Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stockholm 2016 - second semi-final

Our turn ... !! :-) And Australia's ... ! :-D

Nice intro, glimpses of different countries and flags.

Måns welcomes us, while Petra wears a dress that looks an awful lot like Tuesday's. Which I don't recall her changing. Sheesh! I will expect much better on Saturday.

Now addressing new viewers - the Americans and Chinese. How to describe the ESC? THE BIGGEST SHOW ON EARTH!! :-D

This musical history of the show is cute though. Ahaha, they're even trying self-irony. Remember in 2010 when they were so super offended we only gave them our 10. :-D This is actually pretty excellent. Although I'm not sure it's making things clearer for the non-Europeans ... :-)

But just keep watching, foreign friends! It will all make sense in just a few decades.

Info on the voting, which tonight is relevant to my interests, because tonight we can vote ... !! :-D Australia here I come, metaphorically speaking.

The first song ... ! Latvia opens the show with Heartbeat. Except that now Petra and Måns have kind of spoiled us all a bit with their performance. Oh well. This entry ... it's OK, far from the worst Latvia's sent. But it's nothing very special. The singer is extremely committed to his performance. :-) The presentation is interesting, rather eye-catching, but not garish. I would almost call it stylish. But it doesn't really have much of a catch to it. Forgettable.

Poland - Color of Your Life. Ooh, nice coat. And a very dramatic performance. Scenery-chewing, if that's the word I want. But at least he can sing. And the melody is quite beautiful. I'm not sure how long people will remember it though. They have a really bad slot. This is an extremely sincere effort though, good luck to them.

Switzerland - The Last of Our Kind. Another Canadian from Switzerland. A literally smoking one. Also quite pretty, but with unbecoming hair, and a rather peculiar dress. And very peculiar choreography. What is that?? Ooh, swirly blue stage ... pretty. The song is quite sweet, a pretty melody, but again, forgettable, and somewhat repetitive.  I don't think the Swiss will have much luck with this ...

Israel - Made of Stars. Ooh, this is one of my favorites. A beautiful song. And a good singer, with a voice that really suits the song. Oh, he's all sparkly tonight. And the stage is sparkling too. And the acrobats spinning around behind him are also sparkling. Everything's sparkling!! This is really all very very pretty and I will be shocked!! and appalled!! if they don't make it to the final tonight.

Belarus - Help You Fly. One of my fellow podcast panelists will be watching tonight to see if there are any naked men or wolves. I told her there wouldn't be, but she said she had to see for herself. :-) Hologram wolves, and also hologram naked Ivan. He's actually wearing quite a lot of clothes. And face paint. Would you look at that. But what about the song? Well, it's OK to listen to, but it's rather repetitive. I am underwhelmed.

Chitchat with Petra, and a ride in the Eurovision taxi. This is really sweet actually. Mr Lordi, is it really you?? :-o Hard to tell, obviously ...

Serbia - Goodbye (Shelter). Please don't overdo it with the face and the grimaces ... ! This song is actually pretty good. But in their national final she just really overdid it. Fingers crossed. No, this is much better. A striking presentation too. A quite dramatic melody, I can think of a number of countries where this will go down well. Hope to see this on Saturday.

Ireland - Sunlight. I am apparently supposed to know who Nicky Byrne is. I have never been a fan of any boy band so I honestly did not recognize him when I first heard this. Oh well. This may have a chance, not only because it's him, but also because we can't tell from listening to it that it's Ireland. I am SO SICK of them banging us over the head with their Irishness, no matter how irrelevant to the song. Must ... have ... Irish ... dancers ... !!1! This time they have come to their senses. And the lyrics are not projected in giant letters all over the arena. Yay. This is actually pretty catchy too. Ireland, you aren't totally useless after all, who knew.

Macedonia - Dona. Their singer this year got them to the final in 2012, with a fantastic song, I love that song. IMO this year's entry isn't quite as good. But ooh, gorgeous presentation. And the song is quite beautiful too. Rather dramatic, some people will like that. :-) I like her voice, it really has character ... it's not for everyone, but I like it. And kudos for lyrics in Macedonian. One of their best.

Lithuania - I've Been Waiting For This Night. Another familiar face. There's a lot of them this year. Lithuania's hopeful tries for the second time with another song about how he screwed it all up and please give him another chance. How about learning from your mistakes? This entry is a bit more memorable than many others in the lineup this year, but it's not as catchy as his 2012 entry. I don't know. The presentation's very showy. I don't know what to think about this. really.

