So, I missed the opening, but of course I'm recording it, so I'll watch it later and update. ;-)
Bosnia. I like this entry. I like Dino. Not only because of his name. ;-) I've got some hopes for this one. The one thing I didn't like about it in their national final was the performance, his crazy dance moves and so on. They've changed it now, like I hoped, and it's much better. In fact it's really really good. Wahey! They're charming. :-) The only thing that can keep them out of the final is their pretty lousy slot. But they gave the show a great opening!
Austria. One of the countries I initially didn't have a lot of hope for. The song is kind of ordinary, and it's Austria. But this presentation is really appealing to me. An a cappella intro and her totally along on stage for so long - I like this. It shows confidence, which has appeal in itself. And it's quite original in the lineup this year. I love the little podium she's standing on. :-D And she has a good voice. There's hope for Austria yet.
The Netherlands. Another nation haunted by bad luck. Well, it's been partly their own fault. I've almost managed to block their entry from last year out of my memory. This year ... well, it's an infinitely better song. Not that that's saying much, but it's a pretty good song. And the singer can sing. In fact so far tonight all the singers have been pretty good. Unlike last night when almost everyone was awful. o_O I'm not sure what else to say about this country. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing special either. Good luck to them, it's not fair to say they don't stand a chance, but I'll be really surprised if they get through.
Belgium. Totally a cappella. A fun entry, but I rather suspect it'll be too weird. And a little too old-fashioned. I like the song, although it's not on my list of favorites this year ... and I like it that their entry is so simple. Even the Bosnians had to add some pyrotechnics. :-) But this is very simple and stylish. Except for those red pants. Parts of the audience may like this ... but probably not enough. Kudos to them for sending something different, though. But they should have been wearing outfits that matched better. >:-(
Slovakia. This year's contests first set of twins. Actually the best ones. But the song isn't much to write home about. It has a pretty melody, crappy lyrics (I believe in my life and try to learn every lesson/Now I see what I've fighted for - I am not kidding with that last verb), and pretty singers who aren't very good at singing. Worst so far tonight, in fact. Clearly the night's worst entry at this point. Their singing is pretty bad and the song is monotonous and repetitive. But they've got pyrotechnics, at least. Please, let's get rid of this asap.
Ukraine! Please please please, let this be a more normal presentation of this lovely song. I really like this song, so much. But the presentation in their national final was totally nuts. Fingers crossed!! ... Oh, wow. Wow!! It's totally different and it's so much better ... !! Seriously, this is beautiful. I love her dress. And I love the sand artist! Wow! This is so creative and so original. I love it. And the pretty pretty song and Mika's voice ... which could have sounded better, but she wasn't at all bad, really. Wow. Go Ukraine! If I could have voted tonight I would have voted for them. But I'm absolutely sure I'll get the chance to vote for them on Saturday. :-)
Moldova. I know someone's who's watching now ... !! :-) I know a couple of ladies who always support Moldova in the contest, regardless. They're both Norwegians. :-D This entry will clearly be pretty nuts, but I'm sure we all expect that from these guys. The song is pretty good, not as good, IMO, as their first effort in 2005. But this is still a lot of fun. Catchy. May be a bit too crazy-looking, though. But they may well get through, I have a certain hope for them. :-)
Sweden! Our brothers across the keel. Here's hoping everything goes well, so he won't take his dancers with him and walk out on us. :-D His singing isn't all that ... not as professional as I feel we've been led to expect by his braggadocio in the media. >:-) But the presentation as a whole is clearly very professionally put together. It's a bit young for my tastes, and he smiles too much for this song's retarded lyrics to seem even vaguely credible. But it's extremely catchy and I'm sure it'll get through. Aw, his window broke. Yay, I guess. :-)
Cyprus. I've got my fingers crossed for this, I like this song a lot. The melody's beautiful and I like the ethnic feel to it, which I with my limited knowledge of Cypriotic culture perceive to be genuine. :-) I love this guy's name! :-D And I don't think he's such a lousy singer as all that - I think he's doing a pretty good job, his voice works well with this song. Kind of crazy presentation though. But it works. I like this. Fingers crossed for Cyprus.
Bulgaria. Kudos to them for singing in Bulgarian again. I like that. I also like this singer ... she has a good voice and she's a really good performer, she has great stage presence and lots and lots of confidence. I like this presentation too. When I first heard it I didn't have much hope for this entry, but I like it more and more every time I hear it, and even though this performance of it isn't that original, there's certainly nothing wrong with it. My hopes aren't too high, but the Bulgarians can hold their heads up this year.
Macedonia. Finally a properly selected entry from Macedonia. Annoying song, but what will it look like on stage? Umm ... weird. He's a lousy singer, the tune is kind of aggravating and IMO it's really weird to be forcing elements of ballet and folk dance into this entry. Blech. It's been years since Macedonia's been in the final. Here's hoping for another year.
