Saturday, May 12, 2018

Lisbon 2018 - final!!

It's on ... !! I have to write this on my phone so we'll see how it goes. Will be shorter than usual. :-)

Fado stars! Interesting, we never see this in Norway. Then some other performers we never see.

The flags being carried, I love that. But it's not the performers carrying them, it's ... sailors ... But here they all are. Great way to present them. Aw, our little hobbit.

KAS doesn't like the presenters. I don't actively dislike them ... but I've already forgotten their names. o_O

Ukraine - Under the Ladder. Opening with weirdness. Cute kid. Confident on stage. A good opening to the show. Probably a little too weird though.

The postcards are good this year.

Spain - Tu canción. Sparkly! And very heartfelt. A very sweet song, and charmingly performed. But probably with no chance to win since this slow ballad style is not the kind of song that will win this year.

I managed to get my computer up and running so yay, no more blogging on my phone. :-)

Slovenia - Hvala, ne!. This is one of the songs that have been growing on me. It's probably a little too odd but it certainly stands out. And the singer is very confident on stage. I like it, the Slovenes can be proud this year, however it goes. Probably not super well.

Lithuana - When We're Old. Very divided opinions here on this song. I quite like it, I think it's sweet. Quiltoholic thinks it isn't the worst she's heard. KAS hates it and trilltrall (her husband) also hates it. He thinks it should be used as the background music for a TV ad in Switzerland. For euthanasia. :-D So we're not rooting for this, I guess.

Austria - Nobody But You. This was performed very well in the semi. Quiltoholic accidentally brought home an Austrian flag so she is rooting for this just for that. It's good, a straight up pop song that you could hear on the radio any day. Unlike a lot of Eurovision entries, if we're honest. Well performed. But probably too ... square? to go all the way. It doesn't really have that extra little something. Although it is quite catchy, especially the chorus. I don't know.

Estonia - Forza. Ooh, now we'll get to see the giant dress. We hardly saw anything at all of it on Tuesday. I like this song a lot ... it stands out because it's sort-of-opera, but it's not too opera, so people can listen to it even if they don't like opera. It's catchy. This could do well. The dress is pretty impressive ... people will remember the dress if nothing else. :-D

This is really good for us, anyway, because we're next, and our song will really stand out because the genres are so different.

Norway - That's How You Write A Song. I wasn't too impressed with the performance on Thursday, but it's better now, quite a bit better. And he has so much enthusiasm and confidence on stage. Good chemistry with the dancers too. Ooh, and fireworks. Much better than Thursday. We can be very pleased with this. Our commentator says that Alexander will be 32 on Sunday "and we know what he wants for his birthday" ... yeah, but I don't think he'll get it. ;-) But we'll see. We're definitely a contender this year, I think.

Portugal - O jardim. Well, of course they don't actually want to win again this year ... and they won't, so that problem's solved. This is exactly the type of song that is least likely to win this year. It's very sweet and beautiful, but it's not a winner. This year. Very pretty. Like a lullaby. Time to go to sleep ...

A visit to the green room. Oh wow, look at her dress. It's made of mirrors. I don't remember her name.

United Kingdom - Storm. There was an English guy at my book club last night who had never been there before, we talked about Eurovision ... I said that I didn't think their song was so totally shitty this year, he said no, it's not totally shitty, but it's really shitty. :-D I don't think so actually. I like it. I think it's catchy. The presentation is good too. Just SuRie and these lighting effects. But OMG!! A guy got on stage and grabbed her mike! OMFG! Wow, what a pro she is though. She's visibly shaken but she's carrying on like nothing. Wow. WTF was that. I'm going to send her a sympathy vote just for that.

Serbia - Nova deca. This has been really slammed in this country, several articles I've read here with reviews have been crazy negative about this entry. I quite like it though. It's probably a bit too specific to go all that far but it's going to get a lot of Balkan votes. Good for them for showing their culture like this. More entries should be like this. Looking forward to Denmark ... ! :-D

Germany - You Let Me Walk Alone. I like this song. It has a great message, a good melody, a catchy chorus, a good singer. Germany is usually the 2nd best of the Big Five, after Italy. This is another strong entry. But it's not a plus to go straight to the final, it's really not.

Albania - Mall. I was really surprised when this got through from the semi ... especially when Azerbaijan didn't. They had such a bad slot. :-( This is a very Eurovisiony entry. A little more rocked up than your standard entry, but definitely fits right in. It's one of the best entries Albania's ever sent, I have to give them that. Not at all bad. In fact quite good. Why was I so surprised on Tuesday? o_O

France - Mercy. I wasn't too into this song the first time I heard it, but it's really grown on me. I really like it now. It has a beautiful melody. (Unlike the singers' outfits.) It's quite catchy and it's very French, although not in-your-face French (I'm looking at you, Ireland). I like this a lot. I hope it does well. It quite probably will. But again, it's not a plus to go straight to the final.

Czech Republic - Lie to Me. This is not at all my style but I still kind of like it. The chorus mainly. Young people may probably like it a lot? It won't get a lot of votes from us, that's for sure. It's quite a favorite but I personally don't really see why. It can't have any wide appeal. But kudos to the Czech for branching out and thinking outside the box. :-)

Denmark - Higher Ground. One of my favorites. The melody is so great, a wonderful flow to it, a catchy ballad. Quiltoholic is rooting for countries with red and white flags tonight, so she's crossing her fingers for this one. The performance is too tentative though. A little better than on Thursday, but still. It doesn't pack enough of a punch. But we're singing along. :-)

Australia - We Got Love. trilltrall is rooting for this. Me too, because we have super cool dinner plans for when Australia hosts. They're bound to win sooner or later. This may be their year. KAS says no, this isn't good enough. But then who is good enough?? KAS says she doesn't know, she only knows who she thinks won't win. But she thinks everyone won't win! That doesn't compute, someone has to win. :-D It may be this. I like it a lot. And the audience does too. Her performance is much better tonight than in the semi. She's much less nervous, for obvious reasons. This is definitely a very serious contender.

A little more chitchat. Flirting in the green room. Paying tribute to Lys Assia. Aw!

Finland!! OMG Finland. Monsters! I have to pay close attention. We didn't get to really see this on Tuesday, we mainly just heard it. Oh wow, they are spinning her around. There were lots of cheers on Tuesday, we didn't really see what people were cheering for, but we see it now. What a show. And what a great song. My vote goes to Finland, 100%. I can't help but think that they have a really chance.

Bulgaria - Bones. Probably the most, shall we say intense song this year. A striking entry. I like the song a lot, but this performance is a bit off-putting for me. I don't know ... the song is good, but as a whole I don't really believe in this entry. But this year I really know absolutely nothing.

Moldova - My Lucky Day. The first time I heard this I thought WTF ... ! But it has really grown on me and I wasn't surprised to see it make its way through from the semi. I think they have the chance to do really well. This is so much fun. It would be absolutely hilarious if Moldova actually won with this ... !! :-D

Sweden - Dance You Off. Quiltoholic figures this is a good time for a bathroom break. I'm not a fan, but I'm staying in my seat. It's the same song they sent last year though. Sweden is so annoying. And now they're trying to give us epileptic seizures too. What a douchey kid the singer is. At least he has his jacket on properly now. In their national selections I just wanted to smack him upside the head. I cannot believe that this can possibly win. This is techincally good but I still don't like it.

Hungary - Viszlát nyár. My least favorite of this year's finalists. I don't believe in this song's chances at all. It's kind of catchy, but I don't see how this is the kind of thing people tune in to the contest to watch. People want to have fun on Eurovision night, and this is not fun for the majority of the audience, I think.

