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25 May 2012 @ 10:39 pm
Eurovision 2012 SemiFinal 1  
Recent overwork and communing with the public on the bus has seen me hit with a nasty cold that left me bedridden today rather than finishing the three urgent things I needed to get done. Will I catch up tonight? No, for it is Eurovision, and once a year the trashiest tunes of the Continent win out over everything else. THIS IS THAT WEEKEND.

For the next two hours, and again for the next two nights, I will be ignoring the coughing, the complaining cats, the slow computer and the appallingly dodgy sociopolitical background as we celebrate Eurovision 2012. (I know the semi-finals are ahead of us in Europe, Australian TV is cheerfully slow.)

[Eighteen countries, zero taste]
Opening montage with scrolling flamey effects: if I was a drinker and in any state remotely resembling health, that would have been a shot right there. And the hosts, two girls, one boy, another shot. All photogenic enough and conservatively dressed which is a welcome relief after last year. Some of the audience appeared to have been ordered to attend, and look tremendously pleased. All of the presenters were born in the 80s. God I feel old ...

Quick mentions of the pre-qualified countries, but no clips of their songs – it is possible that this will be a quick show. Chanting from the crowd, which I think is just 'Azerbaijan! Oi! Oi! Oi!' but could be 'Democracy would be nice!' My cat is making attack runs on my lap, which is filled with laptop, so forgive any typos.

Montenegro to begin. Quick pre-song video clip, mostly of oranges. Rambo Amadeus is the singer, Euro Neuro the song, he rhymes 'Euro Sceptic' with 'Try not to be hermetic', which is a good note to start on, but on the whole this rap-based tune is a bit odd, and he looks like the lovechild of Michael Moore and Gerard Depardieu. Clearly an anti-Merckl sentiment driving this statement, with political banners being unrolled in the background and a Trojan Horse prop. And now breakdancing. Of course. Oh, our Everyman character is being tied up in the banners and carted off, and our singer reveals his empty pockets as a heartbreaking ending note. OK.

And now Iceland. Greta Salomi and some hot boy with Never Forget. She has a violin! It is dramatic! Nice song with some good use of minor chords. 'She whispers warm and tenderly, please come back to me ...' Everyone is wearing black, which makes them look as though they've ducked out from a Philharmonic orchestra over interval. Not impossible, they're still a bit broke up there and a lot of people are working two jobs ... Lovely 'Aahh, ahhhhh' work from the backup singers. 'Never forget, what I did, what I said ...' blah de blah ... If you really want your lover to remember you, tattoo your name on their bum while they sleep.

Greece next. I predict they will not be trying very hard to win. I can say the singer's name, but not spell it. Sorry, love! It's called Aphrodisiac, and they are wearing little mini dresses (girls) and cut-away tops (boys). This song is tripe, but they are all very pleasant to look at. Well done, Greece! I think you are safe from winning, but I now have an urge for a Greek Island holiday. Mission accomplished you wily Hellenic types. And for those drinking as they watch: hip thrusts, jumps, oh-oh chorus = three shots. Oh, shimmying! Four! Spot of traditional Greek dancing! Five! Keep em small, kids, there's a long way to go.

On to Latvia, with Anmary and  Beautiful Song. 'I was born in 1980', she sings. Really? Sunblock, love. Try it, it's great! Anyway, the whole tune is about desiring to win Eurovision, which I feel fairly confident she won't. Good voice, though, lots of colour, which is completely wasted on this rather meh song. I suspect, looking at the not-very flattering frocks, it's another case of can't afford to win here.

Albania now, whose intro video has people playing polo. Love it! Rona with Suus, which is sung in Albanian, so I will not be mocking the lyrics, because I am ignorant. I will be mocking her hairstyle, because it is awful: what looks like blonde-dyed dreads pulled back into a massive bouffant bun over her slicked-back brown roots. Combined with her 70s' sci-fi outfit, she looks like Servalan's hairier cousin come to take a few potshots at Blake and Avon. Good voice, though, but the song is so passionate and meaningful that I feel depressed even though I can't understand a word. And she flats out a little on some of the higher notes, though that could be the sound, which is a little patchy. The crowd love it!

