Eurovision 2016: The Casualties of the Semi Finals

eurovision sweden 2016Eurovision 2016 – Yesterday saw another eight countries leave this years contest after failing to qualify from Semi Final Two. Every year some songs fail to make the cut that we are surprised about. Fan favourites from Selection to the main event. Which songs this year have we lost prematurely?

Semi Final One

Semi Final One was easier to call than the second Semi Final but there were still some songs that we thought would qualify that didn’t…

The Qualifiers The Losers
Austria Iceland
Azerbaijan Finland
Armenia Estonia
Cyprus Bosnia & Herzegovina
Malta Greece
Hungary Moldova
Czech Republic Montenegro
Croatia San Marino
The Netherlands

It’s hard to tell what caused the issue for Iceland. They have qualified with much worst than Greta Salóme‘s “Hear them Calling”. Leading up to the contest people said she had copied the staging for Måns Zelmerlöw‘s winning song “Heroes” but the very same can be said of Sergey Lazarev‘s “You’re the Only One” which is the favourite to win the show. She sang very well with a song that usually qualifies easy for Iceland but they also failed to qualify last year. Are Iceland starting an un-qualifying slump?

Jüri Pootsmann was a fan favourite when it was chosen in Eesti Laul and was definitely a big favourites with ET readers. As the rehearsal’s went on people started to worry that “Play” wouldn’t qualify and it turned they were right but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have qualified.
His performance reminded me of Malcolm Lincoln who represented the country in 2010 who also failed to make the final – Dark and weird. Was that an hindrance?

Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina
Okay so… Greece was never a popular song with fans and Bosnia & Herzegovina were almost borderline but I have named them both as casualties because they both had 100% qualification rate until now.
Rap has never done well within Eurovision and both songs included rap in them. Greece have sent rap before and qualified E.g. Loucas Yiorkas ft. Stereo Mike (2011) and of course Freaky Fortune Ft Risky Kidd (2014). It is very fair to say that Argo just did not perform well though it was definitely different and it kept to it’s roots so it is a shame we lost Greece this year.
Bosnia & Herzegovina were welcomed back with open arms when they returned this year because they are always fan favourites in Eurovision. Where did they go wrong this year? The barbed wire? The costumes? The addition of the rap by Jala?

Semi Final Two

Semi Final Two was harder to call. There were three countries people were definite on qualifying – Latvia, Australia and Ukraine but the rest was always hard to tell…

The Qualifiers The Losers
Georgia Belarus
Bulgaria Ireland
Ukraine Albania
Israel Denmark
Latvia FYR Macedonia
Australia Norway
Belgium Slovenia
Lithuania Switzerland

Okay so the song wasn’t the best but as performances go it is an absolute shame this won’t be in the Grand Final. Not many people watch the semi finals and the show could have used Ivan as a tool to get people talking about the show. Ivan did not perform badly and could have easily taken the place of Poland‘s Michal Szpak who didn’t sound too great at all.

FYR Macedonia
Kaliopi has one heck of a voice and she performed “Dona” brilliantly. She even had neighbours Serbia, Bulgaria and Albania on side but still couldn’t help her to the final so what went wrong. Well, out of the 26 finalists only Austria has a song entirely in a non-English language so maybe that was a deal breaker?

Denmark and Norway
This is the 6th time Sweden have hosted the Eurovision Song Contest and Norway has never missed being in the Grand Final of the show. Denmark did not participate in 1975 as they were in the midst of a ten year break from the event but have been in the show for four of the past five times Sweden were hosts. Denmark have even won in Sweden twice (2000, 2013).
This will be the first time Norway have not been in the main show in a Swedish hosted contest so not good news of Agnete who failed them here. Denmark and Sweden have a special relationship so to see them missing from this final is also devastating news for them but they didn’t really deserve to qualify with “Soldiers of Love” by Lighthouse X or is this just me who feels this way?

So what do you think? Do you agree with the above, anyone else you feel were robbed a place of the final?

About jadeukesc

Top 5 Eurovision Songs so Far: #1 Netherlands #2 Czech Republic #3 Hungary #4 Serbia #5 Cyprus Worst 5 of Eurovision so far #39 Montenegro #40 Iceland #41 Germany #42 Spain #43 Estonia

49 comments on “Eurovision 2016: The Casualties of the Semi Finals

  1. In my opinion there were only 9 songs worthy for the final in semi 2 and those qualfied plus Poland. Poland could maybe be switched with Norway, but that wasn’t great either. The other songs/performances were all to weak imho.

  2. Estonia and Iceland are the only two I miss even if I personally would have put Montenegro over Cyprus but that’s more personal

  3. As for semi 1. Both Greece and Bosnia were deserved non-qualifiers imo. Estonia could have qualified with a different performance, but they ruined their chances and have only themselves to blame.
    Iceland, well, never was fond of the songs and imo the performance was a mess. Though I can understand that people are upset it didn’t qualify.

  4. I wouldn’t 100% rule out, once the detailed results are revealed, that Greece may have actually finished dead last in their semi.
    Imho, Greece 16, judged merely for what we saw on stage, were just bad; therefore it is a deserved NQ (just for that and only). But songs that were worse than “Utopian land” made it to the final.

    • Maybe you understand now my strong objections to how this year’s Greek entry and band were picked.Never been tested on a big stage before,never heard their live vocals before,it was a recipe for disaster.Now.let’s see what the Saturday ratings will be.

      • We’ve been through this, Dimitri. That’s how internal selections work in the history of esc. There was nothing wrong with the selection procedure. Of course, you disagree.

  5. Iceland is in imo the only real crime of this contest, you even heard the audiance chanting Iceland when Malta was the last to qualify..

  6. The biggest casualties imo are of course Estonia and Switzerland. They would add edge and artistic credibility in the final compared to things like Lithuania, Poland and Azerbaijan *sigh*

    Norway and Denmark absolutely deserved the final as well. Agnete gave her all and it was a great performance from her yesterday and the same goes for Lighthouse X : Great song, great message, very good performance.

    Not a fan of Iceland but Greta definately deserved it more than Samra.

    I wont miss opportunistic and messy Bosnia and tacky Belarus not even for a second. So glad the belarussian record of qualifying on nordic ground went out of the window.

  7. I can’t really see anything bad in Estonia’s performance. I even voted for it.

  8. Kalliopi was fantastic indeed. I think the weakest link was the song itself.

  9. Ok. after see Ukraine , for me personally one of the most horrible songs ever in the history of the festival , is elevated to the heaven like a masterpiece , sorry , i know go to make me the most hated gay in our sacred gay eurofan world , but i can not with that boring soporifere cheap dramatic …song???? , good luck tp all participants, i like much
    Austria,Netherland ,Czech Republic, Croatia ,Spain, France and UK

  10. Imho, Montenegro (best performance of the night) and, yes, Slovenia, were the ones robbed big time.

    There are so many things I’d like to say re: the Polish and the Lithuanian entries, but I won’t since I don’t want to sound rude to either Mihal or Donny, the Polish and the Lithuanian fans.

    • The irony of it.They gave her an award for the weakest part of her song.Amazing vocals,music and orchestration and she gets an award for the lyrics.However,the chorus in Tatar language is very interesting lyric-wise.Now let’s see who’ll get the Marcel Bezençon awards this year.

      • Douwe Bob could be a contender for the MB.

        • For the best composition you mean?

          • Yep.

            • I hope not.I believe “Slow down” is all about Douwe Bob’s charisma.The composition is nothing ground breaking or special,imo.Ukraine should win it.

            • I didn’t say he’s the only one deserving it; Jamala could be the one too. But I disagree that it is all about DB’s charisma. I think the composition is strong too.

  11. BBC article on Putin’s obsession to win eurovision :


    It omits some very important aspects imo such as to smooth the image (or at least try) of its horrid human rights record.

    • “to smooth the image (or at least try) of its horrid human rights record”

      As has happened many times in the past by countries with bad or even worse human rights records like Turkey, Azerbaijan and Israel. You can add one more to the list when they bring in Kazakhstan.

