Eurovision Song Contest 2017

All right, it’s this time of the year again: it’s Eurovision! The biggest and longest running

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ESC 2017 logo

song competition in the world, that claims to be unpolitical, but everyone and their grandma knows it’s not.

Granted, a few stars rose from the ESC and managed to build a career, but for the most part it’s cheesy and sparkly and gay and fun and pop songs and Eurodance and ballads all in 3 big shows. I’m not a huge Eurovision-geek, but being into it once a year is perfectly fine.

I would like to talk about 2 things about this year’s ESC: Russia and Italy.

As we all know, Russia is boycotting the ESC this year, after Ukraine forbid russian entry Julia Samoylova to enter the country. Now, this may sound mean, even more so because she’s disabled and sitting in a wheelchair, but she broke ukrainian law by performing on crimera without going through Ukraine – in other words: she flew directly from Russia to crimera to perform and that resulted in a 3 year ban to enter Ukraine. There’s another 140 artists that share the same fate.

Is Ukraine being too hard? This is very hard to answer. Russia obviously is trying to be the victim here, I mean: there’s no way Russian authorities didn’t know about Samoylovas ban to enter Ukraine before choosing her and they chose a disabled artiest on top of that – someone you’re going to feel bad for easily. This was a calculated conflict from Russia, they knew this would happen and they knew Ukraine would not make an expection, because these two countries are in war and Ukraine is still damn pissed about crimera.

However, neither country was interested in resolving this conflict, the EBU said Samoyolova could perfom in Russia and her performance could be streamed live during the show, but both countries declined and neighter offered another solution. Every single person with a brain their head should’ve known either Russia or Ukraine was going to pull one out after Jamala won last year and quite honestly, nobody really seems surprised either. It’s a little sad, because Eurovision is supposed to bring countries together and it has been used to deepen an ungoing conflict this year. Personally I think both countries should’ve acted more peaceful.

Leaving Russia and Ukraine behind, I would like to talk a bit about Italy this year. Yes, Italy, the huge favorite. Some people think the song is overrated, I personally really like it. I think it’s a catchy popsong, that’s fun to listen to and you don’t feel bad listen to it more than once. I’m also a huge fan of Francescos rough voice and hope he can deliver a great perfomance in the finale.

However, I think having a great song is not the only reason so many people support Italy this year. I often read comments about Italy being robbed 2015 and they finally deserve

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Italy: Francesco Gabbani

the win they should’ve taken two years ago. Rewind backwards to 2015 when Italy was the huge fan favorite and took an undisputed clear first place in the audience voting. That night european people decided “Grande Amore” was their winner, but a hand full of profressionals decided to make a much more radio-friendly song the winner: Sweden. Since Italy was so widley supported by fans, many felt Italy was robbed by the juries and now that Italy has another outstanding top song, the support is there once again.

Additionally, I would like to add Jamala was second place last year: she was second place in jury voting and second place in audience voting. She won, because Australia did very well with the juries, but not that good with the audience and Russia did very well with the audience, but not that good with the juries. Once again, just like the year before, we have a huge difference between the fan favorite and the jury favorite and fans felt their winner was robbed once again. Add to the fact many people believe the votes for Ukraine were out of political interest and you kind of understand why the fans finally want to see “their winner” actually win.

Italy would be a very “safe” winner this year. After all the controversy around the ukraininan win last year and their trouble with Russia this year, Italy is very safe. They already deserved it two years ago, they don’t have any major problems with other countries, or at least not of the scale that Ukraine does, and they have a good song you can play on the radio in most parts of the world. It’s a “feel good” song at a time when many people don’t feel that good and problems are rising all around us and maybe we need a song to win, that makes us feel good for 3 minutes.

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Protugal: Salvador Sobral

The other favorites to win are currently Portugal and Sweden – also two very safe options – and Bulgaria, another controversial entry, because ever since Russias announced they won’t participate this year, Bulgaria is basically Russias secret entry, because their artist has russian roots, is very well known in Russia and is expected to get many russian votes. Quite honestly, I really REALLY don’t want Bulgaria to win and it has nothing to do with their song, unfortunately, it’s 100% politics: I don’t want this mess a second time in a row. It’s been a long time since ESC was as political as it is this year and I want to have a break from that next year. Every once in a while: okay, but not every year.

