Road to Eurovision 2010: Semi 2

We’re over with semi 1, now it’s time for the second semifinal preview (The five countries with direct ticket to the final will have a post of their own).

Disclaimer: This will get updated a lot, because there are 17 songs to be reviewed and I won’t do all of them at once, so if you get here and it’s not over, come back in a few days, OK?

And now:

Lithuania: InCulto – Eastern European Funk

According to Wikipedia, Lithuania was centimeters close to withdraw prior to this contest, until the telecommunications company Teo LT donated money so they could afford sending an act.

Watching this makes me wish Teo LT had decided to use their money to buy free ponies for lithuanian kids or something just as useful, instead of financing a shameful act. Like, really.

I know it’s supposed to be experimental music, and the beginning is way one of the most interesting thing I’ve seen this year, but from then everything goes downhill in so many ways it’s almost unbelievable that much badness is packed in only 2:44.

First, the fake instruments. I have no clue in what bloody universe this can be taken seriously. Right, Ksenia Sitnik did it back in 2005 and won with it, but it was the Junior Contest and she was ten years old. And she did it in a moderately cool way, not even getting close to the atrociousness we see here.

And then, the glittery underwear. (No, those are not shorts, they’re underwear, trust me) Yeah, Eurovision is Gay Territory, but there are certain things only allowed to Verka Serduchka, and even she made it into full suits. No gay points here because it’s done without class.

You, guys, are hot, but if you want to show your thighs, you better do it while showing also your bare chests. Having those trunks with shirts and ties is not hot, is not something I want to look at and is not… just not.

The good news: you still can do it. The music is good and interesting and you can sing, so just drop the fake instruments and, for God’s sake, rip your shirts instead of your pants.

Armenia: Eva Rivas – Apricot Stone

¡OMG! ¡Angelina Jolie is taking part in Eurovision Song Contest!

Sorry, no, just a lookalike, who I guess sings way better than Angelina and does a great, great job. This somehow reminds me Sertab Erener’s “Every way that I can”, but with style. Eva has winner quality, something I’m sorry to say Sertab didn’t have. (Yeah, I just said the 2003 winning song has no style or winner quality, and I stick with it).

The only thing I’m unhappy with is that Eva moves too much. It does’nt fit the song. But even so, this is the second time (after Kristina, of course) that I say: Now we’re talking.

Israel: Harel Skaat – Milim

First, let me drool a little. Harel’s got the kind of handsomeness only jewish genes can give. He’s like Yuval David, only less cute. (Once I got to see a man like these two live, and in person they’re even more breathtaking)

Second, let me drool a little more. Not about the minimalist stage, but about the lighting. I don’t know who did it, but I love them.

About the song, this will be the first man entering the Winner Quality Club, because yes, he does have it. I could see this song going high in a non-Eurovision way: they drop everything that is not necessary, abandoning the fireworks, the choreography and the backing stuff, so everything here is to serve the song, and it’s done amazingly. They turn what otherwise would be a dull song (compare with “Thunder and Lightning”) into a wonderful act.

Also, I could see it going high in an Eurovision way because, as I said, Harel is gorgeous. The only bad thing is his body language: he bends so much it looks like his back hurts or something.

Denmark: Chanée & N’evergreen – In a moment like this.

Wow. Just WOW.

A gorgeous stage, a wonderful performance with Wind Machine and Blinding Lights included, taking us really close for a third Winner Quality Act in a row. The only reason they aren’t is because the song is too simple and Chanée’s geisha makeup (Red Code in Denmark! Red Code in Denmark!). I don’t like the dress, but I guess we can get along with it. They also get gay points for looks. On both of them.

So, they’re a must and I’d like to see them passing and scoring high… maybe even winning, despite they’re below at least three songs in this contest.

Also, ¿Isn’t that guitar at the beginning stolen from the Carebears II movie ending?

Just listen:

Switzerland: Michael Von der Heide – I’ll pleut de’lor

Deen, you better run, because Michael Von der Heide might just be the gayest thing ever shown in Eurovision. It depends on the kind of pants he chooses to match his golden jacket (which I hope he keeps for the ESC performance, because golden jackets are awesome… damn, now I want one). He also has a great voice (the best in this semi so far), only that it’s wasted in a rather bland song.

Also, ¿Is he really hitting 40 years old? He looks a lot younger to me. Not handsome, but young… and that explains a lot about the gayness.

Sweden: Anna Bergendahl – This is my Life.

I watched the performance. I watched it again. And again. Still looking for something clever to say about it, and I didn’t find it. Is it a good or a bad thing?

The only thing to comment here is that there’s no fastest way to go from Best Dressed frontrunner to Barbara Dex Award frontrunner than wearing a totally classy white dress with totally classless pink (or are they red?) Converse shoes. Anna, even I know that.

Azerbaijan: Safura Alizadeh: Drip Drop

Warning: If you suffer epilepsia or thing you might, perhaps you shouldn’t watch this. The background screen caused me a headache, and I don’t suffer epilepsia.

