Return of the Macedonian prodigal daughter

Kaliopi at a Meet & Greet during the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm.

Kaliopi – the return! The good news is this is brilliant. The bad news is really for the Irish, as this now leaves Nicky Byrne sandwiched between two women of considerable stage presence against his relative lack thereof. No bells here, no whistles, just Kaliopi doing what she does best – belt it out with lots of warmth and appeal. Some strong backing vocallists stage left and a drummer stage right, Kaliopi bang centre with a circular floor design around here and – at last – someone’s found the yellow light switch. Simple, but effective.

There are a couple of mid-song shots where the camera cuts to views of the audience: I think this is a mistake. What happens if they’re unengaged, or getting up to pop for a hot-dog? They like those here. There’s a hold back on the last big note which at the moment is making us all wince.

The only thing to question here is the song: I’ve just never felt it’s that strong, especially contrasted again the glorious Crno I Belo Kaliopi brought in Baku. But she doesn’t have to beat that, she has to beat 8 of the songs around her to make it to Saturday night. Based on this performance I’d say she can do that, but this semi-final is working out a lot trickier than I’d thought.

Monty x