Road to Eurovision 2010: Semi-1

Here we go: this is the preview for the first Semifinal on Eurovision 2010. There are ceirtan things I hope get changed for the actual performances on the contest, as these are only the ones on the national finals, but I think it gives us a glimpse about how it can get in time. The acts featured in this semifinal are listed below:

SunStroke Project and Olia Tira represent  Moldova with “Run Away”
Peter Nalitch and Friends represent  Russia with “Lost and Forgotten”
Malcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4 represent  Estonia with “Siren”
Kristina represents  Slovakia with “Horehronie”
Kuunkuiskaajat represent  Finland with “Työlki Ellää”
Aisha represents  Latvia with “What For?”
Milan Stankovi? represents  Serbia with “Ovo je Balkan
Vukašin Braji? represents  Bosnia and Herzegovina with “Thunder and Lightning”
Marcin Mrozi?ski represents  Poland with “Legenda”
Tom Dice represents  Belgium with “Me and My Guitar”
Thea Garrett represents  Malta with “My Dream”
Juliana Pasha represents  Albania with “It’s All About You”
Giorgos Alkaios and Friends represent  Greece with “OPA”
Filipa Azevedo represents  Portugal with “Há dias assim”
Gjoko Taneski, Billy Zver and Pejcin represent  Macedonia with “Jas ja imam silata“
3+2 represent  Belarus with “Butterflies”
Hera Björk represents  Iceland with “Je ne sais quoi”

The rest of the post, under a cut because so many youtube videos make some browsers crash:


Moldova: Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira: Run Away

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Well, this is not unexpected, but yet it is unexpectedly soon. The first song in the draw and they are already jumping in the Rybak’s fiddle bandwagon.  Not in a bad way, though. The boy sounds like that guy from Euroband and the girl sounds like Soraya.

She also looks like Soraya, and a little too Lady Gaga. Bad, girl, bad. You deserve to do it classier, especially with a song as good as this, and so well performed that it sounds just equally good live as it does in the studio version. And that sax is just orgasmic.


Russia: Peter Nalitch & Band – Lost and Forgotten.

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Russia, oh, Russia, how can you always manage to give us something we couldn’t imagine? After Believe, Mamo, and now… well… this.

I just don’t know what to think. The song is beautiful, but the looks of the singers, and the performance make it seem like a group of drunk friends singing in a cantina.

No, not a bar. A cantina. Because the looks are totally Latin America. Even if that’s the idea, the performance (specially the moment where the singer looks at the picture like it was a cheatsheet) is completely hilarious.

Oh, yeah, and by the way he pronounces, he’d do better singing it all in Russian. It sounds like Russian already, after all.

Estonia: Malcolm Lincoln – Siren

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Oh, my. That stage. Please, please, EBU, may you relocate the contest so everything happens in that stage? I’m in love.

Ah, the song. Well, to be honest, I found it pretty nonsensical. Every single second is pointless: the “dance”, the singing, the rose-shaking, the lyrics. There are only two things worth in this song: the backing singer’s hat, and the gayness, ‘cause this is GAY. Not Deen-level-gay, but at least Anzej-Dezan-level-gay.

But sorry, guys of Malcolm. You don’t deserve to be on that pretty stage. And your dizzyness-inducing camerawork isn’t helping either.

Slovakia: Kristina – Horehronie

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Well, NOW we’re talking. Kristina, you did it. Ruslana just called and said she wants her talent back. Even if there are better songs ahead (This is only the fourth one I hear), I wouldn’t complain if this wins, because it would be a worthy winner.

Looking like an Eva Green double also helps, and no little.

Just do yourself a favor, Kristina: try not to steal that much from Ruslana. She might appear onstage and beat you, because you know, she’s a tough girl.

Finland: Kuunkuiskaajat – Työlki Ellää

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Another pretty, pretty stage and look, they got an accordion! And amazing teeth, too!

This is folky, but not classic-folky, but like modern-folky, with lots of glitter and white dresses that try to make the girls look Disney, although the one int he short dress looks kinda evil and crazy.

It’s a bad thing that they sent something so funny and so good, ‘cause we all know Finland doesn’t do good at Eurovision (Lordi was just an exception). But, if they don’t win or even pass, which I’d say they deserve, at least is obvious they’re having a good time.

Latvia: Aisha – What for?

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There’s a reason why I love Latvian music: It’s incredibly good music, and this song proves it. I honestly prefer the upbeat Latvian songs, like “My Star” or “Hello from Mars”, but “What for” does it good in the same way that “The war is not over” did it. You’re officially forgiven for last year, Latvia.