Israel - Toy. This entry was not performed well on Tuesday, we thought. We could hardly hear Netta's voice, it was quite disappointing considering this was one of the big favorites. It sounds better now, much better. But this will have to rely on the younger segments of the audience to take it anywhere. And I wonder if this will get great results from the televotes, but not at all from the professional juries. It'll be so exciting this year! :-)

The Netherlands - Outlaw In 'Em. Not at all the type of music we expect to hear in Eurovision. Not at ALL. :-) But precisely that makes it stand out. And the performance is excellent, very professional. But I don't think this is what the audience is looking for either.

Ireland - Together. Ryan broke the curse and got to the final, but now what? It's a sweet and charming ballad. I like the presentation ... I like the way they've recreated the video. Even with snow. But this is exactly the type of song that is not going to win this year. Also it does get rather repetitive. KAS hates it. :-)

Cyprus - Fuego. Ooh, what an outfit ... !! Sparkliest outfit of the night. We didn't get to see the outfits when we saw the show on Tuesday. This is one of the big favorites tonight, but I have to say that IMO, Australia beats this hands down when I compare them tonight. But this has an excellent slot though. I'm so confused ... !! And now there's fire ... ! The audience in the arena loves her. Maybe the TV audiences will too? But no, now I'm rooting for Australia against this.

Italy - Non mi avete fatto niente. This has grown on me too. I'm not too crazy about this kind of message in the contest ... and their performances are a little too intense for me too. And they went straight to the final, that is not a plus. But the song is catchy, it has a good beat. We'll see. I know nothing.

Start voting now!!!

The first runthrough of all the songs ...

OK, I voted once for Denmark, three times for Australia and five times for Finland, and once for the UK out of sympathy ... and respect for SuRie's professionalism. My duty is done. Fingers crossed for ... I don't even know who at this point. :-)

Interval entertainment. No sign of Salvador. I guess his doctors don't want him to participate. :-( Should we know who Branko is?

Second runthrough.

Some more bad jokes from the presenters ...

A recap of Portugal's Eurovision history. Interesting and entertaining. :-)

Chatting to audience members ... and to the winner of Junior Eurovision. Aw, she's singing Amor pelos dois.

To the green room with the delegations, reminding us that the voting will end soon ... and Salvador!! Yes!! Oh, I'm so happy for him. I have a close relative whose life was saved by transplantation, it's an amazing technology. Salvador looks healthier now than a year ago. He's gained a little weight. Aw, he's dancing. To the extent that he ever dances, I guess. So sweet! He really does look so much healthier. And he has people on stage with him who are probably super famous but that we have never heard about. :-) Ooh, Amor pelos dois! So sweet. :-)

Third runthrough.

Voting is over! Eep! And it's already time for the jury group votes. This is so crazy exciting! I have NO IDEA how this will pan out. I think the winner will be one of these:
Israel
Australia
Cyprus
France?
Estonia?
I have no idea ... !!

Just as long as it isn't Sweden. What is wrong with the jury groups?? I hope the televotes will sweep the Swedes off the metaphorical table. KAS is profoundly shocked that Lithuania is ahead of Denmark.

The jury groups seem to really like the Israeli entry. I'm surprised, I hadn't thought they would. And Austria is doing so well. Imagine if it comes to a showdown between Israel and Austria ... ?? o_O

That guy who's going to give us the Australian votes looks like he's animated.

WTF is wrong with people! Stop giving all these points to Sweden!! >:-(

I am cheering for Austria now! A thousand times rather Austria than Sweden. But the televotes can change everything. And they probably will.

The twelves are being rather democratically distributed tonight ... ! :-)

Austria has got to beat the Swedes. We are in shock. Waiting with bated breath for the televotes ... !!

The jury votes are in. Austria in the lead and Sweden right behind them. Israel third. How is this possible?? Sweden second?? But now it will all change ... very soon we will get the televotes and then we will see. I have literally no idea how this will end.

Australia totally bombed!! OMG!! I'm shocked.

Sweden are screwed!! YES! We LOVE the people of Europe!! :-D Finland is also screwed but I don't really care anymore, as long as Sweden is out of the running. OMG. This is so exciting.

Austria's out too! OMG! It'll be Israel or Cyprus then? OMG! Denmark still hasn't been mentioned ... :-o

Germany's out! OMG! Israel will probably crush everyone. But anything can happen. There's Denmark. They did amazingly well!

This is so even. It's so exciting. OMG. Israel or Cyprus?? Or in some crazy turn, Italy? OMG.

Israel or Cyprus.

Israel!

OK, out of the two of them, we preferred Israel. And Sweden didn't win, at all, they didn't come anywhere near. So we're relatively happy. :-) And Netta is beside herself with happiness, that's nice to see. :-)

Two thoughts now: What did Salvador think about handing the trophy to Netta? :-D She's not exactly his favorite. In a way she is everything he said in Kyiv he didn't like about Eurovision. BUT at the same time they are both kooky outsiders, in different ways. Celebrate diversity!! :-)

Another thought: The splitting of the votes really highlights how incredibly different the professionals and the regular joes see this. It's really very striking.

Actually, two more thoughts: I cannot believe how badly Australia did ... !! :-o

Lastly, I feel soo sorry for the people who are going to clean up the arena now. Not only will they have to pick up fifty kilos of confetti from the floor, but all of that confetti will literally have to be picked up and not swept up, since it will be practically glued down by all the spilled beer. On Tuesday, the floor was so sticky that we had to pull our feet off the floor as we walked out. :-)

Congratulations to Netta and to Israel!!! :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lisbon 2018 - second semi-final

It's on ... !!!

Tonight I will see more of the show than I did on Tuesday, and I will even get to hear what the hosts are saying. :-) SO excited for this. The show on Tuesday was great and I'm sure it will be amazing tonight too. The stage looks great, I love what they've done. :-)

The hosts are explaining how and when to vote. I can vote tonight. :-o I 100% support that we can only vote after all the songs have been performed. Ooh, our song will be # 1500! Coolness. # 1000 was Ireland, I remember.

We're first, unfortunately - it's a lousy slot. But I'm certain we'll get through though. Oh, there's our little hobbit. How does he not age???

Norway - That's How You Write A Song. It's a fun entry, a very catchy beat, and guaranteed to be well performed. He can't really sing, but it's not a singing competition. :-) Nothing's going wrong technically ... and there's the violin, and fireworks. Hmm. I'm sure we'll get through to the final BUT I'm not sure I totally believe in this. Doesn't strike me as the winner. I could be wrong though. But it's a good entry and I'm happy with it. He does a great job on stage, as always.

Romania - Goodbye. Oh, they've kept some elements from the original weird performance. OK. Not sure what to say about this. It's Romania, so I expect them to do well. I usually like their entries. And this has a good chorus. But I just don't feel it for this one. I don't know, they're distracting me with the weird presentation. o_O

Serbia - Nova deca. Oh, I want this to do well! One of my friends who I will be watching the final with is Serbian and it would be so cool to have their song in the show. I also actually really quite like the song. :-) It has just the right level of drama. People in the Balkans are going to LOVE it. :-D

San Marino - Who We Are. Noo, they brough the robots! OMG. Just go straight home. It's kind of a shame because the song is kind of catchy. I mean, it's not the worst they've ever sent. Well, it's a total ripoff of Heroes, so how bad could it be. And anyway, nothing can be worse than The Social Network Song. But this is ... no. Just no. Please, go home. At least don't sing to the robot ... ! :-o

Denmark - Higher Ground. I really like this song. It has a great beat, the melody has a flow to it that I really like. I don't know how the viking theme will go down with Europe as a whole though. Maybe they will think it's exotic. The singer should definitely strike a chord with some though. I mean, Game of Thrones fans? I don't think he's singing super well tonight. But the presentation looks good and the beat is definitely coming through. Good luck to them! :-)

Russia - I Won't Break. Julia Samoylova on the ESC stage at last! I like this song, but I liked the one last year better. They've made use of her handicap to build her up into a mountaintop. o_O And dancers, so at least someone is moving around. Hm. I do find her inspiring, in that this is her career, with such a tremendous physical handicap. I do NOT approve that she claims her illness was triggered by a polio vaccine ... !!! >:-( The song is quite striking and I'm sure we will see this again on Saturday.

