IT'S HAPPENING ... !!!! :-D
Very good intro. Casual, down to earth, takes us back to last year and reminds us of the winner without rubbing our noses in it. Excellent.
Of course they have to open with their winning entry from last year. A good way to do it though. I'm impressed so far.
Three good-looking hosts, but what a hideous dress she's wearing. Sheesh, I really don't understand fashion.
The usual lame chitchat. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. It's like Christmas. How can anyone not love this. Swoon!
I'm very happy that the voting doesn't start until after the songs have all been performed. Also happy that there is a limit to the number of votes from each phone number now. 20's still a lot, but at least there's a limit.
Brilliant idea to make the performers make their country flags ... ! Love it. Oh Denmark, I knew you would come through.
Armenia ... !! Ooh, that's cool with the #JoinUs diamond switching to each nation's colors like that. Yay for DR!
But yes, Armenia. Alone on stage, good. Awful lot of effects though, that may overpower the song itself a bit. Then again it's the first song, they always do want to open with a bang, so to speak. Hm. Pretty good performance, and got going pretty soon, which is a plus for this song which is kind of a slow starter in the studio version. Not at all bad. But doesn't quite live up to the massive favorite hype ...
Of course the Latvians have to bake a cake with their flag ... !! Aww. A silly song, but fun, and can be really charming if they get it right. Looks like they do. Certainly charming the arena. And it is catchy. There aren't a lot of songs this year that you can sort of instantly hum. This is definitely one of them and that may really work in their favor. Nowhere near as repetitive as I feared it might get. Hm.
Estonia ... and they're building their flag with containers! So cool, I love it. They've kept the original choreography for their entry and it's quite memorable. Nice touch making the stage floor look like a plain hardwood floor like you'd see in a dance studio. Walls that give the same impression too. The song is ... it's good, it's actually really good when you listen to it, but I worry that it may not stick in people's minds qua song, but mostly for the presentation. We'll see.
Ahahaha, Sweden made their flag from a swimming pool. Clever clogs. This is one of my favorites this year, despite the broken English. SO happy for Sanna that she finally made it all the way to the international final. But the big question is, what is she wearing?? Yes, something much much more becoming than what she wore in Stockholm. Whew. She's so pretty, the song is so beautiful ... Ooh, lighting extravaganza. She's alone on stage, that's the right choice. Good performance. Very good actually. The arena loves her. Yay Sweden! If this doesn't get through then I don't know what to say.
Iceland. Flag made in the snow with colored lights. An ESC first: this is the first time an incumbent MP has performed in the contest. He's the purple teletubby. This song is unique in this year's lineup, I think, at least for me: every time I hear it, I like it less. The opposite is happening with pretty much every other song. This just gets more and more annoying. I don't even agree with the message in the song. Inside we're certainly not all the same. Sheesh. I guess people may find this entertaining but I hope it won't get through.
A slight break with some entertaining silliness. Highest hair in ESC history? Duh, Jedward! Yep.
Albania. I like their song, it's pretty, but may be a little too bland. Ooh, their flag as a tattoo on their performer's back ... ! Seriously? If so, respect. :-D Aw. She's so cute and her voice, wow. She really has a very unusual voice. If nothing else, people will remember her voice. Her performance is ... kind of ... weirdly intense. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Guitar solo from a guy in very casual clothes, doesn't really go with her evening gown ... OK, a good entry, but yes, too bland. Nothing catchy. Good luck though, Albania! :-)
Russia. I really like their song. Flag made from LED decorations, OK. But the song is seriously pretty. Wait what? Do they have their hair braided together? Wut? OK, no, it was just a trick. Wow, they are really playing the twin thing with this teeter-totter. Hope nobody falls off. Ooh, smoke ... and a random hunky backing singer. Nope, he's not random, he's there to make the sun rise! LOL! Ahahaha, those wacky Russians. Not unexpectedly their choreography is seriously OTT, but the song is really good. Beautiful. They will definitely get through, no question.
Azerbaijan. Flag painted in light, with basically a lightsaber. :-D Another beautiful song. This one even more so though. And no doubt with a MUCH more low-key choreography. The song is so strong that it really doesn't need anything more than just her voice and a heartfelt performance. That's one stunning dress she's wearing, wow. This acrobat is a bit unnecessary though. And Dilara's a bit ... smiley. But, well, overall, this is one of this year's strongest entries. Kudos.