Now, there’s something I cannot forgive you this soon: Aisha can’t sing, and it hurts to watch such a beautiful girl ripping such a beautiful song, mostly at the end, when she can’t add intensity with her voice and tries to add it by screaming and making faces. If you get a good song for the contest, could you bother about getting also a good singer?

Love
Me

Serbia: Milan Stankovic – Ovo je Balkan

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And finally, we get to the first song in the draw that is positively awful. No, “Siren” is bad, but only because it’s boring. This is not the kind of badness we’re gonna get here.

Here, we get something that starts like a Serbian traditional number, or I guess it’s Serbian, with costumes and trumpets and stuff. Then suddenly, the dancers undress Milan unto an Alexander Rybak costume, and we find ourselves in the middle of a rap/hip-hop number, even with a “come on” included.

And by the second half of the second minute, he takes out his vest, and the girls undress to, and wham!, they’re a street gang.

Which would be great, except that Milan doesn’t look like Riff:

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But like Anybody’s:

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So yeah. What a waste of the best male voice so far.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Vukašin Braji? – Thunder And Lightning

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Sorry, but I didn’t find a video of the English performance live, so here’s in Bosnian.

Nice song, nice music, an easily recognizable voice from this guy, no choreography needed as it’s rock and you know, rock is way too cool for choreographics, but somehow nothing fits together to make it remarkable. It’s too softcore for rock, too dead for pop, and just too plain for this contest.

Poland: Marcin Mrozinski – Legenda

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Some national finals have really, really gorgeous stages, like this. Norway, you better put out something that keeps you out of shame.

Ok, let’s end the stage drooling and go to the song: “Legenda” is giving “Horehronie” a run for it’s money in the lighting category. A great voice and well used. A solid performance, too, and it gains gay points for Marcin’s looks, and extra gay points for showing the first male torso in the night. I would see this going to the final, but not winning, not with Slovakia and Finland competing, although somehow I feel lots of people will like it better.

Belgium: Tom Dice – Me and my Guitar.

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Here we have the first complete soloist in the night, giving us exactly what it says in the box: He and his Guitar, although I’m not sure. Does he have invisible backing singers, or is he really capable of making that falsetto voices himself?

Anyway, the song and the lyrics are worthy. The only way this could be better would be Tom being a daydreamer, which composed the song all by himself, going all on his own to fullfill a dream in the Contest against the whole unverse. Man, I almost feel sorry for him for being on X-Factor.

In second thought, there’s another way to make this better: shave him, or make him grow a proper beard, and cut his hair. That’s not a bohemian, independant look. It’s the look of someone who spent the last three weeks locked in a room playing with his toes. And the song, the lyrics, the stage, and Tom himself, are too pretty for this looks.

Malta: Thea Garrett: My dream.

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And Malta brings us Chiara… sorry, no, not Chiara, but another girl who also can really sing, just in the Chiara line. The appearance, however, is pretty bad: her head looks too modern, or her dress too classic. They should change the head. Well, not the head, only the hairstyle.

I’d like to see this going high, and it doesn’t seem so unlikely, as it comes from the same guys who catapulted Chiara with “The one that I love”. I hope this does the same for Thea, because Chiara needs a rest. Three contests in eleven years is way too much to be healthy. And other thing. Malta: When are you going to give Claudia Faniello a chance? She’s good, she’s pretty, and she has been trying around so long she deserves it.

Can we count her as the second complete soloist of the night, or the wingdude also counts here? Keep in mind that he was lying still for the first half of the song.

Edit: looking in Wikipedia I found she was born in 1992. Oh, God, is she really eighteen? And being so young already singing that good and going to Eurovision? Suddenly I feel I’m waisting my life.

Albania: Juliana Pasha – It’s all about you

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She´s a cougar, she really is. As she’s actually only five years older than me, I can’t say she’s a MILF, but fits the profile. (Wikipedia would call her a Puma). Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all. It’s a good look, fits the strength of the song and makes her look good, except for one thing: the hair. Get a proper hairdo, Juliana.

The song, in the other side, is perfect. Starts good, continues better, and ends even better. Some songs stretch the three minutes and you don’t know how they manage to make so much song fit in a so short time, or even worse, songs that can’t get past the first minute without you wishing them to end.

Here’s the oposite. You are just getting used to the force, the wilderness, the rythm (tomorrow I’m gona have this SO stuck in my head) and suddenly, it’s already ending, and you actually want it to last longer, or at least I do. If this isn’t a good sign, I don’t know what can be.

Greece: Giorgos Alkaios & Friends – OPA!

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I was ready to name Kristina’s dancers the hottest in the draw, but these ones beat them up outright. The problem is that Giorgios can’t let them be the hot ones, and tries to look as hot as them, and obviously, he fails.

