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22 May 2015 @ 10:34 pm
Eurovision 2015 Semi Final One  
My life has been reduced to actively not murdering the ad department and wrestling with our prepress people as they all fail to understand the notion of deadlines. But I am taking out a couple of hours between now and when our guests arrive for the weekend to recap, because EUROVISION! Ignore all typos, it's more than my sanity is worth to read it over.

We open with the lovely Conchita and her beautiful winning song from last year, leading into a parade of contestants traipsing across the bridge to the stage, followed by what looks like a raid on the props and costumes from Amadeus. We love you, Vienna, you're so groovily wacky.

The three main hosts appear, all women, one dressed like a Greek goddess, one like a '90s power dresser and one like a Kardashian. They're all multilingual and fun, and the one in the Kardashian frock looks as though she's planning to murder her dresser, so they can stay.

Three minutes and we've already had our first French joke. Bless.

I did miss the chance to vote during the live broadcast, because I was sleeping. I may well miss it again tomorrow, and possibly even in the final. I really need to sleep, or ad reps will die at my tiny, bloodsoaked hands.

Moldova opens the contest, with Eduard Romanyuta's I Want Your Love. Oh FFS, he looks like a Backstreet Boy. And sounds like one. His backup dancers are dressed like cop strippers, and lo, there is a costume reveal, to show hotpants. I'll give points for lights, but am not a fan of the sprayed on hot pants. You know, I'm too old two waste three minutes of my life on this song. I'm arresting it and fast forwarding. Sorry, Moldova, you desereved better and so did those stretchy backup dancers. I hope the girl cuffs him to a lampost later.

ARMENIA! Geneaology look as though they are perfoming a Nana Mouskouri/Demis Roussos tribute. I kind of love them. Face the Love may or may not be the name of the song, I was paying too much attention to the clothes. SMOKE MACHINE! Rather warbly vocals from the first three and then a fine belting set from the girl dressed like a gypsy, it's a bit like listening to solo auditions in the junior girl's choir. Song's pleasant enough, what I really like is the flowing tree backdrop. The syncopation, bells and harmonies are getting flat-out weird towards the end, I'm going to be charitable and assume it's Cultural, rather than that the arranger was drunk.

I wish I still drank.

Mr Brammers is very excited at the propsect of Belgium, I have to admit, he's got a point, they are usually rewarding.

The Australian presenters, Sam and Julia, are doing interviews. With very scary contestents.

Belgium's representative allegedly has loads of charisma, and is 17. Loic Nottet with Rhythm Inside. He's a sweetie, but there is nothing crazy about this song, in fact, it has all the hallmarks of a halfway decent tune: nicely spare orchestration and lyrics that make some sort of sense, well performed. I'm not for it. I want drumming Bolsheviks. None of this competency business. Mr Brammers is deeply disappointed.

The Netherlands, Trintje Oosterhuis with Walk Along. A bit Ani di Franco, a bit Florence without the Machine. And apparently wearing a wingsuit. I live in hope there will be a wind machine to make that worth the wearing. The song's a bit Meh, but she's got a hell of a voice and she's selling it with everything she's got, so I hope she goes through. Nice lighte effects. And the backing singers' outfils are are cheerfully kooky in an I Would Totally Wear That way. Good vocals from them, too. If it was the Singing Contest rather than Song, she'd be a winner. Alas, no flying.

The next song is only 85 seconds long! Finland's Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät with Aina Mun Pitää. They're a punk band made up of middle-aged men who fight before a gig. So, pretty much exactly like every punk band I ever knew. The lyrics start off about housework and how tey have to do that rather than play videogames. Ah, if only this was the complaint of men in this household … It's simple, it's shouty, it's classic punk and classic Finland. Love it.

Shoutout to Australia from the Austrian hosts. You guys have only invited us because you think it's hilarious that Americans can't always tell the difference between us. We know. Some knob in the theatre shouts the Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi thing and I want to club him with a spade.

More interviews. Why do they do this? It's always uncomfortable and Julia always ends up ogling hot lads half her age. Which is probably why they do it. Half your luck, Julia!

