Recap of Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Semifinal 1

Jen:

  • Estonia
  • Denmark
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Netherlands
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Ireland
  • Belgium
  • Serbia
Chris and Kieran:

  • Estonia
  • Slovenia
  • Denmark
  • Russia
  • Montenegro
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Ireland
  • Cyprus
  • Belgium
Europe:

  • Estonia
  • Denmark
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Netherlands
  • Lithuania
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Ireland
  • Belgium

Score one for using reason and logic to make your Eurovision predictions instead of drawing flags out of a hat. Jen got nine of 10 picks correct, whereas Chris and Kieran only got seven.

Frankly, at the end of the show, we really thought Jen was going to go nine of 10 because Croatia or Montenegro pipped Serbia. Did anyone see Lithuania coming?

The big story tonight in our minds is that all four former Yugoslav republics that performed tonight did not make Saturday’s Final. Watching the show, it was clear to us there was no way Slovenia and Serbia were going through: Hannah sang poorly and Moje 3… I wanted them to be campier, and they went for it, but camp still has to be fun, and this collapsed under the weight of gaudy dresses. It just didn’t work on any level.

While former Yugoslav republics went out, former Soviet republics did well. Russia was great, Estonia and Ukraine were solid, Lithuania was lucky, and Belarus was everything Serbia wasn’t. Belarus clearly has an unending supply of creativity, because this was the third different staging Alyona Lanskaya and company have given us this season. That’s two whole stagings and one whole song more than Denmark!

Speaking of Denmark, Emmelie de Forest and her co-performers were visibly moved by the support they got from the Malmö crowd. Of course, given the proximity, the crowd probably had more than its share of Danish fans ready to cheer Emmelie on.

For me, Russia, Netherlands, and Denmark are the three songs from tonight that could win the whole shebang. Anouk in particular was spectacular, and Dina Garipova generated her share of goosebumps. One of our favorite performances on the night was Roberto Bellarosa’s for Belgium. He sounded great, he gave good face to the camera, and while the back-up dancers were a bit distracting, we both felt it came out brilliant.

It’s a weird year when we’re sad Croatia and Montenegro didn’t make the final and we’re actively rooting for Netherlands and Belgium to do well, but there it is.