Read back: Ochman and Cornelia Jakobs top the jury vote in Semi Final 2 (Eurovision 2022)

Ochman, the Polish entrant at Eurovision 2022. Source: EBU

Tomorrow it’s time for the second semi final of Eurovision 2022. Eightteen countries will compete for 10 spots in the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest. But 50% of the results will already be decided tonight! Follow the jury rehearsal with us. In this blog you can read what we think of the vocal qualities of each country, and how we think the juries will react to their performance.

NOTE: The star ratings are our indication of how likely it is that the professional jury might vote for this performance. They do not display any personal preferences.

For more information on how to read this blog, check out our Jury Jargon Explanation. For updates on the show elements of the grand final, you can read blog our liveblog from the first rehearsal during the afternoon.

Please keep refreshing this blog to receive the latest updates. Timeslots are indicated in CET. Newest update always appears on top.

22:58 – End of the blog

Il Volo performs the interval act, but we close off for tonight. Thank you for following our Jury Analysis and feel free to read back all the detailed updates below!

22:50 – Georgia and North Macedonia at the bottom

Briefly: Georgia has a very jury unfriendly performance that screams FOP-effect. North Macedonia had by far the worst vocal performance of the night. That is why we predict these two countries at the bottom of the pack.

We also do not expect any of these countries to make the top 10 of the jury vote: Israel, San Marino, Cyprus, Romania.

22:44 – Poland or Sweden won the jury vote in semi final 2 of Eurovision 2022

This is a call that ESCDaily is confident to make. Poland made the best impression on us, very closely followed by Sweden. One of these two must have gathered the most points tonight, and both sail easily through to the final regardless of what they do tomorrow.

We are also confident to predict that Azerbaijan and Australia will finish in the top 5 tonight.

22:37 – Recap time

Some countries see their best notes repeated (Finland, Azerbaijan for example), others should have maybe chosen a different part (Israel and Montenegro).

22:33 – Czechia – We Are Domi – Lights off

Dominika starts of poorly with a missed very first note (low side). She recovers quickly and gets through the first verse, without mistakes, but also without displaying very strong vocals. A big shout into the audience (red flag) after the second chorus. The big high note at the bridge comes out strong, and Dominika celebrates that with a fist pump.

Do not get confused: juries tend to like electronical music if the songs are mid-tempo and inoffensive. However, they are not big fans of highly electronical dance music. Think Triana Park in 2017 (those vocals were far worse, though). The genre simply is too divisive, too much love-or-hate, which can be beneficial tomorrow with televoters, but it is a red flag for tonight.

22:29 – Sweden – Cornelia Jakobs – Hold me closer

Cornelia sounds better in the choruses than the verses – this has always been the case. Today, however, the verses are definitely acceptable and largely without mistakes. She only misses one note, at the end of the second verse. The fact that she starts off sitting on the floor adds a bit of difficulty (green flag). Cornelia has the stage presence of an experienced pop star. Leave it to the Swedes to send a pro.

Sweden has sent jury bait for years in a row now. This song does not fall out of that category, even though I expect the split to be less extreme this year. Still, since we are only focusing on juries right now: this is a jury friendly song, because of its classical structure, credible presentation and inoffensive sound.

22:24 – Belgium – Jeremie Makiese – Miss you

Jeremie, a former talent show winner (green flag), starts off strong with a flawless first verse and chorus. He misses his first note at “trying” (second pre-chorus). Not a major mistake though. During the second chorus, he skips one note and leaves it to his backings. Probably a conservative choice to avoid mistakes. Another big slider in the ad-libs of the final chorus.

Juries tend to like soul music and the type of vocals Jeremie displays. He may be an inexperienced artist who does not display the so-called “Mans-factor” at all. However, his talent show background and the big level of vocal difficulty of this song will help him get away with it.