I’ll be rooting for Italy, I really like France and Belgium as well and hope they’ll be doing great this year. My own country? Germany? Set to lose again, no point talking about it.

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Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Slowly but surely, we getting closer to the ESC 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. Most of the participating songs have been selected and you will find them on youtube. Time to take a look and be happy about Australia returning.

I said it last year and I will say it again: I’m all in for having Australia as a regular participant. The kangaroos are super awesome people and very hyped. And they send actually good acts. The second year in a row. I’m impressed.

And you know what I’m even more imnpressed by? There’s actuially a good amount of songs I really like. There’s real solid pop, songs you can listen to without feeling ashamed. Wow, what happend? Is it Australia’s influence? I don’t really care, but I think it’s actual competion this year with a good amount of legimately strong songs and that makes it worth it for the music every once in a while. Cool.

My personal favorits are Armenia, Ireland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Russia and Australia. But worry not, we do have our annual weird acts as well and funny enough, Germany is one of them. I try to see the bright side: it can’t get worse than last year. XD

 

Italy – the Winner of Hearts / Eurovision Song Contest – the Grand Final

So… I guess if you loose, you’ve got to do it right and walk out of it with 0 points together with the host. On a brigther note, the german and austrian contestants are planning on making music together now, because they came to like each other so much. That’s… good news, I guess?

I’m super happy for Belgium and Latvia for walking out of the contest with two very modern and unique songs so successfully. I mean: 4rth place and 6th place? Can’t complain about that. =D

So, let’s talk a bit about the voting. I took a quick look and here’s what I noticed: In case of Germany, the jury-voting seemed to be better than the televoting. However, if it had been only televoting, we would’ve still walked away with at least 5 points and a 25th place, so I guess we do have some friends in Europe left after all. And the host? Still last with 0 points. Ouch.

Now, here’s another interesing piece of information: If the contest would’ve been 100% televoting, the clear winner would’ve been… Italy with a full 80 points ahead of second place Russia. That’s right, the oh-so-loved Sweden, would’ve been thrid. So basically the juries made Sweden win. In the full split result chart you’ll notice the jury-votes for Italy are shockingly low compared to the televoting results. Nice and bitter taste, isn’t it?

Yeah, I’m not really happy with the overall winner, even more so since it’s a jury winner on top of that. I really liked the russian entry, because I think it’s a very well performed awesome power-ballad, but I wouldn’t have wanted Russia to hold the next contest considering the more recent law changes and overall anti-tolerant direction the country is taking. This is not the artists fault and I still love her singing, I just don’t want Eurovision in Russia right now. A few years ago it was all right and maybe in a few years it’ll be all right again, but not right now. Please don’t take this the wrong way.

Either way, why is it I’m not that happy with the overall winner Sweden? Well, for once Sweden already won 2012 and that was just 3 years ago and now we’re already going back there. Sweden has as many wins as Ireland now and I think a contest is boring if one contestant is dominating too much, like Ireland was 30-20 years ago.

The other thing is… I think Måns Zelmerlöw is too perfect. The song, the performance, the guy himself – everything is calculated to win, like a cardboard cutout, and it was successfull. Sure, if Sweden wants to win the ESC so bad, they can pour that much enery in it to produce the picture perfect Eurovision song/singer/performane, they are free to do so, but I don’t have to like that. I like the quirky entries more, the unusual ones. I still like Seriba best! I totally overlooked Italy, though, and they blew me away in the final, awesome surprise.

About the voting system: I think it’s problematic the way it’s done right now. I mean, it’s a good idea to have a jury to counter the inevitable blockvoting, but the juries themselves are usually just random musicians. I mean, how about you have “real” juries with people who actually really know their stuff about music, who seriously studied music or something.The juries should vote for the music, the performance, the package and not against televoting, something that is happening on purpose. I’m actually not quite sure if I wouldn’t like to try an ESC on televoting alone – since Italy would’ve won, you can’t really argue the eastern European countries would dominate too much, would you?