Australia - Sound of Silence. My favorite this year, hands down. I love the intro. Love the chorus. Love the whole thing!! :-) A beautiful melody, a wonderful singer ... a peculiar outfit, but you can't win 'em all. A striking presentation too. That chorus ... !! Australia FTW!! This is so good ... !! And imagine how deliriously happy they would be if they won ... !! :-D

Slovenia - Blue and Red. Another striking presentation. Also another pretty girl ... and a very happy and smiley one. -) A good stage presence. And the song is catchier than most of the other entries so far. Not at all bad. I quite like this tonight. Ooh, an acrobat. And pyrotechnics. Worth remembering.

Bulgaria - If Love Was A Crime. One more returning hero. I really like their entry from 2011, that this same singer performed. She has a pretty good voice and she's very confident on stage ... but her dress sense is perhaps a bit more suspicious. But the song is pretty catchy and she definitely has the arena going. I definitely hope to see this again on Saturday, they deserve it.

Denmark - Soldiers of Love. Speaking of boy bands ... o_O Are these guys not a bit too old to get away with this convincingly though? The song is pretty catchy though ... at least while you're listening, but I think it's also rather forgettable. The chorus is catchy but it doesn't really have that kind of hook that a song needs to really be an earworm.

Chitchat with Måns, and a show of support to the LGBT community. Our broadcaster managed to translate "Bulgaria" to "Ungarn", that's pretty impressive. Petra in the green room, and she has changed her outfit! Maybe she did that on Tuesday too and I just didn't notice?? :-o Everything's such similar colors, I can't tell ...

Ukraine - 1944. History or politics? Certainly very serious, whatever it is. Strangers are coming to your house to kill everybody ... !! But I shouldn't joke about it, it really happened ... and it can happen again, not least. But what about the song?? Well, it has quite a lovely melody, the singer pours her soul into the performance, she has a great outfit and the presentation is striking. Ooh, I love that tree ... !!

Norway - Icebreaker. Ooh, a northern postcard. A little overdone but with some beautiful views of our wild northern nature. I'm really happy with our song this year, even though it is so weird ... it's like two songs in one. She just switches back and forth between two different songs. :-) But the two melodies are very striking and memorable. She's a very good singer, very beautiful, wears a beautiful outfit ... and the presentation is lovely too, and quite a propos. It's not good for us that she hasn't been doing any press. But her performance is great! We can definitely hold our heads high this year.

Georgia - Midnight Gold. Sheesh. Not only is the song no good, they want to give us all epilepsy too with their presentation. The more I hear this song, the less I like it. I do like that there is a variety of genres in the contest, so I do appreciate it in that sense, but this has got to be pretty much the most forgettable song this year. I forgot it before it was even over.

Albania - Fairytale. A pretty good singer this year, and a dramatic performance ... and lots of gold. Lots. A pretty melody, but forgettable, like so many other entries this year. I enjoy listening to it, but I forget it as soon as it's over.

Belgium - What's the Pressure. From a golden dress to silver shorts. An upbeat dance tune to end the show, that's not too bad. But this entry just seems very old-fashioned to me. Like this could have been sent in the 90s. Maybe that's the point. But it's a bit strange. A rather strange melody too. Catchy, I guess, but ... strange, somehow. I can't put my finger on it. An enthusiastic performance though. But I still can't really see this going very far.

That's the last song! :-( The voting is open! Eep!!

The first runthrough.

OK, five votes to Australia, and one each to Israel, Macedonia and Bulgaria. My civic duty is done.

Chitchat from our hosts, and more historical revisionism from SVT.

Second runthrough.

Petra and Måns exhort us to vote while we still can ... ! But now the lines will close ... now! Well, I've done my bit.

And now for the interval entertainment - people dancing with robots. OMG, what a metaphor for Sweden. Unintentional, I'm sure. In other news, during Oslo's culture night last year I saw a man dancing ballet with an excavator. It was actually really beautiful. Much better than this. And what's with the music they're dancing to ... ??!

Back to Petra and Måns in the green room, now introducing the rest of the Big Five. Haha, our broadcaster added more info on Rybak's record victory in the subtitles than what Petra actually said. Let's brag about ourselves to ourselves! :-D Some numbers from ESC history. Now the German, Italian and British entries.

Over to Jon Ola Sand who's got the confirmed results. But wtf? Måns says that he's our biggest export since salmon, and the subtitles say he's our biggest export since salmon and A-ha. WTF?? Translate what they're saying!

OMG, I forgot to guess! But all I care about is Australia!!

Georgia. WTF??
Bulgaria! Yes!
Australiaaaa!!! YES!!
Serbia! Yes!
Israel! Yes!

Wow, I'm glad I didn't guess, I would have totally messed up. :-D

Runthrough of the finalists. Go Australia!!

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