Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Vienna 2015 - first semi-final

Wheee ... !!! It's happening! EXCITEMENT ... !! :-D

I am seriously so crazy excited to see what the Austrians have got for us this week. I'm sure it's going to be fantastic. And now it's starting ... !! :-)

Last year's winner is opening the semifinal, that's unusual. Normally I'd expect them to save this for Saturday. Makes it even more exciting to wonder what they'll have for us then. :-) Conchita is wonderful of course. I love this song so much, it's so beautiful ... and they're really making absolutely the most of it. :-)

Great way of introducing the performers! I loved it in Copenhagen when they all walked with their flags across the stage, this is a fantastic way of doing the same thing. Hmm, did I detect a few extra cheers for Serbia? They're my favorite tonight. :-) A big cheer for Russia, that is ... good, I suppose. Wow, biggest cheer so far for Georgia. Huh.

Dancing in the aisles ... !! :-D And now the crescendo of the song. Wow. This is really really extremely good. And it's only the semi ... ! I hope they're not blowing all their fireworks tonight ... ;-)

The hosts. Nice outfits, but they don't match each other at all. Peculiar choice. The traditional scripted jokes. Highlighting their motto for 2015, Building bridges, which is a really good one IMO. Instructions on how to vote, alas, I cannot vote tonight. The Serbians will have to make their way through without my help.

OK, we're on ... ! Eek!

Moldova opening the show with I Want Your Love. They have had soo much drama this year. And all for such a crappy entry, too. Although it is nice to see a Ukrainian on stage, at least, even if he's performing for another country. But wherever he's from and whatever's happened , he can't sing for shit. A lousy voice. The studio version is actually bearable, but live this is just so cruddy. And the presentation is beyond tacky. Cut your hair and get a job, kid!

Armenia - Face the Shadow. Ooh, medieval-style outfits. And that wheel thing they're standing on is cool. Some of the singers have good voices ... actually most of them ... but one of the women is just really annoying me. The song ... I'm going to say this a gadzillion times before the week is over, but it's one of those entries - ooh, a map of the world, and they're each going to their own continent! :-D What was I saying? Oh yes, One of those entries that is lovely to listen to while you're listening, and then you almost immediately forget about it. Too bland.

Belgium - Rhythm Inside. Ooh, I like this entry! One of the most original songs this year. One of the only original songs this year. It may be a little too far out of the common way to go very far - and the presentation's pretty weird too - but the Belgians should be proud of themselves for sending this. Great beat.

The Netherlands - Walk Along. What will she be wearing?? Ooh, something much nicer - much more age-appropriate - than what she wore at their national final. That was pretty easy though. The song though, that's the most important thing ... it's nice but not that special. Relatively catchy. Not going to get anywhere near as far as their entry last year though. Not memorable enough.

Finland - Aina mun pitää. I work for the Norwegian branch of a Finnish company, and my boss here in Norway is Finnish. He really can't stand this song. :-) He's so annoyed that they chose it and he thinks it won't get anywhere whatsoever. Personally I don't like the song at all as it's just not my type of music at all ... I am still happy to see the genre in the contest though, but I don't think it's going anywhere either. I don't think there are enough fans of this genre who will vote in this contest. :-) And I don't think the sympathy votes will carry the day either. Alas.

The hosts explain what the hell Australia is doing in the contest. :-D A trip to the green room where Conchita has changed both her dress and her hair. Awesomesauce.

Greece - One Last Breath. One of my least favorite entries this year. Not because it's bad, it's just boring. Beautiful but bland. And it doesn't sound Greek at all ... I think it'll appeal less to the audience because of that. The presentation is very striking though. So much drama. Almost enough to take my mind off how breathless she sounds. Maybe it's intentional, she's on her last breath ... :-)

Estonia - Goodbye to Yesterday. I really like this song, it has a great melody. A really good beat. I love the intro especially. Ooh, this presentation is great, they're really working the subject of the song. Pretty good voices too. Hers especially. Wish I could vote tonight, I would send a vote or two Estonia's way. :-) In terms of melody and lyrics this is definitely one of the most memorable songs tonight.

Macedonia - Autumn Leaves. Another song that is nice to listen to, but very quickly forgotten. Not particularly catchy. I don't think the performance tonight is very good either. He's not exactly a good singer. OK presentation. Overall ... boring. Can't see this going anywhere.

Ooh ... !! My favorite tonight, Serbia! Their entry is called Beauty Never Lies and it's soo beautiful. I love it. :-) But wtf is she wearing. :-o OK, that outfit is seriously unbecoming. Bad choice. And too much makeup. But the song is still beautiful ... a gorgeous melody, catchy, beautiful and meaningful lyrics with just the right singer. May be too similar to last year's winner though - not in how it sounds, but in what they're trying to say with it - and that's never smart. Ooh, the bridge. This song just totally rocks! I love it!! :-D  Sounds like the audience in the Stadthalle is totally digging it. YES! Fantastic. A+, Serbia!

