Peony Tale

May 6, 2019 by

Peony Tale

There has been some market doubt regarding Armenia’s Q chance as the semi 2 opener. Srbuk is alone on stage which is a bit of a surprise as a dance troupe seemed the likely way to go with this. Nice shattered glass effect and clever visuals throughout. Vocally strong. The decision for her to be on her own is a show of confidence and she owns this performance. Armenia’s Q price remains unmoved around 1.49 and 4.5 is matched for Top 10.

Ireland’s Sarah sings ’22’. Given the dreaded 2 slot is a slap in the face for the Irish. This has an American diner feel with two female dancers joining her. It comes across as pedestrian and amateur throughout. There is a nice overhead shot when Sarah lies atop the bar’s surface. This has bright, colourful staging effects and the contrast with Armenia is stark. Ireland is friendless for qualification still available at 7 post-rehearsal.

Latvia takes Moldova’s slot today. Carousel’s Sabine has a lovely, lilting timbre and this has an authentic folksy feel about it. Styling-wise they have softened Sabine’s look, complete with a hat. This looks less Common Linnets-esque compared to the Supernova staging. It should earn jurors’ respect even though the song, as has been stated previously, falls down slightly due to a lack of progression. Last matched at 7.6 to Q and nothing requested on the Back side post-rehearsal, this has been thrown on the reject pile by traders.

This is the big moment of the morning as Luca Hanni enters the fray. Switzerland is being nibbled at at 12.5 on the Outright pre-rehearsal. First impression is, this is respectable, competent staging without being ‘wow’. Luca is vocally secure and maintains an engaging grin throughout. The dance moves with his troupe are as expected but it maybe could have done with him, at some point, dancing alone with the woman he is infatuated with according to the song’s lyrics. The Swiss price edges in, matched at 10.5.

For anyone who recalls Mika Newton for Ukraine in 2011, Moldova is attempting something similar here with a sand artist. What is going on on the big screen behind risks dominating the 3 minutes too much, though there is a nice overhead shot of her handiwork at one point. Anna has a vocal reminiscent of Anastacia and is sporting a sexy bridal frock. Can these sand-based shenanigans boost Moldova’s televote enough to help give it a decent shot of qualifying? It is still being offered at 4 to Q post-rehearsal with traders unconvinced.

There was a lot of money being offered on Romania to Q around 2.1 and it has all been gobbled up after Ester’s first run through. The imagery plays upon a Gothic theme and suits the song well. Delivering the lyric, ‘Wake me up from this nightmare’ she throws in some excellent zombie moves and a possessed stare later on which is stylistically in keeping. Strong vocal and as a Goth queen Ester performs this dark tale in a compelling manner. The Romanian Q drift was short-lived with money requested to back it again at 2.16.

Denmark is lightness following shade and something you could imagine turning up on CBeebies (a UK kids’ tv show for non-UK readers) as a presentation. Leonora climbs a ladder before swaying atop a giant chair with her chums, more or less identical to the Danish final. The audience for this song, as twee as it is, appears to be misty-eyed fans recalling ESC yesteryear. Denmark is backed at 1.65 so it looks like traders are banking on its televote appeal being enough to get it over the Q line.

They have reversed Austria and Sweden. Paenda is alone on stage and having been sceptical at this decision, she has won over this viewer. It’s a modern, radio-friendly track, and it works well in this minimalistic form. It’s delicately staged with some lovely lighting effects and Paenda delivers emotionally. It is seeking some jury love, which it merits. 5.7 was the last price Austria was matched at to Q pre-rehearsal, with it matched as low as 4 post-rehearsal, with one trading shark grabbing some 25 Austria for a Top 15 finish.

Sweden closes out day 3 and trades at 15 on the Outright pre-rehearsal, with very little price movement post-rehearsal. John gives it some facial expressions some will find forced and over-sold. He has the pipes to deliver this, with the Gospel choir seeking to build the feel-good spirit and add to the big vocal flourishes. It’s an Americanised package and there has to be uncertainty how well this plays out Europe-wide despite the usual slick Swedish presentation.


  1. Cathal

    Can I ask where this fantasy that Denmark will get a good televote is based on? I’m okay with statements like this so long as there is genuine evidence to back it up. It didn’t win its televote in the DMGP and it’s bang in the middle amongst the fan community get its somehow going to break through all that and get a great televote? I don’t see it.

    • Lady Alpine Blue

      On the flip side, where’s your evidence that it didn’t win the televote? You can’t make statements like that without backing it up.

    • Rob

      Hi Cathal. It is very much open for debate. I’ve had the impression this entry is loved by ESC fans of yore because it has some kind of timeless ESC quality about it. And I think the fan vote does hold extra power in semi-finals. It is a little bit like Loin d’Ici in that respect. But I’m not convinced especially with Norway in the 2nd half, which is also playing to that retro ESC audience, and is more uptempo.

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