A trip to the green room, talking to our little hobbit, and the robot. o_O And the Danish vikings.

Moldova - My Lucky Day. Is it really, though? I'm not completely sold on this. On the other hand it is a super fun entry ... and people are looking to have fun tonight. :-) They've got good chemistry on stage and a fun and creative presentation. I think they will get a lot of points from the televote, but not so much from the jury groups.

The Netherlands - Outlaw In 'Em. Well, this is at least a song that stands out. :-D It's Alexander Rybak's hands down favorite this year, apparently. I wasn't sure about it at first but it's grown on me. It's really catchy. And it's a great performance. The best so far tonight. Would be very surprised if this doesn't get through.

Australia - We Got Love. Ah, Oz! Another strong entry from down under. Not my favorite of the Australian entries, but definitely a good one. She's really getting the arena going. Ooh, and fireworks. I'm not a big fan of her dancing ... but she's got lots of confidence on stage, it's a good performance. Another shoe-in for the final.

Georgia - For You. My friend who hosts our ESC dinner parties is a big fan of Georgia, ever since Visionary Dream. I hope they get through, for her sake, so she can cheer for them on Saturday. :-D I also think their decision to finally sing in Georgian should be rewarded. Also their bringing this genre to the contest. And this is quite a powerful melody too. Hm. Best of luck. :-)

Poland - Light Me Up. I'm not a huge fan of this one. I guess it's catchy enough, but ... I don't know, this just doesn't do it for me. The Polish entries rarely do. Nothing against Poland, though. I just don't get anything about this one.

Malta - Taboo. I'm not a huge fan of this one either. I do hope the Maltese manage to win one day though. They would be insanely happy and put on a fantastic show in Valletta. But not in 2019. I was wondering how they would present this. I'm not really a fan of how they've solved it. Also, I so disagree with the lyrics - we have to break the taboos before we all become animals?? We already are animals. I rather think it's having taboos that separate us from the other animals. o_O Well, at least the singer can actually sing.

Back to the green room. Oh, Samoylova's dream of seeing the ocean has come true. Good for her. I somehow doubt that her second dream will happen this week though. Mauboy's chances seem rather better. Pastel de natas for everyone!

Hungary - Viszlát nyár. Well, another genre is always good. I'm not super sold on this one though. Like I said, I think people tune in to this show to have fun. And this entry just is not fun. It's also not catchy, which is maybe even worse. I think the singer's performance may be off-putting to many viewers. It certainly is to me. >:-) Not convinced even all that fire can save this entry from oblivion.

Latvia - Funny Girl. A good entry, I guess ... it has a good melody and a good performer. I like her dress. But I don't know, this doesn't really strike me. It's kind of forgettable. Not optimistic about their chances.

Sweden - Dance You Off. Give You An Epileptic Seizure, more like. Soo typical of the Swedes that they have to have their own setup and can't just use what the host provides. And this is totally the same song they sent last year!! They've just slowed it down a bit and used a different singer. >:-( At least he's put his jacket on properly this time. In their national selections I just wanted to smack him upside the head. It's pretty catchy though, and the performance was good. And the audience really liked it. I just hope we beat them, that's all I ask ... !

Montenegro - Inje. Bad outfit and horrible posture. It's a beautiful song, a lovely melody, but the presentation is not good. Vanja looks like there's something wrong with him. Really not sure about this one. The song deserves a place in the final but the entry as a whole ... ?

Slovenia - Hvala, ne!. This one is kind of weird. The chorus is really weird. I kind of like it though ... in small doses. And I don't know what I think about the presentation. Talk about epilepsy-inducing. o_O But now what? The music cut out! Was that part of the performance? If it wasn't, she handled it like a pro. And the verses are really catchy. It kind of stands out, this entry. Maybe it will get through.

Ukraine - Under the Ladder. Opens strangely ... and continues strangely. Makes me think of vampires. Which I like, so that's good, I guess. Oh, I wish we'd had this slot!! This is weirdly intriguing. Piano, fire! Will not at all be surprised to see this on Saturday.

The hosts prepare to open the voting ...

Voting ahoy!

A runthrough of all the songs ...

It's almost hard to know what to vote for tonight. I mean, even though we didn't get to see Alexander perform, I'm glad it was the first semi that we saw, it was soo much better than this. This one is really weak.

More nautical jokes ...

Some interval entertainment. Looking back through the years, that's always fun. :-)

OK, I've voted three times for Denmark and twice each for Serbia and Australia. But seriously, I almost could have skipped voting tonight. There's nothing really good here. :-(

Now the hosts are getting into it with the revivals. Singing Euphoria! Dancing Riverdance! They're good sports.

Second runthrough.

Who will get through?? Let me think.

OK, some guesses as to who will get through:
Australia
The Netherlands
Norway
Sweden
Serbia
Russia
Romania?

Maybe Moldova?

Who won't?
San Marino
Poland
Latvia
Hungary

Maybe Denmark ... ?

Showing us some fun that can be had in Lisbon and its environs ... Aw, the Russian delegation by the ocean.

Now we'll learn about Portugal. Hah, inspired by Planet Earth. Cute. I was in Portugal this past weekend and I have already learned to recognize some of these things ;-)

The last three of the Big Five to be presented ... France first. I didn't like this song when I first heard it but it has actually really grown on me. It's actually really beautiful. Then Germany ... who wants to sing Fly on the Wings of Love to us. I like that song. More than I like the German song this year. ;-) But it's not half bad. The Italians are being made to sing Volare. Which isn't actually called Volare. The Italian song this year has kind of grown on me too.

The official results are in! :-o

Serbia!
Moldova! Hey!
Hungary! WTF?
Ukraine
Sweden. Duh.
Australia! Of course!
Norway! Whew!
Denmark got through! Yes!!
Slovenia
The Netherlands

Six out of ten. And some of the ones I didn't mention I thought probably would, so I could have done better, really. ;-) Oh well, my three faves, such as they are, got through. And our little hobbit did too. Looking forward to Saturday!!! :-)

Lisbon 2018 - some thoughts on the first semi-final

I didn't do a blog post for the first semi, but I had a very good reason - I was in Altice Arena in Lisbon, watching the show live. :-D I'm going to post some thoughts on it though.

Which will be coming up soon ... ! :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

ESC 2017 - Norway's national selection

Eep! I hardly dare to think how this will turn out. o_O Kind of fun intro ... would seem problematic that the singers can't sing very well, but this is Melodi Grand Prix, so obviously it's what we're expecting. I do like hearing old/oldish entries performed in a totally different tempo and style. :-)

All the contestants telling us how much they want to win. Yawn.

Very briefly presenting the international jury - or rather just showing them off. I don't like the idea of the international jury. I don't want us to cater to other competing countries, I want us to choose our own entry because WE like it. Grumble.

They would do better to present the Norwegian jury ...

Now on with the contestants ... !

Song # 1 - You Got Me by Rodrigo Pencheff, Gustav Eurén, Karl Eurén, Andreas Grube, Niclas Arn and Stella Mwangi, performed by Stella Mwangi and Alexandra Rotan. I like that one of the singers has also cowritten the song. As for the song itself, it's ... the best so far. >:-) It's pretty catchy. I like Alexandra's sections much better than Stella's, but oviously it's the contrast that they're betting on to make it stick in people's minds. Hideous outfits. They really are getting the audience going ... ! This is a really cheerful song that I think people will enjoy listening to.