22:20 – Montenegro – Vladana – Breathe

Vladana’s vocals start out quite good. First verse is okay. Vladana misses two notes low in the first chorus, at the sentence “is what they need”. Second verse is strong. Second chorus also, however, she does miss the highest note all the way at the end (the word “die”). Vladana sings the bridge without mistakes. She misses the big high note all the way at the end.

Another difficult one to judge. The song is a rather dated ballad with a classical ballad (green flag). A slight comparison with “Proud” (Macedonia 2019) comes to mind. The song also has a clear and serious message, politically correct, which could be a green flag, if the message comes across. However, how will juries react to the prop Vladana wears on her back, which looks a lot less serious?

22:16 – Poland – Ochman – The River

Will this be the year Poland finally gets jury support? Kristian Ochman, a former talent show contestant (green flag), sings very well in the first chorus. Falsetto parts in the chorus are extremely difficult, and will be rewarded. Second chorus features a slight hesitation at that part, but nothing major. Kristian sounds great during this performance. His stage presence is also very professional.

In a rather jury unfriendly semi, many jurors will consider this a breath of fresh air. First of all because of the credible, serious atmosphere it sends out. Secondly because they like well performed falsetto. And third of all because the song has a solid build-up combined with an inoffensive message.

22:12 – Romania – WRS – Llamame

The start sounds insecure. Vocally, this song is probably among the easiest ones to sing in the competition. It is very flat, the notes are all similar. The lead singer does not make many mistakes in the rest of this performance; but with a vocal level like this, that does not guarantee any jury support.

The song is clearly not jury friendly. Not because all uptempo songs fare bad with juries – because that is a myth. However in this case, it has a summer vibe & some ethnic elements that, combined, will be perceived by juries as trashy (red flag). The long instrumental parts in the chorus do not help.

22:05 – Estonia – Stefan – Hope

Stefan cuts two low notes short at the start of the verse. A conservative move, but the right one, since it helps him to stay in key. Chorus is okay. After that, Stefan starts to walk. He combines this with his singing and even though he is at the edge for one note, his volume starts to come through and he sounds more comfortable at every note. He makes no more mistakes (something that cannot be said from the camera man, who misses a shot…). However, the At Ease factor is not applicable here.

Stefan shouts into the audience several times and he does not sing the “our hope” parts of the final chorus. However, his voice has a distinct sound, and he looks comfortable on the stage. Stefan is obviously enjoying himself.

Juries tend not to like country music that much. Estonia probably made a smart move abandoning the eccentric country performance – at least when it comes to the jury vote. This eliminates the possible FOP-effect.

22:00 – North Macedonia – Andrea – Circles

Andrea misses three of the lower ranked notes in the first verse. During the first chorus, almost everthing that can go wrong, goes wrong indeed. As a televoter, you would almost feel sorry for her, but jurors don’t have any sympathy in these situations. Second verse is a bit better, but after the second chorus Andrea goes horribly wrong in her ad-libs again. She does not keep up the level of her rehearsals earlier this week (nervous perhaps?). One of the worst vocalists tonight, if not the worst one.

A middle-of-the-road electronical inoffensive song with a classical structure of verses and choruses (all green flags). Plenty to like in that regard for juries, who will have at least no huge reason to vote down the composition. What comes first? Song or vocals?

21:56 – Ireland – Brooke – That’s rich

Brooke misses a note in the first sentence, and another one at the falsetto “flowers”. First chorus sounds okay. In the second verse both falsetto notes “flowers” and “hours” are off-key. Chorus okay and the final part actually sounds pretty solid, too.

The song reminds many people of the Lily Allen like electronic revenge pop scene. This specific subgenre has been rather unprecedented in Eurovision, which makes it difficult to estimate the jury vote. However, there are indicators that this type of song is not jury friendly – first of all because the lyrics can be perceived as offensive (bye bye fool).