GREECE! They have sent more beautiful people, Maria Elena Kyriakou, I think the song is called One Last Breath. She's drop dead gorgeous and her pianist is handsome in a someone's dad kind of way. The song sounds a bit like a Bond theme tune from the early 1970s. She's doing a good job with it, though. KEY CHANGE! With light effects and tempo shift! AND WIND! Grand work, Maria Elena. Finals for sure. Hope you don't win for the economy's sake.

ESTONIA! Elena and Stig, Goodbye to Yesterday. It's a bit 80s, a bit hipster, a bit pared-back, a bit Captain and Tenielle for the new millennium. Groovy stage effects with silhouettes telling the tenseness of their relationship behind the singers. Yeah, look, I'm kind of glad I missed voting because I would have felt obliged to give Estonia the vote and … yeah …

FYR Macedona, Autumn leaves sung by Daniel someone, wearing a trench coat. He's stolen the backdrop from an Andre Rieu concert, and has LL Cool J's triplet cousins doing his backing vocals. It's another case of the performance being much better than the song for the most part, and I lack the will to sit through it. Fast forward. Ooh, he just missed a note. I feel no guilt. Or at least, not much.

EW! Ad with the Australian Prime Minister. Weasel.

Backstage interviews with the Estonians, he says 'We met three years ago, when she posted a YouTube video of herself.' 'I was *singing*,' she interrupts emphatically. Kind of love her.

Next up, Serbia, Bojana Stamenov with Beauty Never Lies. Which is such a total fib, Miranda whatserface doesn't take any of her own selfies. We open with an operatic looking young woman singing in a surprisingly restrained manner surrounded with masked mummers in white, about self-acceptance and ove, and it's OK, but nothing special, but wait! Tempo shift, costume reveal! White things thrown off, party people revealed, singer's Beth Ditto-esque stylings unleashed, dance mix time! Yes! I like this much better. Even though that hipster has a man bun. Say not to man buns, kids. And HA! It ends with a selfie! Snap!

Boggi is singing for Hungary and I have no idea what the song is called as I am trying to scoff a curry. It's nice, they're all lovely, it's about peace, I feel as though I am transported back to the better folk singing at Greenham Common and keep waiting to be hosed by the security. Very lovely, would have won in 1984. Ah, apparently called War is For Nothing.

Belarus, their entry brought together by a shared love for Lord of the Rings. Bless. Uzari and Maimuna with Time. She plays the violin, I am instantly a fan. He brings the man perm and single earring. Oh sweetie. Actually, I'm unfair, there are two, just only one dangly. The violin is good. Apparently time is like thunder. I feel certain I saw this gig in 1991 as a favour to a friend who had very misguided ideas about what made a cool band.

Up next is Russia, with an Australian backup singer, not that our commentary is insanely parochial. A Million Voices, performed by Polina Gargarina. They all look very nice, and I am dying of boredom twenty seconds in. It's the song Celine Dion rejected. To be fair, she has a fabulous voice, and that dress is very big and spangly. I wonder if there's any more curry? There was! It's still going, you know. With people clapping along merrily. Still boring.

Surely we must be near the end, and we have Denmark's Anti Social Media with The Way You Are. They are so young they are basically foetuses. And this sounds like a cross between a chirpier Wombats song and St Johnny Logan. The drummer is clearly modelling himself on the one who left One Direction, which is just as well, as the lead singer seems to be going a bit more for Prince Harry. And the bassist looks like the blond chap from The Man From UNCLE, Ilya whatsisface. Don't ask me, my brain is full.

Albania, Elhaida Dani with I'm Alive, and say what you like about Eurovision, but I would like to think that's the default. Very Serious Hair. And earrings that could double as weapons in the right hands. Another wingsuit! What's with that? Alas, pretty dull. Nice Hiyiyiyis, but generally meh. And I am back to my old friend the fast forward button.

Please, god, let this be the end. Romania's Voltaj with De La Capat, which is apparently a song asking parents not to abandon their children in search of wealth in other countries. Very worthy. They look like a bunch of successful stockbrokers who've formed a house band, with one of them wearing a trucker's cap, because he saw someoe do that once. The band are tight, the vocals are good, and it's nice to hear people singing in a language other than English, but again, it's a bit same old same old. This is a very safe semi final, Eurovision. If I did drink, I would not have much of a chance for skolling shots tonight.


Interviews include a bribe from the Serbian singer: 'Vote for me, and if I win, I will invite Australia back next year!'

