Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tel Aviv 2019 - first semi-final

It's on ... !!!

The excitement ... :-) And that music ... 

Opening with a presentation of Netta growing up and her love for the contest, cute. The arena ... and Netta herself performing first of all. Makes me wonder what they are saving for Saturday. Wow, she looks even weirder than she did in Lisboa. :-D Those are very cool outfits on the backing dancers, I like those. I like that giant lucky cat too. I'd love to have that on a postcard. :-)

Happy people in the audience ... :-) And Netta happy on stage. Starting on a very positive note.

The hosts appear .... the ladies in fancy dresses of course, that don't match each other. Anything but original. But of course all four look good. Slow camera work though ...

The traditional explanation of how the contest works. Norway isn't competing tonight so I can't vote. Not sure what I would even be voting for. I guess ... Poland and Australia?

The postcards are about dancing. The first looks very summery and charming. I want summer ...

Cyprus - Replay. She looks like her hair is wet. This is a pretty cool song, at least in the studio version ... and in our public broadcaster's warmup show, Adresse Tel Aviv, I think this ended up as the overall favorite. But it doesn't sound ANYWHERE near as good tonight. It actually sounds like shit. Her outfit is tacky and hideous and she sounds out of breath. A disappointment. I would actually not be surprised if they don't make it through, after this lousy performance.

Montenegro - Heaven. I actually like this one quite a lot. I wonder what it will look like, compared to when they won at home. Totally different, it turns out. Almost a shame, the original presentation was rather striking and was definitely more memorable than this. This is pretty standard. But better than Cyprus. I quite like those strings that break through every so often. But overall it gets kind of repetitive. Now they are dancing amateurishly. Well, they're pretty cute.

Finland - Look Away. I love Finland. It's one of my favorite countries. Fellow Norwegians: Forget about the Swedes, the Finns are our true brothers. But in Eurovision they are often a little depressing. This song is kind of depressing too. But, look at that - the presentation is less depressing than in Helsinki. Actually quite striking. Sebastian is hardly a great singer ... and this gets a bit repetitive ... but the beat is pretty catchy. Not bad, Finland, you've done much worse than this.

Poland - Fire of Love (Pali się). Yay, Poland! This is one of the entries I've been the most excited about seeing on stage. As I expected, it looks very cool. And it sounds cool too. This song is fascinating, it's almost hypnotic. They're getting the audience engaged with clapping. So cool to see this in the contest. They have got to be a shoe-in for the final.

Slovenia - Sebi. OK, slowing it right down. Aw, stars shining. Two pretty young things. And a pretty song, it's just soo sloow ... A lot of people may like that though. And so far, this song this does kind of stand out. A pretty ballad spinning slowly through space ...

the Czech Republic - Friend of a Friend. This song is both catchy and annoying at the same time. I don't know what it is exactly. The lyrics annoy me. I feel like the presentation could possibly give me epilepsy. But I suppose young people may like it. But then again it is Czechia ...

First trip to the green room. Chitchat with Cyprus and Poland.

Hungary - Az én apám. I quite like this entry, even though I liked his song in 2017 better. It had a much better beat than this one. But he's a good singer, he has an interesting voice, very expressive. A simple and classy presentation ... until his father's giant floating head heaves into view. Actually lots of giant floating heads. o_O A  golden tree. This song has a kind of ethnic sound to it that I think a lot of people will like. Will be surprised to not see this in the final.

Belarus - Like It. This year's youngest contestant. Dressed like a prostitute. OK. This song is pretty catchy and she's a pro at performing, despite being only 16. But it's pretty plastic. And the presentation seems ... old-fashioned somehow. I guess it's supposed to be retro? I'm too old to really get this, I suppose. I do kind of like it ... but I would have liked it better if I didn't have to watch this performance.

Serbia - Kruna. The singer wrote the song, so that's a plus. Wonder how it will look. I will be watching the final with a Serbian friend so I hope they will get through, even though this song doesn't particularly grab me. Her outfit at least isn't hideous. And she's alone on stage, they're not trying to distract us with dancers. Visually this is quite overwhelming. Any emotional ballad from Serbia and I of course can't help comparing it to Molitva, my all-time favorite ESC entry. This falls through in that comparison, I'm afraid. Not at all bad, but not all that good either. Nothing really special.