Song # 2 - Talk to the Hand by Joakim With Steen, Jonas McDonnell, Magnus Klausen and Aleksander Walmann, performed by Aleksander Wallmann. Personally I would never even consider voting for an entry with this incredibly rude title. The title of the song is literally "I don't want anything to do with you". Well, fuck you too then. So I don't give a shit what this song is like. But unsurprisingly it is repetitious and has no personality. Boo.

Song # 3 - Scandilove by Stefan Törnby and Ida Maria, and apparently a bunch of others that NRK haven't listed on their website? Performed by Ida Maria. At least someone who is a seasoned performer and can give a professional performance. That's a good beginning. But I've never listened to her, and I almost never listen to the radio (only if someone else turns it on). Turns out she's a horrible singer. :-o And the song is awful too and her outfit AND performance is awful. She seems to have a bunch of fans in the audience. They should get their ears checked. Nil points ... !!! :-o

This does one thing for me and that is to make me wish I was watching Voice of the Century.

Song # 4 - Light Me Up by Nicoline Berg Kaasin, Johan Larsson and Emilie Adams, performed by Nicoline Berg Kaasin. However shitty this entry is, it's guaranteed to be a thousand times better than the last one, so yay. But sheesh, their outfits. At least this singer can sing a little bit. But the song is ... boring, more than anything else. Got repetitive real quick. Yawn.

Going to the green room to talk to some writers and some of the performers who are already done. Blather that only their parents care about.

Song # 5 - I Like I Like I Like by Tom Hugo Hermansen, performed by himself. :-) Performing his own song, that's a big plus for me. Now that's a proper Eurovision outfit! :-D Apparently this guy is a professional songwriter and he writes a lot of songs for Japanese boybands. I think I can tell. :-D Well, it's hardly Ibsen, but it's fun. It has a good beat and seems to be getting the audience going. But now it looks like they have too many people on stage - that's something I really take issue with, because it means that we aren't voting for a realistic presentation. NRK should not be allowing that.

Chitchat from the hosts ... they're going to talk to some of the international jury members. The Swede of course making completely OTT comments and portraying things unrealistically ... as expected. :-D

Song # 6 - Stop the Music by Charla K, Per Gessle and Alex Shield, performed by Charla K. Per Gessle competing is actually a pretty big deal. Let's see. Or hear. Hm. Voice OK. Sequined dress, that's often a hit. But a whole choir on stage ... !! Seriously, that's ridiculous. I can't in good conscience vote for this, because we can't send this. What we would send would be something other than what they are presenting. NRK, get a grip! The song itself is ... very nice to listen to, but forgettable.

Song # 7 - Tengo otra by Alejandro Fuentes, Angel Arce Pututi and Alejandro Pututi, performed by Alejandro Fuentes. Singing in Spanish, yes, that worked out so well for us last time we tried it. :-D But I am happy to see all kinds of languages in the ESC and he is after all a native Spanish speaker. So my mind is open to this entry. It is, however, closed to his blue hair. o_O As for the song, it's, well ... Boring. Just really really boring. Confetti cannot save it.

Song # 8 - Moren din by Vidar André Mohaugen, Jonas Thomassen and Martin Thomassen, performed by Vidar Villa. A song with Norwegian lyrics in the Norwegian ESC selections ... ! What's next, a unicorn? Apparently this is the song that is the most popular among this year's lineup in terms of streaming. Haha, hilarious lyrics. And only six people on stage! :-D Charming singer and a song with a good beat. And girls in sequined dresses playing trumpets. Hah, I like this one. :-D

Song # 9 - Who We Are by Kjetil Mørland, performed by Rebecca Thorsen. Same writer as A Monster Like Me, which is a beautiful song. And this girl can sing, wow! Great dress. Kind of a wannabe powerful ballad, but certainly beautiful to listen to. Not very memorable, I don't think. I'm sure it'll grow on me but it's not an instant earworm. But certainly one of the best of the night.

Song # 10 - That's How You Write A Song, written and performed by Alexander Rybak. Our little hobbit is back again ... !! :-o I am SO looking forward to this and at the same time dreading it. Because if it's not good then ... that'll be so bad. :-( But we know that he can do it, so maybe it'll be good? Even great? I'm loving his thoughts on why he decided to make his comeback. :-) Excellent intro! Although may be considered a little bit of a Heroes ripoff ... just in terms of the presentation. A great performance, very confident. A wonderful topic for a song. He's not a great singer but he's an excellent performer, lots of stage presence and extremely confident and professional. Now also with the violin too, naturally. :-) But now there's too many people on stage ... ! Oh noes! Will still vote for him though. Rybak ftw. He makes me forget my principles.

First runthrough ...

Going through some scores from the international juries. Complete with embarrassing praise from the various foreigners.

Rybak's doing well. He's going to win tonight. I feel it in my bones. :-)

I've voted five times for Rybak, twice for Stella & Alexandra and once for Rebecca. My civic duty done.

Talking to the Estonian jury leader. They've picked the right song but still, the hosts' conversation with him really shows up why we shouldn't have these international juries. "We're here to help you pick the winner" - hello, they're competing too! Why would they want to help us? o_O IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!1!

Back to the hosts, talking with Alexander and Rebekka. And visiting an MGP party in Trondheim. :-D And a choir serenading a woman at a bus stop because she watches the show, awesome. :-)

Interval entertainment - Anita Skorgan and Karoline Krüger playing piano and singing a duet. Wow. :-) And that song is so beautiful ... !

Various content from social media ... and another serenade to unsuspecting fans of the contest. Adorable!!

Revealing the top four. My guess:
That's How You Write A Song
Who We Are
You Got Me
Moren din, maybe?

Who We Are is in.
You Got Me is in.
Talk to the Hand is in! NOES!
That's How You Write A Song. Of course! The winner! :-D

Now there's a new system with the voting among the top four ... so now we're voting again. I voted five times for Rybak. :-)

Hah, now they're doing the serenade for an unsuspecting audience member ... ! :-D

Ah, now we're getting to see some of the entries from other countries that have already made their selections. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the Danish viking will do :-D And Finland ... o_O

Now to whittle the top four down to two ... I've voted five more times for Rybak. :-D Who We Are will get through this round, is my guess.

Yep.

Now the last two, and obviously That's How You Write A Song. :-)

Yes! Of course!

And now these two will get to perform their songs again.

Rebecca has maybe gained a little confidence :-) - she certainly gives an excellent performance this time. It's really a quite beautiful song. I will be happy to have this represent us in Lisbon. But I still want the hobbit to win. :-)

Another excellent performance from Rybak. Imagine all the extra press we'll get if we send him. Let's send him! I've voted five more times. :-D

Aah ... ! Aleksander Wallmann got knocked out but now he's back on stage - Jowst is here to perform last year's winning song. Which still isn't any better than it was a year ago ... :-D But it looks like they had a great time representing us in 2017 and of course that is a very good thing. :-)

And the winner is ... ooh, they have Rebecca's songwriter on stage, that's great. Because he is the one who is actually competing.

Alexander Rybak! Yes! But why don't we get to hear the actual scores?? New system OK, old system better ...

Yay for Alexander Rybak!! Now I can hold my head up high in Lisbon. Some of my friends and me are going to be in the arena for the first semifinal, and unfortunately Norway's competing in the second ... that's a shame, it would have been great to see Rybak on stage. But we're going home from Portugal on the Wednesday and KAS and I have plans on Wednesday night. Oh well, we'll have to figure something out here at home. I have an idea already ... ;-)

Congratulations to Alexander and to my fellow Norwegians!!! :-D

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Kyiv 2017 - final!!