Nina Sublatti sings Warrior for Georgia. This IS the last song. She has feathers on her shoulders and has stolen Morticia Addam's hair and makeup stylists. Smoke and wind, and yet, it's another boring song. Maybe there will be an exciting change, like Serbia's? Yeah, yeah, you're a warrior and yet I bet that if threw this vindaloo-stained fork at you, it would be all bleeding chins and tears before bedtime. Don't ask. I never liked that cousin. I rather like this woman's boots, wish she'd stop singing, though. AND SHE HAS! WE ARE DONE! AT LAST!

Conchita in a jumpsuit in the green room, rather loving it, especially her messy lob. Short hair always looks good on people who aren't me: on me, it looks like someone who really should have spent 10 minutes with a dryer and product.

And I'm just going to fast forward through this recap, because none of it has faded yet. It's the standard countdown for the end of live voting, and we're done! And now a quick rundown of the pre-qualified finalists, and Guy Sebastian from Australia. Look, he's nice. The pantsuit presenter is now confusing Australia and Austria. I hear you, madam. They also rightly mention all the previous Australian singers who have performed for other countries, including St Johnny Logan, who was briefly Australian before he was Irish. Take that, Guy!

They also talk to the French and Spanish singers, who look delightful, look forward to their songs. And now the voting, which I normally follow avidly, but tonight I will be turning to my beloved fast forward button. And oh look, a spot of news in the ad break and Tony Abbott is still abusing human rights. Makes me so … homicidal? Is it homicidal? Probably.

And now, a recap of Austria at Eurovision, opening with Falco. I approve. Nice little mention of several Nobel Prize-winning Austrian women, I like it a lot. And the Russian dancing grannies! I like it more than a lot! Lovely mix of the arts, science and very silly music there. For a moment I thought they were going to reveal that Niki Lauda had been part of a Eurovision winning team for Austria. Alas, no.

By the way, the French entry is a bloody cracker.

I just can't believe Australia's there. What were they thinking? Are party drugs still cheap in Vienna? I might have an explanation.

OK, winners now. Even the officials look startled to keep saying '… and Australia.' I feel your pain. OK, Albania is in. Goodoh. Armenia, too, now Russia. Romania in too, that's at least on merit of the song. Hungary, deserved for singing, and Greece, same. Estonia? Really? You lot are all drunk. Georgia?! This is going to be a dull final. SERBIA! I take it back, it's going to be a mostly dull final. And Belgium, pipping Denmark at the post for the foetus vote.

That's it, folks, I'll be back tomorrow with Semi final two, but probably late, because someone who looks a lot like me will be working on Saturday due to useless bloody ad department. Grrrr! I'm moving to Moldova to write mediocre Eurovision entries.
Tarataradiane on May 23rd, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
Oh man, Eurovision. My former team lead was from Turkey (God love her, I see her every day and wish she was still my team lead) and last year I asked her if she'd seen any of the songs on youtube and she just laughed and said OMG WHO WATCHES THAT and I'm all WELL I DO AND I REALLY LIKED NORWAY'S SONG, OKAY (this was last year, liked it enough to add it to my collection) and then I hid my face in shame the rest of the day LOL.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 24th, 2015 10:13 am (UTC)
She sounds like no fun whatsoever! You clearly have the the right of it -- organsied enough for Youtube! *Salutes!*
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 24th, 2015 10:11 am (UTC)
You're always allowed, dear! Just sorry everything was so late this year. SO much work and not allowed to murder anyone in the ad department. Woe!
17catherines on May 24th, 2015 06:07 am (UTC)
Yes, a bit tame, wasn't it? There weren't too many songs I hated, but there weren't many I loved, either. Thank god for Serbia. I liked Hungary, too, but they were on the wrong show. And I have a definite soft spot for Finland.

We didn't get up for the semis, by the way, but we did get up to vote this morning, which was fun. The back end of the event is definitely more enjoyable if you've actually got the chance to vote, I have to say.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on May 24th, 2015 10:10 am (UTC)
Well done. you! I was a giant sluggard. But yes, this was the lesser of the semis by a long way, and the final was actually more fun, which never happens! Everyone should always have a soft spot for Finland1
leecetheartist on May 24th, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you!