Belgium - Wake Up. Another young singer, but this one is at least a legal adult, dressed normally. And has giant drums. This song is a little weird, it seems catchy while I'm listening to it, but I can't seem to remember it when I'm not listening. I have no idea how this entry is going to do.

Georgia - Keep On Going. Another dramatic ballad.  Also with a visually striking presentations. I don't really like his voice. But the song has something, not sure how to phrase it ... This entry also has an ethnic sound to it that a lot of viewers may like. The big question is how will people be able to remember which is which of this and Hungary.

Australia - Zero Gravity. This will look the same as it did in their national selection, I understand. In other words, crazy. :-D Oh, wow, the whole thing looks crazy. Amazing. But the song is actually beautiful. I would be voting for this if I could vote tonight. Another shoe-in for the final. Just as long as people aren't too distracted by this presentation, which is almost literally out of this world. What a singer Kate is, wow. Go Australia!

Back to the green room. Plugging the app. Chitchat with Czechia. Every performance is amazing! Chitchat with Belgium.

Iceland - Hatrið mun sigra. This is not my type of music. But the chorus is actually quite beautiful. The song is kind of schizoid, it's like two different songs in one. But I think it's so cool that the contest has an entry like this. Will be extremely surprised if this doesn't get through.

Hoppe etter ruccola ... !:-D

Estonia - Storm. First time I heard it I didn't like this song at all. Don't know why. I'm sure it's nothing to do with the fact that the singer's a Swede, though. He's not a very good singer, but it's the lyrics that really annoy me. You cannot rhyme this with this, come on. But I have to admit that the melody is kind of growing on me. Damnit. Would not be sorry to see this sink without a trace, though.

Portugal - Telemóveis. Weirdest presentation of the night, guaranteed. Much weirder than Iceland. Will the dancer fall again? OMG those outfits. Yes he fell. WHAT is that thing on the singer's face? Overall bizarre. But the song is actually not that bad ... but it's hard to notice that because the outfits and choreography is so distracting. No idea how this will do.

Greece - Better Love. Wow, Arabian Nights vibes. This singer has kind of an interesting voice. But that's not the word I would choose to describe her outfit. Dancers with swords ... and a giant balloon that disappears into the audience. This looks weird. A rather lovely melody but very strange presentation. I don't have high hopes for this. Lots and lots of flowers ... o_O

San Marino - Say Na Na Na. I actually quite like this song. Much more than I thought I would. How will it look on stage though, that's the question. Dancers in white shorts ... hah, the female dancers are show less skin than the male ones. I like that. A lot of text in the background. Dancing on a lit-up cube. Now this is retro I can get behind. I do like this. They've got to do at least a little better than last year ... or most years?

One host in the green room, the other three on stage. Explaining how to vote ... but like I said, I can't vote tonight. :-(

First runthrough of all the entries.

OK, some guesses on who will get through tonight.


Less sure of the rest ... it feels like anything could happen. So few standout songs tonight.

Czech Republic? Maybe?

I'm hoping for San Marino ... and Montenegro. But I don't know. I really don't know tonight ... o_O

Dana International is in the house ... !! And on the stage!

One of the hosts with last year's Junior ESC winner. Cute.

A video featuring the beauties of our host country and the various performers all around the country. Ooh, there's Bilal Hassani ... And it's all set to A-ba-ni-bi.

Another runthrough of all the songs. Look at Australia flying ... !

And the voting is over ... now.

Chtichat in the green room, with Estonia and Portugal. The host looks like an idiot too with that thing on his face.

Ooh, a video tribute. Wow. Very cool. I want to watch that again.

Poor Netta, she's been wearing that ridiculous outfit for two hours now. But she probably likes it. :-D

More chitchat. The results are almost in ... The excitement ...

Two of the Big Five and the host are in the green room. Being embarrassed by the host and presenting their songs.  A little glimpse of Spain ... wow, that's colorful. :-D France! They are going to do so well this year. Finally, Israel. This guy must be so nervous, representing his country at home. Poor guy. But at the same time, what an honor.

The results are in ... !

And the ten finalists are ...

Cyprus! Wow, they sucked so bad, and they still made it. Wow.
Estonia. Boo.
Australia! Of course!
San Marino! Yay!!

OMG - no Poland ... :-o

It was a good show, but I'm sad for Poland ... :-(

Runthrough of the ten finalists.

Aw, Poland ... :-(

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