IT'S ON ... !!!

Fantastic intro, I love it! :-D

We're watching at KAS and trilltrall's house, they've set up the projector and the big screen and we've eaten a Ukrainian dinner. SO ready for the show now ... !

Presenting all the artists on stage now, I LOVE it when they do that. But they're not carrying their flags, they're walking against a background of their flags on the screen instead. Very cool. Ukraine has done such a great job with the show this year. They've had a lot of help, I know, but still. Three great shows. :-)

I still can't pronounce the hosts' last names ... o_O

A hearty welcome and jokes that aren't super embarrassing. The contest has begun ... !

Israel - I Feel Alive. A pretty cool but slightly seizure-inducing presentation. A relatively catchy song, while you're listening. But not super catchy. Ooh, fireworks! And here's the Israeli tweak. An excellent opening to the show, but also pretty boring, in hindsight.

Poland - Flashlight. A beautiful young woman performing, that's never wrong ... and I can put up with the white dress since most of the others have been weeded out by now. >:-) A good voice but a boring song. KAS is ecstatic after glimpsing a dolphin in the background ... ever since Iceland in Moscow she's been obsessed with dolphins in ESC and now she has to vote for Poland even though she thinks the song is crazy boring. But wait!! It's not a dolphin, it's an orca. Whew, now she can vote for Portugal with a clear conscience. :-D Kasia really put her heart into the performance but I still can't see this going anywhere.

Belarus - Story of My Life. Kudos for singing in Belarusian for once. And this is a fun entry, at least while you're listening. Visually a little overwhelming. The performers are charming. But I think this is a little too ... offbeat, let's say, to go very far. But it's pretty sweet and they're very happy with their performance. :-)

Austria - Running On Air. Another pretty but forgettable entry. I like the presentation though. An adorable sparkly moon. :-) And the singer is charming and contagiously happy. The song is also a happy upbeat entry and I understand that people like it. But I don't think it has what it takes to really make its mark.

Armenia - Fly With Me. A beautiful song, well performed, and a striking presentation. Not what you'd call catchy but a striking entry. I have no idea how this will do but I'm thinking pretty well ... ? :-)

The Netherlands - Lights and Shadows. Sparkly ... !! The sparkly outfits may be the most memorable think about this entry. It's lovely to listen to and they're pretty good singers, but ... how are we supposed to remember this? I can't see this going very far. One of a great many pretty but forgettable entries this year. I feel like I'm going to do almost nothing but repeat myself tonight ... o_O

Chatting to the fans. :-)

Moldova - Hey Mamma. Probably my least favorite entry this year. No, wait, that's Spain. Second least favorite though. I could hardly believe it when this went through from the semi. trilltrall and Calyx are dancing though. :-D We have a multicolored disco lamp ... :-D Argh, this is actually kind of growing on me. They're loving it in the arena. OMG.

Hungary - Origo. I actually really like this. May be too unusual to go very far but I really applaud Hungary for sending this. And I would love to see them win one day, but not this year. They can win in Rome next year. ;-) But this is soo good though. I love the performance and the presentation and everything. This is actually one of my favorites this year. Beautiful. I hope they do really well.

And now - Italy!!! Occidentali's Karma!! I LOVE IT!!! :-D trilltrall loves it too, he's bought a fake moustache to wear in honor of Francesco. OMG I LOVE that suit. And here's the gorilla! In a bow tie! :-D trilltrall is making KAS dance to express his joy at the brilliance of this entry. OMG it's so good. Everything is fantastic. Performance, presentation, singer, backing singers, outfits, gorilla, everything. LOVE IT. They're loving it in the arena too. Rome 2018!!!

Denmark - Where I Am. Sheesh, going on stage after Francesco has to be a downer. Anything is going to be a disappointment now. And this is another pretty but forgettable song. At least she's not wearing white. Ooh, fireworks. There are soo many bland entries this year that I have no idea what order they'll end up in, but I can't imagine this going very far. Then again, some of them have to ...

Portugal - Amar pelos dois. Yay!! This is so sweet and beautiful. I really wish Italy had had a much worse entry because if Portugal should ever win they so deserve to this year. It's so cool of them to send a song like this and now that they have it's just perfect ... the right melody played on the right instruments, the exactly right singer, the performance is just right ... it's so good. I love it. But I love Italy more. :-(

Chitchat from the hosts, sharing a tweet.

Azerbaijan - Skeletons. This is a weird entry. The song is pretty, if you don't listen to the lyrics too much, but the presentation is really weird. It's a striking entry though. But I think quite a lot of potential voters may find it too weird. It's also not really what you'd call catchy. Definitely not another potential victory for Azerbaijan.

Croatia - My Friend. I hate that intro ... !! I just want to punch him in the face whenever I hear it. KAS just said spontaneously that she hates the intro and she wants to beat him up. So it's not just me. I really like the presentation, but the "two voices" thing is just an annoying gimmick. It would have been much much better as a duet. This is is just too much. I hope they bomb. Not an unrealistic hope.

Australia - Don't Come Easy. Boo!! Haha, Quiltoholic just announced that this is her scheduled toilet break. :-D I'm really disappointed in Australia this year. The least convincing entry since Sweden claimed that It Hurts. And the presentation is beyond douchy. If I could send a minus vote, it would definitely go to Australia this year. BOO!! We all hate it. >:-(

Timur in the green room. Haha, not at a hot tub party in the future. :-D

Chitchat with Alex and Volo.

Greece - This Is Love. Another pretty but forgettable song. The singer has excellent strage presence though. That's probably the most memorable thing about this entry. Ooh, and the rain of gold ... and the half-naked men splashing around, sure. :-D Not a contender though.

Spain - Do It For Your Lover. TRASH. The worst entry this year, hands down. Embarrassing. I would be ashamed to be Spanish tonight. I hope they don't get a single point. If they weren't one of the Big Five there's NO WAY they would be on stage tonight. Barf. The chorus has a beat that is just wildly annoying. Three minutes is too long ... !!

Norway - Grab the Moment. This is actually pretty brilliant, because our entry isn't all that, but compared to Spain it's going to look like a masterpiece. :-D OK, so the disturbance in the image is actually intentional. I didn't know that on Thursday. Weird. Hm. Well, this isn't half bad. It looks really cool and the chorus is pretty catchy. This could have been SO much worse. I'm not ashamed of this. The performance is good too. Clearly nowhere near the winner, but not an embarrassment either. And that's all I ask of our entry. :-)

A little entertainment now that we're over halfway ... and hahahaha, they've got training sessions with Måns Zelmerlöw! This is hilarious ... and there's Måns in the Swedish commentators' booth. :-D

United Kingdom - Never Give Up On You. Yawn. Another pretty entry that's so totally forgettable. There are so many samey songs this year and this is one of them. A kind of striking presentation, a lot of gold ... it's well performed, but it's just so forgettable. I don't see this breaking the British curse ...

Cyprus - Gravity. This is actually not half bad. A really good beat and a striking presentation ... although slightly seizure-inducing. But the song itself is head and shoulders above most of the rest tonight. trilltrall is loving it, he's dancing around. :-)

Romania - Yodel It!. Yes! I dig this. :-D This song is so much fun and they perform it so well. They're adorable. I love it. I may have to vote for them again. :-D This is SO MUCH FUN. And the sparkly cannon ... !! :-D Go Romania!! It would be beyond hilarious if they actually won with this. They won't, but still. This is so cool :-D

Germany - Perfect Life. Another pretty and boring song. Weird presentation. They may not come last again, but that'll probably be because Spain beats them to it. >:-) There is a good thumping background beat to this, it's actually kind of growing on me ... but I don't know, it's one in the crowd.

Timur in the green room again. Hm, a few glimpses from Eurovision Choir of the Year. Which might be fun, depending on the setup.

