ESC2017: funky chicken and the dancing gorilla…

After another entertaining evening, what did we learn from the second semi-final?

Thanks to last year’s hosts, Petra Mede And Måns Zelmerlöw, singing and dancing hosts might be the new normal

FYROM’s Jana Burčeska didn’t really seem to be singing much of her song

We had the first toilet roll holder frock of the competition, thanks to Switzerland

The Man Bun isn’t dead yet… sadly – thanks to Hungary

It wasn’t clear what ‘losing our Verona’ meant. Verruca perhaps, Estonia?

There was a dad dancing backing singer for San Marino

Speaking of which, San Marino – she was clearly more in to him then he was her

Key changes were back, again!

And these are the ten qualifiers for the Grand Final…

Bulgaria: Beautiful Mess by Kristian Kostov

Belarus: Story of My Life by Naviband

Croatia: My Friend by Jacques Houdek

Hungary: Origo by Joci Pápai

Denmark: Where I Am by Anja

Israel: I Feel Alive by IMRI

Romania: Yodel It! by Ilinka ft. Alex Florea

Norway: Grab The Moment by JOWST

The Netherlands: Lights and Shadows by OG3NE

Austria: Running On Air by Nathan Trent

I got 8/10 on my napkin of death. Not a bad result. Good to see Norway and Denmark regain their place in the final, to balance the Nordic participants. The hosts were a little more polished, and their opening montage of Eurovision winners done in a Ukrainian style was quite entertaining. Here’s a quick recap of how things shaked down…

So, we now have the twenty qualifiers for the Grand Final on Saturday night. What’s say we have a look and listen to the automatic qualifiers, the ‘Big Five’ and hosts Ukraine. And we’ll look at their performance footage from the semi-finals…

Italy

This is the bookies long-term favourite. It has been * for months *. I don’t mind the song, but I find the silly dance and the man in a gorilla suit a novelty that actually makes me grumpy about the song. I have read somewhere this week that Eurovision needs a feel-good winner this year, and this would certainly be that. And I wouldn’t mind a week in Rome next year..

Spain

An example where the staging and the visuals do their best to give the song a lift. A splash of summer on the Eurovision stage. I love the bit where they stand on surfboards. A good effort from Spain…

Germany

Again, nice visuals, but the song is instantly forgettable…

Ukraine

Seemingly the polar opposite to their entry last year, the Ukraine have gone all rock on us…

Given that there isn’t anything else that sounds like this, it might do well. Not that we will be travelling back to Kyiv next year!

France

I find the backdrop more interesting than the song! This vocal is a bit pitchy, and Alma looks rather abandoned on the stage. Watching a performer dance around on their own (as with FYROM) isn’t particularly engaging…

Et enfin, c’est Le Royaume-Uni…

United Kingdom

The irony is that, in this Brexit time we find ourselves in, the UK’s entry is called Never Give Up On You… 🙂

Vocally and visually this is good. Wait until 2:30 mins in, and you’ll get the big note and an effective burst of colour on the backdrop. All quite effective. I actually think the song is rather dull, seeming to lack a proper chorus with a punch. But hey, it’s not the worst thing we have sent to Eurovision! Will Lucy Jones be punished for the UK leaving the EU? Will that politics really be played out in the voting? Or will people just vote, or not vote for the UK, based on their like or dislike of our entry. Let’s see. As I type this (Friday PM), the UK are sixth favourite with the bookies…

So that completes the contenders for the Grand Final. Is there a winner in the ‘Big Five’ and Ukraine? Maybe, just maybe…

Oh, and an update from Brian on chicken Kyiv in, you know, Kyiv…

The little kid in the picture looks jazzed for some garlic chicken! 🙂

I will be back tomorrow (Saturday) with my thoughts on the Grand Final. Now, what do I fancy for dinner tonight? Hmmm…