Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blogilkar reviews Eurovision 2010

Here comes my thoughts and ideas about the second semifinal. After the first semifinal it is pretty clear the 50-50 juries-televote doesn't seem to change a thing so I am not going to adjust any my remarks written here before that. But I must press the fact that I have not seen the final screen shots, camera runs and the overal show the TV viewers will see. It made me change my mind about a few things during the show yesterday (dropping Slovakia and adding Bosnia-Herzegovina for example) but I can't help that now.

Lithuania - InCulto - Eastern European funk
Like the first semi we have an opener that will surely get viewers attention. When this won I wasn't very pleased but I started liking this very soon and I find it still funny and entertaining. It's all about their attitude I guess. They have fun themselves and don't take this too seriously, yet being totally serious about it. This isn't stupid silly like We are the winners or other similar acts in the past. With only televoting I would be sure this qualifies, but the jurys might keep it down from reaching the final. The staging is energetic and they will also enter the Eurovision history with their glitter shorts.
First impression: **
Performer: ****
Song: **
Staging: ****
Qualification: 50-50

Armenia - Eva Rivas - Apricot stone
This wasn't doing so well in the polls until the rehearsals started but I liked this since it won. Catchy tune with ethnic influences. Nice story if you get it (the apricot stone symbolism in Armenia that is) and Eva is quite stunning on stage. There's a lot of going in the performance but it still works, just like the simple studio based preview video. The remix of this is my favourite of all the dance versions I have heard this year so it makes me like this even more. In a year when the votes will split in every direction this one will be scoring medium high points from all corners of Europe and maybe end up winning?
First impression: *****
Performer: ****
Song: *****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Sure.

Israel - Harel Skaat - Milim
Harel had a lot of fans before he entered the contest, me included. Then he performed a few songs, all a bit the same but this oen one. Comparisons to Patricia Kaas were voiced. No doubt great voice and cute guy but something's been missing in the rehearsals. Maybe this one needs also the live audience in arena to push some life to this, or it might just come across a bit dull and tired. A lot of emotions for sure, but not the right kind to make you vote for it. If Patricia Kaas with her superstar status and better song and understandable language to half of Europe couldn't do better than 8th....
First impression: ****
Song: ***
Performer: ****
Staging: ***
Qualification: Most likely

Denmark - Chanée & N'evergreen - In a moment like this
I hate to admit but I have been very pleased this has been a disaster on stage. Bad singing, no chemistry. The song is plain bad I have repeat that about a zillion times by now. Unless they make the magic happen when it counts they won't even qualify. So much for the pre-contest favourites! I still don't understand how this became the favourite in the first place?!
First impression: *
Song: *
Performer: **
Staging: ***
Qualification: I pray not

Switzerland - Michael von der Heide - Il pleut de l'or
If I have been happy - naughty me - for Denmark's failure to deliver I have been equally happy for Switzerland doing it. It's rather kitchy presentation but fits the song. The ladies are great and Michael is clearly enjoying himself on stage. One of my favourite songs this year and wouldn't it be great if Switzerland qualified this time when fans don't think so after many times been "sure qualifier" and then missing out?
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: ****
Staging: ****
Qualification: I pray 

Sweden - Anna Bergendahl - This is my life
I have been writing this will win since it won Melodifestivalen, against all odds and fans' opinions. Most of the fans have now woken up and talk about the possibility but if it does I am the one who can say "I said so!". On the other hand if she doesn't I have made me a bit of a fool of myself but I don't care. I love the song. She performs it with true feelings and is fantastic, why they can't see that? (I know, because they were voting for Manboy or some other nonsense that would have done the end of Hero or La voix and can't get over it...) I also think Svante and EBU would be happier if we were off to Stockholm in 2011 instead of, say, Baku or Yerevan....
First impression: *****
Song: *****
Performer: *****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Oh yes!

Azerbaijan - Safura - Drip drop
This is Anna's worst enemy. For awhile I was nearly switching from Sweden to Azerbaijan as the one I think will win but when I saw the staging I went back to Sweden. The song is very catchy and sticks to your head and it's in the same league with Believe. It can win still. With only televote it would I guess. This is like Armenia; picking medium high votes from all over the place. Only time will tell how this ends and if Safura manages to walk down the stairs in her high heals, if the lights in her dress will light up, if she will make it in time back to the main stage from the catwalk... A simplier staging would have been maybe a better idea?
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: ****
Staging: ***
Qualification: Sure

Ukraine - Alyosha - Sweet people
Well, I'm not a fan of this song. Partly because of the mess they had with the selection(s), partly because listening to this one feels like a torture. Seeing it changes things a bit though. She's rather captivating on stage. Her voice is if not great at least noticeable. I have no idea how this will do.
First impression: *
Song: **
Performer: ***
Staging: **
Qualification: I have no idea.