Ukraine - Time. Well, say what you want about this entry, it stands out from the rest of the lineup this year by virtue of genre and I really appreciate that. So many samey songs this year but this isn't one of them. This looked cooler in their national final though. Much better actually. Oh well. I'm sure they don't want to win again either anyway. ;-D

Belgium - City Lights. I like this ... !! Her voice is amazing and the song is ... not catchy, but fascinating. Hypnotizing. :-) The video was weird and boring but this presentation is really interesting. The lyrics are kind of depressing but the melody is really good.

Alex and Volo are making jokes to introduce Sweden. Blech.

Sweden - I Can't Go On. But they do go on, and on and on ... ! >:-( KAS is shouting abuse at the screen. :-D He's such a douche ... the whole entry is totally douchey. Blech. I dislike this song more and more every time I hear it. But it's so catchy ... !! In terms of craftsmanship it's a quality entry, absolutely. But it just has zero personality. It has no soul. I hate it. If this beats Italy and Portugal, that will be the incontrovertibl proof that there is no god. Barf.

Bulgaria - Beautiful Mess. Another small child ... but unlike the Australian child, this one is at least singing about something that someone his age can make convincing. So I approve. I also applaud his confidence ... all alone on stage without the comfort of giant portraits of himself in the background. It's a good performance, and a pretty good song ... dramatic. I know some countries where this will go down very well. ;-) But I can't really see this as a winner, despite what the rumors are saying. But good, definitely.

France - Requiem. Wow, that's some dress. I like this song actually. It's not depressing, despite the title ... it's actually pretty catchy, it has a really good beat. The presentation is a little strange ... KAS says she liked the video a lot better, I think I agree. This is weird. But I really like the song. trilltrall is dancing around with his champagne glass. :-)

An explanation of the voting and ... Verka opens the voting! Ahahaha, excellent.

First runthrough.

Now for the voting. I've sent 10 votes for Italy, 5 for Portugal, 4 for Romania and accidentally 1 for Hungary. I was going to type in 9 but my finger slipped and I hit 8 instead. No problem, I like them. :-)

Some interval entertainment. I already know what this is, it's Ruslana. She'll put on a show. Yep. In a chainmail minidress. :-D

Volo in the green room.

Second runthrough.

Some local color ... super modern with traditional instruments. Interesting. Weird, but cool. I like it. Yay for Ukraine. :-)

Timur meeting a fan from Australia ... who thinks the UK is going to win. Haha, he must have brain freeze ... he definitely looked like he did. :-)

Now introducing the Junior ESC winner. Aw, she's so cute.

Third runthrough.

And now another performance ... from Jamala this time. Interesting. Not brilliant

An Australian "fan" mooned the audience right next to Jamala ... ! Seriously ... !! I hope that guy gets banned from the ESC for life. And I hope the security guys beat the shit out of him. Fucker. >:-(

More explanation of voting. But we already did! Countdown to the end of voting ... which is now.

OK, Sand confirms that the jury votes from Friday are in and everything is in order. The special journey is ready to begin ... !!

Of course we got nothing from Sweden. Boo. But 12 to Portugal. I have a really good feeling about Portugal now. And maybe not such a good feeling about Italy? But Portugal ... ! This may be their first victory, it really may. So exciting ... !

OK, I can't keep up with all of these. o_O We're getting points both here and there actually. And Sweden just got their first point. Imagine if we actually beat Sweden ... ! :-D

Bulgaria's doing really well. But Portugal ... ! <3 p="">
Best joke of the night from the Danish presenter. Greetings from Denmark, where I am ... ! :-D And they gave Sweden their 12, what a shock. Dumbasses.

0 points to Spain so far. Ahahaha.
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Marcus and Martinus presenting Norway's votes. They're so tiny ... ! trilltrall likes their suits. But they're too big for them. :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">12 points to Sweden from Finland. OMG, seriously ...
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Portugal is doing SO WELL ... ! Wow. But this can totally change when the popular vote comes in. These votes we're getting now are the votes from the professional music industry types who are looking for craftsmanship, and who recognize craftsmanship. But afterwards, we'll be getting the popular vote, from people like my friends and me, who are lolling half drunk on their sofas at home making fun of people's clothes. So that can and probably will change things around a lot. It's so exciting, I can hardly stand it ... ! :-D

<3 p="">A Verka-out to diffuse the tension ... ! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Back to the vote count.
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Iceland gave Portugal their 12 and Salvador is looking like a deer caught in headlights. :-)
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Portugal is pounding Italy's ass ... ! :-o
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Australia gave the UK their 12 ... !! That got the biggest laugh of the night here. :-D When will they free themselves from their colonial master ... ? :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Germany gave us their 12 ... !! Well, the Germans like us a lot. We've had very tangible evidence of that over the years. :-o
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Wild cheers here for every 12 Portugal gets. But Salvador seems overwhelmed. I don't blame him ... !
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Sweden is ahead of Italy ... !! WTF. What is the world coming to. But the popular vote can overturn everything. And give Sweden the victory! Nooo ... !! Portugal must win!!
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Spain still has 0 points. YES!! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">OK, Portugal way ahead. But it's almost time for the popular vote. What will happen?? 
Metaphorically biting my fingernails ... !

<3 p="">Timur is in the box with Mr Sand :-D getting confirmation that the popular vote is in and correct.
<3 p="">
<3 p="">OMG my nerves ... Sand already knows the winner, I know it. OMG ... ! My nerves!
<3 p="">
<3 p="">We are ahead of Italy ... !! WTF??
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Spain got points! Oh noes!! But they'll still be last. That's something at least. >:-)
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Australia got pretty much nothing from the popular vote. :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">I'm really starting to believe in Romania now. And Sweden got BURNED!!! Ahahaha!!!
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Italy won't win!! OMG Portugal! Go Portugal! OMG my nerves ... !
<3 p="">
<3 p="">IT'S PORTUGAL ... !!! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">OMG. My computer actually crashed with literally 3 countries left to get their points. But Portugal won. SO HAPPY ... !! Salvador's thank you speech is so profound, he's adorable. And now he has to sing again. Portugal ... !! 49 attempts and they finally made it. Such a fantastically worthy winner. Kudos and congratulations. :-)
<3 p="">
<3 p="">A duet with Luisa ... !! OMG they are so adorable. They look so much like each other. A wonderful team. And an extremely well-deserved victory. Hearteyes!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Kyiv 2017 - second semi-final

Wheee ... !! :-D

Live from Kyiv ... ! :-D

This is the semi where Norway is competing so I will be able to vote tonight. Sorry that I missed the chance to vote for Portugal on Tuesday, but luckily I will have the chance to do that on Saturday. ;-) Tonight I really don't know who to vote for ... there isn't really one single song that I really like tonight. But I have to send off a few votes ... a token effort. Maybe Estonia ... ?

Nice suits on the guys tonight. And now they're playing us some Eurovision classics, Ukrainian folk music style. Awesome.

I really like the show so far, they've done a great job. Of course they've had an awful lot of help, but still. :-)

Ahahaha this is soo cool ... !! :-D

Info on how to vote. I think I probably have that figured out.

The show is on ... !!!

Serbia - In Too Deep. Another pretty young woman in a white dress. And singing a song that is pretty to listen to but not at all memorable. Like the three from Tuesday night, in other words. It's impossible for me to guess who will get through tonight because literally nothing stands out ... but this is not an impressive effort from the Serbians. Alas. Her voice isn't sounding very good tonight either.

Austria - Running on Air. Ooh ... he has his own sparkly crescent moon. The night's best prop. :-) But like Tijana, not a very good singer. A good presentation though. But a boring song that there's no reason to remember.

