As we continue with our series of reviews, we stay with the semi-finals as the team review Serbia, returning after a year’s absence, and Israel, who were very nearly absent themselves. We’re very glad that they’re both in the fold, but are we glad about their choice of songs? Time to find out…

SERBIA
Bojana Stamenov – Beauty Never Lies

Rodrigo: It all goes very well until someone presses the trash button. Yet I don’t find it offensive in any kind of way and end up being more entertained than anything else.
Score: 6/10

Nick: These lyrics piss me off so much, I actually get aggressive from them. The genius who did Conchita’s lyrics has now tried to turn this Balkoschlager into another tolerance song. Next please.
Score: 2/10

Dan: Like Macedonia, I think this comes across a lot better in its original Serbian version. However, strangely even in English, it somehow manages to retain that sound from Serbia that we’ve been missing. Not a bad effort.
Score: 5/10

serbia

Ryan: While the Serbian version sounded pretty anonymous, this is another entry with naff lyrics in English. The sound is good, and she can certainly sing, but the song itself is not really terribly vocally challenging.
Score: 4/10

Simon: My guilty pleasure of the year. Unadulterated trash, with overly simple lyrics, yet I can’t help but smile. Where’s the key change?
Score: 7/10

Rinor: I didn’t get to watch the Serbian NF this year, but immediately after Bojana’s victory, I listened to the song and really liked it. The lyrics in Serbian were strong and matched with the song, which is very powerful as well. However, the new English version makes all of the song very, very cheap! Bojana is very talented, but I think RTS should have sent this song in Serbian.
Score: 6/10

Peter: I can’t quite believe that this song exists. The cliché lyrics about believing in yourself, the screeching, the transition into a massive gay raveathon at the end – terrible on every level but I absolutely love it.
Score: 8/10

ISRAEL
Nadav Guedj – Golden Boy

Rodrigo: This all-in-one extravaganza usually does nothing for me and yet I can’t help singing and wanting to dance every time it comes up. I just wish that if (when) it fails to qualify we won’t get another round of “Europe hates Israel” drama.
Score: 5.5/10

Nick: Starting with a cheap Bohemian Rhapsody, this evolves into an early Justin Timberlake before Tarkan manages to get in. An incredible mess of cheap nothingness. We want uptempo, but when this comes along, I need ten more ballads.
Score: 3/10

Dan: This frustrates me as it starts off promising, right up until the chorus which then feels like we’ve taken back to 2005. Being the only ethno-pop entry however may give this an advantage.
Score: 3/10

israel

Ryan: Starts off promising and then slaps you in the face with that first chorus. The song redeems itself by the end, when the vibe of the song takes on a sound more like the chorus than the first verse. Something about this tells me we could see quite an awkward performance in Vienna, so I watch this one with some interest.
Score: 6/10

Simon: Like Serbia, this is unadulterated trash, but it presses none of my buttons. I feel sorry for the boy; who told him singing this chintz was a good idea?
Score: 1/10

Rinor: As a youngster, in a year of many, many ballads, I think this song will stand out, and appeal to the younger audience. However, this mix of three tunes is kind of cheap, but it’s definitely a guilty pleasure.
Score: 8/10

Peter: Song 9 seems to be the hot mess slot this year. This sounds like several different songs, but it’s good fun and I like the Mediterranean flavour in the chorus. Shouldn’t have a problem qualifying.
Score: 6/10

The story so far…

The team has now reviewed four songs from each semi-final, but have today’s songs managed to unseat the leaders so far?

  1. Ireland – 39.5
  2. Serbia – 38
  3. Czech Republic – 36
  4. Lithuania – 33.5
  5. Israel – 32.5
  6. Armenia – 26
  7. FYR Macedonia – 29
  8. Moldova – 19.5

Tomorrow we’ll be reviewing the first of this year’s automatic finalists: Austria and Germany. Make sure to check in with us for that!

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