The Netherlands - Sieneke - Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)
I think this will benefit greatly being performed after the Ukrainian drama, making people forget all about it and either clap their hands with delight or just stare with their mouth open. A real divider of opinions. I must say I have switched teams and like this now. Sieneke performs it well and if you get over your annoyance it's actually a lot of fun. For some reason I now after Finland's failure I think this will have similar fate, except this was never going to the final and here's the beauty: I hope she takes revenge in the name of Kuunkuiskaajat and qualifies to the horror of the fans and who remembers Russian qualification after that?
First impression: *
Song: **
Performer: ****
Staging: ***
Qualification: No, but I still hope.

Romania - Paula Seling & Ovi - Playing with fire
This is a dangerous one, the way Fly on the wings of love. But all depends on their performance as if they lack the chemistry it all easily comes across as too plastic and steril, and Paula's silver catsuit doesn't help if that's what she is wearing tomorrow night. Catchy and bouncy, with gimmicks like the high notes and of course pyros.
First impression: ***
Song: ***
Performer: ***
Staging: *
Qualification: Maybe

Slovenia - Ansambel Zlindra & Kalamari - Narodnozabavni rock
Where else would you hear a song like this but Eurovision? Sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes... well, never mind. The vocalists are good, they seem to enjoy what they do but I still wonder who would vote for this? Not even as a protest? The staging is also very static.
First impression: *
Song: *
Performer: ***
Staging: *
Qualification: Never

Ireland - Niamh Kavanagh - It's for you
Niamh is fantastic. She's done this before and it shows. She glows warmth and likebility. The song has been heard before but it's still a good one. The staging, too. It's like time stood still but so seems to be the whole contest this year from staging to songs, so I wouldn't be surprised if she won again. On the other hand she might be punished by the jurors for being "seen it, heard it" which would be a shame. One of the best songs this year despite all. And she's maybe the best singer. Despite all.
First impression: ****
Song: *****
Performer: *****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Yes. 

Bulgaria - Miro - Angel si ti
I like Miro. I like this song. Yet I think this won't make the final. I will be overjoyed if it does but I think it won't. Something is just missing and I don't know what it is. Singing a bit in English in the middle doesn't improve it at all, almost the contrary. The show is very Eurovision and maybe a bit too much for the jurors. I guess this will be too easy a target for the jurors to punish it with very low votes and make it miss the final even if televoters would like it. Shame.
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: ****
Staging: ****
Qualification: No.

Cyprus - Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders - Life looks better in spring
This isn't exactly a fan favourite either despite having a few eager fans. I don't get this. I find it just plain boring and canä't see why televoters would vote for this. They did vote Tom Dice in but that was just one guy, this is a messy group of random people on stage with a lead singer that isn't that convincing. I might be totally wrong but I don't think this one makes the cut either.
First impression: *
Song: **
Performer: **
Staging: *
Qualification: I doubt it

Croatia - Feminnem - Lako je sve
One of the fan favourites and it is easy to see why: already familiar group, catchy song that's not quite ballad but yet not uptempo with just enough drama to make it memorable. Indeed it is a good one. I have been singing the song in my head since I heard it and as we can expect a lot of ex-Yogoslavian votes this is a sure qualifier. And it deserves to be. With a very mixed and even voting this might be right up there fighting for the trophy until the very end - and maybe bringing it to Croatia.
First impression: ****
Song: *****
Performer: ****
Staging: ****
Qualification: Sure.

Georgia - Sofia Nizharadze - Shine
Another song that could easily be a surprise and a bit shocker winner - unless they mae such a mess on stage and she looks pretty desperate most of the time. Well, it may once again look all so different on TV screen. She's got no doubt some mighty vocal cords and the song is a well written (Swedish-Norwegian-Italian collaboration) power ballad. And now I want to know why Ireland is blamed for being too old fashioned and tired? How about this? Or Norway? However, we will see...
First impression: ****
Song: ****
Performer: *****
Staging: *
Qualification: Err... yes?

Turkey - maNga - We could be the same
When I heard this for the first time I thought this could be it. I lost faith a bit over the weeks but now we are hear and yes, I wouldn't be surprised this won. Turkey can count on doing well with a decent song and this is that. The staging is impressive and totally different from anything else. I can imagine even the juries go for this. Another top-5 for Turkey for sure.
First impression: *****
Song: ****
Performer: ***
Staging: *****
Qualification: Sure.

So, a wild guess for the qualifiers: Armenia, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ireland and Croatia for sure. Then Lithuania, Israel, Georgia and.... and.... oh dear... Romania? Netherlands? Bulgaria? or Denmark after all? All this said, the contender for Kate Ryan award from this semi is Israel, don't you think?

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