Macedonia - Dance Alone. Now this is a catchier entry than the other two. And Jana certainly isn't wearing a long white dress. ;-) The presentation is ... kind of cool, but a little seizure-inducing. I don't know. It's catchy, but a bit repetitive. Still the best so far.

Malta - Breathlessly. Another Faniello sibling! Oh look, she's wearing a long white dress. Is no one watching the other countries rehearse?? This song is quite pretty really, but it takes such a long time to get started ... and when it does it doesn't really go anywhere. Too bland. But pretty.

But now, Romania! Who will Yodel It! :-D Say what you want, but this is a really original entry in this lineup. I take back what I said earlier, there is one song that does actually stand out. :-D I've read some really negative reviews of this entry but I think it's very cool that the Romanians are trying something new like this. Far too few contestants are doing that this year. Way to go, Romania!! Not sure how it will be received but I think people will like it. It's fun ... ! and there's far too little of that this year, in the lineup at least. They've really got the arena going, and that tends to "come through the screen". Go Romania!! :-D

The Netherlands - Lights and Shadows. Ooh, sparkly ... !! Fortunately not three white dresses. ;-) I quite like this song, although I couldn't hum it if my life depended on it ... its back story is quite touching and I think they perform it well. It's a pretty song. But it's not catchy and it's not memorable. But pretty.

A stopover in the green room.

Hungary - Origo. Some gypsy music, and a fiddle. We'll see. This song has an interesting rhythm, and the singer has a good voice ... better than most of the others so far. And I love that the song has Hungarian lyrics. The melody is kind of flat, a little repetitive, but it's interesting. I like it. We'll see.

Denmark - Where I Am. A red dress!! :-D A red dress on a pretty good singer, with a good stage presence, and a song that yet again is pretty to listen to, has a pretty good beat, but isn't memorable.

Ireland - Dying to Try. Wow. The Irish singer is a boy, but he sounds like a girl. Kind of spooky. And there's the hot air balloon. Color-wise it's pretty cool, with the red and white balloon and the black and white background. It's visually appeaing. And at least there aren't any Celtic knots ... ! :-D A very bland song, IMO.

San Marino - Spirit of the Night. Yay, Valentina ... ! I'm almost starting to feel like it isn't really Eurovision without her. :-D But she's had better entries in the past ... Crisalide especially, I love that song. This song ... I don't know, it's upbeat and fast and that makes it stand out a little bit from most of the other songs tonight. But it's not very original and it gets a little enervating. Like they're trying too hard. And the presentation feels kind of oldfashioned. But good luck to them.

Croatia - My Friend. I wish they'd skip that quote at the beginning. But I guess not. It's interesting that someone who is supposedly so homophobic comes off as so ... well, gay, for lack of a better word. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This two voices thing is a weird gimmick, I don't know that it will appeal to people. I like the presentation, but the song ... the song I actually like less every time I hear it. Kind of hoping I won't have to watch this again on Saturday.

Norway - Grab the Moment. Don't just seize the moment! Seizing is for wimps! GRAB it! :-D OK, so this is my country. I'm not super proud to be represented by this, but everything else we had to choose from was worse. Quite a lot of it was much worse, actually. We're at least making this look pretty cool, if nothing else. And the mask is working, at least. Or maybe not? No, that was the other guy. Also seems like there are some problems with the picture ... but hopefully that's just on our national broadcaster's part. This song is fine to listen to, but bland and not particularly memorable. But nothing much else is tonight either, so I don't know.

Switzerland - Apollo. A yellow dress! Yay! One point to Switzerland for wearing yellow. :-D I like the song too but it's like soo many other songs tonight, pretty to listen to but nothing to remember. People may remember that dress though. :-)

Another visit to the green room.

Belarus - Story of My Life. Another white dress!! But this time accompanied by ... a lot of other white things that kind of distract from it. They're in a boat! He's got a guitar with lace on it. And they're singing in Belarusian, I like that. This song has a good vibe, it's charming. But may end up being too much of a good thing. But at least they're daring to be a little different. Dancing on the boat ... :-)

Bulgaria - Beautiful Mess. One of this year's favorites. I don't really see that, to be honest. I think it's a relatively interesting entry - the presentation is quite striking - but I don't think the song in itself is memorable at all. I'll be extremely confused if this ends up winning ... ! :-D But not at all bad, just not particularly good either, IMO.

Lithuania - Rain of Revolution. Not sure what to say about this. I think they're thinking that it's quite different and out there, but it isn't really. It's a little bit catchy in certain sections, and the presentation's flashy, but IMHO there isn't a lot to it. I'll be surprised if this goes anywhere.

Estonia - Verona. Now here's a song that there is something to. A slow start, but once it gets going ... ! OK, she's wearing a white dress, but I forgive her. This song has a striking melodic line that raises it head and shoulders above the other entries tonight. Estonia gets my vote.

Israel - I Feel Alive. Speaking of a seizure-inducing presentation ... o_O Ouch, his voice does not sound good at all. Worst singer of the night, closing the show? Well, the song has a pretty good beat, but I'll have forgotten it in five minutes from now. A very good looking singer though. ;-)

Now it's time to vote ... ! I am less enthusiastic than I would normally be.

First runthrough ...

I voted five times for Estonia and twice for Romania. I can't in good conscience vote for anything else in this lineup.

Verka is back to entertain us ... !! :-D

Aww, chatting with fans in the arena. :-)

Second runthrough ... but my civic duty is done ...

Voting's almost over ... !

"A brilliant and diverse array of performances" ahahahahaha ... !!!

And the interval entertaintment is ... contemporary dance. OK, absolutely not my thing, but what the hey, I'll watch it. :-) Apache Crew, what a bizarre name for a Ukrainian dance troupe ... !

A last pit stop in the green room ...

OMG Jana's boyfriend is proposing to her ... !!! A Eurovision baby AND a Eurovision wedding!! :-D Now I almost regret not voting for Macedonia ... ! :-D If they got through to the final that would really be the icing on the cake. Wow. :-D

Do I dare any guesses ... ? Hardly. As long as Estonia and Romania get through I honestly don't care about any of this other crap.

Oh, talking to France ... and Germany and Ukraine. No instant classics anywhere there either.

OK, so Estonia will definitely get through.
Romania I'm hopeful for more than optimistic maybe?
Also really hoping for Macedonia now. ;-)
Bulgaria
Hungary
Maybe Norway?

Hell, I don't know, everything except Estonia is no good. I would have a hard time picking ten finalists from this lineup.

The results are in and approved ... !

The last ten finalists are ...

Bulgaria. Yep.
Belarus.
Croatia. Damnit.
Hungary. Yep yep.
Denmark. Huh. Well, why not, they weren't any worse than anyone else.
Israel.
Romania!! YES!! :-D
Norway. OK, not surprising, we definitely weren't any worse than anyone else. ;-)

But come on, Estonia ... !!!

The Netherlands.
Austria! WHAT!

Estonia didn't make it! WTF!! I haz confuse ... !

Crap.

Oh well, at least Romania made it. But I haz disappoint. Boo, Europe!! >:-(

Happy people on stage, but no happy Estonians :-(

Still, all in all a good show. I have high hopes for the show on Saturday. :-)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kyiv 2017 - first semi-final

EEEEP ... !!! :-D :-D :-D

OMG, it's happening. We've been waiting for a year and now it's happening. YAY!! :-D

I'm really psyched to see what they've put together for us after all the problems they've been having this year. I'm sure it's going to be good. :-)

A few glimpses of Ukrainian traditions and then some very modern music, a good combo.

The hosts, whose names I can't pronounce! At least the last names. That's great, it's a Eurovision tradition. They look like a boy band. Some things are universal. ;-)

Rules and explanations. SO happy that we can't vote during the songs this year. It's the only way to go.