The backing dancers, oh, those backing dancers! They’re just mesmerizing. Now I’m in trouble to choose between Giorgio’s and these ones. I didn’t hear the lyrics, or paid attention to Safura’s voice and performance. Whatever, I didn’t miss anything important.

I’d say the only chance to score this act has are the dancers (let’s face it, Safura is only an excuse to show off them) and the brilliant choreography.

Ukraine: Alyosha – Sweet People.

Here’s the full story: Ukraine internally selected the artist who would represent them. It’s not uncommon, in fact, it’s the same choosing procedure that gave us Ruslana and Ani Lorak.

They picked Vasyl Lazarovich and gave a national final, in which the song “I love you” was chosen:

It just happened this time people didn’t like the fact that the artist was handpicked, and so, less than week before deadline, a new national final was held and Alyosha was chosen, with “To Be Free”:

And then, they discovered “To Be Free” broke the rules in at least two different ways: It had been released two years before, and it also plagiarized some other song. So, Ukraine was in a no-win situation: they couldn’t send Alyosha with that song, and they couldn’t change it or withdraw it without a fine, because deadline had already passed. So they took the fine and changed it, which leads us to “Sweet People”.

Now, if only all that trouble had been worth it. They finally stuck with a profound, dramatic song with nothing remarkable, and a singer with a nice voice, but who suffers the same disease Aisha does. Europe really should think about making a vaccine.

Netherlands: Sieneke – Ich ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)

This is from the same guy who composed the Smurf song. So Yeah.

Nope, it can’t be taken seriously. Nope, it can’t win, and I doubt it even make it to the final, and I still love it. Like Työlki ellää does in the first semi, Sha-la-lie is responsible for giving us a true funny moment to enjoy here, and take away seriousness for a while. Thanks, Sieneke.

And she can sing more than it might seem. Come on, listen to it again.

Romania: Paula Seling & Ovi: Playing with fire

Sorry, can somebody explain to me what I just watched?

Ok, he’s not so bad looking, she’s hot and wearing leather, they have a good translucent piano and, right when I was giving up my hopes, a “Fire/Desire” rhyme which, you know, is a Must here (a contest can’t properly call itself Eurovision if there isn’t a “Fire/Desire” rhyme) but somehow then you gather all of it together, nothing manages to make sense.

The song has some high points (Might be on the best songs in this semi) and Paula gives us an impressive vocal showoff as a bridge, but it doesn’t work. And it’s not only the fact that Ovi is so obviously gay that you can’t buy him singing those lyrics, its… something else. I don’t know what.

Slovenia: Ansambel Roka Žlindre & Kalamari – Narodno Zabavni Rock

Yeah, I get it. You’re merging folk with rock. That’s why the girl’s got what may likely be a Slovenian traditional outfit, while the guy is supossed to be a rocker.

You can bold “supossed” if you want. That’s not a proper rocker look.Lose the scarf, cut your hair shorter and grease it, and give him a full black shirt, with no prints on it. The idea is good and not so bad-done, but the looks have some trouble here.

Even so, although it’s a refreshing concept and so, I don’t see it getting in the final (neither in my wishes nor in reality),in spite of having the first stage in this semi actually worth drooling.

Edit: second, there’s also Denmark.

Ireland: Niam Kavanagh – It’s for you

Another pretty stage, nice. About the song…

Hum, not bad at all for a previous winner, but it’s too 1990’s and the 90’s have been over for a decade. This is not anymore the times where you could win only by having a decent song, singing it in a decent way and being Irish (which are all fully acomplished by Niam) so, even if this is good, doesn’t make the cut to winner quality.

However, if at the end I happen to have a free seat in The Five Who Should, it will probably go for her. Because, on top of all I wrote before, she also has great lighting and amazing hair. Well, everyone there has amazing hair.

Bulgaria: Miroslav Kostadinov “Miro” – Angel si ti

Wait. Is there really in nature facial hair featuring that color? I was so shocked the first time I saw it that I had to rewind and watch again. Yep, it IS that color.

You’ve got more than half the road walked, Miro, but if you’re going to pretend to lose your shirt, you better damn lose it and become the next Sakis. You’re hot enough to afford doing it.

Also, lose the chains. Completely. You don’t need them.

This is, in fact, really close to winner quality, it only needs a little more sophistication… which doesn’t mean “plastic”, by the way, don’t take me wrong. In fact, the opposite.

Cyprus: Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders

One of the true awesome consequences of having your chances dead even before you start is that you don’t have to make an effort to please everyone. That’s the case with Cyprus (And I’m not dramatizing: they have reached the bottom of top five only three times, and 2005 was the last time they made it to the final, and their best semi result was fouteenth)

In a nutshell, they’ve got nothing to lose, just like Andorra and Portugal, so they can send virtually anything. That’s the reason we got “Jugar’em a estimar-nos”, “Todas las ruas do amor”, and “Life looks better in spring”. This guy, singing this song, is like a Christmas present.