The presentation of the song on stage, however, is deliberately NOT aggressive. This is a smart decision by the Irish delegation, to avoid more love-or-hate effect. In the current setting, you could even argue that Brooke has a comfortable and professional outlook on stage. She is one of the very few contestants with a talent show background (green flag).

21:51 – Cyprus – Andromache – Ela

First missed note comes in the second sentence, at the word “eyes”. Andromache is on the edge a couple more times, and seems desperate for backing support in the chorus. However, even with backings, she misses the notes at “only one”. Second verse starts with a big slider at the first word “Chemistry”. This is the type of note jurors will remember even at the end of the night. Even when Andromache is not missing notes, she never sounds comfortable, keeping listeners at the edge of their seats. Big missed note in the bridge again. Final chorus is acceptable until the final notes. In terms of performance, the singer also never really looks comfortable on the stage.

The unique selling point of this entry is its ethnic nature – something we do not see a lot this year. This effect, however, will be more beneficial with televoters than with juries. Juries tend not to like ethnic stuff, and this composition is therefore not a jury friendly one.

21:47 – Australia – Sheldon Riley – Not the same

During the first two sentences, we hear Sheldon sigh between lines (potential red flag). Vocals are good though. Especially during the first chorus, where the big notes come out very comfortably. Second verse and chorus again strong. During the bridge, Sheldon walks up the stairs. During rehearsals, he sometimes struggled combining singing and climbing the stairs. Today, he gets through that comfortably. While some artists get nervous during jury rehearsals, Sheldon seems to peek at the right moment.

This type of ballad is not the typical kind of jury ballad. It does not have a classical build-up and is not easily accessible. However, in the field we have tonight, it is still one of the more jury friendly compositions out there. Sheldon also has a background in several talent shows (green flag).

21:41 – San Marino – Achille Lauro – Stripper

The first verse starts off a bit shaky, but besides a missed note at the word “killer”, Achille gets through it without big mistakes. He is the kind of artist that probably comes alive in front of a big audience, and that certainly happens tonight. Strong vocals in the first chorus. Rest of the song also quite strong. The verses are not perfect, but the choruses sound like the studio version.

This genre of music is traditionally love-or-hate, therefore not jury friendly. Once you pair that with Achille Lauro’s look on stage – his clothes, his face tattoo, sex noises, and the bull riding at the end – juries will likely classify this as a more trashy entry. Something they are “not supposed” to vote for. The big question mark, however, is that Achille Lauro scored better with juries than televoters in San Remo in 2019…

21:33 – Malta – Emma Muscat – I am what I am

First sentence, Emma misses a note low. The final sentence, another two missed notes both low. The pre-chorus is acceptable, though definitely not convincing. A similar thing happens in the first chorus: Emma does not fully miss any notes, but she definitely keeps jurors on the edge of their seats. Second verse and chorus better than the first one. She shouts into the audience repeatedly (red flag). After the bridge, Emma misses two notes at the song title line. Final chorus okay.

The composition is the classic example of a jury song: middle-of-the-road with a slight 90’s vibe, dated and completely inoffensive, and if you listen closely, it even has some gospel elements to it. Emma pairs this with a jury friendly performance: slick dance routines and a comfortable looking stage presence. Even if she does not originate from a talent show, she is the typical kind of young talent show performer that juries tend to like.

21:29 – Georgia – Circus Mircus – Lock me in

The first verse is vocally sound. However at the chorus, the high voices of the guys seem to fade away slightly. Nothing off-key, but just simply not convincing. It’s notes like this that keeps a juror at the edge of their seat (red flag), waiting, expecting a mistake any moment. In the second chorus, the lead vocalist makes a bit slider at the “sideways” note twice in a row. This is not a technically difficult song, yet the vocals are still not flawless.

Georgia has tried to portray its entry in the media as a serious band of true musicians. However, when you look at this stage performance with the diorama music box and the eye pieces the lead singer has, all of my FOP-effect alarm bells start to ring. In other words: Jurors will feel like they are being fooled by this performance and vote it down.