I can't vote tonight as we're not in this semi ... but that doesn't matter, because I only want to vote for Italy. Rome 2018 ... !! But there's a big danger to Francesco and his gorilla friend and it's coming up now ...

Namely Sweden, opening the show with I Can't Go On. It's pretty much the best song this year and I hate it. It's so super slick and overproduced, it has zero personality. The performance is also just ... embarrassing. Fortunately his voice isn't sounding too good tonight. But the song is very catchy, and most of the other entries this year are emphatically not. So I think this is the most serious contender this year. But I hate it and I would give a lot to keep it from winning. Especially since the Swedes will be beyond insufferable if they win again and tie with Ireland for most ever wins ...

I'll have to hope this very early slot will be their downfall, but at the same time they are opening the show, so I don't think it'll have that effect anyway. No way they won't get through.

Georgia - Keep the Faith. Very red! A dramatic and quite beautiful ballad, but like most of the other songs tonight, not very memorable. Although Tamara's performance is excellent and she's really putting her heart into it ... this is actually better than I thought it would be.

Australia - Don't Come Easy. I love having Australia in the contest but I certainly don't love this song. This kid is 17 but looks 13, and is wildly unconvincing performing this song. No matter how many times he tries, he can't outrun his past ... ?? Seriously? He hasn't even finished school! Gah. This is just too dumb. It can still do well since a hell of a lot of the audience can't understand English well enough to follow a 3 minute song. But it's also really boring compared to Australia's previous two entries and it's kind of freaky that most of their presentation consists of giant pictures of Isaiah flashing on the screen behind Isaiah. Here's hoping they'll get metaphorically punched in the nose this year.

Albania - World. Well, my hopes for Albania are rarely high, but at least Lindita can sing. Even though she's dressed kind of like a really tacky bride. o_O This is one of those songs that are really pretty and pleasant to listen to while they're playing, but that you forget as soon as they're over. There are SO MANY of those songs this year. Good luck, they'll need it.

Belgium - City Lights. Ooh, what will this look like ... ! She has such a cool voice. And their presentation looks so cool too. Wow! This sounds even better live than I thought it would. This is one of the few more original entries this year. And Blanche's performance will appeal to quite a lot of the audience, she's putting a lot of emotion into it. Good job, Belgium!!

Montenegro - Space. I've been really looking forward to seeing the presentation for this song. OMG what is he wearing. The audience in the arena love him! :-D Haha, I knew the skirt would come off. Ahahahaha!! This is why I love Eurovision! This is the kind of thing you ONLY see in Eurovision ... !! :-D Hahaha, omg, seriously. This will maybe do super well or it may totally bomb. I don't even dare to guess ... ! :-D

Info about the Eurovision app. I has it.

Backstage with Timur and the performers. Timur is kind of the girl this year. Hmm ... not a lot of cheers in the arena for Sweden ...

Finland - Blackbird. I love Finland, and I quite like their entry this year. It's rather typically Finnish. ;-) Ie slow and rather depressing. :-D But it's beautiful, I like it. And Leena's voice is perfect for this type of song. I'm sure a lot of people are really loving this song right now ... and most of them will forget it as soon as it's over. But there are many songs this year that are even less memorable and not this good, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Azerbaijan - Skeletons. What a weird presentation! Francesco won't be the only one with a dancer dressed unconvincingly as an animal. The song is pretty and enjoyable to listen to but also rather forgettable. The singer stands out a bit, maybe. But this is just one in the crowd for me.

Portugal - Amar pelos dois. One of my absolute favorites this year. I love that they almost always sing in their own language. With a song like this, an emotional ballad, it's such a huge plus because the singer can completely put his heart into it when it's his own language. He has a charming voice and the song is adorable, and really stands out from the rest of the lineup this year. The arena audience loves it. They have got to get through ... !!

Greece - This Is Love. Another pretty girl with a relatively good voice and a song that's pretty to listen to, but also forgettable. Not sure what more to say about this. Pretty, but forgettable.

Poland - Flashlight. Another pretty girl in white. I don't like her voice that much, for reasons I can't really put my finger on. The song is very dramatic but IMO also rather forgettable. The melody doesn't stick in your mind the way ballads can do sometimes. I have low expectations for Poland this year.

Moldova - Hey Mamma. One of my least favorite songs this year. Pretty much just dumb. And repetitive, which makes it annoying. But they're very happy and smiley and people will like that. Plus they have their saxophone player who is quite popular, but also annoying. Hopefully we won't have to sit through this on Saturday.

Iceland - Paper. What's with all the blonde women in white dresses this year ... ?? Not too smart, no one will remember which is which. The Georgians were smart to go with red. This song is also pretty but forgettable. Almost the entire lineup is like that this year. Makes it hard to guess how the various songs will do. This one can go either way, but it's really bland, it doesn't stand out in any way.

Czech Republic - My Turn. Are the Czechs cursed or can they actually not completely bomb in Eurovision?? Well, they've sent some real clunkers. They've done much better this year. But the song is still not very memorable. And her outfit is hideous. I wouldn't mind hearing the song again on Saturday but I'd rather not see that outfit ...

Cyprus - Gravity. Finally a non-ballad. And a man in black. :-D Slightly weird presentation, but cool effects. It's sounding better live than I expected. Kind of catchy. Not at all bad. This might do pretty well for Cyprus actually.

Armenia - Fly with Me. Another entry that I've been looking forward to seeing presented. Ooh, ethnic. And I like her outfit. I like the beat in this song ... it's a sort of unmelodious melody, if that makes sense. Her voice is pretty good, it's a pretty good performance, but I don't know ... The presentation isn't very creative. I don't know. Impossible to say this year, there's almost nothing that's really good this year.

Slovenia - On My Way. Omar's back in Kyiv! :-D I actually quite like his song from last time. But I like this even more. :-) It's a big dramatic ballad but also rather cheerful somehow. Ooh, I like this ... !! Hope he gets through to the final this time. ;-)

Latvia - Line. OMG, the last song already! Time flies when you're having fun. Agnese is dressed super weird, I honestly don't think that's a good idea. It distracts the audience from the song. A rather overpowering presentation like this does the same. But the song is rather original, for this year's lineup. Original in genre, but also repetitive in melody.

It's done!

Now info about voting which doesn't apply to Norway tonight. Alas. I wish I could vote for Portugal!! But I feel pretty confident I'll be able to do that on Saturday. ;-)

First runthrough.

Interval entertainment will be ... Jamala! Should be interesting. Flashback to Stockholm. Then an excellent performance of 1944, which goes down very well with the audience in the arena. An interview with Jamala.

Another pit stop in the green room.

Second runthrough.

The voting is winding down, 90 seconds left ...

Voting's over! Now for another round of interval entertainment while the votes are being counted. Verka! :-D And another performance from Jamala. Wow, what an outfit.

And now a little bit from half of the big five. Well, ca half. :-) Spain. I won't say anything about Spain. United Kingdom. A pretty song, but not very special. Italy!! YAY Italy!! I love this song. The presentation looks like it'll be fun. They're getting my vote, no question. :-D

The votes are in and have been counted! Jon Ola Sand confirms. Eep! Who will get through??

My guesses:
Sweden, definitely
Portugal
Belgium?
Montenegro?
Slovenia, I hope
Australia?

OMG I don't know ... !!

Now let's find out ... !

Moldova! WTF??
Azerbaijan. Sure, why not.
Greece
Sweden. Yes, of course
Portugal! Yes!! :-D
Poland
Armenia
Australia. Sheesh.
Cyprus
Belgium! Yes!

OK, so sending a blonde girl in a white dress was not a good idea ... ! :-D

Runthrough of the top ten.

I still can't believe I have to watch the Moldovans one more time.