Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Stockholm 2016 - first semi-final

OMG IT IS HAPPENING ... !! My hands are trembling ... ! :-D

I am crazy excited as usual but not quite as psyched as I was last year ... SVT is so overwhelmingly politically correct that I fear all three shows will be a giant three-part homage to the wonders of multiculturalism. Which is like literally the opposite of what the ESC is about. But I'm trying to keep an open mind.

Opening with last year's winner, not surprisingly ... not a highlight for me since I'm not a big fan of this song. I like Måns but I really believe they should have been disqualified with this entry. We should have been tuning in to St Petersburg tonight. :-) Maybe next year?? ;-)

Anyway, my #1 gripe with Heroes is the dumbass lyrics. Hummingbirds don't sing, dingbats!!

And now, our hosts! Petra and Måns. The stage looks pretty fantastic. And Petra's dress is very pretty. Presumably the first of many. :-)

Some chitchat, welcoming all of us to the show ... and a Europe joke. How cool would it be if they turned up! :-D Instructions on how to vote ... not so useful to me as we can't vote tonight, we're in the next semi. Too bad, I want to vote for Russia!! But I have no doubt I will get the chance to do that on Saturday. :-)

Finland opening the show with Sing It Away. Something totally different from last year, which can hardly do worse. I actually kind of like this song ... it has a pretty good beat and the singer is enthusiastic. But not actually that good at singing, unfortunately. And this outfit is also quite unfortunate. It's a good way to start the show, but I am underwhelmed.

Greece - Utopian Land. A pretty weak effort from Greece, IMO. Using "typically Greek" elements as usual, but I'm not impressed with this. They have done it so much better in previous years. The chorus is pretty catchy but the performance tonight seems ... I don't know, kind of stilted. The Greeks can a lot better than this. But it looks pretty with the yellow sun symbols. :-)

Moldova - Falling Stars. I really like this song. The chorus is so cool, I love the way the melody flows there. Her voice isn't the greatest but good enough for this. :-) But what is she wearing? And what's with the astronaut in the aluminum foil space suit? That's a little bit distracting. But the chorus ... !! Not at all shabby from Moldova.

Hungary - Pioneer. OMG TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT!! I do see that the floor is lava but you can still try to not look like a bum. This song is ... meh. Just really intensely meh. I think the lineup is so weak this year. Lots of mediocre songs, some pretty good ones, but no real standouts. This is one of the mediocre ones. I'm not sure what I have to say about this. It's just totally meh. Nothing memorable about this entry at all. Except that the singer looks like a bum.

Croatia - Lighthouse. Wow, her dress is the size of a lighthouse! :-D Possibly the most striking thing about this entry as it isn't very memorable otherwise ... but it is very pretty to listen to, and I really like her voice. Oops, there goes the dress. :-) She's so pretty though! This song is relatively unremarkable but so far it's actually almost the best song. o_O

A break for some chitchat and jokes. Actually quite charming with the fans in the back seat and Petra and Måns driving. :-)

The Netherlands - Slow Down. Oh, I like this entry! It's so charming. I'm not sure this oldfashioned thing will be a hit with the general audience though, but it's adorable. The song itself, the singer, the band ... and oh, the guitar solo! I love how you can sing along with the chorus before you've even heard the song through once. :-) I am charmed. Wish I could vote for them too. :-)

Armenia - LoveWave. I'm always intrigued to see what the Armenians send, they usually send something good. This year I'm a little stumped. The song has a good melody and the ethnic elements will probably go down well ... but it's not what you'd call catchy. It grows on you, but that's problematic in the format of this contest. Still one of the stronger entries tonight, and an interesting presentation, but not what you'd call an earworm.

San Marino - I Didn't Know. I wish I didn't! The first time I heard this I couldn't for the life of me figure out who on earth they're figuring this will appeal to. No one has been able to explain it to me either. It's a mystery. I think that even after tonight, we will not know. I'll be shocked if this gets anywhere.

Russia - You Are the Only One. Ooh, Russia! I really want them to do well this year, I feel that they were cheated out of their rightful victory last year. Fortunately their song is good enough that I can justify rooting for them. :-) What a presentation though! Wings! Shattering mosaics! And now, whoah! Optical illusions! :-o Very cool. Only problem is that it may distract people from the actual song. Oh well. No way will we not be seeing this again on Saturday. :-)

The Czech Republic - I Stand. A beautiful blonde is very rarely wrong ... and she's an OK singer too. The song is ... pretty to listen to, but forgettable. Nothing wrong with it though, but nothing really to remember it by either.

