The first semi-final of Eurovision 2022: between sadness and joy | Culture and lifestyle in Germany and Europe | DW

Passing in Turin Eurovision Song Contest 2022 gave an answer to questions about whether it is possible to arrange a European holiday when a bloody war is going on in the very heart of the continent. How can a country that has become a victim of treacherous aggression be represented there?

Barely recovered from the coronavirus pandemic, Europe yearned for festive events, football stadiums filled with fans and concert venues. Therefore, the audience in the Pala Olimpico hall, built for the Winter Olympic Games in Turin in 2006, willingly and joyfully got up from their seats to dance to Moldovan folk, Austrian Eurodance or Norwegian electro-pop.

Stand up with Ukraine

But the audience, the jury and the viewers received no less response from the melancholy Dutch ballad, the nostalgic fado from Portugal and, of course, the Ukrainian male polyphony combined with excellent rap. Due to the war Kalush Orchestra special attention is riveted on the competition. But it’s not just about solidarity with Ukraine. For the second year in a row, the country manages to stylishly combine modern music with folk music. And the laconic graphics accurately conveyed the depth of feelings not only for Stephanie’s mother, to whom the soloist of the group Oleg Psyuk originally dedicated the composition. Most of the audience in the hall stood up to greet the performance of the Kalush Orchestra.

Zdob si Zub & Advahov Brothers from Moldova on the Eurovision stage in Turin

Zdob si Zdub & Advahov Brothers from Moldova – guarantors of good mood

In a completely different – dance – style, the mix of genres was a success for the representatives of Moldova. The group Zdob si Zdub is well known to Eurovision fans. She has already participated in the competition twice and every time she was a guarantor of a good mood. In 2005, that is, even before Buranovskiye Babushki, the team was remembered as a cheerful old woman on stage in a rocking chair, beating a huge drum. In 2011 – giant caps and an artist on a unicycle. This time instead Philip Kirkorov, whose patronage Moldova has resorted to at Eurovision in recent years, Zdob si Zdub was called by the Advakhov brothers. It turned out to be a dance folk about a train going from Chisinau not to the east, but to the west – to Bucharest.

Norwegian electro-pop and chanson… in Lithuanian

The Norwegian team Subwoolfer also took care of the good mood. Who is really hiding behind the masks of yellow wolves is a big secret. The Norwegian delegation came up with a whole legend for the competition in Turin about the fact that these creatures descended from the moon to earth in search of a prophet. In a dance composition, they offer to feed the wolf a banana. It’s hard to say whether the joke was successful or not, but the number definitely turned out. Few doubted his success.

Subwoolfer from Norway on the Eurovision stage in Turin

Subwoolfer from Norway or from the Moon?

A surprise for many journalists accredited at Eurovision was the entry into the final of the representative of Lithuania Monica Liu with a French chanson sung in Lithuanian. However, some call the composition “Sentimentai” (feelings) “hypnotic electro-pop”. These feelings are rather sad. Such is, for example, a country ballad in the style of the 70s of the last century by the Icelandic group Systur and a modern fado by the singer Maro from Portugal. Together with the backing vocalists, she, like the Icelanders, managed to perform her numbers surprisingly harmoniously, melancholy and beautifully.

In the first semi-final of Eurovision 2022, ballads took over

Strong feelings and experiences are discussed in the composition “De Diepte” (depth) S10 from the Netherlands. The stage name of a former depressed singer, derived from her real name, Steen. In order to reach the final, she did not need special effects. It was enough to concentrate on singing.

 Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord representing Greece at Eurovision 2022 in Turin

New Greek Minimalism – Amanda Georgiaada Tenfjord

The minimalistic choreography and musical arrangement, combined with the strong voice of Amanda representing Greece, made the right impression on the viewers and the jury. They appreciated her three-minute (this is the maximum duration of a song at Eurovision) melodrama “Die Together”. It is noteworthy that this time the number of Greece was staged by Phokas Evangelinos, known for his technical tricks, for example, for performances at the competition Sergei Lazarev. This time he chose a different path.

Spectacular ending of the first semi-final

Strong feelings, a very deep voice reminiscent of the voice of the legendary Louis Armstrong and expressive facial expressions catapulted Swiss representative Marius Bear to the final with the jazz ballad “Boys do cry”. In the final, which will take place on Saturday, May 14, we will also see Rosa Lynn from Armenia. In staging the number, she managed to use many of the features of the high-tech scene in Turin with rotating circles and arches. Due to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia missed last year’s competition, but returned with dignity.

Diodato was not able to perform at Eurovision at the time. He was scheduled to represent Italy in 2020 in Rotterdam. That competition has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Turin, Diodato appeared on stage as a guest at the very end of the show. And heartfelt, to goosebumps, the composition “Fai rumore” (to make noise) became a worthy musical end to the evening. Diodato seemed to throw out all the feelings that had accumulated not only in him, about which it is impossible to remain silent any longer.

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