And about Blockvoting: Sweden got 12 points from all scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Sure, to win you need 12 points from other countries as well, but if that’s not a prime example of block voting, then what is? And when the easter european countries do this, people are so enraged they favor their neighbors, but when scandinavia does it, nobody bats an eye. Double standart at it’s finest.

And Australia? They did great, walked away with a 5th place and a nice song. To win the song was too… soft I guess. It’s a great mainstream pop-song, but it’s too clean and flat I guess. For winning, it would’ve needed a few more high points I guess? This is a song that does well in charts and on the radio, but that doesn’t mean it’ll win the ESC. Still a great song, though and I think it’s a bit sad Australia has to leave the Eurovision-circus already. Awesome guest entry, though. Keep the good mood up, Kiwis! =)

And lastly, the contest was so serious this year it was way close to actually resembling a cultural event, too close for my taste. Israel with their “Golden Boy” rescued the Grand Final. So, for 2016 how about we go back to our fun and crazy ESC that we love, instead of falling asleep after the 20th ballad?

Eurovision Song Contest 2nd Semifinal

And the drama continues. I mean… really, that was ballad overkill. From a musical point of view, I guess the second semifinl was better than the first, but there were so many “okay” ballads. They were allright, but not that outstanding. I still think Seriba, Russia and Spain have the best ballads. I do really like Norway as well, through.

As expected Azerbaijan was doing well once again and went on to the final. They’ve been doing really good ever since they started competing, but that doesn’t change the fact that their winning song a few years ago is still probably my least favorite of their entries.

So, how about my favorits this time around:

Norway. A really dark song, it’s a ballad, but most of the entries were anyway, so what’s so choose from… either way, at least it’s not the average I love you-I miss you song.

Sweden. Very strong again this year and I guess it was a huge relieve to hear something that’s not a ballad every once in a while. Nice song, nice guy, nice visuals, I take it. However, I do not want him to win (he’s currently leading the bets), simply because Sweden already won the Contest only 3 years ago and it would be nice to go somewhere else.

Latvia. Now that was different! Not too much dubsteb to be unlikable for the wide audience, but enough to give it a unique touch between all the classic ballads of that evening. It left a great impression on me, I even voted for her. =)

Slovenia. Just a really nice song, I guess. It’s a shame they start first in the final, that basically already rules you out for the crown.

So, after the two semi-finals, who am I rooting for the most? Belgium, Serbia and Spain. I One of these three and I’m happy.

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 1st Semifinal

It’s time once again, for the worlds biggest song contest and of course I’m watching. After the amazing win from Dragqueen Conchita Wurst for Austria, the 60th ECS is held in the beautiful city of Vienna this year.

What do I like about the contest? Well, it’s crazy and you do have the occasional artist who actually can sing, but this doesn’t mean this person also has to win. It’s not always about the song, it’s also about performance, about current political activities and who you’re friends with. Yes, “blockvoting” is a thing, it’s no secret Russia and Belarus or Cyprus and Greece always give each other 12 points and it’s no secret the scandinavians give each other high points on a regular basis. However, even though this is very much the realitiy of Eurovision, every once in a while a country wins that doesn’t benefit from, blockvoting or buddy-voting and every once in a while some winners are a true statement of progress – like Conchita’s victory.

So, what about the first Semifinal. It was… rather… unspectacular, for Eurovisionstandarts. Sure, there was Finland with their rock band, but what else really stood out? Where was the Verka Serduchka of this year? Or the Buranovskiye Babushki? Or the Zdob şi Zdub? This is the best part of Eurovision: the fun part! Come on guys, unlike Australia, we’ve been doing this for long enough to know you don’t send artists with a career.

Australia? Yes, because the Kiwis like it so much and have been proven our most passionate non-european-fans, they got a wild card for the 60th anniversary and are sending Guy Sebastian, who’s petty famous in Down Under… and is actually a pretty damn good musician. Let’s see how he’ll do. By the way, if Austalia wins, they will be invited next year again, but the contst will be held in a european country.

My favorites from the first semifinal:

First was Belgium, it was fresh and modern, I really liked that. Loïc Nottet seems to be a sympathic guy and it was well performed. Besides, it really stood out in the Eurovision Ballad Contest.

Estonia. Simply a good and well performed song. Easy to listen to and probably the best duet I’ve heared in Eurovision for a long time. Way to go!

Russia with an amazing ballad. I’m not going to comment on the fact that Russia sends a love-and-piece song (a very popular theme this year), I’m just going to say it was much better than I expected it to be. Polina Gagarina belted her song through and left me speechless. Great artist, well performed song. And no boos this year! This just shows how great of an artist Polina is. (last year, the russian duo was booed heavily due to Russias part in the Ukraine conflict)

Seriba! This was actually my favorite. It’s the full package: a truly awesome artist (I mean, seriously, this woman can sing), a nice message (“I’m different and that’s ok”) and the song suddenly changes from Power Ballad to Balkan-Party-Techno. Sounds weird, but is a lot of fun, I didn’t think I would like it as much as I do.It’s anything but boring.

By the way, Greece had a great Ballad as well, but Russia left a bigger impression on me. Who’s also in with a breathtaking Power Ballad is Spain. I wouldn’t be surprised if they win this year, their song is absolutely outstanding and performed by a professional musical singer. And it shows! Go Spain! 😀 Besides, I would love to see a song win that’s not in English.

Eurovision Song Contest 2013 – Malmö, Sweden

montenegro199_v-contentgrossWhen you see pictures like this, there’s is only one solution: it’s time for the Eurovision Song Contest, this year from Malmö in Sweden. It’s the biggest and silliest musical competition in the world and for some weird reason, Europe loves it. Even though sometimes you can find people who can actually sing really good, the overall musical value is secondary to the entertainmant value, so seeing rapping astronauts or pop-Babries is what makes this show actually interesting.

Now, the semifinals are over and 20 showacts have been voted into the final on Saturday, let’s see what we have this year.

The first Semi-Final:

estland253_v-contentgrossMom wrapped in curtains: Birgit Õigemeel from Estonia sung her song “Et uus saaks alguse” (engl.: this could be a new beginning) and she’s not going to be alone in the final, because she’s pregnant and apparently felt the need to hide her baby belly unter a dress that looks like a curtain from her grandmother or something.

daenemark253_v-contentgrossHer Majesty Barefoot Forest-Fairy: Emmelie de Forest is somehow related to some blue blooded semi-important people and was barefoot. The sad truth is, she’s not the only one doing it as it seems to have become the new big hit for ESC-performers, after Loreen did it last year. She sang “Only Teardrops” for Denmark.

russland391_v-contentgrossThe IKEA lamp-section Salmon: This young lady is Dina Garipowa from Russia and wears what I think is the most boring color you can choose for a dress. Her song “What If” was nice, yet totally forgettable. Much better to remember are the IKEA-like lamps in the background, the IKEA-joke is borrowed from german ESC-commentator Peter Urban. He really helped me a lot getting through the semifinals, especially the first one with way too many ballads.

ukraine243_v-contentgrossQueen of the Vikings: Zlata Ognevich for Ukraine was being carried onto the stage by a 2,35m tall hulk of a man dressed as a Viking and would refuse to move an inch from her destinated position on her rock. How nice that her song was called “Gravity“.

niederlande249_v-contentgrossBirdkiller Cher: Anouk from the Netherlands managed to do what nobody has been able to do for 9 years before her: get the Dutch into the ESC-Finale. Besides the fact that she looks a lot like Cher, and I also mean the artificial facial expressions due to a bazillion of beauty-operations that Cher went through,  her song “Birds” was about, well, dying birds falling from rooftops.

litauen185_v-contentgrossMissed-his-performance: Andrius Pojavis from Lithuania performed one of the few non-ballads called “Something” that I sadly missed due to the fact that my mother decited to call me right when it was about to start. I watched it later, but there’s really not much to say about him, even though he jumped onto the other new trend this year: males must wear leather jackets.

