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13 May 2017 @ 10:50 pm
Eurovision 2017 Semi final 2  
And we're back! Timu is still looking gothic and grim, the other two hosts are wearing beautifully embroidered suits and now they are playing a local pipe and a piano accordian and it's actually quite good as they swing into 'Ukranianised' Eurovision hits. The Ukranian version of Euphoria works surprisingly well! There is folk dancing, but everyone looks so good I'm willing to forgive it all. He's not as cute as Norway's Aleksandr or however that sweet lad spells his name, though. Apparently Ukranian style also means massed voices sounding as though they are manning the barricades, which I am afraid is probably the case. I really enjoyed it! Huge leap forwards over last night.

Mr B is killing himself laughing at the idea Australians can vote in Eurovision. He is not wrong to laugh. Though you might need us for the numbers next year if Brexit keeps on making all the dumb arse decisions.

Serbia, Tijana Bogicevic, In Too Deep. I like her look a lot, though it's another seethrough long skirt with what looks like hotpants underneath. Actually, now the lights have come up that's a really stupid dress, but her hair is magnificent. She has a good voice that is a bit Bonnie Tyler in all the best ways, but this song is dumb. Relationships. Scary. Falling So Deep. Whoa-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh. That's pretty much it. Shirtless backing dancer running about and rolling on the floor. He looks nice. I hope they get to go out and have a nice drink afterwards, whether platonically or otherwise. Bless.

Austria! Nathan Trent, Running on Air. He has written this song, and is singing it tonight in hopes that Ed Sheeran will be ringing him before the end of the week. He has a 50% chance of that happening, though Ed might also accidentally nick it. He is wearing winged shoes and I am judging him for that sartorial pun. Nice voice, inoffensive song, just … it's all a bit too early Bieber for my tastes.

FYR Macedonia, Jana Burcheska, Dance Alone. First big digitising of the voice so far this year and it stands out. Good pop song, but she's no Robyn. Still, she's beautiful and pregnant according to her intro postcard, so she won't mind not getting through to the finals. (Watch her now win. I cannot predict this competition to save my life.)

Malta, Claudia Faniello, Breathlessly. Oh yes, Malta, gorgeous fortysomething woman with big bold voice and white diva frock. You know what we needed. Giant video of white diva frocks behind her. Tempo shift, soaring backing vocals, full diva gesticulations, hero notes, wind machine … I broke out my Bonnie Tyler reference far too early. Spectacular. Classic power ballad. Real chance if people are feeling traditional.

Romania, Ilinka feat Alex Florea, Yodel It. Yep, the yodelling rap song. I pretty much love this. She's 17 and if they are both single and heterosexual I hope she gets together with the Australian 17yo and they make a real go of it, returning with a second-generation Eurosuperstar in 27 years. He is now straddling a canon, which I have not seen since Cher. WHAT DO CANNONS HAVE TO DO WITH YODELLING??? She's a hell of a yodeller, though. That made no sense and they can come back.

The Netherlands, Og3ne, Lights and Shadows. ALL THE SEQUINS! I have a strange feeling we've moved to Nashville unexpectedly. Great voices from the three girls and tight harmonies, lyrics helpfully projected on the backscreen for those who want to sing along. It's a lovely song of friendship and support, but it feels like the bit in a Disney film where the heroine is encouraged to pick herself up and face down her fears. Which it would be perfect for and someone should pay them loads to do that. Great talents, less great song.

Hungary, Joci Papai, Orico. Romani gentleman manbun, with nicely military-esque shirt and lovely backing dancer. Plus a violinist on a podium and he is playing the milkjug. I like it. For those of us who don't know loads about Romania, it's impossible to tell what's ethnic and what's eccentric. But he's mixed in a spot of dancing, spot of pyro, spot of rapping, so this song has something for everyone! I actually do like it.

Denmark, Anja, Where I Am. With an Australian singing! From up the mountains! She's a cutie and has a great dog, so I hope the song is good. Oh dear, I should have thought before I typed that. Look, she has a very good voice. And a terrific frock! She is selling this for all it's worth and it's not her fault that's 87 eurocents. Aussie commentators get line of the night saying she's off to throw down a struedel and a VB afterwards.

Ireland, Brendan Murray, Dying to Try. Amazing eyebrows, but he is whispering and there is a hot air ballloon above his head and that's more falsetto than I've heard in some times. Actually, no, looking at him, it's just his voice hasn't broken, the sweet wee lamb. WHO HAS BROUGHT HIM TO THIS PLACE OF INIQUITY AND WILL HE BE PROTECTED IN THE GREEN ROOM?! Hero note AND key change, because Ireland know how this game is played. He's got 30+ years of coming back if this doesn't work.

San Marino, Valentina Moretta and Jimmie Wilson, Spirit of the Night. He's American and they're both delightful: of all the competitors I think they might be the ones to go out drinking with. Not you, Ireland, you go straight to bed! It's way past your bedtime! This song sounds like something from a lesser musical about disco written in 1997, but I don't mind it. The backing singers are on point and she's clearly thrilled to be there, which is good to see. It's going on a bit, but ends sweetly and they have had more fun than anyone else.

Croatia, Jacques Houdec, My Friend. Begins with lovely formal strings and what looks like formal wear, except it's made of pleather and I have visions of a gimp dinner party. He opens with a Hallmark card platitude and then launches into a confusing mix of opera and pop: quite literally swapping voice styles line by line, and thank god the violin is back. It's sort of good, and he can sing very well in both styles, but there is just to much going on here. Hot man with a cello, though, and I am for that. The backing singers look as though they were 'Dude, there was already enough in the way of vocalising out here.' Only at Eurovision.

Norway, Jowst, Grab the Moment. Masks. There are masks in this performance. With LEDs. I do like the singer's fedora. I don't like his understated mumble singing. Because I am middle aged. Actually, only one of the backing performer masks has LEDs, the others are black voids. Meta-commentary on the state of ethics in world politics? Very possible! The music is well performed, but there's nothing exciting here.

Switzerland, Timebelle, Apollo. Lovely homage to Big Bird and the wonderful work done by PBS and Sesame Street over many years. We're so sorry Trump is killing you. She has brilliant hair, and the pianist and drummer look lovely. This is a perfectly fine song and if I were less of a grumpy old woman I would love it. Alas… Good hero ending, though. Finest wailing diva of the evening.

Belarus, Naviband, Story of My Life. They're on a hovercraft and wearing white with manga hair, I like them a lot. It's a good high-energy opening and cheerfully folky tune, so perfectly geared towards me, though given previous years, this may mean they are never heard from again (Finland … I am still smarting on your behalf.) They could make a lot of money if they teamed up with Ben Stiller on a film, you know. It's not only Icelandic bands who can get away with that sort of thing. I liked that a lot, and would listen again. Hope to!

Bulgaria, Kristian Kostov, Beautiful Mess. You can't fool me, that's Harry Styles with a better haircut. It's apparently a hot favourite and I despair as it sounds like every X Factor contestant I have ever been surprised to learn exists (I have a lot of friends who are actual children). He's good, nice voice, looks smooth, moves well, but there's not much there.

Lithuania, Fusedmarc, Rein of Revolution. They have brought the funk. Ooh, and the Kate Bush homage in the styling! There is brass in the backing, which is nice. And that's pretty much everything I have to say about this song. Another well-performed but thin piece. With clapping. Yeah, even that's not enough to win me over. Belarus, I miss you guys already. Not enough lyrics in this song.

ESTONIA! Koit Toome and Laura, Verona. Another white frock, and he's in a black suit. Look, I know we're less than a minute into this duet, but it sounds like the theme tune to a 1980s TV show that has Don Johnson in the cast somewhere. Whatever happened to him? Is he still with Melanie Griffiths? They have white light shapes whirling about and some tuneful ah-ah-ahing and I don't care. Surely it's time for a cocoa? They are looking into each other's eyes and cracking up, bless em.

Israel, Imri, I Feel Alive. Why are so many of the singers working out in their postcards? He's wearing a sleeveless top so you can see the benefits of all those weights. Standard dance party tune #18, but he's buff, winking at the camera and doing a good job with it all. Couple of boys in white dancing behind him and there's tonight's Celebrate Diversity theme writ large. Just as well the Russians are boycotting, that could have been too much for them. Some traditional stylings worked into the backing track, nice. Lots of repeating the word Alive, I suspect this one also ran out of lyrics, but it's vastly less tedious than the last. Goddamit, Estonia, why do you do this to me. Good work, Israel, I vaguely feel like living through the voting after that.

Recap of songs. Cuppa.

VERKA! Oh, all is forgiven, Ukraine. We need more of her.

Hosts again. The audience are fun, though!

Votes are in! Oh, the excitement!

Apache Crew to dance while we wait, and is that music Le Mystere de Voix Bulgare? Anyway, this is worth looking at on the clips -- mix of hiphop, modern dance and acrobatics that works well. Amazing choreography for such a large group, working independently and in units of ever-changing numbers but seamlessly switching in ways that look organic and never forced. Impressive!

And I've just been making a cuppa for my friend who is visiting while the next three automatic qualifiers preview their songs, so I can't tell you anything about them except that Ukraine's is no Hard Rock Hallelujah.

HELLO JON OLA SAND! I feel as though we are old friends.

Winners time. Expect me to wail. Bulgaria goes through. But of course. BELARUS! YES! OK, happy now. Croatia is coming back, and I may get there in the end. Hungary, which I may also one day understand. Maybe I should start drinking again. DENMARK! AUSTRALIA HAS TWO! Israel, which isn't a bad option. Romania, and thank god, because that was everything Eurovision. Norway? Really? Europe, go home, you're drunk. People just want to go there next year. Fair enough. The Netherlands, which yes for the talent but no for the song. Austria. Well, there you go. Wouldn't have called that.

And now, mere hours to go before the final, which I could get up to watch before dawn, or record and cope with eventually. You know which one I'm going to choose.
Leochileochi on May 13th, 2017 01:12 pm (UTC)
I've only watched half of both semi finals, and the only exciting thing about them were your comments. :D:D:D
khalulukhalulu on May 13th, 2017 04:26 pm (UTC)
Your commentary was very fun to read. I didn't know what Eurovision was til LJ.

germankittygermankitty on May 13th, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
You haven't missed much. :-) (Me = aware of Eurovision since the early 1960s, so I saw the birth of ABBA, but missed a teenage Celine Dion winning for Switzerland in 1988)