Eurovision 2022: 15 best songs from the semi-finals
James R | On 14, May 2022
Tonight’s the night, as 40 countries compete in the world’s biggest music competition broadcast live around the world from Turin. Yes, Italy is host for the 2022 Eurovision Contest, following the country’s victory in 2021 with Zitti E Buoni performed by Måneskin, and standard this year is no less bold or eye-catching.
Graham Norton will once again be commentating on BBC One, which is broadcasting the ceremony at 8pm, with Sam Ryder’s Space Man leading the UK’s hopes to not get nil points again. But while there are 40 acts vying for the number one spot, other countries were also competing during the week across two semi-finals, which means that you’ll have missed out on several bangers and curios if you’re only tuning in for Saturday night.
We’ve gone through and singled out the highlights of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest so far, picking our 15 best songs from the semi-finals, all of which are available in perpetuity on YouTube. Read on below to get a taste of what’s in store for this evening’s final, plus the best of what you won’t get to see. (For a full list of who qualified and who didn’t, click here.)
Ukraine – Stefania
What Ukraine has had to endure in recent months is a devastating travesty, but international solidarity with its astonishing resilience is not the only reason why the country’s the current frontrunner for the Eurovision crown – and watching the Kalush Orchestra in action makes that clear from the off, not to mention the Sopilka solo halfway through.
UK – Space Man
That Sam Ryder’s in serious competition with Ukraine going into the final is a sign of just how good his song – and his voice – is, as the TikTok sensation gives it all he’s got. We dare you not to start singing along. For a week after listening.
Finland – Jezebel
Whether you get The Red Balloon or IT vibes from the opening of this bopper will soon be forgotten by the time the goth rock kicks in, with bright yellow anoraks, guitars, lighting and orbs that certainly isn’t just a load of balls.
Georgia – Lock Me In
You will, however, get IT vibes from this catchy steampunk number that features a clown-like figure in the background – but mostly wins points for its ingenious use of a miniature band inside a jack-in-a-box gizmo that’s like watching a Spike Jonze video unfolding live on stage. You won’t see these guys in the final, unfortunately.
Ireland – That’s Rich
Another surprising contender not in the final, Brooke’s marvellous pop bopper is full of energy and a sense of humour.
Sweden – Hold Me Closer
Sweden’s Eurovision quality track record is hard to beat and this year’s is no exception, with Cornelia Jacobs belting out a ballad in front of a giant, colour-changing sun. Simple and effective.
Poland – River
Some great lightning effects aren’t needed to back up this impressively sung number that’s stacked with genuine emotions. Intense stuff.
Serbia – In Corpore Sano
If you haven’t had enough of washing your hands in the past two years, well, this is the song of you – one of the rare Eurovision songs that’s dance tune, healthcare critique and creepy performance art wrapped up in one, all the while asking serious, probing questions about our wellbeing as the world tries to move on from the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Norway – Give That Wolf A Banana
Bananas. Wolves. An on-stage DJ. What more could you want?
Netherlands – Moving
If the answer to the above question is “more emotion”, then prepare to be absorbed by this raw, heartfelt number from De Diepte that’s backed up by some deceptively innovative lighting.
Estonia – Hope
Looking like the world’s greatest singing safari park tour guide, this Masked Singer winner has enough charisma to get the crowd singing along with his anthem for hope.
Moldova – Trenulețul
“Hey, ho! Let’s go!” Sometimes you just need to listen to a happy song about a train. Relax and soak up the Connor4Real vibes.
Austria – Halo
Can an Austrian couple ever escape from a spinning circular prison of light? Surprisingly not, despite the arena-filling energy that comes off them as they bowl through this catchy dance number. Also surprising, they didn’t make it to the final.
Latvia – Eat Your Salad
“Instead of meat I eat veggies and pussy” was the controversial opening line that saw the BBC apologising during the first semi-final. It won’t have to worry about doing so again at the final, as the song didn’t make it past the first semi-final, but that’s a shame, as this attempt to make going green “sexy” is instantly iconic, from its almost worryingly enthusiastic drummer and its silhouetted sax solo to the fact that everyone looks like they’re cosplaying as H from Steps.
Italy – Brividi
It’s hard to imagine a greater contrast to last year’s Italy entry, but this very sweet duet is a gorgeous bit of sentimental harmonising.