Eurovision Song Contest 2022: Semi-final 2 preview
After months of rehearsals and anticipation, the second semi-final for the Eurovision Song Contest for 2022 is almost upon us! It kicks off at 5:00am in Australia (AEST) on Friday 13 May 2022.
18 acts will participate in this semi-final - including Australia's Sheldon Riley - but only 10 will get the much coveted ticket to the Grand Final.
See below for a recap of who the entries are, how you can vote and their odds of getting through!
1 – Finland
The Rasmus - 'Jezebel'
Odds to qualify: $1.33 (7th)
The Rasmus will be no stranger to anyone who was around in the early 2000s, with their 2003 single "In The Shadows" topping the charts in Finland, Germany, Hungary and New Zealand and performing well in countless other countries. "Jezebel" is solidly in the same vein as the band's earlier hits, bringing an enjoyable throwback pop-rock sound and lyrics dedicated to strong, independent women who blaze their own trail. The Rasmus secured their place at Eurovision by winning one of the strongest national finals of the year, Finland's UMK. One of the few rock entries in this year's contest, this will undoubtedly open semi-final 2 with a bang.
2 – Israel
Michael Ben David (מיכאל בן דוד) - 'I.M.'
Odds to qualify: $3.00 (14th)
The winner of this year's season of The X Factor Israel, Michael Ben David was born in Petah Tikva, a town just outside Tel Aviv, and has family roots in Ukraine and Georgia. An out and proud gay man, Ben David has been open about his struggles growing up queer, including being bullied for his high-pitched voice and experiencing difficulties with his family after coming out. It is therefore unsurprising that "I.M." is an unashamed queer anthem, with high-tempo choreography and lyrics that wouldn't be out of place in a RuPaul's Drag Race finale song. This is a three-minute explosion of energy onstage - get ready to dance!
3 – Serbia
Konstrakta - 'In corpore sano'
Odds to qualify: $1.16 (5th)
A fan favourite and a viral sensation in her home market, Konstrakta had just five singles to her name before unexpectedly winning the Serbian national final Pesma za Evroviziju. However, her catchy satirical song about beauty standards and the Serbian health insurance system has seized the attention of the Serbian public and Eurovision fans, particularly due to her memorable stage performance (which features religious overtones and an awful lot of handwashing). The song will be presented at Eurovision with subtitles, to help viewers across Europe and Australia interpret its message. This is a performance that will stay with you - and no, you're not imagining it, Konstrakta is singing about Meghan Markle in the opening line!
4 – Azerbaijan
Nadir Rustamli - 'Fade to Black'
Odds to qualify: $1.66 (9th)
The first of three big male-led Emotional Ballads in this semi-final, 'Fade to Black' is a dark and melancholic tune which builds to a stunning finale over the course of its three minutes. The vocalist, Nadir Rustamli, came to prominence in Azerbaijan after winning the second season of The Voice Azerbaijan in 2021. With a raspy vocal equally suited to rock music or stripped-back ballads, Nadir is at the centre of this performance, which makes excellent use of camera angles to conjure an intimate mood. Keep an eye on this one - Azerbaijan have a very consistent qualification record and this is another polished entry from them.
5 – Georgia
Circus Mircus - 'Lock Me In'
Odds to qualify: $4.50 (16th)
Always a country that dances to the beat of its own drum at Eurovision, Georgia have another quirky entry this year from Circus Mircus, a collaboration between (allegedly) "three dropouts from a local circus academy". Their song, "Lock Me In", is inspired by everything from 90s British indie rock right through to circus music, and makes for a memorable three minutes onstage. An internal selection by the Georgian broadcaster, Circus Mircus launched their Eurovision song without a music video, with the premiere instead playing over a black screen displaying the words "This artist condemns russia's invasion of Ukraine". If you come to Eurovision for the whacky and the inscrutable, this is sure to be one of your favourites.
6 – Malta
Emma Muscat - 'I Am What I Am'
Odds to qualify: $1.72 (11th)
At just 21 years of age, Emma Muscat has already become one of Malta's most successful musical exports. After appearing on the Italian talent show "Amici di Maria de Filippi", she became a household name in Malta and Italy and has released a steady stream of singles since. "I Am What I Am" has more than a touch of X Factor winner's single vibes to it, but it's an upbeat and well-constructed pop song that gives Emma space to show off her vocals and dancing among some of the more idiosyncratic acts in this semi-final. Notably, Emma originally won the Maltese national final with a song called "Out of Sight" - but that song was replaced at a later date without much explanation, with "I Am What I Am" taking its place.
