piss. It also risks coming across as too silly to some of the audience – although as you can only vote for and not against songs that might not matter.
  • Chance of qualifying: 65%


  • The song: Snap – Rosa Linn
  • The pros: Another contemporary pop song performed well. Inventive staging that should be really effective. A good position in the running order.
  • The cons: Another one that is perhaps more radio friendly than it is voter bait. The staging could look a bit contrived.
  • Chance of qualifying: 55%

See the people behind each performance in semi-final 1 on my Six on Stage website.

My own favourites from this semi are Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Croatia, Austria and Norway so I will be cheering for them in the arena. I’m sitting in the front block to the left of the stage so keep an eye out!

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