  12. Iceland is the inexplicable miss of the first semi.It was performed well,the graphics worked,it was a crowd pleaser.What went wrong?Did the juries stop it from qualifying?I have a feeling “Hear them calling” missed their top-10.Let’s see.
    “Play” is a song i really like but the live performance was weak.They made it rather cheap and tacky.The cards trick,the kitsch backdrop.The feeling of the Eesti Laul performance was gone.
    Norway is the only song i’ll miss from the second semi.My love for the cold,Nordic tunes and the very Nordic presentation of the song is known to people around here.Last night Agnete was very good vocally singing one of the most vocally demanding entries of the year.I don’t know what went wrong.Maybe it looked too cold for the people?

    • Ι don’t understand why you still find what happened to Iceland inexplicable. Instead of focusing on the rather good song they had, they built a whole show around someone who is basically televoting poison. People who were watching it with me liked the song but had all sort of unflattering comments for her. Now you can argue older women get a tough time at gigs like that or that she simply looked a little ridiculous sweeping the floor with her shredded leather sleeves in the middle of all this. It was a completely wrong approach for the song and the artist. Plus the hidden backing vocalists thing is especially jarring to the viewer of a live show when such a big part of the song is on them. It’s like hearing voices from the beyond.

      This is what happens when it becomes obligatory for everyone to put on an extravagant show. An artist should focus on what they are really good at instead of trying to be something they are not.

      • There were 3 of us watching the first semi. I was the only one supporting Iceland. The remaining two found the stage approach silly and pointless and said they could hardly see the singer.

      • I really like reading your theories but oftentimes they’re just that,theories.We don’t know if Greta is televoting poison as you call her because we don’t know the split results yet.And what do you mean by older women?She’s 29.

        • Greta is 29 ?! Damn and I thought Sanna Nielsen looked older than she is..I do not share the ageism of the theory you answer to in any way of course but she looks 40+…

        • But we can only have theories on why someone did not qualify. What else is there? Surely even when you like her so much, you must think there is some explanation.

          If she is only 29 that’s my bad, but I suspect a lot of viewers thought she was not acting her age.

          • I meant theories in general.Your idea about the references in the Italian or the Russian performance etc.

  13. Reading the lyrics of “Icebreaker” Agneta penned knowning what she’s going through gets a whole new chilling aspect:

    We’re too young to say goodbye
    Whenever you lose faith just hold the line
    It takes a lot of nerve to save a life

  14. Btw, I liked both shows so far (semi 2 in particular). And Petra and Mans were both very good. But the fact that they didn’t make a single mention to Romania is sad methinks.

  15. After watching once again the performance of Iceland I found out that actually it this was my favourite song of this edition and can’t understand what went wrong with it. A lot of fans blamed Greta for copying Loreen but atleast for me both her performance and song were better than Swedish winning act. Meanwhile Russian show is not original as well (wings of Conchita, wall of Kaldun and Lorak ) etc. I consider Polish qualification as a crime against taste – that might be Macedonia in final Also I would replace Lithuania with Ireland. Extremely happy for Belgium and Georgia (Georgian song is my least favourite from the national selection but appreciate Georgia’s taking the risk and bringing something outstanding).

  16. I take the festival also like a joke , i agree with the irish , when depend what country bring a gimmik is funny , like Rusia or Ukraine ,and when is Spain or Ireland is horrible , of course is not fair , and is better no take this festival seriously because have really nothing serious,Rusia with the grand mothers please what was that|???? and Verka camonnnnnn, they was second , then the Turkey deserve to win ,

  17. Ι care only for Estonia :) Norway, Iceland and FYR Macedonia though in my final top10 ofeach semi come as across as average material.

  18. I just watched the Lithuanian postcard. Donny Montell has a wife/girlfriend/female partner and a kid?

  19. Off topic, but does anyone else know this page?

    It’s amazing how much you can do with a single photo :))

  20. I only want Poland and Lithuania out … just send 2 random other songs to the final …

  21. I will miss Iceland, Montenegro and Estonia from the final.

  22. I will miss Iceland, Estonia, Montenegro and Norway. Overall the weaker semi 2 runned smoothly results-wise!

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