ESC2019: Diva delights and the land of leather…

Wow. What a great first semi-final. I loved it. Brilliant telly!

The whole production was slick, well-paced and the staging was A-MA-ZING!

I have been watching from the comfort of home since 2017, and this is the first time that I wanted to be in the arena. As it was, my front room was my arena and I was watching the action via the euroivision.tv YouTube stream. It was great watching without commentary, but I will watch the BBC4 coverage to see that additional interviews with the various singers. I understand that the Beeb did a knock-off carpool karaoke as one of the segments. Suitably BBC to not have a particularly original idea when it comes to Eurovision!

I thought the presenters did a good job. Bar Refaeli was dressed in Gina G’s outfit from ESC1996. Lucy Ayoub was youthfully energetic. Assi Azar, who was named as one of OUT Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Gay People, made reference to his sexuality within the show, which was nicely done. And the slightly older dude, Erez Tal, came off as a bit creepy. Was I the only one thinking that?

The postcards were really well produced, with all the participants having previously travelled to Israel to film them. Loved how the triangle from the logo was incorporated, and how at the end of each postcard it became part of the stage lighting, in the colours of each nation’s flag. Apparently Australia’s singer Kate was injured during filming. She fell whilst wearing what she admits was a poor choice of footwear – high heels whilst walking on cobbled streets. She has clearly recovered well, because her performance and staging was *everything*, wasn’t it? It’s top three in the betting odds. Don’t panic, if it does win Australia don’t get to host. We’ll be somewhere in Europe.

Here’s the recap from last night…

And the ten countries through to the Grand Final on Saturday are…

Greece – Katerine Duska with Better Love

Belarus – ZENA with Like It

Serbia – Nevena Božović with Kruna

Cyprus – Tamta with Replay

Estonia – Victor Crone with Storm

Czech Republic – Lake Malawi with Friend Of A Friend

Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke with Zero Gravity

Iceland – Hatari with Hatrið mun sigra

San Marino – Serhat with Say Na Na Na

Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl with Sebi

Seriously, San Marino?! Now that was a (pleasant) surprise. Say yes, yes, yes, obvs! Jon Ola Sand – you know, the guy who runs the whole thing – has tweeted that there were just two points between 10th and 11th positions in the overall vote, with the professional juries and televoting public agreeing on 8/10. Seems like Serhat got the benefit of the public vote.

So, overall, what did we take away for the show last night?

 We got the first costume reveal, thanks to Cyprus’s Tamta

 The man bun is (sadly) not dead in Hungary (although they now are in the competition)

 During Slovenia’s performance she did all the work whilst he just stood there. Typical bloke…

 Serbia gave us an Angelina Jolie flash of leg

 There’s no danger of a stage invasion this year, with the audience being kept away by height if not by distance

 Iceland’s BDSM stylings didn’t overshadow what was actually a very well-staged performance

 Portugal? No, me neither!

 Dana International looked like she was lip-synching

 The green room is located in a separate arena, not in with the audience as in previous years

 This year, Eurovision really is down with the kids, isn’t it…

I got 7/10 on my napkin of death – how about you? I replaced Serbia with Poland (dammit) and removed Belgium – which was a nervous performance, wasn’t it. I loved how the Estonian guy looked genuinely relieved at the end of his performance and he was buzzing when his place in the final was announced.

One more thing on all things Iceland. It has occurred to me that this isn’t the first time that Iceland have sent a bit of leather to the Eurovision stage. Way back in 1997, when the UK last won, Paul Oscar was the final song of the night, and it got everyone’s attention. Terry Wogan even got in a fluster – so much so that he actually talked over it whilst it was being performed. The land of leather indeed, and we’re not just talking about the sofa…

** escandaloso **  🙂

I’m back soon with my pre-view of tomorrow’s second semi-final…

1 thought on “ESC2019: Diva delights and the land of leather…

  1. We share the napkin of death score – but I was pretty chuffed with my 7/10! A good show which saw many expressions of disbelief on my face (my daughter loving my reactions!).

    It was a varied mix of songs, some of which felt like a major thowback to Eurovision of old – I’m talking about you Montenegro, with your three couples as a group (Guys n Dolls anyone?). Still, awesome entertainment and I can’t wait for tomorrow night!

    Thanks as always for your insights and opinions – love it!

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