Eurovision Sofa: Semi Final One
And so it begins.
And for nine of them its over before it could really get going. So where did it all go right and where did it all go wrong?
The biggest shocks of the night certainly can be awarded to Turkey and Norway. Stella Mwagani is probably a bit easier to explain why she didn’t qualify, and I reckon it might have a lot to do with her vocals. She isn’t an impressive singer and that might not have gone down well with the jury vote, which is responsible for 50% of the vote. On the night itself it wasn’t that much better, and I really had expected this one to stand out being all cheery and happy. But that never came from Norway, and after an underwhelming start by Poland, the stage was all set for Stella to go out and give it all, and it just never happened.
Turkey and Yüksek Sadakat though, I really can’t explain what happened. Sure it wasn’t as good as maNga from last year, but I (and many others) had this down as nailed on qualifier and certainly was all set to do well on Saturday. What happened? Really, anyone out there? It baffles me, maybe it was the ridiculous outfit he had decided to wear, or even it just didn’t appeal to the masses (which surprises me as it certainly was different on the night and a better song than the other rock effort, Georgia). And now, poor old Yuksek has the unfortunate tag of being the only Turk not to qualify for the final.
Many people are also counting Armenia in this category, but despite nicking half the set of Rocky III, this was never good in the first place.
So those were the shocks that failed to qualify, what about the big surprises who did qualify? For me the big two I didn’t see coming were Lithuania and Georgia. Lithuania for me sent me to sleep first time I listened to it and still sends me asleep to this day. But like Armenia last year, they found something to keep (the male viewers) interested. Georgia certainly pulled out the stops and for me, probably scraped through in 10th. How anyone, jury and viewers said this was better than Turkey though shocks and astounds me.
Elsewhere on the night I was disappointed by Kati Wolf and Hungary, who vocally was off the mark but did enough in the end to run through. I reckon though improvement could made here and it still could be good. And sadly Croatia’s two costume changes both went without a hitch, leaving only Sweden with the risky gimmick remaining.
Overall I’m delighted for Switzerland and Iceland, who probably put out there best performances and I do like the songs themselves. Performer of the night certainly goes to Paradise Oscar of Finland who ended up getting my vote, and has the tough gig of opening the final itself. My only fear it is hardly going to be memorable being the first one out, but it’s a stunning and simple performance and I’ll be more than happy to give another vote to him on Saturday.
Finally, the BBC’s decision to have Sara Cox as ‘host’ is a horrible one and does not work out at all, she is trying far too hard to interact with the audience. Scott Mills isn’t too bad but his insistence to talk over the songs from the ‘Big 5’ slightly annoyed me. Also if the hosts in Dusseldorf could try and be less funny (because they aren’t), that might be helpful too.
So, we now have 15 confirmed finalists, 10 more will be decided in the ‘semi final of death’ on Thursday evening.