21:25 – Azerbaijan – Nadir Rustamli – Fade to black

Nadir starts a bit nervous. First sentences his voice is at the edge of breaking. He holds on, until the words “One so sweet”, where he misses a few notes low. After he misses a note high at “numb” in the first chorus, the technically difficult part starts. Nadir sings while lying on his back, and later on while lying on his side. These type of technical tricks are generally noticed and appreciated by jurors, especially now when Nadir sings this part really well. The big high notes at the end are strong; the final sentence is a bit more hesitant again. Not perfect but over all a solid vocal performance.

The song is the type of rational ballad that is usually more popular with juries than televoters. The jury members will not mind the lack of emotional connection as much as televoters will.

We have seen juries punish Azerbaijan when they had big stagings in previous years. The act with the dancer and the huge stairs could fall into that same category, however, the over-all performance does have a certain credibility to it which makes me think they will get away with it this time. It reminds me of “Start a fire”, Azerbaijan in 2014, which had a much better jury vote than televote.

21:22 – Serbia – Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

Vocals for this song have never been an issue. Partly because Konstrakta is a seasoned performer who puts jurors back in their seats (green flag), never a doubt about whether she could miss a note or two. However, it must also be said that this song is at times rather flat and relatively easy to sing. No extra points for level of difficulty.

I find it tough to predict whether this is a genre that juries will approve of. The song does not have a clear and classical build-up. It is a rather divisive, love-or-hate song. However, it is also highly artistic, perhaps a bit too niche for juries. And while it does have high class lyrics, the performance also features hints of the FOP-effect. The act with the handwashing – will juries see it as a gimmick? I expect juries from countries where many people speak Serbian, to appreciate this.

All in all, this may be the most difficult entry to predict. There are no clear precedents to an entry like this.

21:18 – Israel – Michael Ben David – I. M.

Michael is on the edge in two notes at the start of the verse. After that, he finds his rhythm and displays strong vocals. He has the appearance of a seasoned musical star on stage, comfortable performing minor dance routines in combination with vocals. Choruses 1 and verse 2 are flawless vocally. High note at the end of the second chorus is off-key, as well as the final “give it to me now”.

Songs that shift in tempo, as well as in genre, are generally punished by jurors. In this case, there are also severe structural issues (red flag) that juries will not go easy on.

21:14 – Finland – The Rasmus – Jezebel

During rehearsals this week, verses were Lauri’s weak link, however today he starts alright. The only off-key moment in the first verse is at the words “woke up”. The chorus is not necessarily very strong, but not off-key. In the second verse, he misses two notes low in the final sentence. Strong second chorus without mistakes. Over all a much better performance vocally than earlier this week. One missed note high at the start of the final chorus. The band gives a highly professional performance in terms of movement and appearance, coming across like they own the stage. A little bit of “Mans-factor” is applicable here.

Juries do not like rock music, it is a divisive genre (love or hate) which is a red flag for jurors. Last year, it appeared as though this effect may be watering down just a little bit.

Theories have also been uttered that jurors would be more strict towards the vocals of a big, experienced names in Eurovision. This might be true, however the sample size simply is not big enough for me to verify it in my model. Therefore I will not take this into account.

21:07 – All about the juries tonight

As usual, we focus only on performances tonight. We analyze them from a jury perspective.

Want to know more about show elements such as postcards, presenters, interval acts? Check out our liveblog from this afternoon.

21:02 – Technical issues at the start

The afternoon rehearsal was full of technical errors and tonight, the jury show starts with some mistakes as well. Let’s hope all the performances go well and nobody will have to perform twice.

20:57 – Here we go!

Team ESCDaily has studied jury results extensively over the past few years. We are confident that we know what jurors are looking for in a Eurovision performance. And tonight, we will describe each performance for you through the eyes of a juror! Stay with us, we’ll start soon!

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