Forgive me if I get corny, but somehow I don’t even care by being almost certain that this won’t pass to the final. Having on the contest is enough. Thanks, Jon.

(Sorry if I got too heartfelt, but… well, I’m in love)

Croatia: Femminem- Lako je sve

I’d say we might have a winner for best lighting. Is this or Israel. Also, one of the most beautiful stages in the contest, a powerful, passionate song, and three girls strong enough to sing the song in the level it requires.

All that said: What, in Heaven’s name, are they doing on that stage? What’s-with-the-dance? This song doesn’t deserve that performance, it really does.

The good news is that even if the performance is not up to the song, they still could do it. Yeah, the song is that good.

Georgia: Sopho Niharadze – Shine

“Shine” is “Drip Drop”, but with better lyrics, a better singer, more class, and unfortunatelly, fully dressed backing dancers.

Now, I’m biased against this song because it has been overpromoted on Facebook, but looking through my bias, I’d say this is good. Not winner quality, but good.

Turkey: MaNga – We could be the same

Oh, now we have not only a “Fire/Desire” rhyme in this semi, but also a “Eyes/Surprise” one. Classic, guys, just classic. Not a Must, but almost. Couple it with a white outfit, Deli-like music and Hard Rock Hallellujah-ish lighting and fireworks, and we get officially the most eurovisive song on the semi. It also makes harder for me to pick who I want to pass, because this is quite good in a Deli-ish way.

Now, let’s end this with the nominations and awards for this semi:

The Five Who Should:
Eva Rivas, representing Armenia.
Harel Skaat, representing Israel.
Chanée & N’evergreen, representing Denmark.
Miro, representing Bulgaria.
Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders, representing Cyprus (again, dreams come for free).

The Five Who Shouldn’t:
InCulto, representing Lithuania.
Alyosha, representing Ukraine.
Anna Bergendahl, representing Sweden.
Ansambel Zlindra & Kalamari, representing Slovenia.
Paula Seling & Ovi, representing Romania.

If i had to complete the ten whom I want in the final, it would be Netherlands, Azerbaijan (just because I want to see those dancers twice), Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey.

Best Song: Angel si ti, by Miro.
Worst Song: Drip Drop, by Safura.

Best Performance: In a moment like this, by Chanée & N’evergreen
Funniest performance: Ich ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie), by Sieneke
Worst performance: Playing with fire, by Paula Seling & Ovi (yeah, they ruin a really good song, and it’s all in the performance)

Best Male Singer: Michael von der Heide, representing Switzerland.
Worst Male Singer: InCulto, but it’s only because I have to name somebody, they’re not that bad.

Best Female Singer: Sofia Niharadze, representing Georgia.
Worst Female Singer: Alyosha, representing Ukraine.

Best Idea Onstage: The translucent wall on In a Moment Like This, by Chanée & N’evergreen.
Stupidest Idea Onstage: Tie between the fake instruments and the shiny trunks in Eastern European Funk, by InCulto.

Best Dressed: Eva Rivas, Sieneke and Michael von der Heide (Golden jackets FTW!)
Frontrunners for the Barbara Dex Award: InCulto and Anna Bergendahl.

Best Teeth: Paula Seling, of course! Look at her teeth!

Comparing both semis, the second has a more consistent quality, in fact I had to force me a little to pick the last two on The Five Who Shouldn’t, as they’re not that bad (In semi 1, in the other hand, I had to handpick Macedonia to stay out of the list), and also had trouble picking the worst song. Chosing the best one was hard, too, because besides Bulgaria there were Armenia, Turkey and Cyprus.

Oddly, it seems Niam Kavanagh, who’s a previous winner, is the only one who didn’t get mentioned, for good or bad, in this list.

Now we’ve got only five songs left to review: the Big Four plus Norway, i.e: the ones with a direct ticket to the final. They’ll be reviewed on Monday, I hope.

Edit: Here’s the missing part: Vanity Fair, i.e: Beauty awards.

Best looks on a girl: Niamh Kavannagh. She looks great (and I had to include her somewhere)
Hottest girl: Paula Seling.
Cutest girl: Sieneke. Completely.

Best looks on a guy: Harel Skaat.
Hottest guy: Miro and his gymnasts.
Cutest guy: Is it really necesary asking? Ok, Jon Lilygreen.

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Comentarios

  • Lomin  On mayo 6, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Where’s the Georgia! I think Shine is the best ballad of this year.

  • admin  On mayo 7, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I’m going in running order, so Georgia is gonna be the second to last in this post, which means it might take a few days to reach there. As I said in the disclaimer, this still needs to be updated a lot.

    Don’t worry, all of them will appear. To be honest, I haven’t heard the Georgian song, so i’ll take your word. The more acts to reach Winner Quality, the better… this year has been one of the best in my opinion.

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