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Spotter’s Guide: Eurovision 2017 Semi Final Two Written by on May 11, 2017

Tonight, we finally complete the lineup for the Grand Final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and after a predictably unpredictable set of results on Tuesday, nobody should be taking anything for granted. Here’s John Lucas with a guide to what you can look forward to from Semi Final Two.


The famous former entries medley is a tried and tested way of killing time during a Eurovision show, but credit to the Kyiv team for doing something a bit different with it. Tonight’s show opens with the hosts joined by a diverse collective of Ukrainian musicians and traditional dancers to put a decidedly local spin on past winners such as Euphoria, Fairytale and Rise Like a Phoenix. It’s genuinely delightful stuff – and the significance of including the latter song in the celebrations on a primetime Ukrainian-produced TV show shouldn’t be underestimated either…

Technical Difficulties

Eurovision is always a bit of a ‘seat of the pants’ affair when it comes to keeping all of the various technical plates in the air throughout the show. Hopefully it’ll be alright on the night, but yesterday’s Jury Final was marked by a number of issues, including a long delay after the intro due to an equipment failure, some very strange camera shots and a no-show for Norway’s LED masks.

Hungary | Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Hungary’s Joci Pápai waits backstage during rehearsals…


She may not technically have won the contest back in 2007, but the delectable Verka Serduchka is a bona fidé Eurovision legend, so it feels entirely right and appropriate that her bewilderingly hilarious comic stylings are given a lengthy showcase tonight. If you have any idea what’s going on by the end of her interval sketch, you’re a smarter man than I, but it’s fabulously entertaining all the same.

The Inevitable Interpretive Dance Number

BBC viewers will presumably be treated to a sketch of Mel Giedroyc sampling Ukrainian cuisine with the members of O.Torvald at this point, but for the rest of Europe, Semi Final Two means once again filling some time with a local dance troupe. Fun if you enjoy that kind of thing, a timely toilet/bar break for everyone else…

Croatia | Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Croatia are serving classic ‘only at Eurovision’ with Jacques Houdek’s colourful performance.

Croatia’s Crazy Rainbow

What to make of Croatia’s Jacques Houdek and his bizarre melding of a saccharine 90s Michael Jackson ballad with an Il Volo album track? The vocal acrobatics are bewildering enough, but the stage show – featuring rainbows, sunflowers and a strong competitor for the most ridiculous outfit in this year’s contest – elevates the package to the status of instant Eurovision classic. Is he in on the joke? Who knows – but it’ll be a much poorer final of this isn’t somewhere in the mix.

Surprises (again)

With fans still reeling from the shock exits of Finland and Latvia in the semi finals – not to mention the fabulous Slavko from Montenegro suffering an early haircut – nobody going into tonight’s Semi Final can afford to take anything for granted.  Anything can and will happen, so buckle up – it’s going to be a bumpy night.

About The Author: John Lucas

A writer and content marketing professional with a passion for getting lost in strange cities and a strange fascination with micro states, John has been with ESC Insight since 2015 and has also had his writing featured in publications including The Guardian, Popjustice and So So Gay. Tweetable @JLucas86.

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