Road to Eurovision: Semi final 2

Ah the relief of not being the ones packing your bags for the far flung climes of home!

The 18 countries picked for semi final two no doubt watched the losers of semi final one shuffling off into the cold dark night of Eurovision oblivion, where not even a candle, let a burst of fire lights the way, and glitter is unknown and unloved,  thinking to themselves – “Thank the lord, that’s not us!”

Yet. That’s yet, people. Do not get carried away for tonight European time you face your music maker and only ten of you will be able to skip backstage, thrilled that all those sleepless nights sewing sequin-covered goat costumes, and practising the bazuki have proved their worth.

For the rest of us, rejected by all of Europe (try not to take it personally), there is no choice but to go home. If you live under a repressive regime then get ready for the cold hard lights, and freezing nights of the gulag for letting down the fatherland/motherland/weird dictator-ruled feudal kingdom while those of you in democracies can look forward to menial jobs cleaning toilets or being locked in a corporate cubicle for the rest of your life, your dance moves but a distant painful memory.

Gosh doesn’t losing sound like a whole heap of fun?!  All the more reason you need to sing your hearts out, delight the good burghers of Europe and live to sing another night. This is who I predict will be doing the “I won’t be beheaded at dawn for shaming my country” dance of joy and jellybeans…the rest of you should just look away…

Norway: “Stay” by Tooji
It sounds sadly like a million other Eurovision entries past, and more pop hits than I can remember but when was originality ever a fatal curse? He will romp into the grand final still bouncing like a maniac.

Sweden: “Euphoria” by Loreen
I have picked this one to win the whole shebang from almost the word go. This is as perfect as pop gets sung by a woman who knows how to deliver it perfectly. Why even bother turning up to the semi final really? (Um, not serious there Loreen, you kind of have to… yeah I hear you, you’re ridiculously talented with an awesomely catchy song but them’s the rules I’m afraid.)

Sweden

 

Portugal: “Vida Miha” by Filipa Sousa
Highly overwrought yes but I have decided after repeated listens (think I have the Eurovision version of Stockholm Syndrome) that it conjures up romantic images of drinking port wine in an intimate cafe somewhere in the back alleys of a trendy part of Lisbon. So yes I am letting this through because it is making me having fantasies of Mediterranean nightlife. There are worse reasons to vote for a song, you know…

Bosnia & Herzegovina: “Korake Ti Znam” by Maya Sar
Another woman who needs more therapy than a legion of Sigmund Freuds can provide in several life times but the song is heart bracingly beautiful and as moving as they come.

Malta: “This is the Night” by Kurt Calleja
Once more to the recycle bins at the recording studio my friend! This has been around the musical block more times than a hooker on a bad night but it’s upbeat, insanely catchy and the singer wears suit. You wouldn’t vote against a well dressed young man would you? Of course not.

Ukraine: “Be My Guest” by Gaitana
Taylor Dayne’s clone, far from being a laboratory casualty is alive and kicking and belting out this pounding dance song like her life depends on it… I will vote for it just as soon as I take it off repeat…

Estonia: “Kuula” by Ott Lepland
A ballad yes, which shouldn’t be ragingly popular in recession-laden times since presumably everyone wants to dance and forget their troubles. But I suspect this is so moving and beautifully sung that everyone will stop zipping across the dance floor long enough to cast a sweaty vote in its favour.

Belarus: “We Are the Heroes” by Litesound
This song has all the originality of those awful jokes you find in Christmas crackers, and is yet another song channeling that particularly Eurovision blend of Oprah-like positive exhortation and giddy self-absorbed arrogance that still manages to sound cheery and boy next door lovely. It’s life span is limited but it should make it into the grand final before the charm wears off.

Belarus

Bulgaria: “Love Unlimited” by Sofi Marinova
It’s back to the 90s with this bouncy fun number but I care not. It’s catchy, it’s sung in Bulgarian which I don’t speak so it can mean whatever I want it to do – is she doing her washing? Walking the dog? Mourning her lost lover? So much imaginative fun to be had! – and sung by a woman with a great set of pipes. This must do well or my investment in retro pop stocks will all be for nothing.

Serbia: “Nije Ljubav Stvar” by Zeljko Joksimovic
This man knows Eurovision. He practically is Eurovision – he’s written two Top Ten finishing songs in 2006 and 2008, been a runner up in 2004 and yes even hosted the event in 2008. So I think he knows his way around the sort of song that will attract the punters and I think this has a good chance. Not to my personal taste but then last time I checked I don’t speak for all of Europe who I think will love it.

So let the guessing begin? Am I even close to calling it correctly? Will Europe even care? Doubtful, but it’s fun trying to second guess then anyway  and seeing how close I get to the magic ten guesses right.

Whatever my strike rate, there will 10 happy glittery shiny people and eight people dragging their props behind them, and a big bright grand final to look forward to!

One thought on “Road to Eurovision: Semi final 2

  1. Hi, reporting in for the last time before I arrive in Sydney for THE PARTY OF ALL PARTIES!!!!!
    Due to internet lockdowns, not having access to my laptop after I finish this post etc, I will be making my last comments re Oooooorovision here; face-to-face dialogue will take place once I land in Sydney tomorrow morning!
    I’m expecting SparklyPrettyBriiiight will post his Top 10 picks for the final after the 2nd semi-final takes place tonight (Australian time). Due to my not-crash-hot record of being able to pick the winners (because I’m usually judging songs on the QUALITY of the singer and lyrics – I should know better for Oooorovision!), I’ve decided at this point in time I can definitely make my Bottom 10 predictions (ie of the entire field facing semi-final-land). These are the songs I’m NOT expecting to see in the finals. One caveat is that obviously the 1st semi-final was screened last night. SPB can confirm my picks for the 1st semi-final so I’m not gaining an advantage for citing my bottom 5 picks from the 1st semi-final.
    My intention for a Bottom 10 has gone awry due to the appallingness of the 2nd semi-final picks. I can’t find much grace to give some of the songs some leeway so it appears my Bottom 10 has expanded to a Bottom 13…strange that!!!!!
    So, taking it that I would choose 5 songs from each semi-final to go into my halloed Bottom 10, the countries I don’t expect to go through to the final are:
    1st semi-final: Belgium (lame as), Israel (70s retro that didn’t inspire), Austria (loved the humour of it but didn’t think Europa would), Latvia (good grief, so much schmoozing) and Switzerland (seeing as I was trying to pick a Bottom 10, this entry could be dropped out of my picks to at least make it a Bottom 12. I’m not saying this is a great song but more of the 2nd semi-final entries put this one in the shade in terms of being awful).
    2nd semi-final: The Netherlands (hoping that the indian feathers DON’T get this one over the line), Portugal (so forgettable), Croatia (ballad, need I say more), Georgia (if Europe’s sense of humour kicks in, this might get in but it’s on my list for a reason), Estonia (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz puts me to sleep); and now for my additional picks because I couldn’t fit all the awful songs into a neat 10 – Belarus (so run of the mill, maybe the good looking guys factor might get it through), Bosnia & Herzegovina (falling asleep ballad, remember there’s no accounting for quality) and FYR Macedonia (goes nowhere).
    I’m sure there are a few more ‘shouldn’t be in the finals’ songs in the mix but Ooooorovision is there for a reason and ALWAYS throws up surprises. It won’t surprise me that I might see some of my Bottom 13 picks in the finals. Oi vay! The 2nd semi-final should be very interesting!!!!!
    Shall see you tomorrow at the Oooooorovision Party! So exciting!
    Alice
    PS Finland was robbed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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