Dhe evening began in black, red and yellow. A good sign? Hardly likely. The moderators Alessandro Cattelan, Laura Pausini and Mika had only stood next to each other – dressed in exactly these colors. Laura Pausini later also switched to black, Mika slipped into a pink suit. That’s it already. However, the second semi-final was also Malik Harris’ first appearance on the big stage of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Turin, the German finalist was allowed to present his song “Rockstars” on Thursday evening as a kind of break filler.
It was the weird men’s semifinals, Tuesday’s had been the sad women’s semifinals. And two of the weirdest guys were thrown out, even though the betting shops had given them a chance to advance shortly beforehand. But neither Achille Lauro for San Marino nor Michael Ben David for Israel nor Circus Mircus from Georgia made it.
With the latter and their song “Lock Me In” Jules Verne met the Beatles, the flamboyant Achille Lauro unsuccessfully grabbed a pink bull by his silver horns and admitted a stripper in his song “Stripper, Michael Ben David failed with his perfectly choreographed dance number Song “IM”, a plea not to hide as a gay man, as his family wanted him to do for a long time.
The Australian Sheldon Riley also sings about his own fate in “Not The Same”. And even though he had better performances in rehearsals, he was one of the ten who made it into the final on Thursday. Riley, 23, whose father is from the Philippines and his mother is of Scottish-Irish descent, has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Because setting up the stage takes longer than for all the other participants, Mika had to buy her own time.
Riley stands captive on a staircase in a costume with a train that he has a hard time pulling because it’s weighed down by 40 kilograms with sandbags. At the end of his performance, he drags the monster up the stairs to free himself from a glitter mask, which he initially didn’t want to do. From underneath came another, a strengthened, confident man. At least that was the idea, but he seemed rather intimidated, for the first time in front of a very large audience.
A whole series of outstanding singers
A little obliqueness had already introduced the evening. One of the country’s most internationally successful bands, The Rasmus, will represent Finland this year. Her slightly moody “In The Shadows” from 2003 was her biggest hit to date. Her ESC contribution “Jezebel” is about a girl who confidently takes what she wants. It is a homage to every strong, modern and emancipated woman, says singer Lauri Ylönen.
However, the staging left questions unanswered. The feathers in the singer’s hair have been known for a long time, as they stand for his different stage personalities, in this case for a raven. But what was the purpose of the yellow raincoat and the yellow balloon he lets fly? It was very reminiscent of Stephen King’s It and the evil clown Pennywise. It also continued to be dark, with mainly large black balloons. But The Rasmus still know how to inspire, especially with Ylönen’s unmistakably slightly smoky voice.