Ukraine. Flag made with post-its and a train car. Nice. :-) The song though, hm. It was really awful in their national final, I've heard it's supposed to be much better now. Well ... Better yes, but much? The hamster wheel is fun to look at, but what does it have to do with the song? Her performance is kind of ... meh. The whole thing looks a little weird to me. People may remember it just because of the hamster wheel if nothing else, but seriously, as a song, not really. IMO. :-)
Moldova. The flag created by three clay jugs. Hm. I get that. What I don't get is what the hell this song is about. I was hoping that this performance would make it clearer, but no. The song is interesting, at least while you're listening to it, but what are they trying to say? This choreography just confuses me more. I don't think I'm the only one. o_O
San Marino. Yay Valentina!! She's painting their flag. And now she gets to sing for her country, again ... ! LOL! I really like this song though. She's very smiley, I'm not sure that's right for this rather philosophical song. But it's a very pretty melody and I like it more and more I every time I hear it. I don't really have very high hopes for this, to be honest, but I like it a lot and I'm hoping for the best. :-)
Showing off the trophy ...
Another little bit of silliness. Most silver ever? Ukraine!! No contest ... !! :-D
Lame jokes from the hosts. :-)
Portugal. One of the best AND worst entries this year. Fantastic song that at least in their national final was presented in basically the tackiest way ever. Will they have improved it? After using body paint to create their flag, they haven't given me high hopes. And ... no. NO. And she's singing badly too. Ouch. Seriously, Portugal. No wonder you guys have never gotten anywhere. You either have a bad song or you have a good one that you totally fuck over. Sheesh. Her makeup and the drummer's body paint have improved, but her dress is a lot sluttier than her other outfit. Which I guess people like, she really has the arena going ... ! Well, it's an incredibly catchy song. But I don't think that those of us who see the whole thing all the time in proper closeup will be quite as enthusiastic ...
The Netherlands. One of the year's best songs. SO hoping that they get through. A really unusual song in the lineup so I'm hoping that will work in their favor. Hopefully people won't think it's too American ... even though it kind of is ... but it's also just so good that that just shouldn't matter. Fingers crossed. Nice choreography. Ooh, I love the black and white thing they have going on here, very cool. They're getting the arena going too. Fingers crossed!! They have to get through, seriously.
Montenegro. Their flag in a puzzle. That kind of seems like cheating, but whatever. The song is so pretty ... ! I'd be thrilled to se them in the final for the first time. Ooh, a rollerblader instead of a dancer. Clever. :-) And look how the light's following her around. Aw, it's so pretty. And the song too! This may be this year's most beautiful ballad - except ours, of course. ;-) This is by far and away their best entry ever. I would love to see them get rewarded for this excellent entry. I wish I could vote for them, but this isn't our semi. :-(
Hungary. András is making their flag from Rubik's cubes. Hah! But what will the entry look like? All these actors running around? Or will they trust us to understand the lyrics? Seems like it's the latter. With lots of flashing lights. Or, OK ... two dancers act out the basic plot. But it's nowhere near as in-our-faces as it was in their national final. Good. This is much better. And the song itself has quite an impact too. Love the ending to this choreography, very well done.
That's it!! Over so soon. :-( Thank goodness this is only the first of three nights. ;-) The voting's about to begin, not that that matters to us here in Norway. Alas. Now a brief runthrough of all 16 songs. And I'll have to try to make some educated guesses here. Let me think ...
Some interval entertainment ... inspired by HC Andersen. Oh wow, I never would have guessed! :-D Ballet. Pretty. Mixing different styles of dance. This is actually quite creative. Interesting. So far the Danes have done very well indeed. :-)
OK, some guesses. I'm pretty much convinced that the following will make it through:
Also pretty sure of these:
And maybe Latvia? Also really hoping for Montenegro ... and San Marino, although I'm not too optimistic for the latter. :-)
Hopefully Iceland and Belgium will just go away till next year.
Another runthrough. Fun to see all the performers on their way to the green room. :-)
Now for the real interval entertainment ... ! Comedy, not unexpectedly. Wonderful Copenhagen! :-D
Checking in with the performers in the green room. Still in that awful dress, wtf is that about?
Another silly record, biggest shoulderpads. Jedward again. Will we ever be rid of them ...
A look at the entries from the Big Five and our gracious host. Actually pretty good this year, all six of them. Seriously.
Ooh, the big reveal ... !! At least after our friend in the awful dress sucks up to Jon Ola Sand a little bit. The vote is legit. :-) Now - the moment of truth ... ! :-o
And the finalists are ...
Montenegro! YES!!! Happy!!
Russia, of course. The arena's booing them, seriously??! :-o
Azerbaijan. Yep yep.
San Marino! OMG yes!! :-D
Ukraine. A mysterious favorite that came through. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the hamster wheel again. I liked the hamster wheel. Don't ask me why.
Sweden! Of course. But whew. I has nerves. :-)
The Netherlands! Yay!!!
Iceland! Damnit! I always screw up with one ... !
Runthrough of the finalists. I'm pretty happy with this list. My guesses were pretty accurate, I'd say. Eight out of ten's pretty good. And like I said, I always screw one up. :-) At least it wasn't Belgium ... !! ;-)
That's it for tonight. A very good show. Saturday's going to be awesomeness. :-) HOW SHALL I ENDURE THE WAIT ... !!!
By watching the second semi on Thursday, of course. I can hardly wait. :-)