Israel. Yawn. This entry has, let's see ... a dull tune, a stupid title, a singer whose voice is surprisingly weak. And of course irritating visuals. I really can find almost nothing that appeals to me in this entry. I seriously hope it won't get anywhere beyond this, even though it's Dana. If it does get through, it'll be mostly or wholly because it's her. Sheesh.
Slovenia. Drama! And a kind of slutty outfit ... with gloves. Sweet. :-D Another performer who can actually really sing. They're all in this semi, all the shitty ones were in the first. :-D I like this song a lot while I'm listening to it, but it's rather forgettable. Still, a striking performance. I think my father's probably enjoying this. ;-D I wouldn't be surprised to see them on Saturday, but I think it's far from certain. At least they've picked a singer with some real talent, so kudos for that.
Romania. One of my favorite countries in the ESC. They've sent some fantastic entries. This one isn't quite up there, but it's still very catchy and fun. The singer's not too bad and they look like they're really enjoying themselves. Without seeming to be clinically insane like Glen from Malta. And of course they've got some fireworks. They'll get through, I'll be shocked if they don't.
OK, what's the deal with these miniature interval thingies where the presenters try to be funny? Is this German humor? Punch me in the mouth and I'll spit my teeth at you? I don't think I get the funny part. o_O
Estonia. I like this entry even though I kind of feel like I shouldn't. Not at all sure how they'll do. It's a fun entry, but may be too weird. Like Armenia, they tried to be really creative too. That doesn't necessarily pay. And I think Getter must be really nervous, I know she can sing much better than this. Could have been better. But overall a pretty good entry, stands out a bit, but, well, it's not a contender.
Belarus!! Yay! This is the song that I totally shouldn't like, but I love it! LOL! It's so totally shameless and in your face, it's just nuts. I think Alexander Lukashenko wrote this. :-D Wahey, serious fireworks ... and a lot of really really ethnic elements ... but unfortunately this is undermined a bit by Anastasia's very slutty dress. Hardly a folk costume. And she sounds nervous too, she's not singing very well tonight. I'd been hoping to see this on Saturday, but now my hopes are fading fast. This isn't at all as good as it could have been. Still a lot of fun and I'm still hoping :-) ... but this performance is actually worryingly bad.
Denmark. A good melody with silly lyrics, a singer with a relatively good voice but very stupid hair. He's nervous though; he’s not singing his best. And I have to say I really don't like his shirt. I think this may well have appeal though ... the melody is instantly appealing and has that kind of singalong factor. When I'm listening to it I'm kind of pulled in despite myself. I think this may be likeable to a lot of different groups in the audience ... so I'm not willing to discount Denmark quite yet. :-) Maybe a bit too forgettable though. It'll be interesting.
Ireland – speaking of stupid hair ... >:-) But now with stupid outfits too. Some people are seeing Ireland as favorites, but I really don't get that. The song is repetitive and annoying and as for the singers – who aren't the worst, not this year and not tonight – I think that androgynous look is a mistake. (Sorry, I don't want to make Eastern Europeans out to be bigoted fools ... but if the shoe fits and so on.) I don’t get the appeal of this song. I really don’t. Sorry to any sensitive Irishmen reading this (obviously not you, Paz ;-) but I think this entry will achieve nothing but to perpetuate Ireland's wandering of the Eurovision desert. It is annoying first and foremost and, a close second, irritating.
Overview of all the songs ... once with the performances and once with the postcards. Obviously of less interest to those of us who can’t vote tonight.
Another overview! Sheesh. Is short term memory loss very common in Germany?
Oh, now the presenters have changed their outfits! The second semi's worth it! I see. >:-)
Interval entertainment – what do they have for us tonight?? Breakdancers dancing to Bach. o_O OK, let's see that. Hm. This is actually kind of fun. A fun idea, and the dancers are pretty good as far as I can tell. I really like the incongruous backgrounds. :-) Great concept. Ooh, now they've even got a ballet dancer. I love this background of the huge cathedral! Coolness. Much better than Tuesday. Now I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've cooked up for Saturday.
The Big Five and a little chat with Lena. Relaxed and laid back. Nice. :-)
And now, the results! Sheesh, I'm nervous again. :-) Fingers crossed for Ukraine. :-) Let's hear it!
The finalists are ...
Estonia! Am I surprised? Yes and no. Good for them. :-)
Romania. Definitely not surprised.
Ireland?? WTF!? Europe officially has no taste.
Bosnia. Unsurprisingly and well deserved.
Denmark. Yup again. :-)
Austria. Hm. Not bad, Austria.
But where's Sweden? Who's the tenth?? :-o
Yup, there they are. Sweden, finalist number ten.
I'm happy with the finalists tonight except for Ireland. Boo hiss. Who voted for them?? It's a mystery to me. But at least we got rid of Israel. But alas for Cyprus! And Belarus too. But Cyprus deserved it much more going by their performance tonight. Alas! See you next year. :-)