Romania, and I was grabbing a drink so missed the name, but BAGPIPES! DRINK! Girl in tiny red frock out the front of boys in white outfits and giant instruments. Madam, I can see your knickers. And very nearly your knockers as I originally typed. Quite a catchy tune and well-performed all round. I would say that I am hoping for a costume reveal, but I am not sure how much more she can legally reveal. FIREWORKS! DRINK! There is a piano accordian AND bagpipes, I feel as though I am in Eurovision heaven.

Switzerland's Sinplus, with Unbreakable. HELLO kirieldp! Oh so far the hottest boys of the night, with nicely etched hairstyles. Catchy poppy tune, too, though rather interesting English enunciation. I really want the guitarist's grass-green jacket! Good crowd connection, but the song is a bit too same-same all the way though. They'll probably make it to the finals, though.

Belgium has given us Iris with Would You? No, I would not wear a light white dress with that degree of intense backlighting, that's for sure. I feel I know that girl far more intimately than I ever wanted to! In normal lighting it is a pretty and demure frock that is appropriate for someone who's 17, as she is. The song is spectacularly average. Nothing really wrong, just average. I think I am going to have some throat-soothing cold vanilla custard while this plays out, seems apt.

FINLAND! My third-favourites on principle. Pernilla with Nar jag Blundar, and they both look like proper grown-ups which is a pleasant turn-up for the books. He has a cello, she has an unfeasibly long green train to her frock. I am hoping for the night's first costume tearaway! Good song, nice simple hook, well built as it goes on, and the singing is engaging without being overwrought. You could take a half drink for the restrained use of wind machine, but on the whole, it's unobjectionable. And the frock survives intact!

Time for Israel, Izabo with Time, in Hebrew and English. And it's a hard-rocking beat to bring us in to … er, a kibbutz band in 1976? Seriously, what is going on with those sideburns and lapels? I am having a MASSIVE flashback to Italian TV in the mid-80s when they had those mad variety shows. It's strangely compelling. It's sort of like the B52s styled by Nana Mouskouri and a bit of LSD.

San Marino with The Social Network Song sung by Valentina Moneta. She is wearing pleather trousers and singing about Facebook. I am opposed to this song on principle. Bring back the Israelis, they were at least entertaining! 'If you want to come to my house, just click me with your mouse'?! She has a netbook on stage, and someone dressed as a pilot. Who knows? From what I can gather it seems to be a song in praise of Grindr. Kids today.

Hello Cyprus! Ivi Adamou with La La Love. Cute frocks! Cute girls! Stone bench prop and tight choreography, but that's about it. Good walkovers from the dancers! Sub-Shakira bellydancing interlude, but I suspect this will go through on the basis of the song being OK and the girls being rather hot.

Denmark up next. Soluna Samay with Should've Known Better. Slightly dodgy outfit, but I really like her voice, it's bright and fluid, and she's more engaged with the song than the last few have been. The backing group are great, they look like a bunch of students in one of those shows set in a performing arts school. And she has a nice touch on that guitar (I notice these things now I am a Ukulele Player). Two thumbs up for this one! (They're probably doomed if my past guesses are anything to go by.)

Russia with the Babushki singing Party for Everybody. And I learn they have had to leave two off stage! Damn 6-person rules. My fave frocks of the night, easily. This song is a bit Les Mystere de Voix Bulgaires, and the rest Moscow! Moscow! I LOVE IT!. Also, it's about seven shots: one for each granny to start with! Though again, if only one of these women is 77 and the rest are younger, can I say again: sunblock. Seriously, ladies, a bit of skin care goes a long way! That goes for you, too, gents. I feel young for the first time this evening.

Hungary now with Compact Disco performing the Sound of Our Hearts. My computer is hanging, dammit. I suspect this is a good song for that to happen in. Boys in nice jackets being Earnest. Good-oh. Back in two minutes once I sort out whatever the problem is ... Oh, hey, he uses the stage aprons. Drink! Still a meh song, though.

Austria has given us Trackshittaz with Woki Mit Dein Popo. And they can have it right back. Poledancers? Seriously? Adam Yauch is barely in his grave and he's already having to get with the rolling.

And we move to Moldova, with Pasha something starting with P and Lautar. Craziest outfits of the night so far, mini crinolines with almost Aboriginal designs on them. Who can explain it, who can tell you why? Fools will give you reasons, I'll wish I was well enough to hit the Pimms. He appears to be wearing whatever was left in the changerooms at his local bondage club last weekend, and a yellow top. Ah you wacky Moldovans. The clothes have absolutely distracted me from the song, which was fine and well performed, but nothing like so distinctive as the outfits.

