Eurovision preview: Semi II

Here we go. This is gonna get updated several times before I end, because (Insert random excuses mostly related to school)

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Dino Merlin – Love in rewind

Watch, kids: This is why you shouldn’t drink before performing. Got it? The song is great: melancholic, but not depressing, and he’s not that bad as a singer, though.

Austria: Nadine Beiler – The secret is love

Do we have a candidate for best stage show in this semi? Yes, we do! And a second Disney Ballad, in case we didn’t have enough with Lithuania. And please, please, please, Nadine, keep the dress. Not that it could help you, but it’s gorgeous.

Austria, I love the song, and it’s good to see that you still know how to put on a scene show, but you seem a little out of practice. How about some Rounder  Girls next year?

Netherlands: 3JS – Never alone

Dude. Haircut, shower and nail clipping. NOW. And while you’re at it, also get a good wardrobe. You can keep the song if you want. But after going epic last year with Sha-la-lie, it’s obvious that Netherlands needs a rest. (And not, I’m not being sarcastic. Sha-la-lie is awesome and STFU)

Belgium: Witloof Bay – With love baby

This is… well… interesting. I’m speechless, literally. It’s obvious they’re not gonna get anything, but I like having them here. As I said, it’s… interesting.

Slovakia: Twiins – I’m still alive

There you go: like “I love Belarus”, but a little more subtle. With verse… no, chorus, no… what is that? I gave it all the chances I could and still can’t find any sense in it. Sorry, Twiins. Try a catchy pop song next year.

Ukraine: Mika Newton – Angel

You know, it’s not an Ukranian national final if they don’t at least risk a fine. Here Johanna… sorry, Mika, was acused of bribing the judges and manipulating the phone votes, just a couple hours after she was pronounced the winner. Then, after a swarm of protests, the broadcaster announced a new final, with the top three performers on the previous one. And then the two challengers withdrew and Mika said she wanted to change her song. All of this, less than a week before deadline.

The broadcaster decided they already had enough troubles and rejected the proposal, sending her with the English version. I liked a lot better he Ukranian one.  It sounds sweeter, and the wedding cake she’s standing on is great. I want the old version back! And the wedding cake too!

Still, she’s not this year’s Alyosha. Wait and see.

Moldova: Zdob si Zdub – So lucky

What the hell?  Yeah, Ollia Tira proved bad taste can be turned into art, but this is going a little bit too far. A big lot too far, actually, with hats and bad lyrics and a monocycling fairy. Guys, you better give us something more similar to the official video, with nipples and abs and a lead singer looking like Reese Rideout (DON’T GOOGLE THAT NAME IF YOU’RE AT WORK) . Please?

Sweden: Eric Saade – Popular

Oh, my. You can really tell at a first glance to this that not passing to the final last year really, truly, absolutely hurt the Swede hearts. This year they picked something that’s gonna qualify for sure.

But, even with cute guy and heavy show… “Don’t tell me that’s impossible, ‘cause I know it’s possible”? You must be kidding me, Eric. How am I supposed to take seriously a song that starts like this, honey?

Cyprus: Christos Mylordos – San aggelos s’agapissas

Wow! Look!, A song that’s not in English! Greek, actually, and it couldn’t get any more Greek. On first listening it sounds gorgeous, but on second and following, it’s too plain. Sorry, Cyprus. You get kudos for being one of the few countries daring to sing not in English, but I’m pretty sure that’s all you’re gonna get.

Bulgaria: Poli Genova  – Na inat.

Wow, two non-English songs in a row. Damn. Pink… I mean, Poli’s got here a pretty average song, but with a brilliant concept for stage show. I like her, in a Roxette kind of way. And I want a keytar.

Macedonia: Vlatko Ilievski – Rusinka

Is  it just me, or after the first minute this song is all chorus? An all hilarious too, with the choreography, the magical accordion who sounds even when no one is playing it, the choreography, the fact that his throat is gonna be really sore the next day and, again, the choreography. Anyway, dude’s hot. I want to see him shirtless.

And with this, wev’e finished the full non-English songs in this semi.

Israel: Dana International – Ding Dong

When you’re Dana Motherfucking International and won with a song like Diva, you’ve got nothing left to prove. But Dana’s gonna prove it anyway because she’s that cool. Man, I love her.

Slovenia: Maja Keuc – No one.

NOW you’re getting it, Slovenia. See how easy is it, to admit that unless you’re Greece or Turkey you don’t have any hope with a folk act?  Maja is effective. Not outstanding, but effective. And you got me on the looks department. Love ya.

Romania: Hotel FM – Change.

I can almost hear the stage director: “Braces, a bow tie, fedoras… how can we make this any more vintage?