weissrussland167_v-contentgrossSaturday Night Fever: Aljona Lanskaja from Belarus tries to revive the 70s with a gigantic Mirrorball in the background that she stepped out of at the beginning of her performance. Her song “Solayoh” had rythm, yes it was pretty nice, I liked it, it just would have been cool, if she actually tried to dance matching her song…

ersteshalbfinale499_v-contentgrossLa Magic Dress: Aliona Moon for Moldova was another one of those “Don’t move!”-girls. However, the size of her dress excused her for that. At some point she was raised up so that her entire dress was “unfolded” and it showed flames. Well, let’s just say her dress was more spectacular than her song “O mie” (engl.: one thousand).

ersteshalbfinale513_v-contentgrossThe guy every mother-in-law dreams of: Ryan Dolan, the Irish cutie sang about love, how furtuante. I’m sure the female audience loved the half naked, sexy background-drummers (those weren’t dances, they were drummers, lot’s of drums this year at the ESC) and absolutely didn’t voted Ryan to see them again or something, no. The song was called “Only Love Survives” and he decided to do as his male companion Andrius and wore leather. Smexy.

ersteshalbfinale509_v-contentgrossCuddle me please: The next cutie in line, Roberto Bellarosa, decited to go on stage with a suit… combo breaker. His song was called “Love Kills” and pretty decent, his eyebrows probably attracted more attention than his song, but the Mr. eyebrows – award is reserved for someone else.

So much about the first Semi-Finale, the one I actually thought of as the more boring one, because about 80% of the songs were ballads. Boring, give me the astonauts, sadly they didn’t advance.

Now, let’s take a look at the second Semi-Final:

aserbaidschan343_v-contentgrossPuppy-Dog-Eyes: Farid Mammadov from Azerbaijan, after last year’s ESC we all know how to write this country, now the 4rth cutie the ESC has thrown into the final, was dancing… performing with a glass-cube. Inside was a guy whi mirrored his movements. What, glass cube? Did anyone say Eric Saade? To be fair: Farid did a much better job singing his song “Hold Me” than Eric had back in 2011. Much, much better.

finnland233_v-contentgrossLas Vegas bride: Krista Siegfrids from Finland came up with a weird show dressed as a bride singing a song called “Marry Me” in bright pink shoes. All this, however, was overshadowed by the lesbian kiss at the end of the song with one of her background singers. This stunt has absolutely lost it’s shocking element after t.A.T.u and Madonna did it, actually even so much that our german commentator Peter Urban didn’t even feel the need to talk about it. Even though, maybe it worked, at least she made it to the final.

malta155_v-contentgrossFeel-good pediatrician: Gianluca Bezzina, representing the beautiful island Malta (I’ve been there, it’s gorgeous), presented a feel-good song called “Tomorrow” that was heavily influenced by songs like “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, but the version this one guy recently covered, not the original. You now, the one that sounds very Hawaiian. This song also sounded very Hawaiian, but it was nice and even though the picture might not suggest it, but he was smiling the enitre time. Nonstop. This picture was probably taken in this one second that he wasn’t smiling.

island345_v-contentgrossThor: Iceland decited to go with godly help and sent Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson, who looks like a rocker, but sang a beautiful ballad. Even more surprising when you know that he sang in his native language and it actually sounded very good, because I always thought Icelandic wasn’t that good for a ballad. The song is named “Ég á líf” (engl.: I have a life) and I loved it. Yes, he was my favorite in the second Semi-Final and I’m all in for ESC 2014 being held in Reykjavík.

griechenland529_v-contentgrossOuzo for everybody: Koza Mostra feat. Agathonas Iakovidis for Greece performed a song called “Alcohol Is Free“, I wish this were a joke. It’s a party-song easy to sing along and performed by guys in skirts. I chose to not show you the sight of that. By the way, noticed the turkish flag in the picture? Turkey didn’t even participate, because they don’t like the 50/50 judge/televoting system and the “Big Five” treatment, even though the ESC wouldn’t be able to be held without the financial support of the “Big Five” to begin with, but it’s still unfair and all, yeah.

armenien239_v-contentgrossMr. Eyebrows: Dorians performed “Lonely Planet” for Armenia. It’s actually an entire band, but let’s be honest, with a frontman like this with eyebrows like his, nobody is even going to notice the rest of the band. Ever.

ungarn263_v-contentgrossRoman Lob: Weird, our Roman Lob from Last year didn’t even do exceptionally good, so why did Hungary sent a Roman Lob – clone in leather this year? ByeAlex performed “Kedvesem” (engl.: my love), together with his super goodlooking guitarrist, who absolutely didn’t help him getting into the final, you know even though in our chat he was the only one everyone was talking about and all.

norwegen535_v-contentgrossIce Princess: Norwegian pop-singer Margaret Brerger may sound german, but she’s born in Norway and is as blonde as you can get. All natural? I don’t know, but it helps to underline her icey apperance. Her song is called “I Feed You My Love“. I didn’t know love is so tasty, but if she says so…

georgien243_v-contentgrossAzerbaijan won 2 years ago, right? : Georgia tried the typical love-duet and apparently it worked! Sopho Gelowani & Nodiko Tatischwili were send to the final after performing their, from my point of view, boring song “Waterfall“. To each their own, but stuff like this has been seen a million times before.

rumaenien255_v-contentgrossCount Dracula: Cezar looked a lot like Count Dracula, how fortunate he’s from Romania and if this is not enough yet, he’s a tenor singing to what sounded a bit like… dubstep? At least very modern and very fast and it was weird to say the least. “It’s My Life” always reminds me of Bon Jovie, sorry.

And these are the lucky(?) winners from the Semi-Finals. In the Final they will be joined by the Big Five and the Host Sweden, including yet another cutie-boy and our Euphoria rip-off by Cascada. Yeah, great, I’m still amazed this was actually proved to be an original song inspired by Euphoria and not a flat out rip-off, no scratch that, I still think it’s a rip-off. Many Germans would have preferred to send a bavarian group playing music for brass instruments singing in the deepest bavarian accent you can imagine, over sending such an obvious rip-off. And people say Germans don’t have humor. Well, they’re right, because if we had, we would have actually send them.

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 (Baku – Azerbaijan) – 2. Semi-Final

I’m a day late! Again! Yay for me. Well, that’s because I had to work and was only able to watch it today. Was it worth it? Yes and No. The overall quality of the singers and songs seemed to be better and we had less silly acts, but this resulted in more boredom, you know. For the most part it was pretty appropriate for the masses, many ballads, many danceable stuff and generic pop-songs. I guess the second semi-final was better quality wise, but the first one was just overall more entertaining. At least they had Loreen, oh and Alexander Rybak…. oh my god they had Alexander Rybak, I think I might take minute off to fangirl over Fairytale (although the poor guy is probably sick and tired of singing this song). Best 80 seconds of the show.

1. Serbia  Zeljko Joksimovic – “Nije Ljubav Stvar”

Unlike the first semi-final, the first act in the second semi-final was actually pretty good and when I say pretty good, I mean, he was pretty amazing. I was very impressed, he’s a good singer with a good song that I ended up liking a lot, it was a very nice start into the show. The background people trying to look like they’re playing instruments, still look stupid and just walking around the stage is not very creative, but who cares? The song was good.

Result: in the Finals

2. F.Y.R. Macedonia  Kaliopi – “Crno I Belo”

Macedonia was ok, they just had the problem that their song was kind of similar to Serbia, but not as good. The singer did her best, but her voice was not as impressive as it could have been. Still a good singer though. At one point she destroyed my glass when she hit a very high note for a short time, but I’ll forgive her. I didn’t expect her to advance to the finals, because her song was too similar to Serbia who did a better job.

Result: in the Finals

3. Netherlands Joan Franka – “You and Me”

And yet another one of our dear neighbors. Our commentator said the Netherlands really wanted to advance to the finals after several useless tries, but as soon as I heared this song, I was actually doubting that a lot. First of all, what’s with this weird headdress? Just because she’s singing about Indians doesn’t mean she has to look like one and then she’s singing a song in the style of Texas Lightning. Ok, congratulations for trying something different and thanks for being one of the weird entries in this semi-final.

Result: kicked out

4. Malta Kurt Calleja – “This Is the Night”

Aww, look at him, such a cute and charming boy. No, really, I ended up linking the singer a lot, he does look very charming and his song was ok. It was another danceable track with more useless eh eh eh eh-stuff in the middle of it and nothing too outstanding. It’s not completely aweful and if you’re into this kind of stuff, it’s nice. I have to admit that I ended up paying more attention to the singer than the song.

Result: in the finals

5. Belarus  Litesound – “We Are the Heroes”

Ok, now, what was that? I expected rock, I got (once again) pop, the song was… well it was there, nothing special and actually one of the worse song of the evening, but the real question was about something entirely different. What’s wrong with those microphone… things? They probably wanted to get the audiences attention off the music and on the equipent and while they kind of succeeded, it didn’t make the song better.

Result: kicked out

6. Portugal  Filipa Sousa – “Vida minha”

I think they tried folklore dirge… or something and it was nice listening to something different between all the standart-pop-stuff, but unlike Albania (who also did a dirge), they just weren’t impressive enough to catch the audience enough. I somewhat liked it, but it wasn’t as dramatic and emotional as Albania was in the first semi-final. Even Angelina Jolie’s leg didn’t help, but Angelina is an acress, so they should’ve seen that comming.

Result: kicked out.

7. Ukraine  Gaitana – “Be My Guest”

The Ukraine seemed to test their possible hymn for the upcomming UEFA European Football Championship here, at least that’s what it sounded like and even the text would fit. It’s one of those feel-good-party-songs that gets into your ear and sounds a lot better the more alcohol you’ve drank. Also I think the singer would probably make an amazing soul-singer, she does sounds a bit similar to Anastacia and has a good voice. I thought it was a shame she was performing Euro-Trash instead of an emotional soul-track.

Result: in the finals

8. Bulgaria Sofi Marinowa – “Love Unlimited”

Bulgaria is yet again another example of the right artist and the wrong song. Our german commentator said she was actually a really good folklore-singer and at some points of her song, this did come through and made me wonder, why in the world she had to sing a trashy Disco-song. It fit her as good as her clothes did: not at all. I guess they tried to play safe and messed it up.

Result: kicked out

9. Slovenia  Eva Boto – “Verjamem”

I think she was the youngest participant in this years contest and her age was… 16? She did a pretty nice job, especially for her age. Even if you’re a naturally good singer, if you don’t practicve, you’ll never become truly great, so I do have quite some respect for her. Aside the fact that I thought one of her background singers overshadowed her. The one who did the “ahhh”-sounds at the beginning, I thought she was great.

Result: kicked out

10. Croatia  Nina Badric – “Nebo”

I’m sorry, I completely forgot her song. All I remember was her having some weird dress. It was connected to her finger, well, we’ve all seen this before, but the weird part was it’s shape. I was probably so distracted by this, that I forgot to listen to the song. And here’s the problem with the second semi-final: most songs aren’t really bad, but it’s all the same and at some point you forget to pay attention.

Result: kicked out

11. Sweden  Loreen – “Euphoria”

And finally: Loreen. I haven’t listend to even one of the songs beforehand, so everything was new to me in both semi-finals. All I knew about Loreen was that she’s one of the favorites to win and while I had mixed feelings about that, she taught me better. Yeah, her dancing was all like “Look at me being awesome”, but her song was so great, I really really liked it. Hell, I even got goose bumps, only Albania managed that before, who’s still my favorite, but Loreen really impressed me.

Result: in the finals (of course)

12. Georgia  Anri Dschochadse – “I’m a Joker”

Thank you Georgia for being one of the wtf-acts and spice up the somewhat boring second semi-final. Too bad your song was aweful. Weird songs can be good and they can be bad and this one was bad. Really bad. It pretty much changed every 30 seconds and was all over the place, first he played drums, then piano (for show) and it just left me utterly confused. after Loreens great performance, I was just left in one big feeling of wtf.

Result: kicked out

13. Turkey  Can Bonomo – “Love Me Back”

Can was the darling of the audience that night, no doubt, they loved him. His background dancers were a bit weird and one of them tripped over his clothes when he tried to breakdance and wasn’t the boat they created just too cute? The song itself wasn’t my cup of tea, I didn’t liked and I can’t understand why it’s so popular. If I remember correctly, there was some controversy about him in Turkey, because he’s jewish and he said he wanted to represent everyone in Turkey, so I do feel sympathy for him, but it wasn’t my song.

Result: in the finals

14. Estonia  Ott Lepland – “Kuula”

I remember Estonia’s song from last year, “Rockefeller Street”, and it was one of my favorites, it was stuck in my head for weeks. It was weird, but at the same time pretty amazing, I loved it, don’t judge me. This year, they send something entirely different, but a very good ballad sung by a pretty amazing artist. I have to admit that I’m truly impressed. It sounded really good, not much to say about it other than that.

Result: in the finals

15. Slovakia Jason Mai – “Don’t Close Your Eyes”

For once, a rock band that plays a rock-song. Haleluja, thank you, thank you so much, I’ve been waiting for a rock-track the entire time. The lead singer looked a bit off with his hairdo, like some kind of angel on crack or something, but I ended up liking the song and would’ve liked to see it in the finals. True, there were better acts, but also worse who managed to get past the semi-finals and I just love rock overall, so…

Result: kicked out

16. Norway  Tooji – “Stay”

What’s Anakin Skywalker doing on the stage? He seriously should go back to being a Jedi… or a Sith-Lord, actually, a Sith. I liked him better when he was Darth Vader. Nevertheless, the song could have been good. I really liked the oriental touch it had, the only part I didn’t like was the singing, because Tooji probably didn’t even hit one note. As you might have noticed, I’m not exactly a pro when it comes to music, I just like what I like, but even I noticed his singing was completely off.

Result: in the finals (Jedi mind-manipulation?)

17. Bosnia & Herzegovina Maya Sar – “Korake ti znam”

Stop playing the piano when you’re not playing the piano. I think she actually can do it, but the music is not live, only the singing, so it’s just for show anyway and makes no difference if she sits in front of the piano or not. Other than that, I thought her dress was a bit weird, but her song was good, I liked it. If I remember correclty, she’s a professional musican who specialized on movie-soundtracks, but I have to admit she also did a pretty nice job here.

Result: in the finals

18. Lithuania  Donny Montell – “Love Is Blind”

The song is called “Love Is Blind”… oh, oh, oh! I have a great idea, let him sing blind! At least for the first part, the slower part of the song, he was wearing a blindfold. Why? Dunno, it was stupid. The song was as clichéd as you can get, but I was impressed by the fact that he was able to do a side handspring with only one hand and a pretty good one as well, considering he was holding a microphone in his other hand. Maybe that’s why he was so popular?

Result: in the finals

Now, let’s talk a bit about the show for the break while they were counting the votes. In the first semi-finals they had some traditional music and while it dragged on for too long, it was kind of nice. This time, they had the winners of the last 5 years performing their winning songs, well 4 of them did, with traditional instruments from Azerbaijan.

Did it work? Surprisingly, yes, the mixture of modern and traditional music was nice to hear and we had the pleasure to listen to some of the best artists this evening. First was Dima Bilan from Russia, second was an amazing Marija Šerifović from Serbia, third was Alexander Rybak and fourth was Lena. I do pity those people though, I mean, they will be forced to sing their winning songs forever and they’re probably sick of them for a long time now. All of them did a good job, Alexander and Lena probably better than they did when they won with their songs, but I have to say that Lena seriously should eat some more, she was so thin.

As for the song from Azerbaijan… I’m convinced they’re both pretty good singers, or at least I want to think they are, but when you hear someone fucking up “Waterloo” by ABBA so bad, it actually hurts a bit. I’m sorry, but this song is so well-known and Nikki still managed to confuse the lyrics halfway through and both didn’t really hit the right notes on top of that. That’s pretty bad, I’m just saying… but the other 4 were good, I loved them.

Now, all what’s left is the last big show and I’m really looking foward to the Big Five, because I think this year all five of them have pretty amazing entries and really good songs as well as capable singers. They would’ve probably advanced to the finals even if they had to go through the semi-finals, I like all of their songs. My favorite is, like I said, still Albania, but I wouldn’t complain if Sweden wins, or the United Kingdom, or Italy… yeah, of course and I’d be happy very happen if Germany won, although I kinda doubt it and being the host again wouldn’t be good, I think.

But the Eurovision Song Contest is a loose cannon and everything can happen.