And so it’s that time of year again. Eurovision Song Contest time. Bonnie Tyler will be representing us this year, seen here looking like the Bride Of Chucky hanging out in a Cabin somewhere in the Cotswolds…
So how do the first 16 measure up? Here’s my thoughts as I watched them…
1 – Austria – The song was called Shine, and apart from a woman looking more nervous than an opening round X Factor contestant, the song was very much non-descript.
2 – Estonia – Birgit singing a song which translates as New Beginning. She wore a big floaty dress and sang a forgettable ballad.
3 – Slovenia – Hannah with “Straight Into Love”. Some odd men dancing dressed as Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles won’t rescue Slovenia’s effort (although Hannah’s tight pants might). Its very dance-y, which I expect will be the flavour of this year’s competition after last year’s winner…
4 – Croatia – Klapa singing a song which translates as “Misery”. It was very traditional and a bit of a mis-match of random blokes crooning. I can’t see it getting anywhere.
5 – Denmark – Emmelie de Forest singing “Only Teardrops” – This is the favourite to win the entire the competition. Some penny whistles and a lead singer who looked very much like Home & Away actress and Borat-lover Isla Fisher. I am going out on a limb right here, right now after only hearing 5 songs in the Semi-Final #1 to say that THIS WILL WIN…and don’t forget that being Denmark they will have a lot of friends giving them the high marks anyway, without everyone else scoring them high.
6 – Russia – Dina Garipova and “What If”. She won the Russian version of The Voice…but lets face it, absolutely ANYTHING had to be better than those Russian grannies last year…! Dina was out on the stage dressed very old fashioned, but the song was very much a “Lets all love each other” message which fits in with the competition this year and the “We Are One” slogan. It has a good chance of getting to the final and finishing top ten.
7 – Ukraine – Zlata Ognevich and “Gravity” – very strangely Zlata was carried onto the stage by a giant man and put onto a rock. Not quite sure what the meaning about that was. It was all very Danni Minogue. Not sure whether it will actually make it past this Semi-Final.
8 – The Netherlands – Anouk singing “Birds” – The Netherlands have an atrocious record at progressing to the Final…Anouk really isn’t doing much to help their cause with this either. It was like she was going for a mix between a haunting voice and…erm…Anastasia…but she hit neither.
9 – Montenegro – Who See singing a song called “Igranka” – they were dressed in Astronaut outfits and rapping in French whilst surrounded by strobe lights, before a cyborg-looking woman emerged from the floor and the astronauts pretended to walk in zero gravity…erm…yeah…that’s about it really.
10 – Lithuania – Andrius Pojavis and “Something” – A song which kinda felt like it needed the lead singer to move more than he did but he just stayed behind the micriphone and waved his arms expressively a lot. Actually not a bad song (in terms of Eurovision) but not sure it’ll make it to the final.
11 – Belarus – Alyona Lanskaya singing “Solayah” – she emerged from a huge disco glitter ball wearing what looked to be fragments of the said glitter ball. Actually quite a catchy song. Reminded me a lot of “Kiss Kiss” by Holly Valance. Could definitely see this hitting a top-ten spot.
12 – Moldova – Aliona Moon and “O Mie” – In a switcheroo, Aliona is backed by Pasha Parfeny, who was last year’s entry backed by…Aliona Moon! Aliona certainly sported a mad wave-like hairdo. Unfortunately the song is just a bit non-descript and seems to be lacking a certain punch. It tends to build up as if it’s about to go somewhere then never does, even if she did rise up into the hair, turning her dress into a Volcano (you have to see it to believe it)
13 – Ireland – Ryan Dolan singing “Only Love Survives” – Apparently the song has already been a hit in Sweden, which always helps their cause! Some mad topless drumming kicked the song off but it just didn’t come across as an Irish entry, more like a Greek Europop tune. But it did break into a bit of a bouncy dance number…clearly Ireland are trying to climb onto the success of Euphoriaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….will it work? I don’t think so…mid-table finalist no-doubt.
14 – Cyprus – Despina Olympiou singing “An Me Thimasi” – Wow…erm…Basically Despina looked like Caroline Flack wearing a seethrough dress…I bet that kid from One Direction just spat out his cocoa! Quite a boring track and cannot see it making the final, which won’t be a big worry to Cyprus really as they probably couldn’t afford to host the competition next year…
15 – Belgium – Roberto Bellarosa singing “Love Kills”. He won The Voice in Belgium (is that the future of our version of The Voice?). Some very strange dancing behind Roberto distracted from his singing a little. Two random women not really adding anything to the performance whatsoever. Might make top ten but won’t be a contender for the win.
16 – Serbia – Moje 3 singing “Ljubav Je Svuda” – Translated as “Love Is Everywhere”. An all-girl group wearing the oddest doll-like costumes and acting out a very odd scene with each other. Not quite sure where Serbia were aiming for with this…Will probably make the final though.
So, that’s the first 16 Semi-Finalists…and the ten making it through to the final are:
Moldova, Lithuania, Ireland, Estonia, Belarus, Denmark, Russia, Belgium, Ukraine & The Netherlands
Well…The Netherlands are in…finally…well played.
Tune in on Thursday for the second Semi-Final…and I am still convinced Denmark will win…The odds ain’t even worth it they’re that short.