Chris’ Eurovision Semi-Finals Two Recap, Part Two

11. Croatia

If it weren’t for the old guy accosting the audience, I would totally forget about this song. Still, having him scratch using a record on an old phonograph is pretty amusing.

12. Bulgaria

“DJ, Take Me Away” is a pretty generic Euro-dance track. There are all these things going on during the act, such as handheld turntables that are held like guitars and turntables on fire and the lead singer’s can-can dress. But these don’t add up to a compelling performance. I do like the song itself, but the performance was not up to snuff.

13. Denmark

Simon Mathew looks way too hardcore to be signing a number this chipper. This is a peppy, cutesy number that might just do well because of when it’s performed. If this were earlier in the show, it’d totally get lost.

14. Georgia

I cannot stand Diana Gurtskaya’s voice. It’s not that she can’t sing (although she was a bit pitchy during her number), but there’s a quality to her voice that grates on me. This is a painfully earnest song that I couldn’t give two shits about. Such a comedown from Sopho.

15. Hungary

Here’s an 80s-style R&B ballad that is completely dull and not particularly well-performed. But I bet little old ladies watching Eurovision will like it.

16. Malta

VODKA! As Terry Wogan said, it’s the Eurovision commentator’s best friend. The opening riff of the song is annoying, but Morena sings the hell out of it. Being towards the end of the night should help get it through.

17. Cyprus

Eurovision Blog refers to this as “The Oompa Loompa Song.” No shit. It’s sung well, but it’s poorly orchestrated and it has a lot of manic, unfocused energy. Plus, it’s like three minutes, but it really feels like 10. Blech.

18. FYR Macedonia

If this Eurovision thing doesn’t work out for Tamara, she could totally do the Balkan Liza Minnelli impersonator circuit. She’s not a strong singer, but her back-up singers help lift the song. It’s not great, but much better than their performance during the Macedonian selection show. I suspect it will get through based on Balkan bloc voting and the fact that it’s the second to last song.

19. Portugal

Man, Vânia Fernandes can belt. This is a poppy fado number, and while the orchestration is a bit busy, Vânia just takes over and brings it home. Considering this is a slower, downbeat number, it ends up being a strong ending to a mediocre semi-final.

Here are my picks to go through:

  1. Turkey
  2. Ukraine
  3. Switzerland
  4. Latvia
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Denmark
  7. Hungary
  8. Malta
  9. FYR Macedonia
  10. Portugal

I really really really want Iceland to go through, but like I said, I think kicking off the show might hurt them.

Some ballet dancers perform a routine inspired by a popular Serbian film. Judging from the make-up and costumes, it’s a film about destitute zombies working on a Soviet farm. Or something like that.

After some more vamping from the hosts, and an amusingly awkward interview by one of the backstage hosts with Tamara from FYR Macedonia, we get the results:

  1. Ukraine
  2. Croatia… what the fuck?
  3. Albania… bloc voting!
  4. Iceland… HELLS yeah!
  5. Georgia… gawd, really?
  6. Denmark
  7. Sweden
  8. Latvia
  9. Turkey
  10. Portugal

I underestimated Sweden, obviously, and I guess it’s not a surprise that the earnest number from Georgia got votes. I’m surprised Hungary and Switzerland didn’t go through, but I am even more surprised that Croatia did. Maybe all that jibber jabber from the old guy was actually a form of mass hypnosis.

Tonight was pretty painful, but the end result means we get a really strong final on Saturday. Be back then!