I know! Let’s add TRUMPETS!”

And then, when you see the baterist has a checkered fedora, and the takes, and the choreography, it officially passes from vintage to Mr. Sandman. Eat your heart out, Simon Matthew, you have been out-vintaged!

Estonia: Getter Jaani – Rockefeller street.

Hum… excuse me, but what the hell was that? I don’t get what’s it supposed to be about, I don’t get the dance, I don’t get the dress, the skyscrapers, the counting and… well, everything. The only think that makes sense here are the good looking dancers and the awesome magic tricks. Oh, and the move from verse to chorus is the smoothest thing I’ve heard in my life. But those sparks of brilliance are drowned from the general nonsense.

Belarus: Anastasia Vinnikova – I love Belarus

Aaaaaandddd… salute this year’s Alyosha: Anastasia won the national final with a song named Born in Belorussia. The song made some comparisons between Belarus and the U.S.S.R, and the EBU, unwilling to talk about a country that does not exist anymore, urged the broadcaster to change it.

They changed the lyrics and retitled it to I am Belarusian. And then, it was revealed that the song was performed around ESC 2010 time and there’s video of it. Anastasia tried to say it was not the same song because the lyrics had been changed, but nobody bought it.

This is the point in which Alyosha pulled a completely different song out her sleeve, but Anastasia has a lot more nerve. She (well, the songwriters, to be fair) revamped and twisted the music and lyrics until it could truly be considered a different song, and renamed it I love Belarus.

The worst part? I’m willing to forgive her anything if she features enough of the gorgeous instrument that sounds in the opening. I forgave the  cheesy lyrics since the very first incarnation of the song. Every country should be allowed to fap to it’s own coolness every now and then.

Latvia: Musiqq – Angel in disguise.

Sigh. Why, Latvia, why do you keep doing this to me? If you’ve got so many great artists on your national final, why do you always pick the weakest one? Inn 2009 you had Aisha at her best and Kristina Zaharova with a song by Martins, and chose Intars. In 2010 you had Lauris, Ivo and again Kristina, this time at her best, and went for Aisha at her worst. And now you had Ivo, who just needed to get rid of his stupid suit, Dace Upite, twice, and… well Lauris, not at his best but as hot as ever, and voted this. Really, Latvia?

You’re making harder and harder to keep loving you.

Denmark: A Friend in London – New Tomorrow

Douze pointe from United Kingdom just for the reference!

Let’s start with what’s really important: THE. BALLS. MUST. GO. TO. DÜSSELDORF. I won’t take no for an answer.

These guys are Katrina and the Waves plus testosterone. It could work with a good stage show (I know you can do it, Denmark, because you did last year).

(Oh, and I watched also the second placer, and she’s also incredible. When you have two finalists as good as these two, you know you’re doing something right, Denmark)

Ireland: Jedward – Lipstick.

It depends on Aurela Gace’s live show wether she or Jedward will get the title to Creepiest Mindfuck of the Year. Well, there’s also Lena…

The only reason I forgive Jedward all their… them, is because they’re the first Irish act that truly sound like twenty first century, and because they’re the gayest thing we’re gonna see this year.

That’s it, nineteen people. Time to go with:

The five that should absolutely qualify to the final: Austria, Israel, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Denmark.

The five who really shouldn´t: Slovakia, Cyprus, Latvia, and… it’s harder to choose in this semi, but Netherlands, and Moldova unless they go shirtless and drop the hats.

Five more to complete the finalists: Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sweden, Belarus and Estonia.

Best female singer: Maja Keuc from Slovenia.

Worst female singer: TWiiNS. Not that bad, but they didn’t impress me.

Best male singer: Dino Merlin, from Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Worst male singer: just for the thought of how much his throat’s gonna hurt, Vlatko Ilievski, from Macedonia. (Or FYROM, to avoid being lynched)

Best song: Ding Dong, by Dana International from Israel

Worst song: San Aggelos s’agapissas, by Christos Mylordos from Cyprus.

Best idea onstage: The keytar from Na Inat, by Poli Genova.

Stupidest idea onstage: The hats Zdob si Zdub were wearing.

And, for a beauty pageant:

Best looks on a guy: Eric Saade, followed by Dino Merlin. That’s what I call to age with class.

Hottest guy: Vlatko Ilievski.

Cutest guy:  Pick at random one of Getter Jaani’s dancers.

Honorable mention to Eric Saade as runner-up in the those categories.

Best looks on a girl: Mika Newton.

Hottest girl: Maja Keuc.

Cutest girl: Nadine Beiler.

Like it also happened last year, most of the songs I find interesting were on the first semi. This one has more fillers, and less of the wow factor. The only act of this semi that I actually root for is Dana International. Go Dana!

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