Less of a Sawtooth, More of a…Cliff?
Viewers who checked out Semifinal One might have noticed the very gentle, almost predictable sawtooth that the running order provided, with a relatively stable alternation between upbeat and slow songs. Don’t let Tuesday’s show lull you into a false sense of security…Semifinal Two will not afford you that luxury.
Sure, it’ll start you off balanced enough, with upbeat San Marino segueing into Estonia, then bumping up to Czech Republic, but when you hit the run of bops from Poland, Moldova, Iceland, and Serbia, followed immediately by four slow entries in Georgia, Albania, Portugal, and Bulgaria…you’ll start to wonder if it was the same set of producers setting up the running orders for both Semifinals.
One (Not-So-Surprising) Cameo…
After what seems like months of teasing, hint-dropping, and “will-he-or-won’t-he” trolling, it’s been confirmed: San Marino’s Senhit will be joined on stage by multiplatinum-selling rapper Flo Rida. Even though he only arrived in Rotterdam on Tuesday, and therefore missed the first week of rehearsals, he and Senhit seem to mesh naturally on stage together, and look like they’re having the time of their lives.
…and One Unexpected Absence
Even though we know that the EBU was prepared for the possibility of an act contracting COVID-19 while on site in Rotterdam, it was still incredibly heartbreaking to hear the news that Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson, one of the members of Iceland’s Gagnamagnið, had tested positive for the virus. Due to that positive test, Iceland’s entry, “10 Years”, will revert to using footage from their second technical rehearsal in lieu of a live performance.
Much like Australia’s entry on Tuesday, viewers might not notice the difference until the end of the song, when the camera zooms out from the stage, showing the band weren’t actually on site. Furthermore, the band will not be present in the Greenroom, instead appearing (at least the four members not in isolation) in a video link from their hotel room. (The other two members will appear as tablets neatly positioned above their logoed jumpers.) We wish Jóhann a speedy recovery.
Subtlety Where You Least Expect It
Some of this year’s quietest, subtlest entries actually involve the most intricate staging, as we’ll see from Bulgaria’s Victoria with her slanted “floating” rock outcropping and falling sand, or Switzerland’s Gjon’s Tears with his deconstructing pillar formation and contemporary dancing. Even Tornike Kipiani from Georgia dabbles with some interesting projection effects during “You”. Ironically, some of the songs that you’d expect to be over-the-top are surprisingly subtle on stage, with Latvia’s Samanta Tīna performing a relatively straightforward staging, Poland’s Rafał basically recycling his music video, or Moldova’s Natalia Gordienko not being surrounded by dancing soft-serve cones or hidden cakes…just regular, non-edible dancers.
Everyone’s New Bestie – NikkieTutorials
While all four hosts are doing a more than capable job of keeping the shows running smoothly and professionally, Nikkie de Jaeger (better known as NikkieTutorials to her millions of YouTube followers) has been the true breakout star, literally standing head and shoulders above her colleagues. (No, seriously, she’s 6’3”/1.89 m, and she’s probably rocking a killer pair of high heels to boot.) Her natural charisma and friendliness come through effortlessly, and the segments where she’s in focus (her EurovisionTutorials segments, for example, or her LookLab videos on YouTube) make her feel like we’re looking in on a conversation among friends, rather than an overly-polished, staid interview.
On top of that, even though she was outed against her will in early 2020, she’s taken a subtle, yet powerful stance as a visible advocate of the trans community. In the outfits she’s been wearing for televised shows, there are hints of the colors of the trans flag. Check out the crystal work in her gown tonight…you’ll see hints of pink and light blue.