Cyprus - Alter Ego. This is actually not half bad. Unlike most of the rest of the songs tonight it's actually really catchy. And it's a rarity in the lineup this year ... an actual rock band. Hopefully they will stand out enough to get through. A good melody and a good beat. Good luck, Cyprus!

Austria - Loin d'ici. Finally a song that isn't in English ... ! And this song is so pretty. It could have been in a Disney movie about princesses and elves and shit. And her voice is so right for the song. I've heard people badmouthing this song, I don't see why. I think it's sweet. And actually really catchy. I realize it's hardly art, but this is about music! Let's just enjoy the pretty music. :-)

Estonia - Play. Oh, I really like this song too. I love this guy's style. He really takes it all the way. And the song is good too. It's not the type of song that's ever really catchy, but it has a really good tune. I love the presentation. Estonia really deserve a spot in the final!!

Chitchat from the green room and environs. Petra Mede is praising the Sammarinese entry. Spare me! Kissing the Russian ... :-)

Azerbaijan - Miracle. They ave a very beautiful singer if nothing else. And what an outfit ... ! :-D She's a pretty good singer and the song is pretty good ... not very memorable but still among the better ones tonight. She's very confident on stage, but maybe a little too smiley for this rather serious song. And those dancers ... ! o_O The song is very pretty to listen to. We'll probably be listening to it again. :-)

Montenegro - The Real Thing. Another weird entry from Montenegro. But that's good, they keep us guessing! :-) This entry is ... maybe not good, but it is good that it's so unusal. They'll be remembered that way ... and it's good for the contest to have this kind of diversity. This is probably too weird to make it very far, but kudos to them for sending it.

Iceland - Hear Them Calling. They definitely have a good singer this year. And such a unique presentation! I see they're going with the same thing they did in Reykjavik. It's v. cool. But the song is still pretty upbeat and doesn't really match the very grim and gloomy presentation. Still good though. Creative. Good luck to Iceland, I'd love to watch this again in Saturday.

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Ljubav je. FINALLY someone with confidence enough to sing in their own language! And this had such a ... striking video. What will they do on stage?? Ooh, barbed wire. And what a dress! Great melody, great beat, bizarre-looking instruments, a rap in Bosnian - what's not to like?? Go Bosnia!! :-D

Malta - Walk on Water. The last song already! :-( A striking presentation, but I'm not sure what to say about the song. It's pretty to listen to, but forgotten as soon as it's over. Like so many other songs this year. I really wish Malta would win one year, because they would be SO HAPPY and the show in Valletta would be fantastic. But they have to send a better song than this.

The first runthrough. I wish I could vote!! :-(

Second runthrough.

Chitchat from the green room again. They're all winners! Yes, they are in a way - they have all won their national contests. But we haven't heard their competition ... >:-)

Some entertainment. Oh yeah, here we go, badmouthing themselves like nobody's business. I've never known a nation to be so collectively down on itself. And the results are plain to see, tragically. This also appears to be a complete fabrication of history - when ABBA won in 1974, the Swedish establishment completely despised the contest and practically fell over themselves to denounce it as bourgeois garbage. ABBA won entirely on their own merit. it's ridiculous to suggest that they were backed up by the movers and shakers. Yes, I do understand that this is meant to be funny, but historical revisionism isn't that amusing to me coming from an institution that has done so much for so long to pull the wool over the collective eyes of the nation it's supposed to serve.

Third runthrough.

OK, some guesses. Who will get through?? Let me think ...

Russia, definitely.
The Netherlands.
Estonia, hopefully.

I'm really hoping for Austria, and also for Moldova, but I don't know if that's realistic.

Some who won't get through;
San Marino.

The voting's closed! Eep!

The interval entertainment - depressing, apparently, to honor the depressing world situation. Trying not to get political here ... but I am not interested in hearing anything about that situation at all from Swedish mainstream media. Beware. You cannot trust a single word they say, or print.

More chitchat from the green room ... going over who we will be seeing on Saturday, and introducing the French and Spanish singers. And the Swedish kid. That song is soo boring ... ! I don't understand how it can be a favorite. But sure, good luck.

The votes are in! Jon Ola Sand confirms the results. The Dumbledore of Eurovision. :-) Eep! The list!!

Azerbaijan. Yep.
Russia, of course.
The Netherlands! Yes!
Hungary. Huh.
Austria! Yes!
The Czech Republic! Wow! :-)
Malta! OMG!

OK, my guesses tonight were way off base. :-D Better luck on Thursday! :-D

One last runthrough, of course with just the finalists this time. Yay for Austria!!

But my real favorite won't be taking the stage for a couple more days ... ;-)

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