Out of the Eurovision semi-finalists, I liked (three from each semi-final):
- Montengro: Boney M’s Rasputin in Eurovision form, although not as good as that should sound.
- Iceland: a proper song and a rare naturally attractive singer.
- Bosnia: interesting song. Hard to say much more, which is unusual.
- Greece: just for the enteratinment value of the box thing with flag and the travellator and some good leaning by the backing group and the song wasn’t bad.
- Moldova: very catchy folky song with a man with some bizarre pole thing.
- Estonia. Atmospheric song and show.
Of these, only Montenegro didn’t go through, which is perhaps not unreasonable. It was the first one I scored, so I perhaps overrated it in my enthusiasm.
Conversely, some utter rubbish did make it through. Romania’s was appalling, as was Finland’s senseless attempt to re-create Daz Simpson (although it wasn’t so bad when he stopped his monotonous pretence at rapping during the chorus). Thursday’s semi-final was worse generally and maybe this explains why Lithuania and Albania made it through. Looking at my notes, there wasn’t actually too much that was better that didn’t make it through: Cyprus possibly.
Worth particular mention are the two Irish entries:
- Ireland. Luckily Carol Voordeman’s lame efforts came to naught, etc.
- Denmark. Sadly Ronan Keating with a mask on did make it through. It sounds like a Mr Keating song, the man sort of looked like Mr Keating, and his voice sounded like Mr Keating. None of these are good.
I haven’t really had a good enough listen to any of the Big Four’s songs, or that of Russia, although the French one looked intriguing. The UK entry is disappointing to say the least. I’m not his greatest fan, but I did think Mr Lloyd-Webber could come up with something better than the repetitive My Time:
It’s my time, my time, my time, my time, myyyyyyy time, my moment, this is my perfect moment…
I can see why he got Mr Rice to write the lyrics. Jade seems to be able to belt out a tune, however, although I still think we should have gone with the twins. I do have my doubts about putting Andrew Lloyd Webber on stage. Unless Europe is positively star-struck by his eminence, I wonder what his presence will add compared to Ukraine’s take on pole dancing (ladder-dancing inside large metal wheels) or the fire which probably got Finland through.
One more thing: there were a couple of strange trends. First, key changes are well down this year, which is very sad. Very sad, indeed. Second, the second semi-final had a weird glut of people playing cellos standing up with the cello off the floor with the big metal spiking waving everywhere (lots of violins and such like generally this year too). Maybe the Russians have less stringent Health and Safety rules. Very odd.
Prediction: Sweden. Although I am probably underestimating Norway. Both at least are from Scandinavia, which has been bloc voting since the before Eastern bloc emerged from behind the Iron Curtain. Greece might be in with a chance but I don’t think they are in a politically useful area. A few hundred miles north might have made all the difference. I’d be happy with Sweden (for the song) or Greece (for the show).