7 - San Marino
Achille Lauro - 'Stripper'
Odds to qualify: $2.20 (12th)
If you are even slightly familiar with the Italian music industry, you have probably heard of the genre-bending phenomenon that is Achille Lauro. Taking his stage name from a ship hijacking in the 1980s, Lauro has become known for elaborate and provocative stage performances that have often caused controversy and discussion across Italy. "Stripper" is everything one could want from an Achille Lauro performance at Eurovision, with a catchy rock chorus and some of the most memorable staging of the year. We will not be the ones to spoil this performance for you - this is one that has to be experienced yourself. For the third contest in a row, San Marino is bringing an act that will get everybody talking.
8 – Australia
Sheldon Riley - 'Not the Same'
Odds to qualify: $1.11 (3rd)
Australia's very own Sheldon Riley brings one of the biggest vocals of the entire Contest this year, and he puts it to good use on this affecting and dramatic ballad. Sheldon was of course the winner of Australia Decides 2022 on the Gold Coast, where he fought off some stiff competition to get the ticket to Turin. While "Not the Same" has been interpreted by some as a queer anthem, Sheldon has shared in interviews that the song speaks more to his experience as a young person growing up with Asperger's Syndrome. He performs wearing a mask as a representation of his doubts and communication difficulties, with the song's climax seeing him remove the mask to show his face. This is a great effort from Sheldon and SBS, and should hopefully bring home another strong result for Australia at Eurovision.
9 – Cyprus
Andromache - 'Ela (Έλα)'
Odds to qualify: $1.57 (10th)
While Cyprus has become known for sending impactful and uptempo bangers in recent years, "Ela" represents a pleasing change of pace for the Mediterranean nation. Vocalist Andromache was internally selected by the Cypriot broadcaster, and brings with her a wealth of experience from participating in "The Voice of Greece" and releasing several of her own singles. Compared to some of Cyprus' recent efforts, this feels far more authentic to the Greek and Cypriot domestic music scenes, with some lovely instrumental touches and the use of the Greek language in the lyrics. Onstage, Andromache sings from the centre of a large shell, with projections creating the impression of water moving over her. If you just lie back and let the music wash over you, you can almost see yourself lying on the beach in Limassol.
10 – Ireland
Brooke - 'That's Rich'
Odds to qualify: $4.33 (15th)
While Ireland has struggled to get much traction at Eurovision in recent years, 23-year-old Brooke Scullion and her uptempo electro bop could be about to change that. Scullion lives in Northern Ireland and is a newcomer to the music scene, having come to prominence on The Voice UK in 2020, where she came third. A clear standout in the Irish national final this year, "Eurosong 2022", Scullion brings a cheeky edge to this catchy break-up song, and has demonstrated charm and energy in her rehearsals and pre-party performances throughout this year's Eurovision season. In a year with a higher-than-average number of ballads, this song will come as a breath of fresh air onscreen - don't count Ireland out.
11 - North Macedonia Andrea - 'Circles'
Odds to qualify: $8.00 (18th)
Singer-songwriter Andrea is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Skopje, North Macedonia and will be hoping to impress Europe with her smooth, midtempo electro-pop number. "Circles" narrowly won North Macedonia's national final earlier this year, and provides an enjoyable palate-cleanser onstage after Ireland's pop explosion. A stripped-back and raw staging gives Andrea space to show off her emotive vocal, in a song which tells the story of a relationship on the brink of collapse. One thing's for sure - you don't want to test Andrea's limits!
12 – Estonia
Stefan – ‘Hope’
Odds to qualify: $1.12 (4th)
Yee haw! A famous singer in Estonia, Stefan has tried to represent his country numerous times at the Estonian national final "Eesti Laul" and finally took out the top prize this year with this spaghetti western-inspired performance. "Hope" wears its influences on its sleeve, with the song recalling the work of Ennio Morricone but also some of Avicii's EDM hits and Måns Zelmerlöw's iconic Eurovision winner "Heroes". Despite a few staging difficulties, this performance is memorable and anthemic, with Stefan making for an appealing and convincing lead vocalist. There is nothing else like this in the line-up - grab your cowboy hat and join the party!
1 3 – Romania
WRS - 'Llámame'
Odds to qualify: $2.62 (13th)
WRS is a known quantity in Romania, having appeared on TV talent shows including "The Voice Romania" and "Romania's Got Talent" and having been nominated in several categories at the Romanian Artist Awards. He was selected for Eurovision 2022 through one of the largest and most confusing national finals of the year, "Selectia Nationala", where he beat out 45 (!) other songs to represent Romania in Turin. His song, "Llámame", feels like a throwback to the Balkan heyday of the early 2000s in the best way possible, with some ethnic instrumental elements and a very camp dance break. This song also boasts possibly the catchiest chorus of the year - once you've heard it once, I dare you not to spend the rest of the night humming "hola mi bebébé" over and over.