I’m not saying he’s ugly (he might look kinda hansome if he was staying alone on that stage), only that he looks ugly compared to all his backup dancers, and he’d do better doing the singing and letting them to look hot.

Also, I hope the surprise they promised for the contest really means something, because this performance could be much better than it is. Except for the costumes. Don’t touch the costumes.

Portugal: Filipa Azevedo – Há Dias Assim

Portugal doesn’t have a problem with the song: they never have. However, they have with the singer the same problem Latvia has with Aisha: the singing.

Just like Aisha, Filipa’s trying to put too much intensity in the song and loses it. Shouldn’t be over her singing skills, but when she tries to shove intensity in the phrasing, that’s when it gets way over her singing.

Oh, and makeup department, we’ve got a Red Code in Portugal. She doesn’t look slim, she looks underfeeded ‘till the point when the pianist disappears you actually wonder if she has devoured him.

Macedonia: Gjoko Taneski feat Billy Zver & Pejcin – Jas Ja Imam Silata

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I was ready to give it a good note, underlining the fact that Gjoko can sing, and adding that “and he’s got a decent song”, when suddenly it came that guy rapping from backstage and my heart broke apart in pieces. You don’t mix a power ballad with rap.

Repeat after me, guys: YOU DON’T MIX A POWER BALLAD WITH RAP.

Period.

Belarus:3+2-Butterflies

Belarus gives us an idealistic song, sweet, subtle and magistrally composed, arranged and performed. In other words, it doesn’t have a chance. It’s too not-eurovisive, and it hurts because the song is beautiful. I wonder why changing it, if “Far Away” had an almost-perfect Eurotouch in it.

Iceland: Hera Björk – Je Ne Sais Quoi

One of these years, Europe, Iceland’s gonna win and nothing you can do will stop it. Now could be a good time: the song is good, the voice is great and the performance is well done, only a little too much 1990’s. Even if it falls in third place, way below Kristina and Juliana, it still has winner quality.

Only one favor, Hera. Please, please, please, get another dress, and be careful not to show any boobs. This song is beyond boobs.

And we’re over with first semi, time to give the awards:

The Five Who Should:
Kristina, representing Slovakia.
Juliana Pasha, representing Albania.
Hera Bjork, representing Iceland
3+2, representing Belarus (Dreaming is for free, isn’t it?)
Kuunkuiskaajat, representing Finland.

The Five Who Shouldn’t:
Peter Nalitch and Friends, representing Russia
Milan Stankovic, representing Serbia. (Although somehow I’m afraid he will do it to the final)
Filipa Azevedo, representing Portugal
Vukašin Braji?, representing Bosnia & Herzegovina
Malcolm Lincoln, representing Estonia.

(That leaves seven from which I’d like Moldova, Latvia, Belgium, Malta and Greece in the final, but not so badly)

Best Song: It’s all about you, by Juliana Pasha.
Worst Song: Siren, by Malcolm Lincoln & Manpower 4.

Best Performance: Horehronie, by Kristina.
Funniest performance: Työlki ellää, by Kuunkuiskaajat.
Worst Performance: Lost and Forgotten, by Peter Nalitch and Friends.

Best Male Singer: Milan Stankovic, representing Serbia.
Worst Male Singer: Peter Nalitch and Friends, representing Russia.

Best Female Singer: Thea Garrett, representing Malta.
Worst Female Singer: Aisha, representing Latvia. (And I really hate to do this, but it’s true)

Best Idea Onstage: What For, by Aisha.
Stupidest Idea Onstage: Everyting about Ovo je Balkan, by Milan Stankovic.

Best Dressed: Kuunkuiskaajat and Kristina.
Frontrunners for the Barbara Dex Award: Olia Tira and Sunstroke Project, Milan Stankovic and Hera Bjork.

Best Teeth: Kuunkuiskaajat

So, that’s it. We’re done with the first semifinal. In a day or two I’ll start the second semi.

Edit: I totally forgot to celebrate a beauty pageant.

Best looks on a girl: Aisha
Hottest girl: Kristina.
Cutest girl: The lead singer of Kuunkuiskaajat. The one that has an accordion and doesn’t look ax-crazy. (BTW, Aisha could have wond this if her song wasn’t so full with existential angst.

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What for are we living? Come on, cheer up a little!

Best looks on a guy: Kristina’s backup dancer, the one who appears at 2:00.
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Him.
Hottest guy: Pick up at random any of the Greek entry backup dancers. Although they all look so similar they could be factory-made.
Cutest guy: Tom Dice and His Guitar. The song helps a lot.

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