The last song is the one we've all been waiting for. Ireland's Jedward with Waterline. McFuck with fries, what is happening with those outfits? Silver and gold shiny futuristic rejects from Barbarella. Ditto for the dance moves. Oh Ireland, you're not even trying these days, bless your impoverished little hearts. At least the boys have allowed their hair to admit the existence of gravity, and are singing in tune this year! They're still as bouncy as ever, bless em. I believe the song suggests they are both seeing the same girl at the same time, to which I say, treacle_tartlet already makes terrible twincest jokes about you two, must you encourage her? And they end with a waterfall! And them IN a waterfall! MASSIVE DRINK! Oh look, their hair is flat! You will never see that again, pause the DVR while you can. And we're off to voting!

The presenters are back, and mildly amusing. I like them because we have seen very little of them and they have not tried to be 'personalities' unlike the last few years. Two thumbs up from me! Now we recap, and recap, and a spot more recapping … Voting countdown, and we're done! I feel reasonably confident the grannies are safe, which means there will be two nations counting on septugenarians come the final.

Quick clips from the pre-qualified countries: Englebert Humperdink for the UK, Lady Gaga's cousin for France, Germany's Lena's cousin for Italy, Celine Dion's cousin for Azerbaijan, Penelope Cruz's cousin for Spain, and a Coldplay tribute band for Germany. Roll on Sunday night!

And now, the results! Romania! White outfits win again! Moldova! Well done funny outfit man. Iceland! They were very classy. Hungary! Really? OK. Denmark! Yay! She was ace! Albania! One for the SF set. Cyprus! Told you. I am worried for Jedward. And my classy Finns. And we've lost sound. Greece! Oh dear. Try not to win, kids. One of my faves is going home. Russia! HURRAH! Yay Nannas! And the commentators are adding in some meta comedy, bless their cotton socks! IRELAND! Those boys can really jump. Sorry Finland, sorry Israel. Good lord, Jedward are cartwheeling onstage. Madness.

OK, bedtime in a bid to regain my health and be back tomorrow for semifinal 2! Good night all!

Loyaulte Me Lie: Weasleycestshocolate on May 25th, 2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
I am unnaturally fond of the Jedward - back to back, with their heads on each other's shoulders.

And the cartwheels.

It's the one I'm left humming.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 25th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
It was much, much better than I thought it would be. I just hope for the sake of the Irish economy that it isn't good enough to win!

And I find it scandalous that I am able to avoid twincest in fandom, only to have it literally thrust upon me at Eurovision. *Mutter mutter mutter …*
Kristina Anderssonkriscat on May 25th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
"FINLAND! My third-favourites on principle. Pernilla with Nar jag Blundar, and they both look like proper grown-ups which is a pleasant turn-up for the books."

I didn't watch the first semi, did Finland sing in swedish?

I'm looking forward to your comments on the second semi. I hope you like Loreen. ;)
booksnchocolate: frank spazbooksnchocolate on May 25th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC)

Can I just sit here and cheerfully keysmash with excitement at pretty much this entire post? Awesome. :D
Rose: Facepalm Harryfourth_rose on May 25th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Austria doesn't want it back, I can safely assure you of that. *scrubs brain*

Edited at 2012-05-25 07:34 pm (UTC)
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on May 26th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC)
The household watched it last night after Ms B's farewell dinner, 'cos she moved on to her new home this morning. It was wonderfully hilariously Eurovision.
I love that the Russian grannies got through to the final. I liked Iceland, gotta have a power ballad moment in every Eurovision, and the hot guy helped :)
The Moldovian costumes reminded me of jean-Paul gautier.....
Can't wait for tonight's semi.... Ms J will miss it as she's at Flametree Ball, so it will be me and the cats..... A worthy crazy cat lady activity :)
Anwynanthraxia on May 26th, 2012 06:42 am (UTC)
I'm very proud of the Young Things at Adelaide Uni, as they have arranged to have a Eurovision Finals party in the Union Cinema on campus Sunday night. I shall be going!
17catherines on May 26th, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
I loved that first semi-final! Virtually all the ones I liked went through, though I was a bit sad Israel missed out.