14 – Poland
Ochman - 'River'
Odds to qualify: $1.01 (2nd)
Another big fan favourite, 22-year-old Krystian Ochman was born in the United States into a Polish family, and relocated to Poland after graduating high school. His song, "River", brings emotion and melodrama in spades, marrying operatic-infused vocal moments with a modern, dark pop instrumental. A favourite of the Polish public, Ochman won the perplexingly-named Polish national final "Tu bije serce Europy! Wybieramy hity na Eurowizję" (that's "The heart of Europe beats here! We choose hits for Eurovision" for those of you playing at home) by picking up a massive 51% of the Polish televote. After years of getting stuck in the semi-finals, hopes are high that Ochman might finally return Poland to the grand final next weekend.
15 – Montenegro
Vladana - 'Breathe'
Odds to qualify: $7.00 (17th)
Montenegro returns to the Contest this year after a two-year absence due to budgetary issues. They are represented in Turin by 35-year-old musician and activist Vladana Vučinić, singing a song reminiscent of the Balkan ballads of yesteryear. Vladana wrote this song after the death of her mother due to complications from COVID-19, and her angry, emotional performance helps the song find another level. Onstage, Vladana keeps her performance intimate by wearing a large halo-esque light fitting on her back, which emphasizes her as the centre of attention. Keep an eye out for the final chorus, too, where Vladana delivers a few lines in Italian as a call-out to this year's host nation!
16 - Belgium
Jérémie Makiese - 'Miss You'
Odds to qualify: $1.50 (8th)
If you have ever wondered "what would it sound like if they mashed up a Bond theme with a 90s RnB track?", wonder no longer! Belgium is this year represented by the 2021 winner of "The Voice Belgique", Jérémie Makiese, who dabbles in music in between playing for a national Belgian football team and studying geology at university. Internally selected by the broadcaster for the French-speaking Wallonian region (who is organising Belgium's entry after the Flemish broadcasting selected Hooverphonic in 2020 and 2021), Makiese brings some real vocal chops to this intriguing track which mixes diverse musical influences.
17 - Sweden
Cornelia Jakobs - 'Hold Me Closer' Odds to qualify: $1.01 (1st)
Cornelia Jakobs started life as a member of a Swedish girl group called Love Generation in 2010, which made two attempts to go to Eurovision in 2011 and 2012. After the band disbanded in 2016, she relaunched as a solo artist and re-entered the Swedish selection Melodifestivalen - and to say the results have been popular would be an understatement. This is a massive, emotional song which replaces Sweden's traditional polish at Eurovision with something far more stripped-back and authentic. While Sweden always comes to Eurovision with a lot of hype, this is probably the biggest hype a Swedish entry has had since Mans Zelmerlow's "Heroes" in 2015. And we all know how that one ended...
18 - Czech Republic
We Are Domi - 'Lights Off' Odds to qualify: $1.22 (6th)
Closing the show is an absolute EDM banger from the Czech Republic! We Are Domi is a Czech-Norwegian band made up of vocalist Dominika Hašková, guitarist Casper Hatlestad and keyboard-player Benjamin Rekstad. The group was inspired to enter the Czech national final after playing a gig with 2019's Czech act, Lake Malawi, and won the online competition comfortably to secure their place in Turin. With their high-energy beats and some great touches on the staging, this pops in the running order and will make a fantastic show closer on Friday morning. Don't worry if you're getting a bit sleepy after 18 songs - this one will help wake you back up!
How can I watch?
The show will be broadcast live. You can tune into SBS from 5:00am AEST on May 13 with the show also available on SBS On Demand. SBS will also be airing a primetime repeat of the broadcast at 8:30pm AEST on Saturday.
How can I vote?
Australian viewers are eligible to vote in semi-final 2. The voting window for semi-final 2 opens after the last song has been performed, and ends 15 minutes later.
Follow the voting instructions on screen during the live broadcast (on SBS and at SBS on Demand).
Remember Australian viewers can not vote for Australia.
How to vote
It's really easy. Eurovision’s official voting partner Digame in Germany has created a new online voting platform, exclusively for Australia’s public Eurovision vote. This means there will be no SMS or Televoting in Australia during the live shows. All of Australia’s public votes will be received via the new online system.
The voting portal will be accessed via www.esc.vote, hosted by Digame. Votes will be limited to 20 per person and will cost 55c per vote.
You will be able to select which acts you want to vote for and how many votes per act (up to 20 votes total). How you allocate those votes is up to you: you could allocate 20 votes to one act, divide your votes between multiple acts, or just make one vote for your favourite.
Payment options are Google Pay, Apple Pay or Credit Card. Once payment has been received no more votes can be taken from that user. Full voting terms and conditions will be available on the voting platform.
For continued updates on all the Eurovision Song Contest news follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All links at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet