I spent Monday afternoon at the dress rehearsal for the first semi-final. There were no major calamities, and unlike in previous years we got through without having to stop for a technical error. That said some of the vision mixing on the screens in the auditorium was a bit fudged. What is looking stunning, however, are the transitions between songs: the postcards are charming, involving people from each nation, and then what I can only describe an ‘eurovision aura’ (loads of swirling dots) will fly onto your TV screens to first form the outline of each country, and then the flag from it. You’ll see what I mean! Also, as the artists enter the stage you will see that too! A nice touch that we haven’t seen since 1979, apparently (I didn’t know that – I’m not that much of a geek!). Some looked more nervous than others today!
So, on with the runners and riders for Tuesday night (BBC3 at 8.00pm!)
Oh, one MAJOR change to the proceedings this year is that you can text to vote for a song you like at any time, rather than waiting until the reprise after all the songs have been performed. This might just shake things up a bit.
A good opener for the first semi-final. I’ve liked this for a while, but today at the dress rehearsal she was a little off. Loving the M People stylee sax flourish – sounds a bit like Moving On Up from back in the day?
Russia seem to have realised that now they have hosted the ESC they are in no hurry to win it back. The lead singer looks slightly bored – and you might be too..
The first time I heard this it made me think of music from the 1980s (aah, the 80s – the best of times!). I think it sounds like Midge Ure and Heaven 17 mixed together. Must say that I have not been a fan of this song, but he delivers it really well – with a quirky style that makes the song sound better. I know you might laugh, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets through…
Best song of the night so far. Is it me, or does the green costume remind you of that episode of Doctor Who recently when the people turned into trees? This is straight through to the final.
This is bonkers, but charmingly so. You’ll be clapping along by the end. The assembled press at the rehearsal today were doing just that!
I love this song. Not sure why Aisha has taken to the stage in what looks like her bath robe? Perhaps she’s going for the dirty old man vote…
Rearrange these words and I think it’s all I need to say:
BOX – FROGS – A – AS – MAD – OF
Except that – if you don’t judge the poor fella for having a haircut that his mother gave him because she’d hoped for a girl – it’s irritatingly catchy, and it’ll be popular with the voters in Eastern Europe for sure.
08 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
A bit retro. Bosnia have made the final for the last couple of years – I’m not sure that they will this year. What do you think?
Poland need to realise that less is more, as there is far too much to distract the eye from the ear. Also, singer Marcin grabbing a backing singer by the throat during the performance it a little sinister…
This is really popular here in Oslo. It’s got one of the best reactions in the auditorium today. As a song it does build in all the right places and is a clap along crowd pleaser.
I’m on the fence with this one. Generally well staged – with great gospel singers adding very strong backing vocals to provide a dimension to the track that we have not heard before, and actually making me want to hear it again.
There is a song every year that the fans love that never makes it to the final. I think that this might be that song this year. And if you thought that Pete Waterman had composed a song for the UK that sounds more cliché than retro, then I think that this is in the same league.
Greece is the word once again this year with another strong contender. Infectious and catchy – sure to go to the final! Feel the testosterone…
2010 is quite ballad-tastic. In such a wide field this charming performer might struggle to qualify.
15 F.Y.R. MACEDONIA
I said today at the dress rehearsal that this would be one of the songs if I was watching at home during which I would put the kettle on and have a cup of tea. I quickly corrected myself. It’d be a song when I would refresh my G’n’T!
And then, following the previous song where my gin and tonic had been refreshed, I’d be on my feet again to go and get another one! A wee bit bland for me. A pity that they replaced their original entry this year with this substitute – the former song was much better. BTW: keep a close eye on the female singers who will literally sprout butterfly wings on the key change at the end. No, really! Eurovision, cheesy – surely not!
Hopefully you’ll be in the europop zone by this point in the proceedings. So, go on- push the coffee table to one side, put down that bottle of Lambrini and it’s hands-in-the-air-shake-em-like-you-just-don’t-care. Do it for me – sashay with Hera and her team. Love it – a great finish to the night.
‘Team Oslo’ – will deliver our “Napkin of Death” predictions tomorrow, for the third year. We did quite well last year!