Hungary - Wars For Nothing. Another song with an important message. But may be too low key. Ooh, gorgeous dress. And her voice is lovely. Hmm, this is actually packing quite a punch tonight. The presentation is a little over the top maybe, but overall this is very good. Much better than I expected. I may have to revise my ideas ...

Belarus - Time. At first, when I'd only seen the live version of this, I totally hated it. It was totally shitty in that version. The studio version sounds soo much better. What will they sound like tonight?? Hm. His voice is OK, not very good, but OK. The presentation is ... annoying. Distracting. Not a good choice. She plays beautifully, but looks a little wacky. Overall ... much better than at their national selection, but not as good as it could have been. I'm rather ambivalent about this entry.

Russia - A Million Voices. Ironic that Russia keeps sending these peace anthem-type songs. I would have been fine with it if Ukraine had been in the contest this year. :-( Anyway. Beautiful singer with a lovely voice. Someone who can actually really sing, yay. :-) She's really getting the audience going. Striking presentation. Deservedly a favorite, this is an excellent entry. Second strongest in this semi. :-)

Back to the green room. Cheers for Bojana! Yay! :-)

Yes, I would like to warm up my cell phone, alas, it would be pointless. :-(

Denmark - The Way You Are. Catchy and fun, but maybe too retro. I think this may appeal more to those parts of the audience that don't vote as much. On the other hand, these are four cute young guys who are clearly having fun on stage. And the song is really catchy. The entry as a whole is quite appealing. Good luck to our former colonial overlords. :-)

Albania - I'm Alive. Another ballad, another beautiful but bland entry. Lovely singer with a good voice. But she's not wearing her red sequined dress that I wanted to see her in again. :-( It would have been a much better choice than this weird outfit she's got on now. The presentation is ... a bit much, IMO. This is supposedly a favorite to win in some circles. That is seriously a mystery to me. This is very pretty to listen to, but quickly forgotten.

Romania - De la capat. Singing in Romanian, yay!! Major kudos to them. I really respect that. This is one of the really good entries tonight ... a beautiful melody, well performed by a really professional band, and with an important subject. Romania is one of my favorite countries in the contest ... I would love to see them win some time, but I don't think this is their year. Still though a very good entry.

Georgia - Warrior. WHAT is she wearing. OMG. And the lyrics of this song ... ! I kind of want to give her kudos for writing her own song, but seriously, does she speak English? I'm a warrior - oximated?? Oximated, really? I don't think that word means what you think it means ... o_O A very dramatic presentation of a dramatic song. I'm hard pressed to say exactly what is wrong with this, I just ... sheesh.

That's it!! 16 songs, over and done with. A brief visit with Conchita in the green room and then the voting is open. The only sensible way to do it. :-) I can't vote tonight since my country - Norway - isn't in this semi, so I just have to wait with bated breath. Now the runthrough.

Interval entertainment - a presentation of Vienna set to music from last year's contest, now also with fake animals heads. Well, why not.

Second runthrough.

OK, some guesses. Who will make it through?? I'm having a really hard time guessing tonight, this semi is generally so weak and there are hardly any really good songs, as well as no really bad ones. Huh. I'll have to try to guess.

These are shoe-ins IMO:

These probably won't make it:


... sheesh, no, I don't even know!!

The voting is over! :-o

And now, let's learn about Austria. Lots of fun facts about our host country mixed with memories from the ESC over the years. Hah, this actually is fun. :-)

And now some info about the Big Five, and presenting the Australian artist. Oh, haha, and the Australian connections! :-D And here are the French and Spanish singers. A runthrough of all the prequalified entries.

Over to Jon Ola Sand who will pronounce the results as valid. Oh, the excitement ... !! :-D

And the ten qualifiers are ...

Albania, why not.
Armenia. Damn their giant diaspora.
Russia, of course.
Romania! Yes!
Hungary. I wouldn't have thought so yesterday, but now I'm not surprised.
Greece. Hm.
Estonia, yay.
Georgia. No accounting for taste, I guess.
Serbia!!! YES!!
Belgium. Oh, good!!

OK, so all my certains and maybes got through, and all except one of my non-qualifiers were cut. Huh, pretty good guesses after all. Everybody up on stage!! An excellent show from the Austrians! I'm already psyched for Thursday night ... not to mention Saturday!! Eep!!! :-D

Overall a great show with satisfactory results. I'll have to ask my boss tomorrow what he thinks about theirs. :-)

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